my due date was officially april 30th, but for the two and half weeks before she came, my doctor kept saying she would probably come early. i was pretty stressed out, trying to balance school, and life, and every time i went up to campus, i was worried something terrible would happen, like my water would break in the middle of class, or i would start having contractions while trying to give an oral presentation. for two weeks i was dilated to a four, and between 70 and 80 percent effaced. thankfully, i made it through all my finals without giving birth, and when that was over, i was more than ready for our daughter to come.
on may first, i went to see my doctor at 8:30 in the morning. at that appointment i was five centimeters dilated and about 90 percent effaced. He asked me if i wanted to get induced. initially, steve and i did not want an induction, but being so far along, and knowing steve still had finals to take, and worrying that i may go into labor and progress so quickly i wouldn't make it to the hospital in time, we decided to go for it. we scheduled an induction for 12:00 pm, and then went home and waited. well, at about 10:30, i was sitting on the couch, watching curious george with jude, and started to feel a little uncomfortable. after about a half hour i decided to start paying closer attention, and noticed i was actually having contractions. i decided to wait before going to the hospital, until the contractions were closer together. the hospital called me at about 11:45 and said they were ready for me, and i informed the nurse i was already in labor. so, we all ate some lunch, packed our bags, and headed to the hospital. when we got there, we checked in, headed into the labor and delivery room, and got changed, and hooked up to the monitors. i was still dilated to a five, and contractions were becoming stronger and longer and closer together, but i decided to wait a little bit to get the epidural. at about 1:00, my nurse told me she had called my doctor, and he was on his way to check on me, and probably break my water. i decided to get the epidural before he came, knowing that after my water broke, things would progress quickly. we called my mom to come on over to the hospital, got the epidural, and then my doctor came to check me. i was dilated to a six at that point. he broke my water, and said he'd be back in an hour to see where i was. at this point, i was expecting my epidural would have been working pretty well, but after he broke my water, i started feeling a lot of pain. i kept pumping up the dosage, but nothing was happening. finally, after about thirty minutes, the pain subsided, and the nurse came in to check on me. turns out i was complete, and the baby was starting to crown. needless to say, the doctor rushed over, and i started pushing. i only had to push for about twenty minutes before she was out. i remember steve yelling out to my mom and jude in the hallway that she had lots of brown hair, but everything else in those twenty minutes was a blur.
the whole experience was so much different than when i had jude. i expected things to feel familiar since i had experienced childbirth before, but it really wasn't at all. my entire labor was less than five hours! i was in labor for about fifteen hours with jude. the epidural made me shiver so badly this time, whereas with jude, i didn't feel a thing. the part i remember most from both deliveries is the nurses and steve going to clean off the baby and get the weight, while i lay there alone, and exhausted. funnily, i think i like that part the best. it's just nice to have a few minutes to myself to close my eyes and catch my breath after everything is over.
a little while later, the nurses and doctors left, and my mom and jude left, and steve and i were left a lone with our brand new daughter. i nursed her (and forgot how painful the first few days of nursing are), ate graham crackers, and sipped apple juice, and then a little while later, i was wheeled up to my recovery room where i spent the next two days. all of my nurses were great, my doctor actually got to deliver this time, and i got six free meals. it was surreal when we took her home, and difficult to go back to real life, where nurses aren't waiting on me, and i can't push a button to get food delivered to me. but it's good to have her here, and jude is fascinated by his baby sister.
so, there you have it, birth story number two. if you have two kids...what was your experience like? was it similar to your first? were there things that surprised you? what did your first child think of everything? was your recovery harder? (mine definitely has been). i'd love to know.
p.s. jude's birth story