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Riley's First Blog » Blog Archive » Damon Jasper Weil

Damon Jasper Weil

On Sunday June 28, 2009 at 22:58 Damon Jasper Weil was born (though to be completely truthful, at the time he was Baby boy Lawson). He was a little early, Sunday being 36 weeks and 3 days, but still weighed 7lb 2oz and was 20.5 inches long.

It all started Saturday morning. I was on-call at our county hospital in the valley, Olive View. Got to work around 5:45am and pretty much felt like a normal weekend day. On the drive in I kept imagining what would happen if I went into labor, or baby stopped moving, or anything like that during my shift. It was my last call night, Tuesday (June 30) would have been my last day of work, but honestly I was ready to just be done with Olive View and have my baby. Anyway. The morning proceeded uneventfully until around 10am. It was busy… no time for breakfast yet, not a lot of sitting, but not really too out of the ordinary. I was admitting a patient in the ER when suddenly I distinctly felt leaking. I quickly ran to the bathroom and realized my water had probably broken… 4 weeks early. Part of me was excited, part nervous and scared, part embarrassed, all my body shaky. It was so unexpected, Riley was a week late and Dr. Johnson seemed convinced this one would be too. I found my team and told them I had to go see the Ob residents and get checked out. They were… well, less then thrilled. Anyway, the ob residents were awesome, especially considering I’m obviously not a patient at Olive View. They checked me out right away, did an ultrasound, and monitored the baby. Since baby looked ok they agreed to let me drive to UCLA as long as I wasn’t alone. Sage and Riley drove out to meet me and drove behind me just in case.

On the drive to UCLA I called my family. My mother immediately sprang into action and found a flight to LA from Boston. My brother Michael and his girlfriend Courtney offered to come down from Santa Barbara and help out with Riley. I distinctly felt like I was putting everyone out with this sudden news… first at work, and now with my family. My family is so awesome though, not put out at all, and Michael really made an effort to be sure I knew he was happy to be there.

Once we got to UCLA there was a whole lot of nothing going on. They gave me 6 hours to start contracting, and when my body didn’t get going on it’s own, they decided to start pitocin. By midnight my mother arrived and as nothing seemed to be happening, Sage went home to sleep and my mother stayed over. Took a break from the pitocin and tried misoprostel instead, so I was actually able to sleep much of the night as well. In the morning they started back on the pitocin and just waited waited waited all day. My no-nonsense nurse convinced me to get an epidural around mid-day when the contractions got strong. I felt like I was handling them pretty well (residency seems to have raised my pain tolerance), but she said she could crank up the pitocin and speed things along with an epidural. I agreed, and in no time the anesthesia resident was there and ready to go. Of course it was someone I’ve worked with, and he immediately recognized me as well, but somehow it didn’t seem too weird. My epidural at Stanford was pretty much a disaster, but this one was totally smooth and perfect. They put me on a rate where I could totally feel my contractions, but they weren’t overwhelmingly painful, and I could still move my legs. I had a button I could push for more, but didn’t really have to.

The day passed slowly and I actually got some rest… finally around 9:00pm they checked me and I was 7cm, 100% effaced. By 10:15 I called Sage and told him he should probably come back to the hospital (he had gone home to put Riley to sleep). I asked the Ob resident to check me again, and she said she could feel the head! ~20min of pushing later we had a baby boy! They weren’t worried about him at all and gave him to me right away (“skin to skin”) while Sage cut the cord. He cried just enough to let us know he was okay, then opened his eyes and looked right at me, very calmly. I know I’m biased, but I think he’s ridiculously cute and I love him. He was very active with his hands right away, grabbing on to things, and nursed like a champ in the delivery room.

