My second imperfectly perfect birth story

For most of us, our first birthing experience exceeds our expectations, shakes us to the core, and turns out to be a life-changing event. We might share it. Talk about it. We sometimes remember the tiniest details. However, some consecutive births may not get that much attention- not because the stories are not worth telling but just because it is … different.

We are busier trying to accommodate everyone and everything. The dynamics are different, we talk about balancing and adapting. We rush to get all the answers right- How will I possibly do this? How do we manage it well? How will I find love for another baby? How can I support my older children? and so on. And down in the whirlpool, we might forget two important things:

  1. to take care of ourselves first and prepare for pregnancy and birth (Read more about how I prepared for my second birth)
  2. and to stop and reflect on our experiences- it is so easy to overlook them even though we know that they matter. You may want to check Why We need to share our birth stories.

My story

My second son was born in 2017, 40 weeks 5 days, 3252 g, 51 cm. My older boy was 4, almost 5 years old at the time. You can read more about How to prepare your kids for a new sibling.

My first baby was born 13 days past his due date so this time around I packed all my patience and resilience in case this baby also decided to stay in a bit longer. As my due date was approaching, I had to go to the clinic for monitoring every other day. The doctor discussed induction right after my due date passed and he did not seem very flexible about waiting longer.

Though feeling pressured for induction in week 41, I managed to stay calm. What I needed was to better prepare before the following appointment and to try to negotiate with the doctor. My wish was to wait at least until week 42 if everything looked good. The clinic offered acupressure and acupuncture treatments to help start labor naturally, which I was more than happy to try. I had one appointment and got some moxibustion sticks to use at home. In this post I share more about what I tried to help labour start naturally.

Birth 

Stage 1

Four days after my due date, I was doing my best to stay calm- being focused and present, taking walks, doing yoga, trying moxibustion. After a long walk in the afternoon, we were all having dinner- my older kid, my mother-in-law, who was here to support us for the birth, and my husband who just came back from work, unexpectedly early. It was about 7 pm.

8 pm- I lost my mucus plug; I hoped the labor was approaching but I didn’t want to get too excited. Mild contractions that I barely felt. I did not think that I was in labor.

About 9 pm – my waters broke, I felt the stream and it looked quite a lot (light pink). With my first (first labor) my waters did not break until the labor was more progressed and it was nothing like in the movies. Then, I read that breaking waters as we know it from the movies is not really common. So, this time I was taken by surprise.

I was leaning on the table, telling everyone to give me some time so that I could breathe deeply and calm down. All I needed right then was to get in the right mental state; going to the hospital right away was not my number one priority. I felt chilly and was trembling. I remember giving my 4-year old a strong hug and telling him the baby was coming soon, he was overexcited. We had planned that he could attend the birth.

10:20 pm– I called the clinic; the car ride to get there was about 15-20 minutes; I was having contractions on the car and it was not fun. I probably had 4-5 contractions for 30-45 minutes.

10:45 pm – arrived and had an examination- 1 cm dilation; I had to admit I was disappointed it was only 1 cm. But I managed to stay calm and concentrated, focused on the here and now.

My mother-in-law and my older son were with us and they could already use the room I was going to stay in later. I had been worried about my son, as he had never been separated from me before and we had planned that he would stay with me in the clinic. But after we arrived, we decided that it was better for him to go home because the timing of my labour was perfect because it was a long weekend of national holidays and his dad and grandma could both be home supporting him.

11:00 pm to 12:00 am – the contractions were getting more intense. I stayed with my husband in a tiny room different from the delivery room, it was dark and cozy. In my birth preferences, I had mentioned I want dim lights and aromatherapy, it was great they had those options. My husband went to get some water; the contractions got stronger and stronger; dilation 1cm to 10 cm. I drank a lot of cold water through a straw. The regular contractions continued. I felt lower back pressure. I stayed on all fours during contractions, it felt most comfortable in this position and it was bearable.

My husband was very supportive- giving me water and a low back massage. They asked me to lie on my back between contractions so that the baby’s heart rate could be monitored. The monitor was always attached to me but it stopped working while I was on all fours. I breathed deeply during contractions. Breathwork really helped me stay focused and grounded. My husband continued to give me low back massages and apply pressure during the contractions.

Stage 2

12:00 am to 12:32 am – I had to move to the delivery room, attached to the small room I was in. Dark and cozy, perfect. Lying on my back on the bed. They asked me to turn and lie on my back. This was the part I was fearing most. For the last months of my pregnancy, I had to work hard to clear the fear of lying on my back. I asked the head of the bed to be in an upright position, but they just pulled it up a bit; then I started to feel pain. Before that my labor was intense but not painful. I just hated lying on my back. I worked hard to overcome my panic and fear. All that I could think of was that this was the worst position to give birth in, at least for me. Strong low back pressure. 

