Tag Archives: delivery

My birth story–part 2

Sawyer is officially over a week old and I am loving every single minute of being a mom.  Even the middle-of-the-night feedings aren’t so bad, especially when I wake up to his little face!

I’m glad you enjoyed part 1 of my birth story.  It really was a wonderful experience and so different than the somewhat chaotic painful experience I expected.  Part of me thinks it’s because I had been so ready to have him for so long that the (minimal) pain seemed nonexistent compared to the anxiousness I was feeling for him to arrive.  Oh and thank you for the kind comments on my picture.  I was so elated to be in the process that I think it just shined through Winking smile

We left off at Sawyer just being born and laid on my chest.  After a relatively short time, I started to get very woozy and felt like I was losing my hold on him and had him be taken to be weighed and checked.

I began to notice a lot more frenzied – yet controlled – activity happening around me with the doctor releasing commands continuously.   I was apparently hemorrhaging really bad.  I didn’t know at the time, but it was considered an emergency situation.  They quickly administered a shot in my thigh to help stop the bleeding, but that evidently wasn’t helping since they gave me the same shot in the other thigh moments later.  Side note: hemorrhaging is the number one cause of death during birth..yikes!!!

During this time, I was feeling some pressure and tugging – again nothing painful thanks to the epi, but I was keenly aware of a lot of ‘action’ going on down there.  I could hear the doctors calling out the number of gauze pads in me so they could account for them when pulled out.  Also in the background is when I heard Sawyer’s stats: 8 lbs, 10 oz, 20 inches!  BIG BOY!  I was conscious enough to be in awe by this.  Complete and total awe!   It was no wonder they were going to town on me.  Meep! 

Clearly I wasn’t able to breastfeed during this time because I was essentially going into shock.  I was talking as if things were normal, but was shaking so much they had to layer me in heated blankets and hook up a whole new IV drip in my other arm to pump fluids in me. 

It was around this time that I also overheard ‘9 stitches’ being mentioned.  Oye.  Poor me!  I think I feared stiches more than child birth, but with a big boy like Sawyer, it was inevitable.  Oh and can I just tell you that right before I gave birth, the delivery nurse was convinced the baby was 6-7 lbs?  Where he was hiding in my belly I have no idea!

They tried giving me a Vicodin, but I immediately threw that up and continued to spit up off and on (from what I remember).

I’m not sure how much time passed before they finally gave me a dose of Fentanyl in my IV, which certainly helped but made me beyond loopy. I  felt like I was speaking from a different body and was not in the room with my family.  Very weird sensation. 

I politely asked them if they minded if I fell asleep for a bit.  Ha! 

After I woke up (an hour?), I did try to breastfeed and quite honestly, I remember absolutely nothing of it.  I think I had some success (?);  throughout the rest of my hospital experience I was very much supported in my breastfeeding so overall I’m not concerned with how the first time went.

Once my epi wore off and I was pending being moved to the mother and baby suite, I wanted to get up to try to pee.  2 nurses had to assist me and I could care less about any modesty at this point.  I just knew I had to go. 

Big mistake.  Big.

Walking to the bathroom was okay, but the rest was a hot mess.  Ewww. 

I did everything in my power not to keel over and keep myself where I was supposed to sit, but the shaking started almost immediately.  Not just a shiver shake, but violent full body convulsion-like shaking.  It didn’t help to notice the blood pouring out of me.  Yeah, not fun.

Getting back to my hospital bed was a monumental feat followed by nearly passing out.  My poor family was witness to this and I think it scared the bejesus out of them.  Apparently I was shades of grey that are just not human.  They couldn’t get the blankets on soon enough. 

Eventually I calmed down and they were able to move me to my more permanent room. 

Prior to this ‘emergency’ I was told my IV could come out 6 hours after the epi, but now I was hooked to two machines and at high risk for a blood transfusion so that meant taking my blood every few hours to do a blood count until the following AM.  Ugh.  I swear the IV was the bane of my existence.  There is something unbelievably unsettling about having a needle permanently in your arm and not being able to move freely without that tugging sensation.  {cringe}

The pain I experienced after giving birth was far far worse than labor.  Infinitely worse in fact.  I am so grateful I chose an epidural because had I experienced the work they were doing to stop the hemorrhaging, I would have been writhing and screaming. 

