I can’t believe I am writing my fourth baby’s birth story. I feel so blessed to have those beautiful creatures filling my life. Yes, it is hectic, messy, and hard more days than not, but I can’t see my life any other way. I am already afraid of the day they’ll leave, and my oldest is only 6 years old!!
Maybe it’s the pregnancy/birth hormones…
Mika (pronounced Meeka not Maika), has a very similar birth story to her older brother, Benny, yet very different.
You would think that by this time, after three babies, my body will just know what to do and everything will take off quickly once contractions start. Well, I’ve learned that this is not the case at all, at least not for me.
Mika’s due date was 8/22, just like Benny’s. The date came and went and this baby did not show any signs of wanting to come out.
Finally, on Tuesday 8/30/2016 at one o’clock my water broke.
My husband was at work an hour away. I called him and he started driving back right away. I was so stressed because I thought, since it’s my fourth baby, that things will move really fast. My husband had an hour drive home, we are an hour and fifteen minutes from the birth center AND we had to drop the kids off with a friend.
I did not want to be the lady on the news who gave birth on the HWY, thank you very much.
So I got all the bags ready and when my husband got to the house we took off towards the birth center.
When we got there the midwife confirmed that my water indeed broke and so we were left to wait for the contractions to come. They didn’t.
We didn’t want to go back home since we live far away so we just went out for dinner and came back to sleep at the birth center. We joked that we need to birth a baby more often so we’ll have a date night! It was fun, really. We ate dinner and then got us some fancy chocolates and went to a coffee shop where a cup of coffee cost $4. We never do that, but hey, we were having a baby, it was a good enough excuse.
We went to sleep that night but woke up at 3 am when contractions started. I was so happy, I was ready to get this baby out, I wanted to meet her, I wanted to finally see and hold her, I wanted to be after the birth, and I wanted to go home to my other babies who never had a sleepover before (but were completely excited to stay with our dear friends, they had so much fun!).
On the morning of 8/31 I still had contractions but they weren’t regular or too strong so we decided to go out for breakfast. We had to cut it short because the contractions started being more frequent and painful. That’s it! We were having a baby.
But then at around 10am it all went away. I couldn’t believe it! Everything just stopped. I was ready to go back to work in the garden, it was like there was nothing happening just an hour earlier.
I was so frustrated. And I was scared too if to tell you the truth.
You see, I was on the clock since my water broke a day before. By 1pm that day (24 hours after the water broke), I had to be in active labor or I will have to go to the hospital to be induced. There was the risk of infection and I was afraid something will go wrong with the baby now that the water broke. I tried to make sure I felt her, but she became quieter and quieter. This same exact thing happened to me with Benny and I couldn’t believe it was happening again.
With Benny, I decided to drink a cup of castor oil. This is kind of a natural way to induce labor. It was traumatic for me. Your stomach is contracting at the same time your uterus is and it is turned and everything in it is liquefied. Let’s just say, you better have a toilet near by and you better hope your baby doesn’t come when you are sitting on it.
I was afraid of the damn castor oil.
So by 1pm we decided it was time to go to the hospital.
Then we got there and they stuck the needle in my back and connected me to a bazillion monitors and I regratted not drinking the damn oil.
Man, hospitals are not my scene. How did I forget?
Anyway, I got a few doses of Pitocin and a few hours later started feeling pressure down there. Thank God the midwife from the birth center was still the one to deliver the baby even though we were at the hospital.
She came to check me and it was indeed time to push this baby out. It took 20 minutes and it was the easiest part of those three days. I knew what to do and it just happened. Within 20 minutes I had this beautiful baby in my arms!
Mika was born 8/31/2016 at 8:22 pm (just a day before her brother’s birthday!), 7lb 3oz, 19 inches tall.
Part of the reason this was easy, I think, is because I pushed this beautiful baby into the hands of Sarah. This same midwife delivered both Maya and Benny, my two other long births, and I was so relieved she was the one to meet us at the hospital. This lady sure is special to me.
My husband… This man is just something. He knows how to make you laugh when you think you are about to fall apart. He knows where to be, what to do and what not to, what questions to ask and when to shut up. He is the greatest doula. And to see the smile on his face when this baby was out was priceless. I love having babies with this man!!
I was surprised to find out that a lot had changed at the hospital since I gave birth to Maya there 6 years ago. It seems like they finally got the whole “baby-needs-mama” thingy. They didn’t try to wheel her away, they didn’t jump on the poor baby to perform two million check-ups in her first 15 minutes in this world. They were more laid back this time and left us alone for a whole hour (yay!) before coming back in again.
They even agree to let us go home only 12 hours after birth… Until one test came back on the lower end of the scale.
Mika’s oxygen level was a bit on the lower end, not out of the normal range, just a bit low. They wanted to send her to the NICU for monitoring and I just about lost it.
It happened to us with Maya, we ended up spending almost 5 days at the hospital and they made so many mistakes it was ridiculous. It was not going to happen again.
I knew Mika was fine. I didn’t mind them monitoring her but they were not taking her away from us. So we informed them that it was not going to happen and they argued and we argued back. At that point, I really fell apart and was so mad at myself that I didn’t drink the castor oil and just stayed at the birth center. Anyway, it was too late to regret that…
They came up with a solution, though. They found us a room at the children’s floor where there was a monitor and a bed so I can stay with Mika. David went to pick up the kids and take them home and Mika and I ended up in the hospital for another night.
Looking back, it wasn’t that big of a deal, but back then it wasn’t what I wanted for this birth (not that it matters anyway).
I didn’t sleep a moment that night. Between the beeping of the monitor, the poor children that were crying that night, and the pain from the birth, it was just hard to rest.
Staying at the children’s floor put me in perspective, though. Our room was at the section where kids with cancer stay and to hear them crying at night was heartbreaking. I felt deprived of oxygen after two days there and I kept thinking about those kids who have to spend much of their childhood caged between those walls.
God bless those little ones, their parents, and the people who care for them.
In the morning, the doctors came by to tell us that everything is ok and we can go home.
It was such a precious moment to introduce the kids to their new little sister…
For months we all called her Baby Sisi, and now they were trying to figure out how did she got out and was here.
We had a week full of visitors. The fridge is full of food that friends brought over. I can’t believe how we managed to find so many amazing people to surround us. It was the first time no one from our family arrived from Israel to help us through the last week of pregnancy and through the birth and we still managed to do great thanks to all those amazing friends we have.
And you! You guys, my dear readers are so amazing. People that I don’t really know sent emails to check on me and make sure we are all doing ok. It’s amazing how many great folks I meet through this blog.
So now the only thing left to do is soak up as much baby smells and love as possible before the baby stage is over again. I need to get my body back in working order and the house and kids back on track. My three-page to-do list is still staring at me, the farm is a mess, the garden is full of bugs, and the chicken coop is standing there half done. But it’s all going to have to wait.
We’ll try to take it easy and get one thing done at a time. And of course, enjoy the new baby as much as possible!