Pretty much everybody I talked to, both men and women, told me that birthing a second child is usually faster and easier overall. I was hoping that they were right, but as with everything — you never know until it actually happens.
So based on my experience with Arosha, I was ready for birthing to start at any moment from around week 39. And it passed. And my due date passed. And then another day, and another, and another…
As I wrote before, I had cramps and back pain starting at 38-39 weeks, but they did not lead to an actual labor for a while. Then on Thursday night at around 8pm I felt what could qualify as a contraction. And then another one in 15 minutes or so. Arosha and Danya’s mom were at home with me, and soon Danya came from work too.
My contractions did not go away. They were 12-20 minutes apart for a few hours, and lasted around 30-45 seconds each, and they were getting stronger. The first thing I did? Started to boil some soup for Arosha — we just finished whatever cooked food we had, and I wanted to have something to last a few lunches for Arosha and Danya while I’ll be in the hospital.
A few hours, dinner, and a split pea soup later we decided to go to sleep. I thought that it makes sense to get as much rest as possible, and that we will probably have to go to the hospital closer to the morning.
When we finally got to bed, it was after midnight, and I realized that there was just no way I could sleep through these contractions. They were 10-12 minutes apart at that point, and lasted 30-60 seconds each. So instead we went and watched an episode of the silly vampire show. By the end of it contractions were still 8-10 minutes apart, and lasted around 45-60 seconds each. They were pretty painful, but nothing a tough Belarusian woman could not handle, he-he. I told Danya to go to sleep, and he said — sure, wake me up when you think is time to go to the hospital. In about a minute or two I’ve changed my mind, because I had a feeling that maybe it’s not such a bad idea to get there right away.
We called Danya’s parents — his dad was staying with Arosha, and mom was coming with us to the hospital. My contractions started to be closer together — anywhere from 4 to 7 minutes apart, so we called the number our doctor told us to call when they are 5 minutes apart. We got transferred to the operator, who said that we just need to go to the hospital, and that the hospital’s stuff will contact the doctor. It was a little bit frustrating that we did not know if our doctor is in the hospital and we could not even let him know that we’re coming. But whatever — I knew that if worse comes to worst, there is always someone out there to assist a delivery.
In around 20 minutes we were in our car, and drove to NY Methodist. It was a relatively short ride — we left at 2:50am and arrived at around 3:15-ish (Danya said that he parked the car right away and stepped out of it at 3:19). While in the car, we kept timing my contractions and they were still 3-4 minutes apart on average.
Danya’s mom and I went to the hospital while Danya was parking. The contractions suddenly started to follow one another very quickly, so I had to lean on Danya’s mom to even make it to the elevator. The L&D department was on the 4th floor. There was one receptionist, and she took her time to even acknowledge we were there. She was typing something in her computer, and I was standing there panting heavily since at that point my contractions were long, strong and on top of each other. I was sweating, in pain, and it was even hard to stand upright.
I think I got her attention when I said that I was about ready to push. She took my insurance card and told us to to to the triage room and change. The pain got even worse at that point and could not finish undressing myself (Danya’s mom helped). None of the medical personnel was there, I yelled something along the lines “Where is the f***ing doctor?” I know, not the smartest thing to say, but seriously — I had a strong urge to push, and there was no-one. Danya’s mom went looking for help.
This all was happening very quickly. Luckily, some doctor came soon, and she checked me, and I was fully dilated. Right about then my water broke. I kept saying that I need to push, so they put me on some kind of table and started running to the delivery room. They kept telling me not to push, since they wanted to get me to the delivery room first, but I think I pushed ones along the way.
So in the delivery room they helped me to roll to the delivery table, and finally let me push. I think I had to do it twice, and our beautiful baby girl was born. It was 3:30am. Luckily, Danya made it in time for the delivery.
Took me another half hour to deliver placenta. I also had a first degree tear (the least worst you can get), so they had to put in two stitches. For some reason I kept shaking, but I was happy that the pain was mainly over and that everything went kind of easy. They gave me a pitocin shot in the thigh to help the uterus contract after the birth (normally they give it through IV).
Oh, by the way. At some point (not sure when), they called my doctor. There were actually two of them, Mark and Andrew, earlier in the hospital that night, and if the operator wold let me speak to them, they would have probably waited (they left half an hour before we came). So the nurse told my doctor:
– You patient is here. She is fully dialated.
– OK, I’ll get there as soon as I can.
– Oops, she just delivered. There are no complications, just a first degree tear.
– Never mind. I’ll come see her in the morning.
And the next morning another brother, Greg, came to see me. “Well, hello, Speedy Gonzales!” were the first words out of his mouth.
That’s pretty much it. Very fast. A bit painful, but again — nothing I could not handle.
Anna Leah got 9/9 as her Apgar score, which is pretty good I think. We stayed in the hospital for the next few days. I shared a room with a Haitian woman named Kathia. She delivered a son through an emergency c-section after she was induced at 37 weeks due to per-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. If I was up and about in about 1-2 hours after birth and did not need any medication, she had much tougher time recovering. Kind of made me appreciate the ease of my birthing experience even more.
I wanted to go home on Saturday, but my blood pressure reading in the morning was a bit high, so they kept us there for an extra day (originally we were supposed to be discharged on Sunday anyhow). The only sad thing was that Arosha could not visit us in the hospital due to his sickness, but we could not risk giving this tiny baby a flu.
So here it is. I think we’re all set in the offspring department, but if I ever decide to birth another baby, I better get to the hospital as soon as my labor starts. Seriously!