Giving Birth Again 11 Months Later
How Our Little Family Grew
Luckily for me, giving birth for the first time had turned out to be a much more enjoyable and less harrowing experience that I had anticipated. The fact that I had such a pleasant experience the first time definitely contributed to the fact that I ended up pregnant with baby number two when my son was only three months old. Everyone thought my husband and I were nuts for having a second kid so soon, and I can’t say we planned for her to come so soon. However, I knew I wanted my kids to be close in age and it had taken a while to conceive our first baby, so I felt more excited than overwhelmed at the thought of having another baby so soon.
Since my first birth experience went pretty smoothly and my first baby turned out to be a pretty mellow boy, everyone who had more than one child assured me that the second time around would not be so simple. Obviously, this made me a little worried, but since I had gone through childbirth before, I wasn’t overly anxious. The only thing I was really worried about was the possibility of my epidural not working or not having enough time to get an epidural when it was time to deliver. Thankfully, my second birth experience was even easier than the first. Although it was easy, it is still a story I like to share and remember.
June 9th, 2017
After a night of not great sleep, which basically defines all nights of sleep during the last weeks of pregnancy, my husband left for work. Since my son wasn’t awake yet I tried to fall back to sleep, but I started to feel a few cramps in my abdominal area. I was 39 weeks and two days pregnant, and I went into labor with my son when I was 39 weeks and 1 day, so I knew this could be the day we had been waiting for. I thought back on how much time I spent laboring at home when I went into labor the first time, so I decided I didn’t need to worry my husband just yet.
I took a shower and washed my hair. I was still feeling what I was pretty sure were contractions, but they weren’t too bad. As I started drying my hair, the contractions started to become a bit more intense and I changed my mind about letting my husband know what was going on. I texted him that I thought I was going into labor and he should come home. About five minutes later, the contractions, which I was confident now were contractions, got much worse and I texted him to hurry up and make sure his mom could come over to watch our son.
Eventually, my husband came home and I was ready to go. He was talking to his mom about work issues and I politely reminded him that I was in pain. We got to the car and he set a stack of invoices on the hood of the car which then started to blow away. He started chasing them, and I less politely reminded him that I was in quite a bit of pain. He collected his papers and we started to make our way to the hospital. I timed the contractions for a little while, but they started coming so hard and so quickly that there was really no point. My husband kept talking to me, about what I cannot remember now, and I had to tell him to stop talking a few times so I could breathe through each contraction.
We checked in at the hospital and were put in a partitioned section of a room in triage. I had to pee in a cup, something I always hated doing at nine-plus months pregnant, and put on a hospital gown. The contractions continued to get more and more intense. As I fiddled with my hospital gown eventually I realized that it was missing some snaps or ties or something because there was no way to get that thing on. We asked for a new hospital gown and I continued to focus on my breathing. The nurse checked to see how dilated I was. She told me I was seven centimeters. I was shocked because I was only two centimeters when I got to the hospital when I was in labor with my son. She told me she wasn’t surprised because I had “that look.” I assume she meant the look of pain because these were the most intense contractions I had ever felt.
Another nurse was assigned to me and she assured me that she would get me my epidural as soon as possible. She told me the hospital was overcrowded, but not to worry because she would be on top of whoever she needed to be on top of to make sure they could get me that epidural. I cannot describe how grateful I was for her commitment to get me some relief!
At last, I was administered my epidural. It was a little bit more uncomfortable this time compared to when I was in labor with my son. I think it had to do with the fact that we were crammed in a small area in triage and my contractions were much more painful than before. However, 20 minutes later I was feeling great since I wasn’t feeling a thing anymore.
My amazing nurse worked hard to make sure we could get into a delivery room as soon as possible. She assured me that the hospital staff would get sick of her bothering them about when the next room was available and we would be taken up as soon as possible. A little while later we were in our room and I was answering the laundry list of questions about my preferences when it came to the delivery.
It sounds a little odd, but the next few hours were pretty uneventful. I hung out with my husband watching Gilmore Girls and That 70s Show while the nurse came in and out to monitor my pain and contractions. We mostly just chit chatted about how she should watch Gilmore Girls and how my experience of giving birth the first time went. Unlike last time, I was not too tired since I hadn’t been up all night. My epidural was doing its job perfectly and I felt no pain.
Eventually, I was dilated about eight centimeters but my water still hadn’t broken. The doctor came in and broke my water and I still didn’t feel a thing. More time passed and soon I was dilated enough to push.
Like the first time I gave birth, I pushed a few times with just my nurse and my husband in the room. Unlike the first time, I still didn’t feel any of the contractions. I could feel pressure and I could tell I was pushing, but that was all I felt. After about ten minutes of pushing it was time for the doctor to come in.
My doctor got to the room, I pushed two more times, and my daughter was born! I couldn’t get over the fact that I was still so comfortable. I had actually continued pushing after she was born and my doctor and nurse had to tell me to stop because the baby was completely out! I was also surprised that she was a girl. We never found out the gender of the baby beforehand and since this pregnancy felt pretty much the same as my first pregnancy I figured I was having a boy. I had heard so many stories about how being pregnant with a boy is completely different than being pregnant with a girl. In my experience, that is not the case at all. The other surprise was the fact that my baby girl had a full head of dark brown hair. My son was born almost completely bald, so I was not expecting that.
After a little while I was able to walk around again. Luckily, I had only needed one stitch this time, so I figured that my recovery turned out to be a little bit easier this time around. I was able to nurse my daughter and eat lunch. We finally decided on her name, Hannah. It was a name I had always liked and it was a palindrome just like her brother, Otto.
We were put in a postpartum room and I couldn’t believe that I had gone from feeling the first contraction to being in a recovery room eight hours later. We had time to talk to family members and let everyone know Hannah had arrived! My husband did a great job taking care of us and made sure we had everything we needed. I enjoyed spending time as just the three of us together before we would start our lives as a family of four.
June 10th, 2017
After spending the night at the hospital and having all of her little tests and check ups completed, we were ready to go home. Otto got to meet his baby sister in the hospital before we left and he looked huge in his 11-month-old body compared to her. As we drove home I reflected on my second pregnancy and birth experience. I was very lucky to have, aside from the first couple of hours of contractions and a dilly dallying husband, an almost stress and pain free second birth. My next adventure would be to experience life with two babies so close in age. Now that Hannah is almost two, and even with a third baby thrown in the mix, I can say it has been so much fun watching my kids grow up together and become best friends.