Aido Birth Story { Part 2 : The Labor & Delivery }

Last time around it took me eight months to write down Povi’s birth story. Aidas is currently only 11 weeks, so I’m doing pretty well for a second kid. Who knows, maybe by the time I have a third child, I’ll actually write down the labor & delivery story THAT WEEK. (who are we kidding?) As always, consider yourself forewarned that births aren’t exactly lovely little soirées and might actually include some icky parts. If you’re like me and morbidly delight in hearing others’ real-life, bring-on-the-gruesome-deets birth stories, then pave ahead at full steam!

If you missed my last post, here’s part 1 of the birth story

40 week baby bump

Aido Labor & Delivery

We were finally in our room and one of the first questions the nurse asked me was whether I wanted an epidural. YES. Yes, please and thank you, was my immediate response. I had prepped myself on this question: as long as I was at least 7cm, I would get the epidural. I wasn’t desperately in pain, but you know what? Getting some respite sounded pretty damn good. I didn’t want to get it too early, though, because I was worried about stalling my labor. Thankfully, I was a stretchy 7 by the time I got to the hospital. Once I said “yes” to the epidural I felt this huge weight lift off my chest. I wouldn’t have to keep having these intense contractions? SIGN ME UP NOW. Which meant I was pretty bummed when I heard I’d have to wait at least another hour. Thankfully, the time passed quickly – especially since the nurses had us filling out paperwork, signing consent forms, and (in my case) getting blood drawn, a hep-lock put in, and all that jazz.

My biggest fear with the epidural was having some sort of lingering pain. Or not having it work at all. I’ve had friends fall on both sides of that spectrum. Thankfully, neither happened to me. Getting it put in was a little weird. The anesthesiologist was very abrupt. When I asked if I could finish getting through a contraction before signing the form, he “noped” that request with a “it doesn’t matter how messy your signature looks” comment. Uh, ok. Then there were a few attempts (two maybe?) to get it in and a firm reminder that I shouldn’t move (NOT DOING IT ON PURPOSE, dude) before suddenly, all was forgiven because holy cow did that epidural work fast! Even as he began telling me that it might take a while to feel it, wonderfully pain-free bliss practically radiated through me. It suddenly felt like my contractions had been put on silent. Within another ten minutes, even that muted tension melted away entirely.

So then came the waiting. Apparently, I never got far enough past the “should I get an epidural?” question in my mind, because I hadn’t planned for the waiting. We didn’t bring a laptop and for some reason it didn’t occur to me to watch a movie on my phone, so we were stuck watching Jurassic Park on the crappy hospital television, which ran commercials approximately every five minutes. Fun times. It was, to put it mildly, extremely boring. I even took some selfies.

Boring was fine while it lasted, though. I got checked after a few hours and I hadn’t progressed at all. Bummer. We continued to watch the movie when I realized I was shaking. It felt like my body was freezing cold, but yet I couldn’t actually feel anything. The nurse assured me this was a normal reaction. Wonderful. They piled the blankets on top of me and I continued to shake so hard that I had to mentally force my teeth not to chatter. Then came the claustrophobia. It felt like a weight was slowly pushing down on my chest, harder and harder. At first I could ignore it, but suddenly I couldn’t. I found myself experiencing a slow panic. I wanted to jump up and shake away the numbness, but the epidural had made me lose all feeling waist down. And the numbness seemed to be climbing. Before long, my entire chest was numb, too. They told me that this was common for patients with low blood pressure – especially short patients. The nurse kindly helped me change positions and that helped for a while before I began feeling panicked again. It was like I couldn’t breathe and at one point I made Vincas get the nurse NOW so she could turn me again. When she saw how unhappy {read: frantic} I was, she got the doctor to turn my epidural completely off for a half hour. That helped a lot until suddenly I was feeling the contractions return with a vengeance. So began an uncomfortable flip-flopping: turn the epidural back on. Feel claustrophobic. Turn it off. Feel pain. We went back and forth a few times before I convinced the midwife to break my waters and – oh, happy day! My labor progressed. Around this time the anesthesiologist came in to lecture me on how I have to choose either claustrophobia or pain (yes, I know this and am doing my best, Doctor Sir) and after he left, I finally admitted to the midwife that I just wanted to be done and to push NOW because I couldn’t deal with the claustrophobia anymore and hells-to-the-no did I want the pain back (especially after they said that if I turn it off, then I might not be able to get the numbness back before pushing). To my complete shock, the midwife just grinned and said, “Ok!”