Recovery over the next few days was pretty miserable.  I had to wear ginormous pads and couldn’t find a comfortable spot to sit or lay without feeling pressure and pain.  It wasn’t fun my friends.  Walking to and from the bathroom exhausted me and my biggest venture was on day 2 and that was taking a <10 minute walk around the mother / baby unit.  My lower back ached.  I felt like I couldn’t stand straight.  I was overly aware of the pain down below and there wasn’t a darn thing I could do, but listen to my body and absolutely not push my limits. 

A week later I am still taking it very very easy.  Only small excursions, walks to the mail box, and mild stretching.  I am beyond fearful of tearing my stiches so I’m going to wait it out as long as I have to. 

I’m incredibly grateful to my Mom (Obbie), and in-laws (Cookie and Poppy) for helping out so much.  Cookie did most of the grocery shopping and cooking for us (with leftovers to freeze) and Obbie has been on dog duty and cleaning duty – even folding our laundry!

Oh and I can’t forget the hubby.  I have yet to change one single diaper – he has been the diaper man this whole past week.  He’s becoming a pro. 

And since I’ve bombarded you with enough text.  Here are some more hospital and Sawyer pics Open-mouthed smile



I wrote a pretty condensed version of my birth story and stay in the hospital.  Please let me know if you are interested in hearing more of something or if you have any more personal questions, email me at shannamccord [at] gmail [dot] com


Filed under Baby O

My birth story–part 1

Why hello friends!  Thank you for all the congrats / tweets / Fb messages on Sawyer’s arrival.  We have been busy just enjoying each other.  I cannot believe he is already 6 days old and is changing so much already.

He can roll over to his side, hold his neck for nearly 5 seconds, and move his head from left to right when laying on my  chest. 

Based on his birth weight and abilities, I’m sort of convinced he was actually due December 1st versus December 26th!

The last part of pregnancy was somewhat rough.  Not because of the pregnancy itself, but because of the waiting and not knowing what day he’d make his arrival.  I was so convinced I would have him a week early so each day that passed, I got a wee bit more depressed.  I’m not sure why, but I just felt like I was ready and had completely lost control of the situation. 

Each night I’d go to bed with hopes of a mid-night wake up call from a bursting water bag or painful contractions.  But nope.  Nada.

My in-laws arrived on Monday the 26th and, by then, my Mom had been here for 5 days, all anxiously waiting. 

I recall sitting playing Banangrams (awesome game, btw) early Monday evening and having a slight sensation of a ‘trickle’ (warning: graphic details pending…).  Since I had a fairly heavy discharge throughout pregnancy, especially towards the end, I wasn’t sure if it was just that.  I certainly felt no ‘gush’ or ‘steady clear liquid’ that are the supposed tell-tale signs of your water bag breaking.  So I ignored it.

About 2am on the 27th, I felt what I thought could be my first contractions.  I don’t know that I ever felt Braxton Hicks.  I certainly had some cramping throughout pregnancy, but no ‘tightening’ like is described with contractions, until that early Tuesday AM.  They were somewhat consistent, but not really painful.  Just different.  When I woke up that morning, they pretty much had went away and I was pretty darn disappointed.  Clearly my baby never was going to arrive.

Mid-Tuesday AM, we took a 3+ mile walk to/from Starbucks before getting ready and going about our day.

While running random errands with all our visitors, I felt my tummy tighten every now and then for distinct periods of time. It was hard as rock in all areas, not just where his booty usually was.  Since everything was fairly irregular I ignored it once again.

That evening we went for Thai food.  I mean why not just keep trying every trick in the book to get Baby O out! 

After eating and taking our dog for a walk, I felt that trickle-feeling again along with some tightening so I called the Labor & Delivery advice nurse at about 830p.  She said it sounded suspicious and to come in and bring our bags as if we were staying.  Oh boy, I really hoped this wasn’t another false alarm.

I was soon hooked up to the monitors and it appeared I was indeed having contractions about 8 minutes apart.  I didn’t really feel them, but they were there.  They did not check to see if I was dilated just in case my water bag had broke (they don’t want to introduce possibility of infection).

The nurse did a quick pH test and saw no amniotic fluid, but the doctor wanted to take a larger sample.  The first sample proved inconclusive as did the second.  Finally around 1115p, the doctor declared they saw the crystalline structure indicative of amniotic fluid under the microscope and it was time to hook me up to some Pitocin.  By this time I had thought my water may have broken at 8a that morning, but in reality, it was probably over 24 hours prior.  Whoops! Smile with tongue out

By 1145p I was fully admitted and hooked up to an IV and the Pitocin drip started.  Contracts quickly became more regular – maybe at about 5 minutes, but I was in no pain and had no idea I was even having them most of the time. 

