The Birth of Otis Alvydas | San Antonio Birth Photographer

I usually write birth stories from my perspective, but when I saw one of my best friends, Krista, wrote her birth story out I asked her if I could use it for this blog post and she said yes!

So, The Birth of Otis Alvydas from his amazing mothers perspective:

“My little man is growing so fast! I don’t know how that’s possible, I feel like he was just born yesterday. I figured it’s time to sit down and write out his birth story. I’ve actually been trying to get this done for a few weeks now, but life has been crazy so here we go.

I had been having false labor on and off for a few weeks, I was discouraged every morning when I woke up and the labor had stopped. It would come and go throughout the day, but never seemed to stick. That Sunday didn’t seem any different at first. I had a group text with two of my friends, Vanessa and Natali, who we planned on attending my birth. Every day they would ask if today was the day and every day is was the same answer – “having some contractions but they’re irregular and not getting more intense” – that was my answer that day as well. I went through my normal routine, tried to lay down for a nap but barely slept, woke up and started to play with Olive. I was still having contractions, so I took the yoga ball to the playroom and sat on it and bounced as Olive and I played. I hadn’t timed my contractions because they weren’t getting worse at all. Olive and I ended up going to the living room to watch a movie, yoga ball in tow, while my mother in law made dinner. Alex texted me asking how I was feeling and I replied “been having contractions for a while, but they’re still not getting worse.” He asked if I had timed them and I said no, I had been playing with Olive and didn’t have a chance to. I also sent a text in our group text saying that I was still having contractions, they weren’t getting worse but maybe this meant they finally would. One of these friends, Vanessa, was also my birth photographer. I was cautious to tell anyone because of all the false labor. Just a few nights before, I thought things were getting real and texted my doula and midwife, only to go to bed and wake up to nothing -again. I didn’t want that to happen.

Alex came home a little early, probably around 8:30pm. We sat down for dinner and he timed my contractions. They were about 4 minutes apart but not getting intense at all. We talked about texting the doula and midwife and decided to go ahead and text our doula, Josie. Josie asked if she should come over and we decided that she should since she was with me during Olive’s labor and maybe she would be able to recognize if this was the real thing or not. I told my friends that Josie was coming over to see what she thought and Vanessa decided to come over as well – just in case. After hanging out at the house for a little bit, my contractions were still regular but not getting more intense. We decided to meet the midwives at the birth center to get checked, just in case. I was still walking and talking normal though, so I didn’t expect that anything was really happening. It was almost 11pm, I hugged Olive just in case these were her last moments as an only child. Told her that we were going to see the midwife and maybe baby brother would be born and she would stay home with her grandma for now. Got her ready for bed and we left, Vanessa in tow.

We arrived at the birth center at 11pm and I got checked…I was at a 7. Got hooked up to my antibiotics, put my phone away and tried to mentally prepare myself for labor. I remember Josie, Vanessa, and I talking about when we thought the baby would be here. Vanessa and Josie said about 12:45am since my labor with Olive went pretty quick. I said probably like 1:30-1:45am. It was a beautiful night outside, the night after a full moon, so we went outside to walk around. While we were outside, Natali pulled up. After hugging her, we continued to make circles around the parking lot. My contractions starting getting a little more intense and I would stop and hold onto Alex and then continue walking. Eventually we decided to go inside, I was eager to get into the tub. I’ve dreamed of having a water birth for so long. I put those desires aside for Olive’s birth and was determined to make it happen this time. I got into the tub and my contractions were still very manageable. It was nice to sit around with people I love and we just talked about whatever – as thing progressed, I would stop talking during a contraction and just get quiet and try to relax. I also remember just being SO TIRED and wanting to take a nap, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I had no idea what time it was or how long we had been there.