That was it?! All I had to do was ask? Apparently.

My last experience in the hospital involved SO MUCH fanfare when it came to pushing. They turned the entire room upside with preparations, people were walking in and out, and by the time everything was said and done I believe there were seventeen people in the room when Povi came out. SEVENTEEN. This time it was completely and wonderfully different. The midwife pulled up a stool, helped me sit up, and gently coached me. There was laughter and light conversation. No crazy bright lights. No stress. No real pain, because I was still hooked up to the epidural. It was kind of amazing.

40 week bump

Funny fact: as we were chatting to the midwife between pushes, she found out that we were Lithuanian and mentioned that she only knew one other family who was Lithuanian in Durham. She was actually supposed to have dinner with them that night, but had to come into work instead because I went into labor. Vincas and I grinned and looked at each other before asking who the family was (because this is Durham and, of course, there aren’t very many Lithuanians here). I knew before she even confirmed it, that it was Vinco sister and her family. Such a funny coincidence!

Back to the story: so I pushed. And I pushed. And I actually got bored pushing. I might have been obnoxious and asked my midwife to give me a time frame. She laughed at me and said she couldn’t do that, but then finally (after much pressing) said she thought I’d be done in an hour. So I kept pushing and pushing. Gosh, my babies don’t like to come out of me. I must have a very comfortable womb. Since there had been meconium (baby poop) present when the midwife had broken my waters, I knew that there was a chance they’d have to whisk him away right after the delivery, just like with Povi. The midwife said that if he pinked up and cried immediately, however, I’d get to hold him before they’d check him over. I said a whole bunch of prayers this would happen and continued to push.

The pushing began to get intense. It wasn’t painful; more like a very, very hard ab workout. So I kept pushing. And I might have been so eager/bored of the process, that I even requested a mirror so that I could see what was happening. It was quite interesting to finally put a visual to what I was physically experiencing. Finally – finally! after an hour and a half, it all happened really quickly and he was coming out and I had my eyes closed tight to help with the pushing and opened them just in time to watch the baby slide out with a – yesss! loud cry (although how they cry while coming out of such a tiny space is beyond me). The midwife was pulling him up towards my chest and I remember being confused about whether I could take him, so she kind of laughed at me and assured me that I could. He was so wet and slippery and covered in white goo that he felt completely foreign to me. (I never got to hold gooey wet Povi. He was handed to me in a blanket and hat, which I remember being really annoyed at) This baby, though, was covered in alllll the juices and very warm and squishy and weird-smelling and I was simultaneously grossed out and overwhelmed with love. Story of motherhood, am I right?! I gathered him in close, though, and (after double-checking his gender because yes, I totally still was a little convinced he was a girl, even though we had found out twenty weeks earlier that he was a he – sorry Aidai!) gave the little guy some serious snuggles. The nurses wiped him down while I was holding him and he was red and chubby and completely perfect. I kept thinking I’d have to give him back to be looked over, but the midwife kept laughing and saying that I could keep holding him. Which was AMAZING. I finally got to experience some of that wonderful, hormonal, happy, post-birth surge of emotions that I hadn’t really gotten with Povi.

labor & delivery

He had the cutest little beak nose and Vincas and I immediately agreed that he looked like a little bird. Completely fitting, since my Halloween costume the month before was me as a bird and my belly surrounded by a nest with an egg on it. And so much dark hair! Almost more than Povi, if that was possible. So squishy and beautiful and perfect. Really, those first few hours of finally getting to hold this little human you’ve been growing for nine months is one of my favorite life experiences EVER.

There isn’t much more to this story, other than that recovery from Aido birth was about a MILLION ZILLION times better than my recovery from Povi’s birth. NO tearing whatsoever (thank you, God!) and no other complications. I wasn’t able to walk for a good long time afterwards because of the numbness, which I know many people hate about epidurals, but it didn’t bother me too much. My milk didn’t come in again for a solid three or four days and nursing was actually a a good bit painful this time around, but I think that’s because Aidas had a lazy and ineffective latch for the first two weeks of his life. Thankfully, that cleared up by about three weeks postpartum.

I’m going to finish up this post with this favorite photo of mine, which I’m totally re-using on this blog (you can see it on this post about how Aidas got his name). Aido birth ended up being half the length of Povi’s (and pushing also ended up being about half the time!) so I’m really hoping that my next birth cuts the process in half again! One can hope, right!?

Second Baby

Aidai, you’re pretty fantastic and we’re all extremely glad you’re here!

xox,

mama

Labor & Delivery

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