Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Long awaited birth story

On Monday, December 10 I was feeling crampy. I had been feeling contractions for at least a week and it always turned out to be nothing. I'd wake up in the morning and it would be gone so I wasn't sure whether to believe it or not but it did feel somewhat stronger and more real than anything I had felt previously. I wrapped up a few things at work including straightening my desk and doing an observation at my son’s school in his classroom. It was very cute. Got the kids, made it home and rested a little bit. I put up spaghetti and meatballs for dinner which got a little burnt because I was too tired to watch it. I told my mom that I might be needing her later, but I knew she had a few things to take care of in Brooklyn, so I said it's probably not going to be until much later and I might not even need her at all. We lit the menorah, it was the third night of Chanukah, and we ate dinner. The next morning was a bris for a cousin of mine in Brooklyn. I set out nice clothing for the kids and told my cousin we were hoping to make it. I also had my daughters 'Mommy and Me' Channukah party the next morning. I thought that it would be somewhat typical of me to have a baby the day I have something else going on. With both of my other births, I missed a wedding, so a bris and party weren’t too bad to miss should that be happening. I had my mom on reserve for Shain's party in case I couldn't make it.

The night went on I felt the contractions a little bit stronger but still not strong enough to make me believe it was definitely immanent. Mommy kept calling asking ‘should I come now or can I do xyz?’ and I’d tell her she just has to be there over night – just in case. Nothing was happening earlier. I made a list of things I have to take care of including folding laundry, organizing my stuff, packing last minute stuff in my hospital bag, activating my new phone that Ad had gotten me, etc. Slowly but surely I made my way through the list. I even loaded the dishwasher and tidied up the kitchen. I took a nice relaxing bath and spoke to my unborn baby asking if this might be the night and wondering if she would be a girl. I g-chatted with a few friends, telling them I might be in labor but I wasn't hundred percent sure. I timed my contractions - they were getting more consistent, about 10 minutes apart but then they would stop. Ad, who never knew whether to believe my contractions, asked me at one point 'Do you think we're making it to the bris tomorrow' and I said 'No'. He asked 'Do you think we're having the baby by morning?' I thought for a moment, paused, looked right at him and said 'Yes'. That freaked both of us out and Ad decided he was going to get an early night of sleep. I made him sleep in my spot which is near the wall. I told him I would definitely be getting out of bed more often than he would. I wanted to go to sleep early too, but I had to wait for Mommy who ended upcoming a little after 11 o'clock. I warned her that it wasn't for sure happening but I was grateful that she'd be there no matter what. I also showed her where the kids’ lunches, knapsack, clothing and coats were. And to bed I went, wondering if I'd wake up in the morning with no labor or perhaps very active labor....

I woke up a few times during the night, around 1:00, 2:00, 3:00...each time I wondered if it was morning and realizing that it was not. The contractions were definitely getting stronger.  About 3:45 I got into the bath to take the edge off the pain that helped for about 20 minutes I timed my contractions in the tub and they were between 5 and 10 minutes apart. I got dressed and into pajamas at the same time and woke up Ad and I told him ‘This is it, we're going to the hospital.’  Mommy woke up, helped me breathe through a painful contraction and wished me good luck. She gave me a hug and told her to be in touch as soon as anything happens. She made me promise that she’d get a phone call and not just a text (my sister did that oops). I tried reaching the doctor, but when I pressed 6 for an emergency, the first thing that I was told was to call back in 15 minutes if nobody calls me back. I didn't realize I was supposed to stay on the line to get someone. In any case, I figured I’d call again from the car but I have to use Ad's phone because mine still wasn't activated. We left our home about 4:20 in the tranquil silence of the night....I teared up as I told Ad 'We’re leaving our home as parents of 2, god willing, to return as parents of 3'.

