A New Baby Joins Our Family
On August 23rd, 2017, baby Alyssa was born.
We had been expecting this one for 9 months, obviously, and two years after Max was born we had an idea of what to expect. Still, every baby is different and no two labors are the same.
My mother had come down from Ottawa to stay with us and help with Max when the new baby arrived. We bought the most uncomfortable $99 futon ever made from WalMart and set up a little bedroom in the basement for her.
I had left my job at the airport the day before. It was a day early but Katya and I had talked and we just knew that the baby was coming. Like small tremors, before an earthquake hits, this baby had been letting us know she was on the way!
That day I had taken Katya to the OB. The baby had turned and dropped, and Katya was a few centimeters dilated. "I don't want to see you here again!" The OB joked.
Katya Goes Into LabourThat night, at midnight, I was brushing my teeth and Katya was laying in bed reading. Suddenly she poked her head into the washroom. "We need to go to the hospital." Instantly I knew why, but asked anyways, toothbrush sticking out the side of my mouth "Why?"
"My water broke." She replied calmly, and then set off to gather up the hospital bag we had prepared.
Surprisingly, I remained calm too and shrugged, finished brushing my teeth and then made my way downstairs. "Mom?" I yelled down to the basement.
"Ya?" She yelled back up.
"We're going to the hospital. Katya's water broke."
"Okay!" She hollered.
We got in the car (Katya put a plastic garbage bag on the passenger seat) and drove down to Guelph General Hospital and arrived around 1 am. The security guard waved us through. It was obvious why we were there.
We went up to the fifth floor, the "Family Birthing Unit" and buzzed the security door. A nurse answered. "Yes?" she said. "Umm, we're here to have a baby?" I replied. "Okay, come in."
They got Katya into a gown and strapped a bunch of IVs to her arm. Katya's contractions started to kick in by about 2 am. There was no long, gradual lead-up to it like with Max. This time it was just sudden as if the baby were saying "Let's get this over with.
They got Katya a birthing room and at 3 am they got the epidural in. Katya and the nurse chatted away and I stretched out on a little bench in the room, propped my head up on the hospital bag, and dozed off.
Katya Gives Birth To A Baby GirlAround 4 am the friendly nurse checked Katya and said: "Oh wow, you're completely dilated now!" Another nurse came in and they said: "Let's just do some practice pushing." Unlike with Maxim's birth, where I got to hold Katya's hand and talk to her during the process, this time I was made to stand to one side.
Katya did a couple of "practice" pushes, when suddenly I saw a freakin' baby's head come out of her! What the heck???
There was no OB there, or any panic or excitement. Just the two nurses and us. I could see the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby's neck, and one nurse, working quickly and efficiently, cut it away. Then they made Katya push once more and with a "pop" the baby's shoulders and arms came out.
The rest of her slithered out and the nurses confirmed it was a girl. The ultrasound technicians know their stuff!
They immediately placed the baby skin-to-skin with Katya and covered the two of them with a blanket. Our little baby girl was here!
I send a group message out on Messenger that the baby was here.
From water breaking to birth it lasted 5 hours. Mommy and baby were both healthy and fine, in fact, the baby went right for some food the moment she was laid on her mother's chest!
Maxim Meets His SisterI went home around 6:30 am to take Maxim to daycare. We had agreed beforehand that it was important not to break his routine. He and my mother ("Ba-ba", as he calls her) were eating porridge and having fun. After dropping him off at daycare I went to bed and slept until noon. Then I went back to the hospital. Katya was walking around and changing the baby and acting as if everything were normal. It was weird.
That evening I picked Max up from daycare and brought him to see his mother and new sister. He was definitely confused and, more dramatically, not impressed. Jealousy was definitely in the air, but he wasn't even two yet so there was no way to explain to him.
Katya and Alyssa Come HomeThe next morning the hospital released Katya and the baby with a clean bill of health. She was in there just over 24 hours!
Alyssa has decided that she doesn't like to sleep alone, and also that she's going to never stop feeding. Maxim has gotten used to her, although he freaks out anytime I hold her. Lately, he's started giving her his toys, which she doesn't always appreciate. He's also started to give her the occasional kiss, which is adorable especially if you've ever seen a two-year-old try to kiss someone.
Our little girl's name is Alyssa, in keeping with our tradition to find names that sound good in both Russian and English, and our family now has four people in it!