I really should have gotten on the stick and written this closer to the actual event. It feels like it was sooo long ago that Rose came into our lives. She’s such a sweet baby. The best word to describe Thea was curious. Sweet is the best word for Rose.
Birth Story #2. Let me just put this out there up front, I didn’t go natural this time. Here’s the story.
All leading up to having Rose, I was planning on giving birth naturally again. I had such a good experience with Thea, that it wasn’t really even a decision this time.
I was ten days early with Thea, and I had heard the first one usually isn’t early, so I expected Rose to be earlier than Thea, which this pregnancy, although pregnancy is relatively easy for me, was very much more uncomfortable than my first, so I was very ready for Rose to get out of me. However, Rose just would not come! I was due the 28th of December. On the 20th, I got my membranes stripped, which my doctor said was most effective way to encourage my body to naturally go into labor. But, honestly, with so much controversy surrounding just about every aspect of labor, I was unsure of what this was going to do to my labor experience.
I had one contraction that same day, and finally started having contractions the next morning. It was nice though to actually know what a contraction was this time around. At this point, we went to the store to get a bigger carseat for Thea, so Rose could have the little carseat. Last time, I was having contractions all day, so we went and ran errands all day. But when we got to the store, I was having contractions like every 3 minutes. We got to the section for carseats and I turned to Andrew, “I think it’s time to go to the hospital.”
“Already?” He asked. Boom, another contraction. Yeah, baby. Now.
For weeks, I had been at 80% effaced and was dialated to 1 cm. For.weeks. When we got to the hospital, I was to a 5. Last time when I got to the hospital, I was also dialated to a 5. And it took me 5 hours to be completely dialated. 5 hours! Last time, I had ignorance on my side. I had no idea how long it was going to be. I just mental battled my way through it a piece at a time. This time, after about an hour, I was like, there is no way I’m going to be able to do this for 4 more hours. I hadn’t prepared like I had with Thea. I figured giving birth was like riding a bike. Once you knew how to do it, you just knew how to do it. I remembered all the things I did to keep relaxed for Thea, but my head was not in the game like it was that first time. I gave in. I wanted an epidural, and I wanted it right now.
My nurse asked if I wanted her to check how far I was dialated. Freak no, lady, do I want your fingers anywhere near my body right now. I’m having a hard enough time keeping calm without extra pressure down there. Besides, I honestly didn’t want to know how much further I had to go, or worse, for them to tell me that I was too close now for an epidural.
And.let.me.tell.you. Once that medicine kicked in, it was like nothing was even happening. I wanted to just take a nap. I couldn’t feel a thing!
I looked at Andrew, “Are kidding me? This is what birth is like for everyone else?! This is cake.”
My OB came in and said, “I’ll have them check how far you are dialated and they’ll call me when you are close.”
They checked. I was at a 10. The nurse ran down the hall to catch my doc before she got far.
Into the stirrups I went. Already knowing how to push, we were off. Pushed three go rounds and out she flew (literally she rocketed out.)
I ripped, like last time, so my doc stitched me up, which I couldn’t feel (stitches not medicated was the absolute worst part of Thea’s birth…ouch.) And that was that. Done-zo.
- Epidurals are sweet. I’m glad that I have now experienced both.
- I was pretty disappointed to hear that I had made it to a ten when the epidural kicked in. I was so close! But I didn’t expect my labor to be so fast. But it made sense why I felt like my contractions were so hard to get through this time compared to last time. I thought I just couldn’t remember, but for my body to dialate to a 10 in 24 hours compared to 4 hours is a big difference. Those contractions were a lot more powerful and escalated quicker. If I had known I only needed to hang in there for another 45 minutes when I asked for the shot, I would have just dug in my heels. Maybe. Man, maybe not. Those contractions were pretty terrible.
- I went natural the first time because I wanted to be in control; I wanted to work with my body to give birth, not to have birth happen to my body. Although I couldn’t feel the pain of the contraction, I could still feel the pulling of those muscles, so I knew when I was contracting. Also, although I didn’t recognize that it was time to push, I did feel that I was supposed to keep pushing that last time even though my nurse was done counting. I could feel where Rose was.
- I was glad I was medicated this time because my stitches from last time had healed funky (according to my doc; I didn’t notice), so she spent quite a bit of time stitching me up pretty this time. It was nice to not feel that.
- I still think that with the next one I will go natural. It was nice to not have pain, but honestly, there is just something about giving birth and feeling the whole experience that I just can’t explain. It is such a high afterwards. I truly look forward to labor. Isn’t that nuts?
- Having the expectations for subsequent births being quicker than my first one is definitely helpful. When they told me I was only at a 5, I seriously thought I was in for another 5 hours. I had heard before that labors go quicker after the first one, but I didn’t realize that meant 6x faster!
So, all in all, I’m grateful for a different experience. I now feel like I know both sides of the coin. And although I’m slightly bugged I didn’t hold out this time, I am happy to know that not every scare of getting an epidural is completely true.