And we headed for the hospital. It was the third time we would be going to the hospital in the middle of the night. Pretty cool to see the empty roads that were usually so crowded.  We tried calling the doctor again and got the same message. I held on for a couple of seconds longer but it didn't look like anybody would be picking up the phone so I hung up I figured they'd reach my doctor once we got to the hospital. It was an exciting and magical ride mixed with a couple of very painful contractions. The contrast was pretty interesting. We got there in a very short amount of time, not even twenty minutes. Ad helped me inside and then went to park the car. It was a long wait; well it felt like one anyway, probably took about 5 minutes in reality. I sat in a wheelchair waiting and grimaced through another painful contraction. When the security guard saw my husband he told me 'he's coming!' and then told my husband to hurry up.

Finally we reached the L&D floor... Definitely brought back memories of my other two. I used the bathroom, changed to my gown and got this point it was a little after 5:00 and I was about 6 cm dilated. Always a relief to know I was definitely in labor and able to be admitted. It’s my biggest nightmare that they'll send me home and say ‘Lady, you're only 2 cm dilated’ (although that never happened to me). So I’m definitely admitted and figure I probably have 3-4 hours to go, based on my last birth. Nurse gently asks ‘have you considered an epidural?’ and I’m like ‘I haven’t NOT considered it! Please lets do it!’ But I know how it works, it’s not something that happens instantly. First you have to sign a buncha stuff, then they need to find my vein (always a challenge for some reason), then drip an IV for half hour and finally THEN can I get that much needed pain relief. Good news is that the hospital reached my doctor and he’s on his way. Bad news is contractions are fast and furious. I’m also less able to move into more comfortable positions because I’m on the bed and hooked up to stuff. Ad goes to admit me. At this point, between the IV drip and my active labor, I start shaking uncontrollably. This is besides for the painful contractions. And in between the contractions there is no relief because I know it’s going to start again any second. The nurses, like the last two experiences I had at South Nassau, were just ANGELS. I mean it. It’s such a hard, vulnerable and painful time when things were so out of my control and I almost felt like an animal and they were so reassuring, let me squeeze their hand, kept saying ‘You’re doing great, etc’.  God bless them, especially Caroline and Cindy. I kept looking at the clock and thinking ‘I just have to make it till 6, that’s when ill have enough IV drip and get my epidural’. The minutes went by slowly. At one point the baby’s heart rate went down and they paged a resident. That was very scary for me, they gave me an oxygen mask and I realized how scary this whole birthing process really could be. Was so glad to be in a hospital, being monitored and all. Thank Goodness heart rate picks up. Ad came back and joins in the reassuring choir.

Its almost 6:00. (I’m reassured the anesthesiologist is on his way up. It’s a small hospital and I’m on the 3rd floor, yet it always takes forever for him to come up). Another painful contraction but I just have to get through it because then I’m getting my epidural. But it’s so painful. ‘I can’t do it. I feel like I’m dying’. ‘Yes you can, you’re doing great’. It occurred to me that those awful feelings of giving up are usually right before birth is imminent….could it really be? And suddenly ‘I feel a need to push’. ‘OK, let’s do another internal before the epidural. Lay down…..Oh my I see the head!!’ And all of a sudden things began to move massively fast. I know from last time a whole buncha things get ready when you get to 10 cm….now they were trying incredibly fast to open the lights, prepare the weighing tray, page the covering OB (mine hadn’t made it yet), etc. No one expected me to be ready so quickly, least of all me! The various personnel in the room were all like ‘DON’T PUSH’ which I still don’t get but honestly I didn’t care who was there at this point or how ready anyone was. My body was in pain and telling me that pushing was the appropriate thing so the heck with all of them…I pushed and all of a sudden out came a baby. 

