Roman's Birth Story (told by Mama Anna)

My labor began Super Bowl night with real contractions and spotting, into Monday morning. I called my doctor, and took an Uber into the city to visit with him. He said I was 3 cm dilated (I had been 2 cm for 2 weeks), station -1 and 80% effaced. He swept my membranes (the most painful thing ever) and off I went home to relax and wait for baby.

Tuesday rolled around and I was feeling very tired that morning. I decided to nap around noon, when I felt an intense kick/pop inside, got up from bed, and down gushed water. My husband was luckily home in anticipation of baby arriving, so he helped me clean up. I took my time, showered which felt so nice and even did my makeup! We then called my doctor, who told me to gather my things and eventually head to NYU. We decided to grab pizza on the way to store up some energy! Lots and lots of excitement through my contractions. The car ride was, surprisingly, a breeze.

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We checked into the hospital and were really surprised by how BUSY they were. I was one of four laboring women in the waiting room alone! It was hours until they placed me in a triage room [admitting room before checking into a labor & delivery room]. Laboring in the halls and amongst strangers and visitors was not pleasant at all, but I managed to stay really calm and work on breathing techniques with David. Those massages you taught us in class really worked for me. :)

We presented our birth plan to our administering nurses, who kindly ran through the entire thing word for word and said they were on board. We later came to realize that your birth plan in a hospital setting kind of means nothing! There are so many nurses and doctors that sift in and out that all gets lost in translation. I think because my water broke there was this immediate need to convince me to dilate as soon as possible. I was only 4 cm dilated so my doctor wasn't happy. I kept sticking to my guns though, and kept kindly pushing off the pitocin. 

They finally ushered us into a private laboring room and I breathed a sigh of relief. David and I continued to work on breathing, sitting on a birthing ball, and whatever felt good in the moment. My contractions kept intensifying and we found out through a vaginal exam that I was around 7cm dilated. My OB was still not satisfied that my contractions were 4-7 mins apart. They never got to 2 and 3 mins like he wanted. Again - pitocin. I told him to come back in an hour and if I wasn't making progress that I would agree. This was around 2 am (My water broke at 12:30 pm the day before).

The nurses gave me a pitocin drip and kept assuring me it was the slightest "hit" of it. I felt like a failure in that moment but I was also so determined to meet our baby.

A few more hours passed of laboring in bed stuck to my IV when my OB came in to check on me and saw that I was 9.5 cm dilated. I was in shock because, somehow, the entire time spent in the 58hospital flew by for me...time has never moved so fast. He said he would be back in 20 minutes and that we'd get ready to push. My adrenaline flooded in even more if that's possible. David and I were so excited it was hard to imagine meeting our baby so soon.

I was given some pushing coaching and as soon as I had my next contraction we started. I pushed for 1.5 hours and I have never felt more determined or worked so hard for something in my life. The beginning to me felt as if I was faced with climbing Mt. Everest - pushing baby out felt like an impossibility to me, but as we kept going and David and OB were cheering me on (which I didn't think I wanted AT ALL) I was given so much motivation to meet our son. David said he saw me enter another realm almost and that's kind of what it felt like. My mental state superseded any pain I was probably feeling. After some really gallant pushes, baby's head came out and then his body slipped out. It was the most exhilarating feeling of my life. Roman and I met heart-to-heart and he latched on almost immediately. We were parents! My entire 20-hour labor, Roman's heartbeat never dipped once - he was such a champ.

When I was riding those crazy contraction waves, I thought it was crazy that women would willingly put their bodies through such pain, over and over, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. :)

Next baby, I would definitely consider a home birth or at least a water birth...I'm so curious about it after birthing in a hospital. We had an overall great experience but David and I both agree that hospitals need to work on owing more empathy to their patients.

3rd stage of labor - placenta has been birthed.

3rd stage of labor - placenta has been birthed.

Roman was born 2/8 at 9:20 am, 7 lbs and 8 oz...right on his due date!

[Birth Matters NYC] class really did provide such an honest lense into what to expect, we felt ahead of the game, so thank you so much for that!

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