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The Story Of Mase

I knew after Maia was born that I wanted to have at least one more baby. When I say after Maia was born, I mean it literally. She was about 6 minutes old, the First Year OB Resident was desperately trying to stop my hemorrhaging and I looked at Mr.McHunky and said ‘When can we do this again?‘ He had to sit down and put his head between his knees. But the moment that she was born and placed on my chest, I knew I wanted to do it again. Mase was not planned but he was desperately wanted. We had taken a family vacation to the beach and well, let’s just say that certain items were forgotten in the packing process and oops- here comes baby. Ironic how someone who is supposedly infertile gets knocked up twice on accident, isn’t it? I’m apparently the most fertile infertile ever. I was so busy in June 2007 with Ty graduating from Kindergarten and Cam graduating from Pre-K that I didn’t notice right away that I was late. It finally occurred to me in the middle of the night a couple of weeks later. I was half asleep and all of a sudden I sat straight up in bed and whispered “Holy Shit. I’m pregnant.” I confirmed it the next day with 3 pregnancy tests. I know, you want to know why it took 3 tests.  Well the first one I accidentally dropped in the toilet so I didn’t believe the positive result. The second one I barely had enough tinkle left to do the test so again, I didn’t believe the result. The third one I finally believed.  I wanted to do something special this time to tell Mr.McHunky and I wanted to include the kids.  We told him on Father’s Day 2007.  The kids served him breakfast in bed wearing shirts we made announcing the news.

It was fun to watch how long it took him to notice the shirts, he was almost done with his breakfast before the kids giggling made him curious enough to investigate. He was thrilled but a little shell shocked. I knew from the beginning that Mase was a boy. I don’t know how but I was sure that I was having a boy, I didn’t even look at girls names. Our first OB appointment revealed a due date of February 14th which made the kids beg to name the baby Cupid. This pregnancy was completely different in the beginning from my pregnancy with Maia.  14 weeks of the worst all day sickness that I’d ever imagined landed me in the ER several times for IV fluids and Zofran provided the small amount of relief that helped me get through each day. We found out at 20 weeks that we were in fact having a boy and I was so excited to see what a little boy would look like. But just like with Maia’s pregnancy, I started experiencing complications in the beginning of my third trimester. I started experiencing preterm labor contractions in the 28th week and began dilating a week later. I was started on a cocktail of medications to stop the contractions and I circled the day I would be 37 weeks on the calendar as my goal.


28 weeks

I ended up in OB triage 9 times between 30-35 weeks so my labor could be stopped with more powerful IV drugs. At 35 weeks I was dilated to 3cm, 75% effaced, contracting every 3-4 minutes and so jittery from all the Trebuteline that they kept shooting into me that I couldn’t hold a cup of coffee without risk of second degree burns. I remember sitting in the triage room, hooked up to all the monitors while Mr.McHunky watched the numbers climbed as the contractions increased. It hit 30, then 50, then 70, then 100….he urged me to try to hit 150. The only thing I hit was him. Several more shots of Trebuteline, bedrest and oral medications bought me another 2 weeks.


32 weeks

The morning that I hit 37 weeks, January 22nd,  I woke up with serious contractions that were around a 7 on the pain scale. Before that, the contractions had been about a 5. I can handle a 5. A 7 is dangerously close to the point where I start stalking the anesthesiologist for an epidural. By the way, they don’t like that. It scares them. Big bunch of wussies. I waited, timing the contractions, until my OB’s office opened at 8am. I informed the phone nurse what was going on and she promised to speak with the doctor and call me back immediately. She called me back quickly with news that sent me right on over the edge. The doctor, who was not my doctor and had never seen me before, insisted that I was just dehydrated and that I should just lie down on my left side and drink a glass of water. I said naughty words, the nurse laughed and instructed me to drink the water, lie down for 10 minutes and call her back if nothing changed. I hung up, said a few more naughty words and told Mr.McHunky to grab the bag because we were going to L&D and I was not leaving without a baby.