A few hours in, I took up the offer for some Fentanyl so that I could get some sleep. I had been feeling a bit of that cramping feeling with contractions by this point (—the Pitocin dosage had been steadily increasing up to 20 units by this time (which is nearly the max dosage!)).  The Fentanyl immediately took effect – super dizzying and zonked me right out.

At 530a, they checked my dilation.  I was at 6cm!  What?!?!  How could that be?  It was only a matter of hours since I was admitted and I hadn’t been feeling the pain I assumed I’d be at 6cm.  But since I knew I wanted an epidural, I ordered one up so that I wouldn’t miss my opportunity. 

Me at 6cm dilated, no pain, pre epi Smile

I was getting pretty worked up about having one – the idea of a needle in my back totally freaked me out.  But I have to say, it was a cinch!  Very very minimal pain – just a tiny pinch that felt warm, and then a slight sensation of the catheter moving inside me.  It didn’t distribute evenly at first – my right side was quite numb but I could feel cold sensations on my left so we kept hitting the button to increase the dose every 15 minutes until I was adequately numb.  I think this was around 730a.

At around 915a, they checked me again and I was 10cm!  Holy moly, already!?!?  Nuts!  They did a check to see if I was able to push appropriately since my epi was so high and I had no problems (yay for using yoga muscles!).  Because the baby’s head wasn’t dropped they wanted me to hold another hour to see if it would drop before we really started pushing.

At 1030a, I started pushing with the assistance of only my delivery nurse and Zach.  She was so absolutely wonderfully fantastic and made the pushing a breeze.  I had no feeling to tell you the truth so we relied on the monitors to tell me when I was going to have a contraction at which time I had to bear down for 10 seconds at a time, 3 times per contraction. 

My experience was nothing like you see on TV.  No screaming, no moaning, no groaning.  Just very zen, easy, calm pushing.  I assisted by holding my legs and the delivery nurse held the other.  Eventually I tried side lying to see if that’d help move things along too.  The delivery doctors would stop in periodically to check my progress.

Finally after nearly an hour of pushing, it was evident that lil Sawyer wasn’t going to get his head under the pelvic bone.  They had put a monitor on his head and discovered a very low heart rate during my contractions.  It was time to make decisions.  First they wanted to try a vacuum pump to get him past the pelvic bone and if that didn’t work after a set number of tries, we’d have to go c-section.  We quickly decided the vacuum was fine and wanted to start immediately.

So in came the Chief Resident and Attending along with the baby nurses and were were good to go!

Literally 2 contractions and a few pushes later, Sawyer was born!

They immediately laid him on my chest while cleaning him off and Zach and I just teared up and fell in love, while waiting for his little wail.  He didn’t cry, but rather whimpered. 

The only thing I remember is them saying, “oh my, what a BIG boy” before things slowly faded to black…


Filed under Baby O

WIAW: Meal time

Okay this week is dragging.  Maybe it’s because one week from today will mark the last day before maternity leave.  Wheeeeeee Smile with tongue out 

And if you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to check out the giveaway for the glass pendant necklace.  If not for you, then as a gift for your fave fab friend for Christmas Smile

Oh and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sweet comments on yesterday’s maternity shoot post.  If you’re interested I’m happy to post more, just let me know. 

Today, is of course, What I Ate Wednesday (see here to join the party) and my focus is on meals – sounds obvious huh, but I’m much more a snacker than a meal person so here are a few ‘meals’ I’ve been snarfin’ down.


Tis the season of the spaghetti squash – one of my favorite gourds to eat.  I tend to go with a marinara sauce or even a Mexi salsa mixture, but this time around, I went with pesto, and baked tofu (smothered in garlic powder and ground black peppa)


Seeing how I’m still trying to eat as much protein as possible, I do make an effort to actually eat some meat now and then.  We made this dish up on Sunday night: hickory smoked pork tenderloin, purple & green asparagus, and sweet potato.  Not too shabby eh?

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Okay okay this may not constitute a meal per se, but while the hubby is away, I go for convenience: blueberry chobani, 1 scoop protein powder, spash of skim milk, and 1/3 cup Raisin Bran Crunch.  Oh and you see that popcorn on the side..yeah that came later Smile with tongue out

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And not to be left  out: PIZZA!  I’m obsessed with pizza lately.   We’ve ordered from Pizza Hut twice in two weeks and are in love with the pan crust and extra sauce.  So freakin’ good.  I think Zach is loving my pregnant food habits. 

Are you more of a snacker or a meal person?

What’s your favorite pizza delivery place?


Filed under WIAW