Logan Eric: A Birth Story | Long Island Fresh 48 Photographer
I had been having sporadic painful contractions for about a week, but they really started to become regular on the Friday night that was Logan's due date. I was sort of fed up with being pregnant at that point - I really thought all along that Logan was going to be born at the end of May. I thought for sure I would end up being induced again, or that he would just show up early on his own as all my healthcare providers kept telling me he was big. But there I was, at 40 weeks, still pregnant. My midwife was out of town until Sunday night, though, so at that point I was okay with Logan waiting a few days, so that my midwife would be back in time for his delivery.
Nothing ever happens the way you plan it, though, right?
So anyway, there I was on Friday night, watching "Gravity" with Eric, and I realized my contractions were about 5-6 minutes apart. I was having trouble sitting comfortably on the couch, so watched most of the movie from the floor. I contemplated calling the OB's office where my midwife practices, but decided to wait. I was up that whole night with contractions, which stayed pretty steady at 5 minutes apart, and then they slowed down to every 15 minutes. I spent most of the night in Child’s Pose on the living room floor, and finally got to bed at 4am, and then wouldn't you know it? Lila decided to get up for the day at 5:30am. Ugh. Luckily Eric's mom, Marge, was able to come over and hang with Lila that day so I could rest. I took a 90 minute nap and felt much better.
That night the contractions started to pick up again and get moderately painful, at five minutes apart. I called the OB’s office around 10:30pm to see what I should do. They said I should go to the hospital. I asked if I could wait, since we live so close (10 minute drive), and they okayed me to stay home until the contractions were between 3-4 minutes. Around 2:30am I woke up Eric and told him I thought we should head to the hospital. We called his mom, who came over to stay with Lila.
We got to Labor and Delivery and they examined me. I was 3 inches dilated and 60% effaced. I was asked if I wanted an epidural at that time. I said no. The on-call OB recommended in that case that I go home until the pain ramped up. They don’t like to admit you until you are 4 centimeters dilated if you are not getting pain meds immediately. They recommended I go home and walk. So, we reluctantly went home. Since it was 4:30am I had no interest in taking a walk, and decided to try and rest instead. I didn’t sleep that night.
The next morning Eric went to work. Marge took Lila out for breakfast and I rested at home. When Marge and Lila got back, we went for a (very slow) walk around the block. I had to stop to breathe through every contraction. When we got back to the house, we went to hang out in the backyard. I was just contemplating going inside because it was really hot and humid out, when I felt what I thought was a really hard kick in my lower abdomen. I said “OW!” and was telling Marge that the baby had just kicked me really hard, when it occurred to me that it actually might have been my water breaking instead. I stood up, and sure enough, there was a rush of water. I made some phone calls from the patio (actually a very convenient place for one’s water to break - no clean up required!) - Eric was on his way home immediately, and the OB’s office told me to head to the hospital within an hour. That was at about 11am.
I went inside to take a shower and the contractions began to ramp up big time. They were about 1-2 minutes apart and I could no longer talk or move through them. Eric arrived at home, we kissed Lila goodbye and headed to the hospital. I had told Eric to grab a trash bag for the drive in case I got sick (I threw up A LOT all during Lila’s labor). Good thing, because, sure enough, I threw up just as we arrived at the hospital. We went inside and annoyingly had to do paperwork all over again even though we had just been there a few hours ago. I was examined and was now at 5 centimeters and fully effaced. It took A LONG time for me to change and get them a urine sample because the contractions were seriously so painful and close together at that point. I decided then that as much as I hated my epidural experience with Lila, I needed some pain relief - so I asked for one.
I threw up again en route to the delivery suite, which was a really LONG walk, having to stop to basically hyperventilate through every contraction. The nurse finally made me get in a wheelchair, I was taking so long. She was really nice, our nurse. Roberta. She told me the throwing up probably had taken me to 7 centimeters. At least it was productive!
I was pretty freaked out about getting the epidural. Everything about it was terrible last time, and I wasn’t sure how I would hold still through contractions while they put the catheter in. Roberta had me lean on her as they put the needle in my back, and I couldn’t believe how much easier (and less painful) the whole process was. I almost passed out the last time. This time, it was fine! The pain meds took effect almost immediately and I was so relieved. Now I understand why people love epidurals so much! My legs were not numb, I could move around, but I felt no pain. And I was actually really relaxed and happy. It was night and day from my last epidural, which rendered my legs completely useless, but did not numb my contractions. The anesthesiologist said that my lower back was very tight so maybe they didn’t get it placed correctly last time.
At that point, Eric and I relaxed in the room for a bit. We watched the previous week’s “Orphan Black”. All my nausea was gone. It was amazing. The on-call OB came in to say hello. Sadly my midwife was still not back from her vacation, so he would be delivering the baby. He expected pushing to be easy as it was my second baby. I was so happy! A couple of hours of epidural high and then some easy and quick pushing? Bring it on!
At 3pm, I was examined again. I was at 9 centimeters. The OB said he would come back in 15 minutes and we could start pushing. I felt so good from the epidural that I said I was happy to wait a bit and let the baby move down. No need to jump the gun on pushing if we can let the baby move down by himself a bit first. The OB thought I would be good to go very soon though, so he came back to start the pushing process at about 3:20pm. I realized that this was the exact time I had started pushing with Lila and that she was born at 4:02pm. How funny if both kids were born the same time of day!
Well, pushing Logan was not nearly as easy as pushing Lila. I think I pushed for about half an hour and then the OB decided I should be taken off the epidural so that I could feel the contractions and be more active about the pushing. So anesthesia was called in and I was taken off the epidural and left for about half an hour for it to wear off. Oh, that was a sad part of the day!
When the OB came back to start the pushing process again I was in serious pain. Those contractions were no joke. This is when things start getting fuzzy for me because I was in so much pain, and was so exhausted. It was Sunday afternoon and I hadn’t slept since Thursday night. All I remember is having to push over and over again through these seriously awful contractions and nothing happening. We tried all different positions and nothing. Finally, I was really really starting to lose it. I was begging for the epidural to be turned back on for just a little bit so that I could rest and then try pushing again. The OB was giving me only three options though - keep pushing with no pain meds, go to the c-section room and try the vacuum (and then do a c-section if the vacuum didn’t work), or straight-up c-section. At this point both the OB and Eric were asking me over and over again “Do you want a c-section? Do you want a c-section?” and I kept my eyes shut and kept begging for the epidural. An oxygen mask was put over my face, which made me claustrophobic and seriously pissed me off (I found out later that the oxygen wasn’t for my benefit, it was for the baby). Eric held the mask over my face and told me to breathe. Finally I remember Eric being right in my ear demanding that I push, and at least half a dozen new voices (additional nurses? residents? interns?) yelling at me to push. There was one really annoying girl who kept saying “its just like pooping! Push as though you are having a bowel movement!” I wanted to punch her in the face and tell her to shut up - I know what pushing is! Quit yelling about poop in my ear! Finally, finally I felt something break way and the doctor yelled at me to open my eyes, and there was Logan’s head coming out, and then his shoulders, and at 6:02pm Logan Eric Saccoccio was finally born. I have never been so relieved in my life. He weighed 8 lbs 7 oz and is 21 inches long.
Level 2 peds had been called into the room, because little did I know, but Logan was in distress as he had been stuck in the birth canal for so long. They checked him out quickly and said he was fine. During that time I delivered the placenta, which was another huge feeling of relief. I was hooked up to Pitocin immediately to help contract my uterus as I had a lot of bleeding post-delivery with Lila. The pediatricians finished up with Logan and brought him over to me. Finally, my boy!
The OB told me that Logan had been posterior and his head was caught behind my pelvic bone. When a baby is posterior it is the equivalent of adding a pound to their weight, so I basically pushed out a close to 10lb baby. He said it was a very difficult delivery and I should be proud of myself. Roberta, the nurse, said she was glad I didn’t hear the options they were giving me at the end there (c-section)… I didn’t tell her that I absolutely did hear them but chose to ignore them because I didn’t like any of the options!
Everyone left the room and Eric and I were able to spend a whole hour with Logan. He latched on and started breastfeeding with no problem. One of the many huge wins of this whole delivery. With Lila, I had such a difficult recovery that I couldn’t sit up and try to nurse until almost eight hours after she was born. With this delivery, even though it was much harder, I immediately felt GREAT. Maybe it was all the endorphins, but there was no nausea, no light-headedness, no sudden blood pressure drop, nothing. I felt really, really good.
After an hour, the nurses came and did some more tests on Logan and gave him his first bath. Eric’s dad stopped by with a phone charger for us (we had left the house so quickly that afternoon that we forgot to pack one). He came in and met Logan. Three generations of Saccoccio men!
We were moved upstairs to our recovery room. I was wheeled out through the maternity ward, holding Logan. Everyone we passed in the halls yelled out their congratulations. This was another huge win. When we had toured the hospital in Manhattan before having Lila, I remember seeing a happy mom being wheeled from delivery with her brand-new baby and I couldn’t wait for that moment. But because I was in such bad shape following Lila’s delivery, we were brought up to our room separately. I think Lila actually beat me there! I was really sad that I didn’t get that happy “victory march” with Lila, so overjoyed that I had that moment with Logan.
We got up to our room, turned on the Tony Awards and Eric went and picked up a pasta feast from a local italian restaurant. We were both starving! It was such a good, good end to the day.
Lila came and met her brother the next day. She was immediately smitten and said “He’s funny” and wanted to count all his fingers and his toes. She has been great ever since we brought Logan home. The first thing she said when she woke up this morning was “Baby!” and ran to find him.
My midwife stopped by after getting back into town and told me what a hard delivery I had and that I did a great job. She also told me that the on-call OB has a reputation for giving episiotomies and never lets anyone push as long as he let me push, so she was really glad that he respected that I was her patient and didn’t jump the gun on any intervention. Since I had an induction with Lila, I really wanted this delivery to be as natural as possible. Even though I did have pain meds for a couple of hours, I had the experience of feeling my water break, active labor, pushing and the delivery. As much as some of that was really unpleasant in the moment, I am glad to have had the experience. I’m also really glad that I opened my eyes and saw Logan being born. That was amazing.
So now we are home and adjusting to life as a family of four. We are overjoyed with our beautiful little boy (who has white blonde hair, by the way, which everyone keeps fawning over as it is so unexpected!) and we are so excited for our life ahead with he and Lila. We feel so lucky and blessed!
Welcome to the world, sweet Logan!
Logan Eric Saccoccio
Born June 8, 2014
8 lbs, 7 oz
Some photos from Logan's first three days: