So the second time around I was like, “I SO got this.” Been there, done that, ain’t my first rodeo . . . I was probably a little over confident. But you know I wasn’t worried. I knew what to expect in a general sense. I knew that each pregnancy and delivery can be different and usually is. But I wasn’t nervous or anxious like the first time around. Why? Because I had already prepared. I had already done all the homework.
I was pregnant through the fall and winter this time, which was SOOOO much better than the first time because I wasn’t so dang hot all the time. BUT . . . I had the worst cold I had ever had in my ENTIRE life!! Through the month of December, no doubt. I even got better and then it came back, full force two days later to last another two weeks. Never experienced that (*eye roll*).
Anyway, I tried to do everything the same this time around–diet, exercise, kegels, pelvic thrusts. Only I didn’t worry about the relaxation meditation with my husband holding a pressure point. I simply followed the Bradley relaxation concepts as I got in bed and went to sleep for the night.
Anyway, I was 12 days before my due date and I went in for the regular check to see if I had dilated at all. I’d been having period like cramps for almost two weeks down really low, so I knew I was in really early labor. Doc said I was 4cm! I was surprised to be that far along! He said I could go into labor any minute now.
“Alright,” I thought. “I’ll bring home my stuff from work tomorrow and pack my bag, and start cleaning the house and making frozen dinners,” I conceded grudgingly. I had out all that off because I thought I still had more time–lesson learned. That night, 4 am, I went into labor. No worries though. I showered and packed my bag while we waited for my mom to come stay with our 18 month old. I waited until I was about four minutes apart before leaving so I could have breakfast.
I always have that fear that I’ll get sent home if I’m not far along. That has to be SO frustrating for first time mothers. To no avail, I was 6cm at the hospital. Yay! I was walking around my room, eating popsicles, we were even signing electronic documents for our new house building contract. It may be boring for couples who’ve had an epidural because it seems like nothing is happening; not the case here.
well, I wasn’t progressing very fast, so I started walking around the maternity floor with my husband carrying my monitoring cables. I walked in fast circles for an entire hour. So I thought, “Okay, I’m going to be at least eight or nine centimeters now, I got this!” NOPE. I was still 6cm. So we decided to break my water. Now with my first baby we didn’t break my water until I was fully dilated, this time would be different. So I wasn’t sure how much stronger things would get, but I didn’t want to wait all day. I wanted to get down to business.
Sure enough, my next contraction was looooong. And I mean LONG–like three minutes. The nurse even commented on it as I laid there exhaling in exasperation. But I got through it, and it wasn’t that terrible, actually. She checked me again and I was FULLY dilated, believe it or not!! I had gone up 4cm in three minutes! I thought that had to be a record somewhere. So the nurse left and said to let her know when I felt like pushing. She stepped out for two seconds and that bear-down urge immediately hit with the next contraction. I immediately told my husband to “get everyone back in here.” My doctor hadn’t been in all morning because he was doing a small surgery but was confident he’d be back in time.
So I started pushing, sitting up, nearly squatting, relaxing all my muscles except those to push. I think I only pushed four or five times. It’s a weird visual when you look ahead and three or four strangers are just staring at your particulars, but by then I certainly didn’t care. I was PUSHING! I was doing this! My doctor came barely in time to catch the baby. This time I wasn’t numb so I felt that ‘ring of fire’ you’ve heard so much about. But all in all, I had so many hormones and endorphins pulsing around, it wasn’t as immense as I had imagined. Feeling all those little limbs bump around and pull out, now THAT was really weird. But it was over just like that–pushing for only half an hour, great!
Our beautiful baby boy #2 arrived, get this: 11 days early, on the 11th of the month, at 11:11am. How’s that for coincidence? But I don’t believe in coincidences, especially around dealings with the tender spirits in our lives.
The best part about this birth, was actually right after the delivery. Nurse came to transfer me to my recovery room. I didn’t want to ride in that horribly uncomfortable wheel chair. I didn’t want pressure ‘down there’ for the moment. I still had endorphins fresh, so I chose to walk. That’s right, you read it: walk. My husband pushed the little baby cart with our son, the nurse brought the wheelchair just in case, and I walked to my next room. Honestly, it felt so GOOD to just walk. Everyone we passed was nervous for me at first, but then SUPER congratulatory and impressed, even beyond impressed. Apparently, I was the talk of the staff and entire floor for the next few days. I don’t share that to boast, I share that to show you that it if I can do it, you can do it too.
I have never regretted choosing my path of birthing my children naturally, and I certainly didn’t that day. My son was healthy, no problems, good color, no delays in going home. And to this day he’s been healthy and strong ever since . . . entirely worth my sacrifice. Oh, but sacrifice isn’t the right word–entirely worth my decision to bring him into the world the way God designed. You can’t get any better than that.