My first baby I was positive I wouldn’t need an epidural. I knew I had the pain tolerance. I knew I was a warrior. I knew I could do it.
And then labor happened.
I had prodromal labor for two days before I went into “real” labor…but my prodromal labor was two days of 90 second long contractions that were two minutes apart.
After a few hours of what I thought was “real” labor we went to the hospital and learned I wasn’t making cervical change. Prodromal. Crap. The second time they kept me because I had an abruption. I won’t go into details, but it got gnarly.
I ended up delivering a gorgeous baby after 36 total hours of misery. About 30 hours into it, I begged for the epidural. I was in so much pain I was hallucinating. I truly believed my beloved childhood horse was in the room with us (hilarious now, then…totally confusing).
My second baby was scheduled. Around 20 weeks I started having contractions from as little as walking down the driveway, so we worried he would arrive too early. By 37 weeks I was beyond miserable and I asked my midwife if we could induce. She let me schedule it for 39w4d.
Want to know how that went down? My husband and I dropped our toddler off for a sleepover at Grandma’s. We went out to a delicious dinner together and laughed nervously about how much our lives were about to change. We excitedly drove to the hospital, following the speed limit.
I slept in a hospital bed. In the morning they pumped the meds and by 4:15 in the afternoon we had another gorgeous baby boy. I laid in that bed for 20 hours, painlessly. Around 3:15 in the afternoon I started feeling my baby move to transition and knew go-time was coming.
I experienced 36 hours of discomfort the first time and one hour of discomfort the second.
Granted, my deliveries were much different. My first baby descended smoothly and with grace. I pushed for 35 adrenaline-filled minutes (some of the most thrilling of my life) and there he was.
My second ricocheted all the way down through my hips like a pin ball and I had to power-push him out in under 5 minutes.
I am proud of my experience with my first baby having done as much as I did on my own. My husband kept telling me, “Don’t be a hero.” That phrase helped as I went into my second pregnancy and planned the birth.
In the end, I had two beautiful baby boys. How they got here doesn’t really matter but since pregnant women can’t seem to think about anything but what labor and delivery will be like, I thought this post would be a good one.
The most important thing is health of baby and mama. For me, mentally I couldn’t do another labor like my first. Having it scheduled was a weight lifted. The experience was completely different and exactly what I needed in that chapter of my life.