On December 9th, I had my doctor appointment. When I arrived, they told me today was my due date. For some reason, I thought it was the 8th. Either way, my midwife was surprised that the baby had not come yet. And to be honest so was I (and my mom, and everyone else). When she checked me I was 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced, not much progress since last weeks appointment. We talked a little and she recommended to schedule an induction just in case because with the holidays it can get quite busy at Labor & Delivery and she wanted to make sure that we had a room/date set. So we set it for December 18th at 7am. She said we would do it as naturally as possible, but honestly I was so disappointed, just the thought of an induction made my heart beat faster. I didn't like the sound of it. My midwife asked me if I was "ready" to have this baby. She said sometimes moms have "to do lists" and it can affect when the baby comes. I mentally needed to be ready. I told her, everything is ready, all bags are packed. I was nervous about the birth but I felt like that was only natural. As I was driving home, I kept talking to Mila and saying "We are ready for you honey, whenever you decide to join us". I called to my friend, Irina, and she encouraged me that baby will come when she is ready and not to take it to heart about the induction. She really put my heart at ease. My hubs also texted me and told me that everything will be fine and to go home and eat some mint ice cream, lol. So I did just that.
My parents dropped off Masha pretty late, and while I was tucking her into bed, I heard a big "pop" almost like a balloon pop. I was confused on what it was. Did Masha fart, I thought, lol? Then all of a sudden a gush of water just flowed out of me. I was astonished at the amount and I knew right away that my water just broke. There was no doubt about it! It was 10:50 pm. I thought it was weird because I wasn't having any contractions before. I yelled for Alex to hurry, and he rushed to the bathroom. Masha was standing by me and I was starting to shake from excitement and knowing today was "the day"! Alex called my parents and we started to get everything ready. I called my midwife and she said to leave to the hospital.
We arrived around 11:30pm into the emergency entrance. They put me on a stretcher since my water already broke, and wheeled me to Labor & Delivery. As we arrived, I kept telling myself everything will be turn out fine! I was mentally preparing myself. My contractions were about 3 minutes apart and honestly they were not too painful. Very manageable, I just took deep breaths and kept focusing on relaxing "down there". I have been reading a book by Ina May, called Guide to Childbirth, and she mentioned to envision everything opening up even in the mist of the pain. When we tense up, it makes us progress backwards and sometimes contractions even stop. We need to do the opposite and relax our muscles and focus on deep breathing.
When I arrived in my room, I changed into the gown and just focused on getting comfortable. The lights were dimmed and everything was extremely calm. My midwife checked me and I was 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced. I gave them my birth plan and my epidural papers just in case. I was planning on doing an unmedicated birth however I was prepared for anything. I was able to walk around during labor and listened to what my body wanted to do. I was in the weirdest positions at times. Squatting, and then spreading my legs so far to almost a split position. Every time a contraction would come, I had Alex get behind me and press on my pelvic area. For some reason, I needed it to be pressed. I was like in a different level of awareness. I was so connected to my body and mind, every little movement and sound was intense. I wanted everything absolutely quiet. At one point I threw up, and my nurse said that I am probably transitioning. As I was leaning against the bed, I looked at my midwife and told her "I know the pain will get worse", and she said "This might just be it". When she said that I was taken back. With my first birth, I was extremely tense during most of my birth and because of that I progressed much slower. I wish someone would have told me what I know now. Could this be the highest level of pain?
When the contractions came, I concentrated on calm deep breaths, and would look at the clock. And I noticed myself saying the words, "Open". It relaxed me and I could almost imagine my baby moving closer down the birth canal. At one point, I had Alex kiss me during a contraction. If you read the book, it talks about how birth is actually very sexual. And let me tell you that was one intense kiss!