I wanted to urinate and told the midwife, I should not have told her. She was very fast and used a catheter without telling me first. It was definitely a misunderstanding. It was not what I wanted and it was really uncomfortable. 

When I started pushing, the doctor and two midwives were there- one with the doctor, one by my left side. My husband was on my right.

The first practice push. They recommended that I stay in the C-shape while lying on the bed. The pressure on my back was so strong, that I arched my back trying to avoid the pressure but they reminded me that it was not helpful. I somehow found the strength to stay in C-shape.

I could touch the baby’s head crowning. He came out after four or five pushes. The pushing part was hard and intensive but ended fast.

The baby came on my belly, on a pad, which surprised me. I would never imagine they would use a pad (we have discussed skin-to-skin contact), if I knew I could have asked them to skip it. No one can argue that using a pad makes cleaning up easier and the midwives` job- a bit faster. We still got skin-to-skin contact and those first touches were magical.

Stage 3

12:40 am to 1:00 am- Placenta was gently delivered by the doctor by slow pulling (I later learned more about the research about the delivery of the placenta and before my third labor I was more prepared); I didn’t feel much. I was happy that the midwife showed me the placenta, the sack, the cord. I had mild natural tearing and got 4 stitches. The needle was really unpleasant. 

Meanwhile, the baby was in the cot next to my bed, to get measured and checked. His daddy was right next to him.

Stage 4

till 2:30 am- They got me cleaned up and I had to lie down for two hours with an ice pack on my belly. I was chatting with my mother-in-law. The baby was in his cot under the lights for a while, then he got wrapped and in my arms. He was wide awake and quiet. All was peaceful, simple, and magical. After that, I was able to stand up, slowly go to the toilet, and then to my room. I could walk and move freely. I remember I could squat to help my older son put on his shoes when he was going home. This time my labor was short and very empowering, which definitely helped me feel strong physically as well.

How I felt during labor: 

  • When my waters broke I got excited, but I could stay calm and concentrated
  • I was positive- my baby was coming
  • Had contractions on the car, concentrated on the contraction and breathed
  • Relaxed my pelvic muscles during the examination at the clinic
  • When the contractions were coming, I listened to my body- I went on all fours, did hip circles, swayed left to right or back to front, breathed deeply
  • Focused on the moment, told myself the pressure and the contraction wоuld soon be over
  • Stayed hydrated

(My first birth experience left me with a trauma – having to lie on my back for a long time, which made the pushing long and excruciating. This time I didn’t want to lie on my back; during my pregnancy, I was panicking just thinking about lying on my back. During the sophrology class at the clinic, there was a part where everyone lied down on their backs in a birthing position to practice. I just could not do it.

I knew I needed to address this fear and I worked on my trauma. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I asked the midwives whether I could give birth in a position different from lying on my back and the answer was positive, but it still depended on the team and the main midwife at the time of labor. I then knew that I had to prepare for everything because most probably I would be giving birth on my back.

  • This time, after all the mental preparation, fear clearing I had done (check how I prepared for my second birth), when the midwife insisted that I lie on my back I was not afraid, I knew my baby was coming soon and I did lie on my back, and I asked for the back of the bed to be lifted, so that I was in a semi-sit position.
  • The pressure on my back was strong and uncomfortable; I stayed with the feeling and accepted it; I had no fear; I did all I could to stay relaxed
  • The midwife on my left was very encouraging, gentle, and caring- what she said to me was super kind, and her words worked like magic because they made me feel supported and loved. I felt absolutely amazing and almost cried.
  • For the few last pushes the pressure was extremely strong, I admit I was having a hard time. I can say that this was the only painful part of my labor, BUT I never thought that I could not do it, all I was thinking about was that it would soon be over.
  • My husband was there encouraging me and I felt absolutely amazing. He made me feel strong and supported.
  • Seeing the baby for the first time was powerful- imperfectly perfect!

The pressure and the biggest discomfort- gone.

During the whole labor I stayed focused, I stayed aware of the sensations and my body experiences, and I understood and remembered all that was happening.

____________________________________________________________________________

I am a believer, I trust the Lord. I was not praying that He saved me from the pain, I was acknowledging His Power, His Might and His incomparable Love. I know He is always with me. I called His name in the delivery room. He was there. He made me for this.   

 ______________________________________________________________________________

I share in this post how I prepared for my second birth and how it was different from my first. For my third birth, I made MY GOD-centered pregnancy and birth affirmations. Here I have collected All the preparations I did that worked amazingly well for me. Find what works for you. 

I did it and had an amazing experience. My baby, my body did it. I am not special, I am normal, I am full of fears and anxiety. I have been learning and still learning how to deal with my feelings. I still get fearful, terrified sometimes. But if I can do it, anyone can. Get prepared.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *