You know how you try to block something from your mind if it was a less-than-pleasant experience? That’s the only explanation I have for not remembering much of my labor and delivery of our second child, our first boy.
After 27 grueling hours and a near C-section with the first, to say that I was less than thrilled about a repeat process would be a bit of an understatement. It may explain why I don’t remember where I was when I went into labor, or any of the prep for, much less the trip to, the birth home.
I do remember that, thankfully, my water did not break until the very end, unlike my first labor. I remember laboring for 28 ½ hours at the newly opened birth home (yes, that’s right, longer than the first one), spending, as far as I can recollect, nearly all of that 28.5 hours laying on a bed in the back birthing room.
What I don’t remember is…why? Why did no one get me up and walk me around, at least every hour? Why did they let me lay there hour after hour? Was I being a stinker and refusing? Who knows. I knew one of the midwives was there the whole time; I don’t remember which one. I know Harriet was there for the birth, but not sure if she spent the entire time with us or not.
I do remember people telling me before the labor that, don’t worry, 2nd babies always come faster. Who made up that old wives’ tale?? I held onto it, though…for the first 27 hours. Apparently our baby had never heard that rule before, because he flat-out ignored it.
What I remember most clearly about this birth is the unusual and somewhat comical end.
The end in sight
After 28 ½ hours of practically no progress, it was decided (and by this time I was too exhausted to argue) that we should get up and transfer across the street to the hospital where, once again, I’d be given just a bit more time to labor before a decision was made about a C-section. Seems like we’d been here, done this…
Not surprisingly, though, just the energy spent in that not too strenuous movement was enough to really get things going. I remember feeling a strong urgency to get to the room, and needing to use the bathroom, which they allowed as soon as we got there. And suddenly, I remember thinking, this baby is coming!
You never saw nurses, a midwife, and now the OB move so fast in getting me out of that bathroom. They kept insisting I needed an IV, but my veins were not cooperating, and I kept telling them there wasn’t time. In fact, I didn’t actually make it all the way up onto the bed. I got as far as on my hands and knees and decided, that’s it – not going any further! I remember Barry, the OB, heaving a quick resigned sigh and mentioning that he’d never delivered a baby this way before. I guess there’s always a first time!
Our first son was born only half an hour after moving across the street from the birth home. If I (or anyone) had known that’s all it would take, I would have been up doing laps around the birth home hours earlier! That little guy must have moved through the birth canal so fast nobody had time to blink. His head was perfectly round, no molding at all. He was adorable! I forgave him for all the hours of pain he put me through.
Giving mom a run for her money
He wasn’t quite done, though. What I especially remember clearly about our first son is that he gave me a run for my money. In his first 6 weeks of life, demanding (and hungry) little booger that he was, I did not sleep for more than an hour and a half at a time. He ALWAYS wanted to eat (in his mid- thirties, he hasn’t changed much), or be held (that’s about the same, too – just ask his wife, who is happy to comply!).
About the time I was sure I was headed for the loony bin due to sheer exhaustion, he finally eased up…and stretched it to 2 hours between feedings. But we survived, and God blessed our little family. What treasures those two little ones were (okay, still are!).
My mother used to accuse me of laughing at my children, that I was going to give them complexes. But they were just such a delight! How could anyone not enjoy the antics and special moments afforded by each newborn/toddler/child? Well, except for the moments they seriously try your patience, of course. Fortunately, those moments are often forgotten…like long, difficult labors.
What was your second labor like? Was it shorter than the first like it’s “supposed” to be, or longer?