My nurse offered a different position where I got on the bed and squatted facing the wall with the pillow right under my pelvic area. With several more contractions, I was getting the urge to push already. Everything was happening so quickly!! My midwife checked me and I was at 8 cm, and with a few more contractions my body was telling me it was time . I flipped over and told her I was ready to push! There was no holding back! I love how my midwife let me listen to my body. She was there, but allowed me to birth on my own. My breaths now were more closer together and sounded like "he he hu". By the third push, the Mila's head appeared and she let me touch it. That really encouraged me that everything is almost over. I had such a rush of energy and my body was shaking! It was such a beautiful pain, hard to explain, but in the mist of all of it, I was in such a state of gratitude and amazement. The next push was the longest, and she came in all her glory! With a loud scream, she was here, my beautiful angel who was inside me growing was now ready to meet us!! She handed her to me and I was brought to tears. She was perfect in everyway! She was born weighing 8 pounds and 4 ounces. One ounce smaller than Masha. I was able to nurse her just like I did with Masha.
While I was holding Mila, my midwife pressed my stomach a couple times, and placenta came out. I was stunned at how fast everything progressed. My whole birth was less than 3 1/2 hours. I am completely humbled by the whole experience! My husband was my rock and support through it all!! During the birth, he kept whispering in my ear in Russian "You are beautiful and amazing and strong". It was like a boost of confidence in the mist of all of it. I encourage anyone who is helping out a woman during birth to do this! Those words put me at ease and made me feel like I could do anything!
I highly recommend anyone who is pregnant to purchase/check out the book by Ina May. Sure, she has a different lifestyle than most of us, but this lady knows what she is doing!! I didn't even read the whole book, just a couple chapters and it really helped me understand what birthing really is all about.
We were released from the hospital on December 11th. And recovery has been great! Much easier than with my first! I would say what is harder this time around is the cramping which feel like mild contractions while I nurse. They lasted for about a week and are slowing down. They say that with each birth the cramping gets worse since the uterus has to work harder at getting back to original size. Have anyone of you experienced this?
Nursing has been wonderful! She had her first appointment and already weighed 8 pounds and 7 ounces. My pediatrician was like "most babies lose weight in the beginning". I joked that I have a foodie on my hands, lol! She eats every 2-3 hours with a long stretch at night. There are times, she eats/drinks a little bit more often. I am feeding on demand whenever she wants. My milk came in on the 2nd day! I didn't really experience engorgement because I felt like nursing just came naturally to me this time around. Since I breastfed Masha for over 20 months, I think that really helped me transition into it with no help really needed. I met with the lactation specialist at the hospital when she was doing her rounds, and we were talking about how if only they could bottle up the colostrum. I told her I put some on my wrinkles because it is like liquid gold! We laughed because apparently she had done the same, hehe.
Masha adores her little sister and wants to help with everything! It's crazy how she grew right in front of our eyes when the baby came. Alex has been spoiling her too, taking her to her favorites places when he gets home from work. My parents have been helping out a ton with babysitting and I feel blessed to have them in my life! I am just trying to find a good balance right now since my toddler is home all day with me. I'm sure Masha can't wait for baby to get a little bit older so she can play with her ;)
Here are some photos taken from last week:
Daddy holding his precious princess
First cuddle with my sweetheart. The love is so intense and beautiful!
This was taken hours before I went into labor. Last preggo outfit :)
Can't believe I am a mother of two healthy beautiful girls!
My parents and Masha meeting Mila for the first time.
Kisses to my Mila Love.
My mother in law and Masha admiring Mila.
Mila testing out the Mamaroo. I am using it with the newborn insert for extra comfort. I love this Aden + Anais Star swaddle in Red.
At her first pediatrician appointment. Look at her smiling!
5 days postpartum. Hanging out in my robe is the most comfy!! Love these slippers by Isaac Mizrahi. I wore them at the hospital as well!
Thank you for following my pregnancy journey! I am honestly going to miss it! I already miss her little kicks. Even though now I get to see her everyday, there is something extremely special about carrying a baby inside. Even with all the discomforts and bumps along the way, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!