It was so shocking honestly and a bit anticlimactic. Like ‘huh? Already?!’ Usually I’m at 10 for a while and have to push a bunch of times and get all this encouragement till the baby comes out. It was so unexpected I didn’t’ even know how to react….I don’t think anyone did. I took a look and first thought it was a boy and then realized it was all clear there – it was a girl! Just like I had wanted (secretly of course). They had to clean her a bunch but she was alert and cried and she looked absolutely perfect to me. She was 7.7 and 20 inches long. My poor OB showed up a couple of minutes later, scrubbed in, and helped deliver the placenta which took a lot more time to push out. Yay him lol. He mentioned that he was going to change the answering service so people know to wait on the line and not hang up. I hope he still gets paid for my delivery even though the other guy showed up for two minutes and caught the baby (or did he, I’m not even sure). PS: Lenka, below reminded me of something funny - the covering dr's name was put on my card as 'Mother's Doctor' so my OB crossed it out when he came to check on me the next day :)

Recovery was amazing. It was my first time that I didn’t tear and didn’t need stitches and it makes a huge difference in recovering. Not having to push much meant I wasn’t sore. No epidural, just like with Shain who came too fast, although I didn’t noticed a difference with my recovery when I did have the epidural with Yak. I’m still very pro epidurals, ill just have to get there sooner next time! In total, I was in the hospital bed less than an hour. Was walking around soon after, using the bathroom normally, nursing well right away. My body, which so often feels subpar, totally rocked this labor and delivery. And the whole pregnancy. You go body! :P And I guess it’s good to know that some of my nerves work very very well.

The next couple of days were good and quiet. Mommy filled in beautifully at Shains party where she was the center of attention….i think I would have spent my time socializing with other moms, but Bubby really interacted with her. I got some visitors from the immediate family (sister and kids, mom and my family). My kids were excited to see me and their sister – but more excited to push the buttons on my hospital bed and run down the hallways….good thing I had the iPad with me. I ate like a horse (I forgot how hungry nursing makes you!) and asked for a sleeping pill both nights and relaxed a lot with my babe. What a little miracle :) The LC would pop in and I’d roll my eyes…its my third kid! Oh and I finally got my dumb phone activated, I only needed to download google talk on my iPad and spend 50 MINUTES talking to the dumb lady until it worked. And once it started a ton of messages started pouring in…

So that’s it. I am officially a Contemporary Mother of Three. I can’t believe it. Meira Baila (I’ll probably name her Mira here) is so delicious. She doesn’t sleep so well but I nurse her in bed and we get through the night. It’s going to be really hard once I have to go to work. Now I’m taking it one day at a time, slowly getting back into things. Ad has been amazing taking care of the home and bigger kids. I think he’s a little stressed but he’s managing. Were both a little nervous about our finances but we hope to rent out part of our house soon so hopefully that will help. I’ll probably get on WIC so I can at least get formula which ill probably need down the line. My body is recovering normally. Interestingly my hands definitely feel weaker than normal, even though they didn’t really go through any trauma. It’s my first baby in the house, as opposed to our small apartment, so I’m trying to limit my times up and down the stairs and have set up stations with diapers, wipes, clothing, etc on both floors.

I think I am hearing my Meira now…..Meira means ‘light up’ btw, which we thought of because she was born during Chanukah. This has been an insane couple of months; first with the hurricane and losing power and all, then bombs being thrown in Israel and the awful awful incident that took place last Friday…..Life can really get so hard and can be so depressing and difficult sometimes, we could all use a little light to help us get through and remember that good times are ahead. May she, and all of my children, help to bring light to us and anyone else that they meet….


  1. What a great story! Welcome Meira! My boy had a similar story. They said I had time and I shouldn't push, but I couldn't help but push. So by the time they called the doctor, my boy was arriving. The bed wasn't ready- they were scrambling. The nurse caught him and originally put her name on the delivery certificate but it was changed because the doctor was in the room scrubbing up. It made such a difference when baby arrived easy!

    I am glad to hear that you are both doing well! I kept baskets all over the house- good idea :)
    Love the photo with the light! She is light indeed! :) Lenka

  2. I had the same thing Lenka! I'm going to update my post because its really funny! Thanks for the comment :)

  3. Awww...what a wonderful story!!!! Even though it was painful, I'm so happy for you that she came quick. I'm also very proud of your body and how "normal" it was for you during your pregnancy and labor. Nice that CMT left the party to let you really enjoy this special time in your life.
    I love her name!!! Hope I can meet all 3 kids soon...who knows? Maybe you can come to my baby shower!!! How awesome would that be???