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, September 27, 2013

Anna’s Birth

Baby Anna in her mom's loving arms.Hello, everyone! I just wanted to leave a couple of words before I run off back to the hospital. Today — September 27, 2013 — early morning Alёna gave life to our beautiful little daughter Anna. She was born at 3:30am, weights 7lb and 10oz and is 20 inches long. The birth was so quick that they didn’t even have time to connect an IV, not to mention any other drugs. We actually barely made it to the hospital.

Looking at the world.I left Alёna and my mom near the entrance to the hospital at 3:10am or 3:15am and went looking for parking, which took about 10 minutes. By the time I got back to Labor and Delivery the doctors were rushing Alёna from Triage into the Delivery room on a bed. And right after we arrived Anna was out in 2 pushes!

First seconds of life.But as with Arosha even though everything was so fast it still gave me ample time to become a nervous wreck. Now my dad and I are going to go back to visit them. Sadly Arosha can’t come with us since he came down with a bit of a virus 2 days ago.
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

40 Weeks

On the "due date" at exactly 40 weeks.So my due date is somewhere around today. I still think it might be a few days off based on our lack of protection dates.

Our little daughter is pretty content in my uterus, and does not show any signs of trying to get out. Whatever you want, sweet pea! Although your daddy and I are getting a little bit anxious to see you.

We went for another routine visit to my OBGYN this morning. Just as last week, I was about 2 cm dilated and 75% effaced. He checked the fluid, which was good, and the heart rate, which was also good.

Just in case we scheduled an induction on October 2nd. I hope she’ll come out on her own before that.

40 weeks.My fingers still hurt, but last weekend after especially bad night (after 3 hours of pain I was wailing loudly in the living room, and Danya woke up all scared that something bad had happened) we bought a wrist slit, and I sleep much better ever since. I still wake up a lot, and my fingers still hurt 24 hours a day, but they pain is not that bad, and I can fall asleep pretty fast.

I am also gaining pounds. 192 and counting, or around 25 pounds extra so far. I often have back pain and cramping in the evening, and every time I think — the labor is starting. And then after a while it stops. I think if I did not know how labor starts, I would just dismiss all this stuff, but experience makes it harder to ignore.

40 weeks.Danya’s parents gave us another day off today, so I am just doing nothing and enjoying it. We stopped at Trader Joe’s after the OBGYN and got some frozen food and organic meat for when the times will become tougher for me in the kitchen department. I really hope I will find more time to cook this time around. Ha-ha, and the breastfeeding hunger is coming soon (I remember eating at night in the first few months with Arosha).

Anyhow, we’ll see our baby girl soon enough. I have a feeling she might be smaller than Arosha, despite the fact that he was born at 39 weeks gestational age. But we’ll see. Also, I’m not sure who’ll be assisting the delivery — our doctor, Mark, or one of his brothers. They say that whoever is the least busy or on call will go to the hospital. Again, we’ll find out soon enough.
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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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Monday, August 9, 2010

Aaron’s Birth

AlёnaHello, everyone. I have very little time, but I wanted to say a couple of words. Yesterday, on August 8th, 2010, at 10:10pm Alёna gave life to our beautiful son — Aaron, through a natural drug-free birth. He weights 3,410 grams.

Baby AaronI knew that it would be emotional, but I didn’t imagine close as to how emotional. For me it was an emotional roller-coaster. I was so worried for her that I could barely stand. I thought seeing Aaron’s head come out and blood would be the scary thing, but that was actually perfectly fine. But seeing in how hard it is for Alёna — I was just barely holding myself together. And when we finally saw our son I burst into uncontrollable tears. I can’t tell you how proud I am of my wife and how much I love her.

Alёna and Aaron right after.I must run now, but we will definitely say more in the days to come.

Right after birth.
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Saturday, April 17, 2010

New Doctor

Yesterday I went to see my new OBGYN, a Russian lady named Lana Selitsky. It might seem strange when a woman is changing her doctor at 5 months pregnancy, but I had no choice. The thing is that my previous doctor, whom Danya and I like very much, had a Alёna and her belly. 23 weeks.surgery with complications and has to move from obstetrics for at least 6 moths. What a bummer! He recommended Lana and assured us that she is a good doctor, plus she also works at Beth Israel Hospital where I was planning to deliver. Lana seemed nice and friendly, although I liked the office staff less than that of Dr. Argov. Oh well. Chances of her actually helping me to deliver are only 20% since she works in a group of 5 doctors, and whoever will be on call the day or night the baby will decide to come out, will be taking care of us.

I can’t say that I am extremely happy about this whole situation, but on the other hand it looks like I’ll be in good hands in any case. ) So whatever — as long as the little one is healthy. )

I also had some stress on Monday after I received a letter from my insurance company stating that they have terminated a hospital agreement with Beth Israel. It also stated that since I am in my second trimester I can stay with them as long as my doctor signs Belly with 23 week old boy. Cooking.some form. I was worried that a doctor switching thing will negate the fact that I am considered to be treated by Beth Israel as of now. Apparently, Aetna (insurer) doesn’t care about this; moreover, a customer service representative told me that they are trying to negotiate something and chances are they will sign a new contract soon (and if not, all I need is transition of care form signed by the doctor; it will let me use Beth Israel regardless). So on Friday Dr. Selitsky signed the form, and I have already faxed it to Aetna.

So these are the news on my pregnancy front. ) I am going for a glucose screening test in 3 weeks — hopefully, everything will be normal. By the way, by now I’ve gained around 17 pounds. People offered me their seats in the subway a few times, which is really sweet (I only accepted once, and only because the train was very full). I get a feeling, however, that some people still perceive me as just being fat rather than pregnant. Oh well. )
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