Eventually my contractions started to get worse and I was feeling nauseous. I had eaten a pretty heavy dinner, unaware we would be at the birth center a few hours later. I absolutely hate throwing up, usually it makes me cry because that’s how much I hate it…so I tried to hold it in. At this point, I started making noises during contractions. The best I an describe them is grunts? I knew Julie and Robin made their way into the room to see how things were going once they heard the noises. I switched positions in the tub and sat sideways so my legs were a little crunched up and Alex was behind me, on the edge of the tub so I could lean back on him. I was still very nauseous and I had to control myself from getting sick with each contraction. This made me lose a lot of my focus, since I was trying to keep it in. I just wanted to get Otis out before I got sick, I didn’t think I could handle throwing up while being that far along in labor. I remember saying out loud quite a few times that I was over this and I just wanted him out.  I started pushing in this position and I could feel that he had moved down more. However, my legs were super scrunched up and when I tried to move them to where Robin had suggested, I was feeling a pinching in my hip that was preventing me from being comfortable. The pinching isn’t anything new, I’ve dealt with it on and off since I was in ballet as a kid and had been seeing the chiropractor during my pregnancy for severe hip pain. I continued to try to push, even though I felt like it was a little premature, but I was determined not to get sick. I even asked Robin to try to break my water to make things move faster. She tried but it hurt so I told her to stop. Then it happened, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. Alex caught most of it in a bag, but I still felt it all over me and I needed to get out of the water (because we know what else happens in labor )  and get clean water. I just couldn’t sit in throw up water. I asked to get out and if we could refill the tub.

As I got out and stood up, a contraction started and I remember saying “I can’t do this standing up” and I heard someone (Robin, Julie, Josie?) say to get me to the bed. The next part all happened very fast. Somehow I got to the bed and laid down. Alex was trying to put pillows behind me but my contractions were intense and I had to push. I remember yelling at him to not move and stay exactly where he was, not knowing he was awkwardly half-way on the bed with the pillows. I also felt like I was in a awkward position and not comfortable but there wasn’t much we could do. There was lots of yelling during contractions at this point, as I was pushing. I still wasn’t fully in the zone after throwing up and with being uncomfortable and everything happening so fast. Josie asked me if I needed some guidance with pushing and I said yes. People were holding my legs, but I couldn’t tell you who was where.  I heard a loud POP! My water broke…no my water exploded! Soon I felt his head getting closer to coming out and was pushing as I felt the “ring of fire” – I could hear people telling me to slow down but it wasn’t registering. Finally, Julie (I think) got through to me and I heard her saying “Krista I need you to listen to me and slow down, small push.” His head was out. I felt another contraction and knew with this one, his body would follow…except it didn’t. Another one came and his body wasn’t coming out as easy as Olive’s had. Little did I know, Robin actually had to pull him a little to get his shoulders out. She instructed me how to push and then he was out and on my chest and I just laid back with relief and exhaustion, he was here, at 3:20am weighing 7lbs 13.5oz. I remember looking down at him and he had these huge hands that he quickly put in his mouth to suck on. Pushing lasted somewhere between 5-10 minutes.

Then the fun part of delivering the placenta came. Alex didn’t want to cut the cord, so I cut it. We knew there was a possibility that I would lose more blood than normal, so we also planned on pitocin if needed. I ended up needing it, so we hooked me up to that as I got cleaned up. I texted my mom a photo and put my phone down and we laid down in bed. Alex slept first and then he and Otis went out of the room and I got some sleep once my adrenaline went down some. Alex’s mom brought Olive to meet her brother and see us around noon and we went home around 12:45pm.

This labor was so different than my labor with Olive. For starters, I had zero back labor which made contractions a lot easier to get through. Pushing felt harder, even though it was quicker (5-10 minutes versus 30 minutes) and he wasn’t posterior. I don’t think I had mentally prepared myself for pushing and I was so thrown off from being sick and then how quick everything happened after getting out of the tub. I think I was more mean. I don’t remember being mean at all with Olive. This time, not only did I yell at Alex for the pillows but every time Julie went to monitor Otis’ heartbeat, I’m pretty sure I told her not to touch me. I felt a lot more comfortable not being in the hospital and I had two amazing midwives. I can’t wait to see all of the photos, you know I’ll post them. “

I have read Krista’s story maybe 3 or 4 times, and it never gets old.  She accounts for events so perfectly.  Krista – It was an honor to attend your beautiful birth, I love you so much <3

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