Mason's Birth Story

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This post is partly for everyone who doesn't know his birth story and partly for me so I don't forget any details....sorry this is going to be long...

It all started on the night of Tuesday, July 17. I'd been on maternity leave for a week and a half and was starting to actually get bored. Who would have thought? I thought I would be so happy that I didn't have to work and I got to hang out, watch tv, or do whatever I wanted everyday. Turns out, not as exciting as I thought (this has since changed since Mason was born as now I have my tv lineup everyday and of course, Mason to take care of). Plus I was starting to get big (or what I felt was big - everyone else said I was still so small) and uncomfortable. Pretty sure Mason had his foot up in my ribs, which made it really hard to sit with our discomfort.

Anyway, the night of July 17th I really wanted In N Out for dinner. Seth of course didn't object and picked it up on his way home from work. We ate dinner, everything was great, we watched tv...but as we watched tv, I started to feel what felt like minor period cramps. I didn't really think anything of it and went to bed at 11pm. I woke up around 3am and it still hurt. I waited a few minutes and decided to wae Seth up. I told him what was happening and he told me to call my doctor. I was kinda hesitant because I felt bad because it was 3am...but hey, they are on call for a reason and I'm sure I'm not the first one to call and wake them up. Plus that's what they get paid the big bucks for, right? So I called the on call line, told the on call guy what my problem was, he paged the on call doctor (which actually happened to be my doctor - both good and bad for me), and my doctor called back. She asked me if I had taken any Tylenol. I said no. She told me to take some and see how I felt and call her back if I needed to. So by now it was like 3:15am. I took some Tylenol. Seth got up with me. We watched tv (which by the way, there is NOTHING on at 3am lol). And then... I started feeling contractions. I stated timing them and Seth wrote down how long they were and how far apart. They ended up being 5 min apart for an hour. By this time more time had gone by and it was 5am. I was getting uncomfortable. My doctor asked me if I wanted to go to the hospial. I love my doctor, but Do I want to go to the hospital? Aren't you the doctor? I called to ask YOU if YOU think I should go to the hospital. So I said yes. She said she would call and let the hospital know that we were on our way. So we put on some real clothes (well Seth did, I kept my sweatpants on lol), got our stuff together (our bags were packed but just the las minute stuff), and were on our way. By now it was 5:45am. I was secretly happy that all of this was happening in the early hours of the morning because the most direct way to the hospital is the 55 freeway, which 1) happens to be the worst freeway for traffic (or at least one of the worst in my opinion), 2) happens to be the best way to get to the OC Fair that was also going on and 3) happens to be the best way to get to the beach also, so I was happy we were going to beat the traffic. Turns out... there are already a lot of people on the freeway at 5:45am! But we didn't have a problem. We got to the hospital around 6:10-6:15am, checked in and they put us in what they call a "triage" room. When I think of triage, I think of someone who has extremely bad injuries (maybe I just watch too much Grey's Anatomy haha), which I didn't.

 when we got checked in to the triage room
the million dollar view

Anyway, a nurse came in, talked to us, checked me (3cm) and then left us for a little while. She came back, asked about my contractions (I said I was having 5-6 pain out of 10). She said they typically don't admit people until they are at 4cm and asked if I wanted to try walking. I definitely didn't but didn't want to be sent home so I said if I had to I would. By now it was like 7am and the shifts of nurses were happening so the night nurse said she would update the day nurse and they would see what they wanted to do. The day nurse came back and said they would admit me (yay!). So we moved from triage to labor and delivery. (I later learned that since my doctor was on call the night before, she was off that day. I guess they have some sort of app on their phones that let's them check on their patients (cool but kinda creepy lol) and she was yelling at the phone wondering why they had me in triage for so long when she knew I was in labor). So by 9am we were finally "checked in" to the hospital and were on our way to having a baby!

contractions on the computer screen

Now I understand they need to ask you a lot (A LOT) of questions before they can admit you, but one stood out to me as kinda stupid....why are you here? Really? Why am I here? I'm having a baby! (I asked the nurse if anyone says anything different and she said just slight variations - I'm in water broke...etc). She asked what my pain level was and I said 7 (now that might have been a littttttle more than most people would say but hey, it was painful to me!). I asked when I could get my epidural and she said after I had an IV of fluids. By this time I had started to feel a little sick and she said that was normal. She gave me a bucket, just in case, which was teeny tiny! I'm like umm, that's not going to work if I throw up. So she got me a bigger bowl. Still not your ideal bowl size, but definitely bigger. The nurse left the room and Seth was distracted by something (the view or his phone or something) and then... BLAH! (sorry so graphic lol). Poor Seth definitely saw more than he wanted to. Not the most fun or proudest moment of my life, but hey, he did this to me, he can see the results LOL. The nurse came back, I told her I got sick, and she cleaned up. Poor nurses get such a bad job. I felt so bad. A different nurse came in after that and gave me my IV. She had a hard time finding a good vein to use so she tried one on my left wrist and what happened? She blew my vein. I'm sorry, what? You did what? Now this has never happened to me before so I was thinking this is bad. Apparently it's not really that bad, but it hurt. And later (like a couple days after I got home from the hospital) turned a lovely shade of black and blue. It honestly looked like someone grabbed my arm and squeezed. So, she looked and looked on my other arm and she couldn't find anything, so luckily for me, a different doctor came to check on us and she asked for help. It hurt, but he knew what he was doing. It ended up having to be on the top of my right hand though. Not the ideal spot. Somewhere in there, they als broke my water.

After what felt like FOREVER, the anesthesiologist came in and I was getting my epidural! YAY! I was pretty scared but it hurt A LOT (to me) so I was ready. They said it wouldn't hurt any more than my IV (great, that hurt....). I had to sit up and hug a pillow and not move while the doctor did his thing. He cleaned my back, and then... you get the idea, I will spare you the details. It hurt a little, but not NEARLY as much as I imagined. I was terrified of the thought of a needle in my spine. They had me lay down and that's what the magic happened. I started to not feel anything! It was bliss. The nurse asked if I felt anything and I said no and she said that was good because I just had a big contraction. So by now it was 10am and I was at 4cm (they don't give you an epidural before that) and we just had to wait... so we took a nap. And woke up at noon. The nurse came back in to check me and I was at ... 9 cm!!!! What?! 9 cm? That was fast! If I take another nap, when I wake up, will Mason be here? (just kidding!) Now I just had to wait to get to 10 cm.

The next few hours are a bit of a blur so the timing is just an estimate.

At noon we informed the family that I was at 9 cm. Seth's dad left the fair to come. And Seth's mom left work. My poor in-law's were way too early though and had to wait in the waiting room for forever now though :( I left bad. I don't know how much time went by but I was finally at 10 cm. Probably around 1 or 1:30pm? Then asked me how I was doing and I said I just felt a little pressure. The nurse said that was good and they were just gonna let me sit. Let Mason do some work and let him move down as much as possible. So at 2 or 2:30ish they checked me again and she said she could feel his head. What?! Isn't that bad?? Where is the doctor?! The nurse called to have the doctor paged and told me we would try to push. Wait?! Where's the DOCTOR??? So we did. She asked if I wanted a mirror and I said NO WAY. Gross. Poor Seth held my one leg and the nurse held the other. I think he saw more than he wanted to. I will spare you the details. He didn't plan on looking (I told him not to also lol) but when the nurse yells "I can see the head!" you can't help but look. She asked if I wanted to know what color hair he had and I was shocked he had hair! The old wives tale is that if you have heart burn, the baby has lots of hair and if not, no hair. And I had no heart burn. But he had hair! Brown hair! We pushed a little more (which was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be since in the short span of one contraction (like 1 min) you have to hold your breath and push for 10 sec and hold your breath and push for 10 sec... AND hold your breath and push for 10 sec. 3 times!! So tiring. THANKFULLY I didn't have to push that much. I seriously feel for those people in labor for hours. I don't know how they do it.)

And the doctor was no where to be found. So the nurse called again. I guess the doctor (not my doctor since she was off, but a doctor in the same practice) had actually been at the hospital earlier in the day at noon doing a c-section but nobody told her my progress, so when she was done, she went back to the office. The office is just down the street but she said she needed 5 min to finish some stuff and then she would head back. So we waited. We waited because I had an epidral and couldn't feel anything. Then we pushed again (just for the nurse said. I didn't think it was fun lol). Then we waited because if I pushed again, she thought she would be delivering the baby.

The doctor finally came... maybe at 3:15? and after a few pushes...

He was here!

Mason Noah Birenbaum
July 18, 2012
7 lbs. 8 oz. 19 inches
3:36 pm
I feel like the doctor was there for like 10 min (clearly longer) and then was just GONE! I guess that's all that was necessary. In and out and get paid BIG BUCKS. Maybe I should have been an OB/GYN lol. So Mason got cleaned up, they finished up with me, and then I got to hold him! My baby! I can't believe he's HERE and he's MINE! So surreal. And so amazing.

So after the "golden hour" where it was just the 3 of us, we went up to the mother/baby unit and everyone else got to meet him! So much love :)

Just a little something weird to note... our last name is Birenbaum. How common is that? What I thought was not very common. HOWEVER, when my friend Vickie came to visit us that day, she found out that there was another person who had a baby with the same last name! Or I should say very close... Birnbaum. Guess July 18 was the day to have a baby if your last name is Birenbaum (Birnbaum)! :)

Blast from the Past...

From May to be exact. From my maternity session with Jenny Mason Photography (

Here are just a few of my favorite pictures...

Other blogs...

Monday, September 10, 2012

So recently I've been really into reading other peoples blogs (you know, when the news is on at 11am and during commercials in between my show line up haha - I don't know what I am going to do when I have to go back to work! I'm addicted to daytime tv!). The ones that I really like are (the girl that did that amazing chalkboard that has been seen on pinterest), (a girl who had identical triplets) and of course my friend Tara's blog - . First of all, these people are all WAY better bloggers than me. I have no idea what I am doing. I just type and try to attach pictures every once in a while. Second of all, speaking of pictures, they all have GREAT, artsy pictures. How do people take pictures like this?! I want to learn! Maybe I need to take a photography class? Or maybe I just need to learn how to use the apps on my phone? Or maybe I need to start taking pictures at different angles? Either way, I am super jealous of all these super cool pictures that others know how to take. Also, on some of the blogs, I've noticed that people's babies sleep just in their pjs... I don't know how they do that because Mason will not sleep (at least for more than a few minutes) un-swaddled. He LOVES his hands and his arms to be out of the swaddle but they keep him from actually sleeping because just as he drifts off to sleep, his arm will move and wake him up. I wish he slept just in his pjs so I could get more cute pictures of him in his cute little clothes :) Also, I noticed that some people feed their babies with their babies just laying in a nap nanny or a boppy pillow. I don't know if Mason just isn't old enough for this yet or what, but I might start to try that, just to see how he likes it. Suggestions welcome! I'm new at this and can get all the help I can :)

Mason's "friend"

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mason's been doing this new thing when we put him in his swing where he just sits there and stares into the mirror above his swing. I randomly caught him doing it the other day and he gets the biggest smile on his face. We call it seeing his "friend" since I'm sure he doesn't realize that it is him there.

Such a ham! I love it.

Happy baby :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

They say sleep when the baby sleeps. And for the most part I do. At least at night. I find it hard to sleep during the day when it's so light outside (that and I have my daily routine of shows I watch now lol). But right now I am trying to get Mason to go back to sleep and it's 3am and my mind is going non-stop about what I want to write. So instead of turning on the computer, I will just type it out to myself and blog later.

First of all, the new medicine (Zantac) we have Mason on and the new formula have helped tremendously!!! I can't say it enough. While I'm sure my pediatrician knows what he's doing and what he's talking about, I'm so glad we decided to switch his formula when we did and not wait. I'm so happy to have my happy, smiley baby back! :) Speaking of smiling, he recently started smiling a lot more (SO cute!!! melts my heart) and he even smiles at himself in the mirror on his swing. His little face lights up so much when he smiles!

I've been looking up a lot lately about toys and when to start introducing them and at what age we should start doing what with Mason. I've started to make a list of what I might want for him for Christmas (I know, I know it's kinda early...) and even for his one year birthday (I know...super early but it's never too early to brainstrom). But I'm new to this whole thing and really have no idea what I'm looking for so moms (or dads!) please give me some ideas or suggestions! I definitely don't want him to grow up too fast but I'm super excited for him to start interacting more and play with toys and stuff.

We've started tummy time a little (not on the boppy yet but just on a blanket on the floor) and he's actually pretty good at it. He's pretty strong for only 6 weeks old! We've also tried using the playmat where he lays on his back and looks at the toys but I don't think he quite knows what to do yet and gets bored or frustrated pretty quickly.

I haven't really gone on many outings with Mason by myself. Actually Seth and I haven't really gone on too many at all either. In the very beginning we took Mason on a few outings mainly because even though Seth could have gone on his own, I was itching to get out of the house, so we went together. Those outings went fine, I think mainly cuz I knew Seth was right there in case something happened (mainly if Mason had a meltdown). Once Seth went back to work, I stayed at home mostly but then decided one day that I wanted to go to Target for a few things. For some reason putting the car seat on the shopping cart freaks me out (mainly cuz I feel like its not very stable and will fall off but also cuz when it is there, you can't see where you're going) so I decided to use the stroller and carry my items. This would have been fine had I not wanted to buy some storage bins. Regardless, the trip actually went surprisingly well. I had gone to the farther away Target so I could get Starbucks (they have one in the Target) but then quickly realized that I : 1. couldn't carry it since I brought the stroller and 2. it wouldn't fit in the stroller cup holder cuz that thing is tiny and basically only holds water bottles. You know what that means, new stroller cup holder! Lol. All in all outing # 1 was pretty successful! Mason hardly cried - only a tiny bit in the store but was easily comforted and went back to sleep. Outing # 2 wasn't so successful... I went to go pick up Mason's birth announcements from our photographer and the studio was pretty far away so I figured Mason would fall asleep in the car. Not so much. Got the announcements just fine cuz we were only in there for a couple minutes and then I wanted to go to the bank because we had gotten a check written to Mason and I can't deposit it at the ATM. I thought he had fallen asleep and I could go in real fast but when we got there, he had a meltdown. I didn't want to take a screaming baby into the bank, so I changed his diaper and decided I would carry him in. It actually worked quite well :) However, the whoooooooole way home, he cried and cried. I felt so bad. This outing was actually right before we found out he had silent reflux so all the crying makes sense now. I think I am so afraid of taking him places on my own because : 1. I'm afraid he will have a meltdown and start crying and I won't be able to calm him down while keeping him in the car seat (much like at the pediatrician the other week only to walk out and have like 10 people staring at us like we are awful parents with a screaming child) and 2. he just seems to hate his car seat so much when we put him in it that I feel bad and like I don't really NEED anything that bad that I couldn't go later.

Well I think I have rambled on enough for now... any help on toys anyone could give me would be great! :)