The Story Of Zachary's Birth

Jennifer Maszczak

© Copyright 2004 by Jennifer Maszczak

Phoro od Zachary.  (c) 2003 by Jennifer Maszczak.

It is April 10th, 2003. I have a babysitter (a high school neighbor), so I actually have a minute to write. I want Zachary's birth story written down while I remember. Here goes.

My due date was Feb. 16th. What a disappointment when that came and went. I had an ultrasound on Monday, Feb. 24th and Zachary looked good - no problems. He was estimated at 7lbs, 2oz then and was 8lbs, 1oz when born 4 days later. Barbara (the midwife) said that if no baby by the weekend, then I would be induced. Ryan and I asked if I could be induced on Friday. My dad went to Vegas Sunday am - so I wanted to make sure he'd be there. It was really strange asking if I could schedule to have my baby! I was hoping that I would have him before then, but no such luck.

On Thursday February 27th, I went in the hospital to get a gel (Prepadil) inserted to try to start labor - it softens the cervix. Didn't work the first time - had to go back 4 hours later and try again. The 2nd time I went back, my contractions (which I couldn't feel) were showing up on the monitor closer together. I was only dilated 1 cm., I had to go home. It was strange that night because I knew it was the last night alone, without a baby. Ryan and I were excited.

I woke up at 2am (February 28th) feeling very uncomfortable and couldn't fall back asleep, At 3am, I thought I should take a bath. Well, I sat up and my water broke. It wasn't a lot of fluid, but enough where I knew. I called Barbara and she said to still go in at 7am as planned anyway to see if I was dilated. Ryan was still sleeping. I did take a bath. Then, out of nowhere - I started getting strong contractions close together while I was in the tub. I woke Ryan and had him call Barbara - she said we could go in to the hospital. Well, my pain was tolerable, so I took a shower and actually put makeup on! We even stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way in. Unfortunately, they took my chocolate donut away the second we got there.

When we arrived, the pain got REALLY BAD. The labor pains were much stronger than I ever imagined they'd be. I thought I would be able to lay in bed - it hurt SO much. The only thing that seemed to work was leaning over a big ball (which was on the chair). The contractions were like a minute apart and really started getting unbearable! Laura (the other midwife) came in at 8am (we got there at 6:30). By 9am I was hooked up to an IV. I wan only 1 ½ cm dilated. I think I cried. I thought with pain that strong that I would be much further along. I couldn't believe it was only the beginning. Laura decided to give me a shot (thru the IV) for the pain - thank god! I got Nubain which was great. At first it didn't take the pain away, but definitely took the edge off. Ryan said that I passed out and snored in between contractions - which were only a minute apart.

Then came my epidural which I thought was only a half hour later - but Ryan told me it was 3 hours later (thank god for the Nubain!). I know the Nubain wore off because I remember the contractions hurting again just before I got it. Ryan left the room (he can't do shots - he'd pass out just seeing that). Ryan's mom (Barbara) supported me while they put the epidural in - which only stung a little - although it took 5 tries. Barb asked if someone else would do it, but I couldn't wait. Once it took affect - about 20 minutes - it was great. I had no feeling from my waist to my knees. They pricked my thigh with a needle and I couldn't feel it. Finally, I could sleep. I asked Ryan to leave so I could sleep. He went to lunch with his mom. My mom got there at about 1pm - but left since I was sleepy. After an hour or two, I woke up with pain. There was a "window" that was not blocked - which was the bottom right area of my uterus. So, they had to do the epidural again. Then I was able to sleep.

At 3pm I woke up - or maybe a little before that - but at 3:00 I felt this urge to push - his head was much lower. Laura checked and I was fully dilated. She said that I could start to push or wait for it to drop a little. Since my dad wasn't there yet, I wanted to wait . Ryan called my dad and told him I was ready. I could only wait until 3:30 because I started to get (or able to feel) contractions that were hurting and had even more of an urge to push. I was getting extremely aggravated that my dad wasn't there yet and recall yelling to Ryan as he was on the phone with him "Does he or does he not want to be here?". He got there at 4:30.

My mom, Ryan, Barb and Laura were there when I started to push. Oh, and nurse Ratchet - as I called her because she was so rough - I cringed every time she came near me. By 4:30 the epidural had worn off. Ryan told me that the button (to administer it myself) was taken away from me because I kept repeatedly pressing it. I think Laura said that the epidural was taking away the sensation for me to push - or my pushing wasn't effective because of it. Well, when it wore off, the pain sure came back. I could not believe how painful the contractions were. I had to push with each one and I remember being so afraid of the next one coming because it just hurt SO much.

Ryan was wonderful - feeding me ice chips and telling me how great I was doing. My mom was great - nurturing. Barb was wonderful. She was there when I got my epidural and was there the whole time videotaping. Laura was just incredible. I will forever now have this deep appreciation for who she is and what she does. I want her to deliver any other child I bring into this world. Anyway, getting emotional here - back to the story. Also, my dad was great - he really was my coach - he was yelling "Come on, Jenn, PUSH!". He was holding my head up every time I had a contraction. He truly was an incredible help and I think it meant a lot to him to be there (and to me).

The pain got worse and worse. When I thought that it couldn't get worse - it would. I was getting so discouraged because I was pushing so much and I would look at the baby's head in the mirror and wouldn't see any change. So, I stopped looking so I wouldn't get discouraged. I remember when Laura told me he was out to his eyebrows. It was burning so much. My dad said they were getting the tools out, that's how close it was.

A little earlier, I asked how much longer to Laura and she said probably by 6pm. I didn't know what time it was and tried really hard not to look at the clock - but I couldn't resist. I looked and it was 5:30 and I thought - OH MY GOD, how am I going to survive another half hour of this?? So, I started pushing with all that I had - and Zachary was born at 5:50pm.

When his head came out - there was some relief - but then his shoulders - I screamed "Get him out of me!". I just couldn't bear the pain for a second longer. Then, instantly, the pain was over and Zachary was placed on my belly. All of this I never saw, just "felt". I put my head back with my eyes closed and thought "Thank god it's over". I wish I could go back to that second and watch. At the time, I just felt so out of it, so exhausted. I think I was in shock. Laura asked if I wanted him placed on my bare belly and I said no. Of course, now I wish that I had. When he was placed on me, his lip was quivering and it scared me and I said "HE'S SHAKING AND COLD!". Thank god Barb videotaped the birth so I could see all this after.

The nurse took Zachary to give him oxygen. When they were doing that, I freaked out yelling "What's wrong with him?", but I was assured that he was fine. It's amazing how fast a mother's protectiveness kicks in. After the oxygen, Zachary got footprints, measured and weighed. 8 pounds, 1 ounce and 21 ½ inches long. BIG BABY!

Then the nurse wrapped him up and gave him to Ryan. This was the first time Ryan held him - at 5 minutes old. Ryan cried - tears of joy. He brought Zachary to me while holding him and that is when it hit me that I just brought our baby into the world. My eyes watered and I stared into Ryan's eyes - just in a state of awe. I didn't hold him for a little while because I wanted to "be done" because Laura was stitching me up because I tore badly (of course, they didn't tell me that then!). Zachary was passed from Ryan to my mom, Barb and my dad. Rich and Tom (Ryan's dad) were in the waiting room for a while and were finally able to come in when Laura was done with the stitches.

Then the pictures taking began - which I am so thankful for now, although then, I was so worn out and exhausted . Then came more family - Courtney, Ashley, Holly, Tom, Nana Bea, Lucy, Brad and Ivy. Zachary was so alert! Tom got some great pictures. Zachary never cried once - just stared in awe at the new world around him. He was born with "stork bites", so his left eyelid, nose and some of his forehead was bright red. Looked like he was in a battle, which he sort of was when you think about it. Ryan and I tried to call who we were supposed to - but it was hard trying to concentrate on the call when there was all this excitement around us. I know we didn't call everyone we were supposed to. Oh well, we now had this little (BIG) baby to focus on.

At about 8:30pm the company had to leave. Zachary had to get a bath in the nursery. Ryan went with him. The nurse came in to help me to the bathroom and when I stood up, I just felt like a truck hit me! I said to the nurse "I don't know how women have more than one child!". I couldn't believe the amount of blood. I could barely walk - it was pretty pathetic.


It is now September 1st - wow has the time flied. I will try to pick up from where I left off.

So, after I got up to use the bathroom, I had to get in a wheelchair and got wheeled to the nursery to see Zachary's check up and bath. Watching his first bath was VERY HARD because it was the first time we heard him scream. He kept turning his head and looking at us. We were amazed that for only being a few hours old, he was turning and looking at us! I was SO tired. My eyes kept shutting, but I wanted to watch and I did.

After that is a bit of a blur. We moved to our recovery room and Zachary came in for a little while then they took him to the nursery so I could sleep, or so I thought I could - I was wide awake, running on adrenaline! Although I was physically exhausted, all I could think of was that I had a little baby boy in the nursery, so I got up while Ryan was asleep on the cot next to me and went to the nursery. I held, rocked and fed Zachary, then brought him back to our room. I thought that the reason I wasn't sleeping was because he wasn't with me. Now I couldn't sleep because every little peep he made - I checked on him - kept making sure he was breathing! I heard stories about new mothers doing that and thought that was crazy, and now I was one of them and definitely didn't think it was crazy! I was paranoid about SIDS. Now this time, I figured I was never going to sleep with him in my room, so back to the nursery he went. I still couldn't sleep. I lied in bed thinking endlessly about the surreal experience.

The sun came up, the nurses changed shifts. I got Percocet every 4 hours and it still didn't take away all the pain! Ryan went home to shower. My dad came by with roses. Jason came by with Mums and we chatted - well, more like I chatted, I think the Percocet was making me a little loopy. Aunt Brenda, Uncle Bob, Ray and Rose visited. Aunt Brenda gave us a cute boy figure on a scooter (which is now in our garden). Aunt Lucie and Uncle Bruce came by, then Andy and Megan. Tom (now called Pop-Pop) came by with Kathy. Kathy gave us and old Peter the Rabbit bowl and cup china set she got years ago in England (now in our china cabinet to keep safe). Tom gave Zachary a Patriots outfit. I wonder how soon he'll be putting his arms up yelling touchdown. My mom came by with coral colored roses - beautiful. Barb visited and gave Ryan a nice button up denim shirt and a knit sweater that was his when he was a baby. She gave me a set of cocoa butter stuff (which I heard was good for stretch marks). She gave Zachary a beautiful set of blankets, gown and cap all wrapped up in tool.

We got to go home Sunday afternoon, March 2nd. It was exciting bringing Zachary home. I got on video Ryan bringing him through the door. He put his car seat down in the middle of the living room. The cats came over to check him out, sniffing him like crazy. It was cute. We played our messages and sadly got the news that Papa Saunders (Linda's dad) had passed away that day. I thought, as we brought our baby into the world and home, how Papa had left our world.


I am actually typing this from my had written journal now on September 3rd, 2004. Zachary turned 18 months on August 28th. He started walking at 10 months and now runs and climbs - a little scary at times. He says "All Gone", ball, book, kitty-cat, milk, bottle, bye-bye, and of course, mama and dada. He is such a joy and really our entertainment. No longer do I care what is on TV, or what is new at the movie theater. I now know there are more important things in life.

Ryan and I have been talking recently about how we want another baby. We are going to wait just a few months so they can be close to 3 years apart. I've come a long way in just 18 months from saying "How do women have more than one child ??!!" Now I know why.

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