37 weeks- 10 minutes before we left for hospital

Upon my arrival at the unit, the nurse running triage just shook her head. We’d seen her so much by that point that she knew my life story. Asked if the doctor had told me to come to L&D, I informed her that ‘I told the doctor that I was coming to L&D’ which made her giggle. Apparently I don’t follow orders very well. Who knew? The nurse checked me and I was a solid 3.5 cm, 85% effaced and still contracting every 3-4 minutes. The OB showed up, not mine but I’d seen her several times during my many trips to OB triage. Before even checking me, she flat out told me that just because I was 37 weeks now did not mean she would do anything to augment my labor. If I made it to 4cm on my own, she would admit me for delivery. If not, I was going home. It would be at this point that I lost my composure. I don’t remember much of it but Mr.McHunky later told me that I sat up, grabbed the doctor’s stethoscope, pulled her towards me and growled that I was having a baby today even if I had to reach up there and drag him out myself. I can’t say for sure as I don’t remember doing that but it sure does sound like something I would do. She checked me and I was a good 4 cm. I think we were both relieved. It was finally time to end the misery and have a baby. I was moved to a labor and deliver room, she broke my water and we waited. She assumed that I would go quickly, so when she checked me a mere 2 hours later and I was only 4.5cm, she started Pitocin to move things along. I was in labor with Maia for a long time. My water broke at 2am on a Tuesday, she was born at 12:44pm on Wednesday. That’s almost 35 hours of labor for all you folks who don’t do math. Stubborn child of mine. I was a little scared to repeat that performance. I got my epidural when I was 5cm. Nobody was prepared for how things went after that.
The anesthesiologist was barely out of the room when I started feeling faint. The nurse pumped me full of fluids and laid me down, which seemed to help but then I started to shake. The nurse thought it was another reaction to the epidural. It wasn’t. All of a sudden there were 8 people crowding in the room. An oxygen mask was put on my face, two nurses started flipping me from side to side. I had just had the epidural so I had no feeling at all below the waist. They were flipping me side to side to side to side and I just wanted to throw up. The OB was there immediately. So many things were happening but nobody was telling me anything. I happened to see the monitor just moments before a nurse turned it away from me. The Baby’s heartrate was 60. I knew. I knew how bad it was. The shaking was back. The OB was so amazingly calm as she told the nurse to prepare the OR, they were coming right now. I was sobbing, Mr.McHunky was so pale. I managed to yell out that I was feeling pressure, the OB took the few seconds to check me and I was 10cm. Things happened so fast after that. My legs were up in the stirrups immediately and I was pushing. Again, the OB was so calm and soothing. She knew that I knew how serious the situation was by the urgency of my pushing. She took a moment to tell me that I could push one more time and if the baby did not come out, she would have to assist with the vacuum. We were out of time, he had to come out immediately. It was an out of body experience. All I remember was pushing as hard as I could, pleading with God to spare my son.

Please don’t take him, take me if you have to, but don’t take him. Don’t take him.

I pushed and he was born at 5:36pm. 2 contractions, 4 pushes and he was out. He was so pale and so limp. I couldn’t tell if he was breathing. He was placed on my chest for several seconds while his cord was cut. The NICU team had arrived sometime in the middle of this and they took him immediately. I couldn’t see him, couldn’t see what was going on. Mr.McHunky was there with him, holding his tiny hand with one finger while the doctor’s worked. It seemed like an eternity before I heard that tiny cry and knew that my son was breathing. The tiny cry turned into a big cry of outrage and I relaxed for the first time in weeks. If he was pissed, he was fine. The NICU team kept him over in the warming bassinet while the OB finished up with me. Just a note that’s not for the squeamish- pushing out a baby in 4 pushes is not such a great plan. Don’t do it unless absolutely necessary, fourth degree tears are no joke. Especially when the epidural wears off mid-stitch. Pass the Percocet, please.


Mase at 5 minutes old

Mase is a miracle. The NICU team was unsure what to make of him. He ended up with apgars of 9 and 9. Unheard of in a situation like that, they termed it ‘an emergent birth’. The Neonatologist came to congratulate me and said something that I’ll never forget. ‘Your son must have one hell of a Guardian Angel’. I agree. The nurses later told my sister, who is a nurse, that they were very worried that he would be born too late to survive. He should not have survived that birth. He’s been in prolonged decels for more than 10 minutes. His heart rate didn’t come up between contractions. At the very least, he should be significantly impaired. But he’s perfect. We spent 3 nights in the hospital, the extra night to treat his jaundice with the phototherapy lights and also to give me an extra day to heal from the 4th degree tear.


First day home

We hadn’t been home long, just a few days, when I started feeling really sick. I thought it was just part of recovering from such a traumatic delivery but then I spiked a fever of 104 and my stomach began to hurt so badly that labor seemed like a good time. I couldn’t stand up straight and the pain was so bad it made me vomit which of course, made the pain worse.  Mr.McHunky hauled me off to the ER and they ER doctor immediately sent me upstairs to L&D.  I had a staph infection in my uterus and let me assure you, having an exam that soon after delivery with a 4th degree tear should be considered a form of torture. I spent 4 days hooked up to IV antibiotics before they let me go home for the second time. It took weeks before I felt even remotely human again but at least I was home and had a healthy, adorable little baby to make it all worth it.

Mase’s First Year:

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  • You know, I thought I had it bad because I had two emergency c-sections, and then went back in the hospital twice (for infections). You have SO gotten me beat! If there was a trophy, I’d give it to you. 🙂