Friday, October 4, 2013

Anna’s Birth Story

Seconds after birth.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.

All done.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.

Grandma with her brand new granddaughter.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!
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Friday, August 13, 2010

My Birthing Experience

Pushing. Minutes before birth.It’s Thursday evening, and our little boy is sleeping peacefully in the bedroom, giving me an opportunity to reflect on what has been happening to us in the last couple of days.

Contractions. Close to water breaking.I have to say that giving birth was probably single most painful experience in my life (physical pain that is), but I don’t regret for a second that I chose not to use any pain meds. I can do it again — and hopefully, there will be a chance in the future. )

Arrival. Seconds after being born.My contractions have started Saturday night. Actually, I wasn’t even sure if those were real contractions or not, because I did not perceive them as contractions per say, but as a pain in my lower belly which was coming and going. The pain was very manageable in the beginning, and even though I was waking up almost every hour, I got some rest and slept through the better part of the night.

Morning after birth.I decided to time the intervals between the contractions in the morning, since if they were more or less regular, that meant that I was experiencing the onset of a real labor, and not a false one. They were about 10 minutes apart on average. I called the hospital and found out that my doctor, Lana Selitsky, was not on call, so if we were to come, Dr. Pastore would help us. I met doctor Pastore during one of my prenatal visits, and I liked her. She told me that judging by my voice I am not in too much of a discomfort, and that I should come to the hospital either if the pain gets much worse, or if the water breaks.

In the hospital. Day after.After Danya woke up, we got some breakfast and watched TV. Meanwhile, my contractions started to get stronger and intervals between them got shorter. We still weren’t sure, however, if I was in labor. Well, d. Borya came to the rescue. He checked my belly and confirmed that I was having a real thing. We weren’t sure when to go to the hospital, because I didn’t know how strong the pain should be to indicate the right dilation. D. Borya helped again by checking my cervix later in the day, which was 6 cm dilated and almost effaced at that point.

Monday evening.To the hospital we went, and at around 6:30pm I got admitted. I got transferred to the delivery room soon after admission, at around 9:15pm my water broke (I was 9 cm dilated at that time). I started pushing in another 15 minutes or so, and at 10:10pm our son was born.

Going home. Tuesday morning.Danya and his mom were in the delivery room with me (his dad had to stay outside since they only allowed 2 visitors to be present) during the final stage. T. Oksana held one of my legs and Danya was on the other side watching and giving me his support. It meant a lot to me that I wasn’t there by myself.

Home. Looking at a toy.The funny thing is that we were in room #8 on 08/08 and there were 7 people in the room… that is before Aroshka made his grand appearance. He was put on my chest right away, and I felt a sense of relief that he got through without complications (doctors had to cut me a little and I got a couple of minor tears, but that’s nothing). I have to say that I was happy to see our little boy at last, but it took some time for me to really bond with him.

I am feeling overwhelming love for him right now and it grows stronger and stronger with each minute we have him. I truly did not understand what it is the mother feels for her child before we got our own baby (I am writing this and I can’t stop crying for some reason — I know that my hormones are messed up right now). ) Continue Reading
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