I haven’t updated the blog for months, so many of you may not know that we just had baby #2. Surprise! Now that you’re all caught up, I guess I’ll write the birth story. It’s only fair since I wrote one for baby #1, and one day I may want both of them to read their stories for future guilt trips (kidding).
The pregnancy for baby #1 was easy and painless, but as you remember birth was traumatic. Pregnancy for baby#2 was a lot more difficult this time and birth was pretty easy and painless. I had morning sickness until almost 5 months. I barely ate during that time, and had contractions for one month before going into labor towards the end.
I was 5 days overdue before I went into labor. Two days before my scheduled induction, I went to Scalini’s, an Italian restaurant that claims their eggplant parmesan sends women into labor within 48 hours. The moment I sat down at the restaurant, I started having contractions before the salad even came to the table. I didn’t think much of it since I had contractions on and off for a month anyway, so I poured the eggplant parmesan down my gullet anyway. It was satisfying in a greasy, cheesy way only a fat pregnant woman could appreciate. My husband ate some sort of cheese stuffed noodle dish topped with more cheese. He practically went into labor himself later that night (more on that later).
Contractions started coming every 10 minutes but I ignored them. After we got home my husband cut the lawn and installed the car seat in the car anyway. I laid in bed for a few hours and by 11 pm the contractions were suddenly 3 minutes apart. I woke my husband up to tell him to bring the suitcase down, and we had to go to the hospital.
He wanted to shower and primp himself first, and for some crazy reason I let him, because he said it’ll only take 15 minutes. I paced back and forth downstairs and the contractions got so painful I couldn’t talk through them. After 15 minutes I went upstairs and screamed at him for taking his leisurely time with a relaxing shower as I was in horrible pain. Even though I told him it was okay. That’s how 15 minutes can change from, ‘Sure, take a shower this isn’t so bad’ to ‘What kind of selfish person takes a shower while their wife is in labor!!’
On the way to the hospital at around 11:30 pm, we somehow drove through 395,726 potholes, or else it felt like it. One of them actually made my water break. I didn’t move because I didn’t want to ruin our seats, so I decided to unload the amniotic fluid on the wheelchair used to wheel me into the hospital. Nice mental picture.
We got to the labor and delivery ward’s reception desk and the nurses said they didn’t receive our pre-registration forms. They told us to take a seat in the office to fill out forms. Since I was feeling some ‘discomfort’, I refused to sit down and quietly fill out forms I had already filled out months ago which the hospital somehow misplaced. So my husband filled out forms as I continued with labor.
By midnight I was 4 cm dilated. Not too bad. I concentrated on staring at a bump on the wall as I went through each contraction, and the more I was absolutely still and silent, the easier it was to deal with. If I yelled out in pain, it become More painful. It probably looked like they weren’t that painful, but they were. I kept thinking of the first labor with baby #1, where I had back labor for 14 hours before an epidural, and that made it a lot better somehow.
Contractions For All
My husband at some point left the room and I saw him sitting in a chair in the hallway, looking like he was going to pass out. The nurse asked if he was okay and he said he felt faint and that it was probably from last night’s dinner. As the nurse wheeled me into the delivery room she asked if this was his first time. I would’ve laughed if I could. Dinner at Scalini’s triggers contractions (not the good kind) with men too.
By 1 or 2 hours later, I was dilated to 8 cm. I was amazed I went through the contractions without an epidural and got to 8 cm. But I still asked for an epidural anyway. By around 3 am, I was fully dilated at 10 cm, but somehow the baby didn’t drop down enough for me to push. The midwife told me that we could wait and see if the baby dropped so I could push, but her heart-rate kept dropping, from 160 down to 60. Soon my contractions got weaker for some reason too. My doctor came in and told me I would have to consider a C-section, or else I would probably have to endure another vacuum-assisted delivery, with history repeating itself as it did with baby #1. I didn’t want to deal with that again so I went with a C-section.
I was wheeled into a room with lots of lights. Once I arrived, more drugs were pumped into my IV, and they blocked my view of the surgery with a sheet. I should’ve been scared but I kept thinking there was no point to be, whatever happens will happen. The drugs made everything from the waist down numb, and I could feel the incision, but not the pain that went with it. I just waited impatiently until I felt the tugging and pulling, and within what felt like a few minutes, I heard baby #2’s wailing, which was a relief.
Then I continued asking the anesthesiologist every 2 minutes how much longer the surgery was going to last. I felt a lot of pressure so I knew they were stitching me up. I also smelled burning so I knew they were cauterizing my insides. Yea, gross. It was uncomfortable and made my arms shake. I said I felt like I was about to vomit, so they gave me something to make me drowsy. I was half asleep until it was all over.
I nursed baby#2 immediately after we went to the postpartum room. I kept asking for water but I was only given a big cup of ice, so I ate all the ice chips I could. Surgery can make you so thirsty. I asked for breakfast but apparently I wasn’t supposed to eat so soon, even though my stomach was growling. By lunch I chugged my bowl of soup then dry heaved immediately after. I guess that’s why they don’t give you food so soon, the drugs make you nauseated for a day or so.
Later that afternoon I could feel my legs again, and asked if I could walk around the room. The nurses thought I was crazy and said no. I waited until exactly 12 hours after the surgery and asked if they could take my catheter out, and if I could walk around the room. The nurses said no. 4 hours after that, a new nicer nurse obliged to my demands and took my catheter out. I went to the bathroom, walked around the room. She said the other nurses called me ‘the tough one’. I was flattered. I nursed the baby every couple hours so my milk would come in faster. We slept on and off during the night, in between feedings.
The next morning, the nurse asked me to rate my pain level from 1 to 10 (10 being excruciating). I said 0-1. I asked them what kind of painkillers I was on, since they seemed to be doing the trick. The nurse said I hadn’t been on painkillers for the entire morning, that’s why she asked how much pain I was in. I thought that was funny. I poured breakfast down my throat, took a shower, put makeup on and my normal clothes. When I was recovering with baby #1 years ago, I was stuck in bed for 4 out of 5 days and miserable. I knew the faster I started moving around, the sooner I would heal this time. We stayed in the hospital for another day, then was discharged after a total of two days. It’s funny, 2 days for a c-section, 5 days for a vaginal delivery.
As of now, it’s been three weeks since we had baby #2. There has been little to no pain from the surgery, except every morning I wake up feeling like I ran a marathon the day before. That feeling has gotten better too, and sometimes I feel like it never even happened. The only thing I’ve noticed is, if I overdo it, like lifting my toddler, vacuuming, or running up and down the stairs, I’m a lot more tired afterwards than I should be. So I guess that’ll get better in a couple weeks.
Baby #2 has been nursing really well too. It took me 2 months to establish a good milk supply with baby #1, because I was on and off antibiotics for months and had to stop nursing on and off. With baby #2, I got the hang of it within a few days. She gained back all the weight she lost at the hospital within 4 days.
Sleep has been a lot better with baby #2 too. With baby#1, I slept between 2-4 hours for months and almost went crazy with exhaustion. I could never get her to stop crying, and she wouldn’t sleep unless it was on our chests. Baby #2 wakes me up 1-2 times a night to feed, so I get around 8 hours of sleep a night. She also sleeps in her crib, and rarely cries. Now I know how it feels to have an easy baby. I also know we weren’t bad parents with baby #1, because it was such a difficult situation, and a more difficult newborn. They are just totally different babies, and it wasn’t anything we as parents had done differently with each of them.
That’s it for now. I’ll try to post more updates soon.