Family

Birth Story – Micah Ferris

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I can’t believe I’m a mom of two. It’s still sinking in 🙂

Introducing Micah Ferris

Meet our youngest son, Micah Ferris Friedman. Born January 15, 2021 at 2:13 a.m. (long night), this blue-eyed little man has stolen our hearts <3

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Behind the Name

Micah is named after his great-grandmothers, Marcia and Florence. Both women were full of life, spunky, and lit up a room. My grandma Flo passed away when I was five-years-old. Although I don’t remember a lot of our time together, I’ve been told many stories that always make me laugh. Her spirit lives on through my own mother, and I know she is smiling down on Micah grinning ear to ear <3

Grandmother

I remember meeting my husband’s grandma, Marcia (better known as Mana), a month after we started dating. I was much nicer than the “dingbat” he had been dating previously, something she said that still makes me laugh 🙂 During my bridal shower I remember her chiming in during conversation, talking all about her fondness for Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey. What a hoot.

She was kind, generous, and thoughtful. I will always remember her fierce devotion to her family, wittiness, and welcoming me into her family with open arms.

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Labor Begins

I’m grateful that with both of my pregnancies I delivered healthy baby boys at full-term. Benji went to 40 weeks, 2 days, and Micah arrived at 39 weeks, 4 days. In the days leading up to Micah’s arrival I grew increasingly uncomfortable, with baby resting very low. I managed the aches and pains (as best as possible) through regular visits to a Prenatal Chiropractor , Prenatal Yoga and mobility work, and focused strength training. More on that later 😉

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On January 14, 2021 I went to the doctor for my 39 week checkup. I was 2-3 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Progress since the previous week (1 cm dilated), but not necessarily an indicator that labor was going to start that day, or the next day for that matter. I scheduled an induction for the following week as a backup and went on my way.

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Around 3:15 pm I was walking to the car to pickup Benji from school and I felt a “pop,” then a kick. I shrugged and continued walking to the car. Thirty seconds later I felt a gush of fluid down my leg. This was it. The gush quickly progressed to more of a waterfall. I was living a scene out of a movie. I closed the door, grabbed my crotch, and started running towards the house screaming my husband’s name. I’m not sure if anyone saw me, but I have to imagine it was entertaining 🙂

We quickly called my mom to pickup Benji, Benji’s school to let them know he’d be there a bit late, and Labor & Delivery. When Benji was born I progressed to intense contractions within 30 minutes of my water breaking, so this time we moved fast just in case.

Before heading to the hospital: It took 20 minutes for me to get a handle on the amniotic fluid leakage. Towel after towel – the fluid just didn’t stop coming. It’s hard to change and put on pants in that situation. I hopped in the shower, got our stuff together, and prayed I’d make it to the hospital before a had a puddle of amniotic fluid on the seat of our car.

Arriving at the Hospital 

When we arrived at the hospital my husband went to check in and park the car. I remember standing with our luggage, convinced any second my contractions would kick in. An elderly woman walked by the car and said, “are you here to have a baby? You only look five months pregnant.” My response was, “no way. This is it.” Things you shouldn’t say to a very pregnant woman about to give birth 🙂

We checked in to the hospital around 4:30 pm with no signs of contractions. We moved to a Delivery Room, settled in, and started waiting. Still nothing.

Getting Ready to Push

After a few hours passed we discussed starting a bit of Pitocin to get things going. Once your water breaks it’s not recommended to labor too long, as the risk of infection goes up. My body has this tendency to go into super speed with medication, so it didn’t take much after that for things to really pick pick up.

“Ok, can you get anesthesia for the epidural now!!” As I waited I remember swaying side to side against the bed with Forest Gump in the background (literally the only thing on TV) and my nurse and husband applying counter pressure. It’s easy to forget how intense and painful contractions are until you’re in the moment again. All I could focus on was my breath, and knowing an epidural would be here soon.

A lot of women opt for an unmedicated birth. However, I am not one of those women. I received little to no relief from an epidural during Benji’s birth, so I was very open with the Anesthesiologist this time around. I’m not great with pain management, and wanted to be able to focus on my breath and pushing vs how much pain I was in. Personal choice.

Once the epidural started to kick in my husband and I decided to close our eyes to get a bit of rest.

Labor and Delivery Can be Impossible to Predict

Around 11:00 pm my husband I awoke to a team of nurses and doctors rushing in to our room. I was still a little foggy from the medication and taking a mini nap, so I was confused and trying to follow along with what was happening. My blood pressure had dipped very low (around 85/50), bringing Micah’s heart rate down too. Nurses were turning me in all sorts of positions trying to get his heart rate to come back up. Because of the epidural I was dead weight, unable to do much myself.

I remember a nurse explaining what was happening to me. All I heard was “Emergency C-Section” and started crying. That certainly wasn’t on my birth plan. I could see the doctor in the corner explaining everything to my husband. In those situations they have 1-2 minutes max to get a response from baby, or you’re taken directly to the Operating Room.

Luckily Micah’s heart rate picked up when I was in a fully upright and seated position. I sat there for a few minutes receiving oxygen and extra monitoring. Probably one of the scariest minutes of my life.

When things calmed down I received my first cervical check of my visit. 9 cm dilated and -1 station. We were getting close.

One quick note: In preparing birth this time around I learned cervical checks aren’t always necessary. They are invasive, and doctors don’t always need that information to make decisions. Before you receive one, it’s ok to ask if it’s totally necessary. 

Time to Push

Within an hour I could feel Micah sitting very low in the pelvis. They say you’ll know when “it’s time.” Mama usually gets pretty anxious to push and move things along, and I completely agree.

One of the benefits of delivering at a teaching hospital like UCSD is the abundance of staff available in Labor & Delivery. The on call OB was in the operating room, so a Resident and Midwife delivered Micah. I also had two nurses and a Medical Student nearby observing. Some may find this a bit overwhelming, but I loved having the extra sets of eyes and experts available for Micah’s care.

I pushed for 30 minutes to deliver Micah, very different from the 4+ hours of pushing with Benji. I received a lot of great coaching and support from the team, felt more at ease without being in tremendous pain, and also delivered a baby with a much smaller head 🙂 When he arrived and was placed on my chest all I could feel was a huge sense of relief. Shortly thereafter came the placenta, and some treasured skin-to-skin time with our son.

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My entire pregnancy I was convinced Micah was a 10 pound baby 🙂 I felt SO large and uncomfortable. But, he weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 oz, just a tad bigger than his older brother.

Before Heading Home

We spent two nights in the hospital, primarily because Micah was born in the middle of the night. Most tests on newborns are performed at 24 hours of life, so we opted to stay versus going home at 4 am. Due to COVID restrictions we were confined to our room for the most part, with my husband leaving to grab food from the cafeteria a few times.

Did I wear a mask during pushing? Yes. I’ve seen a lot of conversation around wearing a mask in the hospital and when pushing. I wore a mask from the moment I walked in until the moment I left, minus alone time in our room, when I received oxygen, and when I was a bit too out of it. I recommend bringing a few mask options. Something comfortable so it becomes a non-issue.

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Pregnancy during COVID was not without its challenges. There was a lot of isolation, lack of partner support, and the constant fear of contracting the virus and its effects on baby. I feel like I missed out on a lot of the pregnancy experience, as did my husband. But, we are both beyond grateful for a smooth delivery and healthy baby boy. While we are still settling into our new routine, I can’t help but feel like our little family is now a bit more complete <3

I’ll be sharing a bit more about our journey as a family of four and my own postpartum recovery and rehab here on the blog and on social media. I’d love for you to stop by and say hi!

xoxo,

Erica

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