My pregnancy was similarly easy, and it went by so fast. That’s probably because I spent the time chasing my toddler around. I wasn’t nervous at all, just super excited to meet our new baby boy. One thing I did struggle with: the prospect of changing our lives and how it would affect our 2-and-a-half year-old son once his brother came into the world.
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There really weren’t any major signs my baby was ready to arrive. It was two days before my due date, and after a routine doctor’s appointment, I knew my body was prepping for labor. I was three centimeters dilated and 50 percent effaced (which is what happens when the cervix preps for delivery)—in other words, things were moving along! I was also feeling a little bit of pressure, but no pain. I was originally scheduled for an induction on Monday. I knew from experience with my first pregnancy that I don’t feel contractions (yep, I’m one lucky woman), so I was actually worried I’d go into labor and not know it.
I called my doctor and told him about the pressure I was feeling, and he recommended I get induced that day. Fantastic! I had no time to get nervous or stressed. I got a ton of sleep the night before so I was well rested and prepped to take on this labor thing.
So my husband, my mom, and I got into the car to head over to the hospital. (My mom was wedged between two car seats in the backseat, ha!). But I wasn’t anxious at all, it was a very calm vibe all around.
I got to the hospital and they checked me, but not much had changed. I was still three centimeters dilated, but now I was 80 percent effaced. Even though my contractions were two to three minutes apart—that’s some serious stuff—I still felt nada. (Yes, I know I’m so, so lucky.) They started me on the medication Pitocin, which induces contractions. One hour later, I was four centimeters dilated, and they broke my water. After that, the contractions started coming. But they were no big deal. They still felt like mild period cramps. I can handle this, I thought.
My nurse was laughing at me. I’m a natural chatterbox and was easily gabbing through my contractions. She was watching my contractions on the monitor and was amazed that I could still speak. I was texting my girlfriends back and forth to update them, and we were all joking about how I am not normal. Then, I started telling my husband I wanted a third. He told me to get this one out first and then we’d talk.
When the cramping started to get more intense, I was afraid that if I waited too long, I’d miss my window of opportunity to have an epidural. After all, my first baby was a quick delivery. I hated getting it, I hate needles but I think my husband took it worse. I remember glancing at my husband after I got it and he looked so queasy from watching the epidural. Apparently, the anesthesiologist had held up his hand and it was covered in blood. This is why sometimes they don’t let husbands in the room for them—they don’t want anyone fainting in there!
An hour later I felt So. Much. Pressure. The epidural hadn’t even kicked in yet, but that may have been a good thing. As it was starting to wear off, I was able to feel the pressure and know when to push. My doctor gave me an episiotomy to ensure that his head could get out and that I wouldn’t suffer a severe tear. Three pushes and he was out. Total time in labor: four hours and one minute. My mom later posted on Facebook that I was made for this!
Afterward, the nurses told me that my son was born with the cord wrapped around his neck, so it was a good thing that he came flying out as fast as he did. I felt very “in the moment” with this birth and so, so happy. I cried immediately. Physically, I was on top of the world, too. Despite the episiotomy, I was sitting Indian-style on the floor with my kids when I got home. I’d say that the experience was almost relaxing.
Be nice to your doctors and nurses. My nurse brought me crackers and applesauce because I was starving. When I went into the hospital in the afternoon, I hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast!