by Tara, United States
Our second birth was the total opposite of our first and far more rewarding. After being railroaded by hospital procedures with our first son I wanted a more natural second birth. I initially wanted a birth center but I had a minor heart condition and my husband nor the birth center would allow it.
I did find a hospital that allowed midwives and they even helped me find one. My pregnancy was very calm and mostly easy. Apparently way too comfy for our second son. I was very uncomfortable and my abdominal muscles were separated by month 7. On my due date my midwife swept my membranes. All that did was cause me to lose a bit of mucus plug. I was sealed up tight. I was scheduled for the dreaded induction 5 days after my due date because of my abdominal muscle pain. The morning before I was to be induced a mild contraction woke me up at 8am. I was very surprised to feel another 10 minutes later. I knew I was in labor. Our 6 yo son was so excited but we were more calm and just ready. Our son went to spend the day with his grandparents and we went about our normal business for the rest of the day. The contractions were very tolerable and very regular. I eventually called my MW at around 3pm to inform her I was in labor and she simply said to go about the day as normal and call her when they started to hurt.
At around 6pm that night things got more intense. Contractions were coming every 6 minutes and they were enough to stop me in my tracks but still no pain. My husband helped me by rubbing my back and basically staying out of my way : ) He was such a trooper! About 7pm I started to feel mild pain and contractions were only 3 minutes apart so we decided to go the hospital. I called my midwife and was finally getting excited. Unfortunately the drive to the hospital slowed things a bit. When I got there I was smiling at the receptionist and talking through the contractions. She laughed and told me I wouldn't be doing that for long. Boy was she ever right.
They started to monitor me when I was checked in to get a base line on where I was and how the baby was doing. I was already at 6-7 cm and effaced. The baby's heart rate was way to low with contractions. It scared me a bit because they started to talk c-section. They gave me oxygen and had me lay on my left side. I tried to tell them to let me lay on my right side since that is the side that my heart did best on when under stress. They finally listened and his heart rate went back up to normal. They removed the monitors and I said “let the games begin”
I spent most of my time in the tub, which was small but helpful. After 2 hours there it wasn't helping anymore so we tried the birthing ball. I was starting to moan through contractions and was feeling the pain. But I had a strange urge to eat, go figure. They gave me jello which with every contraction I wanted to toss it across the room. I was hungry but couldn't eat. I went to all fours on the bed to help him move down. My water hadn't broken yet so I asked the MW to break it to speed things up and boy did it. In about 30 minutes I wanted to push but it felt like he was stuck. I couldn't get a “good push”. The MW told me to go pee and that might help. As soon as I peed I HAD to push! Nothing else mattered but pushing. The toilet did it! In a matter of minutes he was coming while I was on the john and there was nothing I could do about it. The MW rushed in to help me to the bed but I couldn't do it. Then the “ring of fire” hit me. I knew he was crowning because only the pushing stopped the pain. My husband was standing next to me holding me up and the MW was catching the baby. In just one push I was holding this little boy that doctors said we couldn't have without serious intervention. But God proved them wrong. Our son was all natural…and slimy : ). I delivered the placenta on the john as well but some got stuck and the MW had to manipulate the rest out. It is just weird to see another woman's arm in your belly up to her elbow.
I made my way to the bed and they carried our son off to clean him off and check him out. I bled quite a bit, more than normal and was very weak. We managed to start nursing with no problems. I did tear 2nd degree and I could feel every stitch so that REALLY bothered me. I should have asked to be numbed. If there is a next time I will make sure I ask for it.
Our second son was born at 1:12 am after 3 hours of hard labor and 14 hours of very tolerable labor. He was 9 lbs and 22 inches long. A whole pound bigger than our first but just as cute.