When I announced that I was pregnant for a second time, people kept telling me that each pregnancy and labor is different. But were they right…
As with my first child, I did not experience morning sickness. I did have to eat on a regular basis but otherwise I felt great. I gained the same amount of weight as my first child, too. The only difference I experienced was that I did not have sciatic but this time I had leg cramps. Not sure which one is worse.
As my due date of November 30th drew near, I really thought this pregnancy would be different. For some reason I thought I would deliver early. However, our baby had a different idea. With my 1st child I was 2 days overdue and apparently that would be the same scenario this time around as well. I was getting very antsy for the birth of this baby, walking didn’t educe labor, sexual intercourse didn’t work either (it did for my first pregnancy), so I resorted to taking blue cohosh. I did that for one day and did not notice anything different. That night I went to bed like any other night. On December 2nd at 12:45am (2 days after my due date), I woke up from what I thought was a contraction. After it, I fell back asleep. At 1:00am, I felt another contraction so I got out of bed. At 1:10am I experienced another one. At this point, I decided to wake my husband (Mike) and tell him I thought I was in labor. He joined me on the couch and said, “I think I’m awake for absolutely no reason at all.” Well, the contractions kept happening and were now 6 to 8 minutes apart but were not very long in duration. I decided to call Paula. She felt that the contractions were not very consistent yet and thus didn’t warrant a trip to the birth center but it was up to us. Considering my first labor only lasted 6 hours and we had an hour drive to the birth center we were all a little nervous about waiting around too long. We told Paula that we would start driving to Menomonie and would touch base with her when we got to Durand (a 1/2 way point). We woke up our daughter and got into our new car. (On a side note: one week before my due date a deer hit my car and shattered my driver window. We were planning on selling that car anyways, so my husband went on a mad hunt for a new vehicle right away. The only other vehicle we had was truck and thus would not have enough room to drive all 4 of us back home after the baby’s birth.) If the contractions were not getting closer together, we would continue on to Knapp and stay at our friend’s house. However, on our way to Durand the contractions started coming every 2-3 minutes and were about 50 seconds in length. In Durand, we decided to go straight to the birth center and called Paula. Paula was in the Twin Cities, so Savita would be there when we arrived. On the way there we saw a deer; oddly we saw one on our drive with our first pregnancy too. A couple of blocks from the birth center I felt really nauseated and asked Mike to pull over and open my window. However, the sensation pasted and we continued to the birth center. Mike dropped me off at the birth center side walk and I walked to the door as he parked the car and got our daughter out. Our daughter, Hannah did not fall asleep the entire drive.
I don’t think she was scared, instead I think she was really curious as to what was happening. I had thought I would birth in the purple room because my daughter was born in the blue room. However, when I walked upstairs I discovered my husband had laid our daughter down to sleep in the purple room—so the blue room it was again. Savita checked where I was at which was 7cm. Just like my first pregnancy, I was experiencing back labor however it didn’t seem as bad this time around. During contractions I would lean forward and a midwife would press on my lower back. This helped a lot to relieve the pain from the opening that was occurring. I don’t really remember what Hannah and Mike were doing during all of this. I do know that Mike was seldom in the room as there were already 3 midwives helping me, plus he was busy entertaining Hannah, who decided she did not want to sleep. The option of going into the tub was discussed but I decided against it. I birthed with Hannah in the tub and decided I wanted to do something different this time. As my labor progressed, I threw up (just like my first pregnancy, although this time I managed to make it to the toilet). At one point, I was leaning over the bed and my daughter walked underneath me. The day prior she had sprayed some of my perfume all over her and despite a bath the smell was still on her. When she came near me all I could smell was the perfume. I looked at my husband and said, “Get her away from me.” As soon as I said that, I threw up all over the bed. Mike immediately took her out of the room. Savita checked me again and we discovered I had not progressed very far yet—granted it had probably only been an hour and my cervix was not thinning equally front to back so she advised me to labor on my side in bed. At one point, she asked me how it felt and all I remember saying was, “It sucks.” We discovered while laboring like this that the amniotic sac was preventing the head for dropping down. So the decision was made to break my water. As my water was broke I was surrounded by warm fluid. Having my water broke was all it took for labor to take a quick turn—pushing was coming quickly. I remember kneeling on the bed as the head was crowning. I was encouraged to take bigger inhales (which was hard for some reason). They continued to monitor the baby’s heart rate with each contraction that happened. I wasn’t alarmed but I knew that my breath was very important but I still found it hard to inhale deeply and long. As the head was crowning, I forgot how much that hurt and remembered the phrase “ring of fire.” Yep, that is what it felt like–Simply no other way to describe it. During all of this Mike and Hannah finally appeared in the room. Savita then asked me to flip onto my back, so they all helped me move onto my back and then they pulled my hips closer to the edge of the bed. As I gave 3 pushes, I could see Mike holding Hannah at the foot of the bed. During one of the pushed Savita turned the baby, I couldn’t hide how much that hurt so I screamed. But with that turn the baby successfully came out and was placed on my stomach in blankets—it was now 5:45am. (I later learned she turned the baby so that I would have minimal tearing. So in the end I was thankful for the terrible pain of it.) The baby was a little blue so oxygen was given. I asked what it was and no one knew. Mike said he couldn’t see due to the blankets and the attention the baby was getting by the midwives. Well the baby turned out to be a little boy, Kaleb Michael weighing 7 pounds, 1 ounce and was 20.5 inches long. As they continued to give him oxygen, Mike was able to cut the cord while still holding on to Hannah. Due to the quickness of the pushing phase the placenta was high so I had to wait a while (probably 10 min) for the placenta to move down so I could deliver it—which was out in about 2 pushes.
My daughter’s version of my birth is much shorter than mine. It simply goes, “momma screamed baby popped out.” Well, it wasn’t exactly like that but it was pretty quick, probably only 15 min of pushing and a total of 5 hours in labor.
So was this pregnancy and labor different than my first??? On many accounts no.
Read more Natural Childbirth Stories to prepare for the normal, natural physiological process of birth: