I wasn’t expecting this again. I wasn’t expecting it to be easy at all, let alone even easier than Reese! I don’t feel like I deserve an experience this incredible. I feel so stunned and blessed – even a little shamed by how lucky I have been. But at the same time I want to share my stories because the world of pregnancy has enough terror and negativity as it is. I want girls like me (scared of babies, pregnancy, and childbirth) out there to know that this can be safe, beautiful, and rewarding. It’s ok if it isn’t, but to generalize that all labor & delivery is a nightmare is so so sad and problematic. So here it is: my second birth story. Practically perfect in every way!
Since about week 36 I had been having random contractions throughout the days. I started taking Evening Primrose Oil supplements and drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea, in hopes that it would help my body prepare for labor. I was doing yoga stretches and breathing exercises as much as I could, and taking lots of warm baths to relax my tense muscles. Although I (wrongfully) thought that this time I might go into labor on my own, I still asked my OBGYN about elective early induction at my 36 week appointment. She said because I was already at a 2+ and pretty effaced, and since I have already had a successful induction before, she was totally ok with scheduling an induction a week early – so Monday, February 13th it would be!
My little planning heart was happy to have a backup, even if it was only 3 days from Reese’s birthday. I had been nervous this whole time about their birthdays being too close, and wondered if I should do an early induction, but when it was offered to me I felt really peaceful and good about it so we did it. That last week leading up to the induction was ~less than great, and there were about three days where I thought I really might go into labor. Saturday night, even, I had contractions about 9 minutes apart for an hour or two, and went home to get ready just in case. I still think I might have gone into labor by myself that week if we hadn’t gone in Monday to be induced.
That last weekend was full of Reese’s birthday, family time, preparations, and relaxation. Sunday night we dropped Reese off at my mom’s, had a final/early Valentine’s dinner date just the two of us, and then went home for a night of basically no sleep. We were still up talking well after midnight, wondering who this little person would be, how it would affect Reese, if this induction would go as well as the first one had. I was nervous, but just like with Reese, the blessing Ryan gave me before we went to bed will be a memory I treasure for the rest of my life.
(Reese was not impressed by her new sister at first, but she has since become a fan)
My alarm went off at 4:30 am and I was up and at ’em. I did a full beauty routine, head-to-toe, and it made me feel 100 emoji. There’s only so much you can control when it comes to having a baby, so controlling what I can is KEY. Around 6:30 am Labor & Delivery called and said they were ready for me, so Ryan jumped in the shower, we hit up McDonald’s (duh) and rolled into registration at about 7:30 am.
By 8 am we were in our labor & delivery room, and I was hooked up to the IVs and monitors. They like to have about an hour baseline to see what your “normal” is so that if the pitocin does weird stuff to you or your baby they can catch it. Once they had that baseline, a little after 9 am, they started the pitocin and asked when I wanted the epidural and I answered “now” before they finished the sentence. Last time I wanted to feel labor for a while, so I got the epidural like an hour after pitocin started. This time I knew I didn’t need to feel any pain at all so OBVS that’s the choice I made. The anesthesiologist was in the room literally 10 minutes later lighting me up with the good stuff. Hallelujah!!! Didn’t feel one single contraction! (Except the normal rando ones I’d been having for weeks, of course.)
Just before 10 am I was feeling blissfully numb and very, very sleepy. My contractions were slowly starting to respond to the pitocin, and my OBGYN arrived around 10:15 to check in. She decided to go ahead and break my water since I was at a 3 and 70% effaced. By 10:30 am everyone left our room and I was able to SLEEEEEEP. Epidural naps man. I got an hour and 15 minute nap but it felt like 8 hours I swear.
My nurse came back to check me around 11:45 and I was a little disappointed to hear I was only at a 4. Since I’d been at a 3 and having contractions for basically a month I really thought pitocin would really kick start everything quickly. Plus I was hungry (major issue with Reese’s birth too lol). They decided to roll me to my other side and put the peanut ball between my legs to help her descend. “Fine.” I thought, “I’ll just go back to sleep I guess.”
Probably around 12:45ish I wake up to some pressure in my back and pelvis. “Oh good!” I think, “Transition!” I remembered with Reese how I felt discomfort and pressure and general ickiness during transition, so I just laid there with my eyes closed trying to take deep breaths and relax my whole body so things could progress. After about 5-10 minutes of this I start to really feel something and my head snaps up.
Ryan, who has been quietly listening to an audiobook and playing Pokemon beside me this whole time, looks up.
“Babe? You ok?”
“Um. I think I’m feeling something?”
“… ok. Want me to go get the nurse?”
“No. I think it’s just transition. Hopefully it means we’re close!”
Not a minute later I feel it again, stronger.
“Ok. Go get the nurse.”
“Go. Get. The. Nurse.”
I wasn’t in pain, of course, but suddenly it became super obvious that ~something was happening. Ryan stepped out in the hall to get my nurse, but they couldn’t find her right away so they sent in another nurse. She came in, casually saying hi, glancing at the monitors, and distractedly removing the peanut from my legs when
“OH OH OH OH OK YES HAHAHA OK WOW OK”
“What?!!” Now I’m panicking.
“Yeah you’re definitely feeling something. Dad, you wanna come look?”
“OH GEEZ” – Ryan
“What?!!!” Someone tell me what the EFF is going on!
“She is crowning!”
In an hour, while I slept, I went from a 4 to a 10 and a +5 station. They run out to grab my nurse and page my doctor, who was thankfully on the floor. Meanwhile the other nurses are prepping the room. They wouldn’t even lift my legs up into the stirrups, because it would cause her to start sliding out before my doctor arrived.
“D! She’s got a TON of curly dark hair!”
I started laughing because I thought he was teasing me. (For basically 2 years I talked about how I wanted at least ONE of my kids to get Ryan’s amazing hair, so it was likely he was yanking my chain.)
“Ok STOP. Stop it. Stop laughing! It’s pushing her out!” the nurse half-laughed, half-snapped at me. Is this even real life?! Insane! I could not believe that I slept through all of labor and she was coming out, with or without my help.
Finally my doctor and nurse arrived (finally lol it was 2 minutes, but Malone was coming right on out during those 2 minutes), and even though one of the monitors wasn’t working they decided to go for it – they couldn’t wait any longer with her right there coming out! They lifted my legs into the stirrups and she started coming out, so I pushed once and Malone was here!
My very first thought as they lifted her into the air was “Reese!” She looked exactly like her. Screamed just like her too! It was deja vu to the max.
I was interested to notice that I didn’t cry this time or feel such an intense surge. I was smiling and laughing instead. I definitely felt an immediate connection and love – that baby is MINE. But it was kind of cool to see the difference. I already have a mom heart this time around. Reese converted it for me.
When put her up on my chest I started talking to her to calm her down, which immediately worked with Reese, but she was not calming down! Still just crying and screaming like crazy. That is, until a nurse asked Ryan if he wanted to cut the cord and he answered her (of course he said no, he’s terrified of blood and medical procedures in general).
I want to always remember how this little baby immediately quieted down and turned her head when she heard her daddy’s voice. It was such a precious experience for me.
We laughed all through the post-delivery process – she was the exact same size and length as Reese, she’d shout and yell until Ryan would talk to her, she fell out. Ryan was much less shell-shocked this time too, which made the entire process even more enjoyable. It was just such a surreal experience.
This tied with February 10th 2015 for the very best day of my life, in a runaway. Welcome to our family, Malone. It somehow feels more real now that you’re in it. We love you so much!