We were in L&D for ~38 hours, but overall it was really very smooth and easy, not nearly as dramatic as the first time. Sage, Michael, Courtney and my mother took turns keeping me company (I got very emotional when left alone) and entertaining Riley. Riley was actually around a lot of the time. I wonder what the expereince was like for her. the first day was confusing I think… she didn’t understand why i couldn’t go home (and later why Damon and I couldn’t go right home) and the medical stuff was very foreign to her. I had a giant right antecubital IV that got in her way (very uncomfortable. They stuck me 6 times and had to call the anesthesiologist before getting one. I guess I was dehydrated? My veins are usually huge and easy to find…) and the monitors on my belly (one for the baby’s heartrate, one for contractions) and the blood pressure cuff… Just a lot of wires going everywhere, and she was mystified by the tacky hospital gown (she really didn’t like the pattern). For a while on Sunday she didn’t really want to come near me… but on Sunday night when I wasn’t feeling too good she climbed into bed with me and started showering me with kisses and hugs and telling me she loves me. She got up close to my belly and told the baby it was time to come out. That night she really didn’t want to leave and said she could just sleep in bed with me. She was finally convinced when we told her the baby would be there when she came back in the morning.

Overall I feel very lucky and grateful for how wonderful everyone was. Sage and my mother obviously knew what to do from last time. Michael and Courtney were so great to have around, especially for Riley, but I really appreciated having them there as well. My fellow residents Sigrid, Danielle and Aqsa had to scramble to cover my absence, but made it work. The nurses and care partners and residents were all great… even the food is good! Overall I’m very pleased with our UCLA experience and would recommend it to anyone. The resident who delivered Damon was fantastic, I think her name is Meredith.

So that’s the story! My mother took plenty of pictures, which I promise will be up soon. She tried to take pictures during the delivery, but I shut that down right away, don’t worry.

Comments (4)

rebeccaJune 30th, 2009 at 11:33 am

Thank you Elise for the detailed description!! We are SO happy for you guys. I can’t wait to see more pics – he is so gorgeous. Lots of love!

RachelJune 30th, 2009 at 1:53 pm

thanks for describing the process. I’m so glad it went smoothly and Damon is healthy. More pics please! I can’t make the video play…

Denise CoyleJuly 4th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

congratulations on your beautiful family guys! so happy everything went well 🙂

DennisDecember 10th, 2015 at 4:35 am

no pain meds, and it said not to mention them! That was just one thing. I nedeed antibiotics before I could deliver it took an hour and a half to get a STAT order then because I had a slow leak for 12 hours they wanted to give pitocin and I had to fight not to use it. I told them if they finished breaking my water I would go into labor. So I agreed that if the baby was stressed and labor didn’t start I would do it. They broke my water, and within 5 min I was in active labor. then I went to the shower, and they left me in there for over an hour and a half without checking my vitals/contractions I finally came out of the shower because I was so frustrated with my nurse talking pain meds that I agreed to get an epidural! when the midwife checked me I was at 9.5 cm and had been there for a while. I didn’t need pain meds I nedeed to be pushing about 30 to 45 minutes earlier then I had requested that I have someone count and tell me when to push in my plan (I am an athlete and respond best when coached) My midwife insisted that I wasn’t paying attention and that the counting wouldn’t help. She also told me I would know when to push despite the fact that I was begging her to tell me, and saying it just hurts should I push now .I really didn’t feel it! I have to say my baby is perfect, and I love him to death but I did not love the delivery experience the second time around because people didn’t take the time to read my birth plan which had simple requests(and I stated them out loud as well). I think that when a woman goes into labor it is the most exciting/scary time of her life, and she deserves good care that honors her wishes as long as it does not put mom or baby in harms way. With my first my first words were that was it? Let’s do it again (scared my husband a bit) with the second I looked at my husband and said when are you getting snipped because I had a nurse that didn’t take the hour and a half that she was in my room while I was getting antibiotics to read my birth plan. I am disappointed because I loved it so much the first time, and wish that the staff assisting me would have respected my basic EASY wishes don’t ask about pain meds, and help coach during the pushing .Yes I am complaining and there are worse things that could have happened, but I agree it is frustrating when hospital staff try to push stuff on you you don’t need when all you want is a natural delivery, and then when you ask for help with something basic deny your request. I get it totally!

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