My son's second birth story.

My Second Son’s Birth Story

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I know this a homemaking website, but part of being a homemaker, for me, is being a mother. And after my first son’s traumatic birth experience, I want to share with you the beautiful, redeeming birth story of my second son.

It was over a week until my due date and I still had not experienced anything that indicated birth was near. No Braxton Hicks. No spotting. No mucous plug. No dropping of the baby. No sleepless nights. 

Nothing. 

I thought for sure this meant I was going to go way past my due date. 

Mind you, I’ve never experienced labor before. Our first son was born via emergency caesarean at 34 weeks. You can read about his birth here

Saturday evening I was getting supper to the table as usual and felt what I guessed was a contraction. It felt so powerful and took me by surprise. I got a surge of excitement and a flushed face but didn’t say anything to my husband because I thought for sure it was just false labor. 

Through supper I had two more contractions but carried on. I cleaned up supper and we relaxed that evening as usual. As I put our 4 year old to bed I had to stop reading his story to breathe through the contractions. 

This was the first inkling that maybe this wasn’t false. 

When my husband and I headed for bed at 8:20pm, I finally told him about my contractions. 

“But don’t worry,” I said, “it’s probably Braxton Hicks and will calm down once I crawl in bed.” 

My husband decided he should go fuel the truck up anyways. There was a snowstorm set to move in in a couple of hours and we’d rather have the truck than the van in a storm. 

We decided to let our son sleep instead of taking him to Grandmas. 

Just to be safe, we packed a few last minute items into my ready-to-go hospital bag. 

Around 9 I texted my doula just to let her know what was up. She agreed with me that they’d probably calm down once I relaxed in bed. 

I laid in bed through two contractions and the pain just got worse. I was much more comfortable breathing through the contractions on all fours on the floor or leaning on the counter. 

Thankfully I had just downloaded a contraction counting app the day before so I decided to start using it. 

Another half hour passed and I texted my doula a screenshot of my contractions. She was still not worried. I puked up all my supper. 

Later she texted to see how I was doing. I replied, “Good, except for the puking, shakes and sweats.” 

My doula called then. She said with the shakes and sweats we should definitely head to the hospital. Now. Especially because we had an hour and 20 minute drive! 

We packed everything into our van (the storm was far enough off my husband thought I’d be more comfortable in the van instead of the truck) and called his mom to come stay the night with our son. 

My mother-in-law arrived and we were on the road five minutes later. 

All the way to the hospital I tracked my contractions. The little notification would always say, “It’s time to get ready to head to the hospital.” Only one contraction did I have to get out of my seat and breathe through on all fours in the back of the van. 

Just as we were exiting the freeway to the hospital, I finished a contraction and my app said, “Go to the hospital!” I chuckled and told my husband. Good thing we were only 10 minutes away. 

But I was still convinced this was a dry run. I mean, I had ZERO signs of labor previously! We both agreed no matter what, I’d get checked and see if we should head home or get a hotel room. 

[Up to this point I had declined all cervical checks at my appointments so there was no telling if or how long I’d been dilated.]

We got to the hospital around 11pm and checked in. The nurse checked me and I was dilated to 4. She called my OB and he said, “She’s a keeper!”

My husband texted our doula and she headed our way. The snowstorm had hit so her 20 minute drive took a while longer. 

I was still breathing through my contractions: inhale on 4 counts, exhale on 7. My husband got my Pandora station pulled up on the rooms bluetooth speakers and that helped distract me. 

Because I was a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean), I was required to be hooked up to fetal monitoring. I also had to have an IV port put in right away. Because of the times we’re in, I also had to have a C*V*D test – my first one. Ugh! The funny thing was that the nurse attempted to shove the swab up my nose two times and both times I winced back in fear. I heard her sigh in disgust and ask my husband to hold my head.

My husband and I laughed and laughed after the fact because the nurse was probably rolling her eyes and thinking, “This lady can’t even get a swab test, how is she ever going to birth without meds!”

When my doula came, she jumped right in. She helped me get comfortable and breathe through. I had brought a water bottle with honey and salt added to keep me going through all of labor. She helped keep me hydrated and told my husband to get me tiny bites of food….all of which I promptly threw up. But hey, the little time the food sat in my stomach helped a bit! 

Mostly, I was oblivious to my surroundings and was just focused on getting comfortable. My doula helped me try the exercise ball, leaning on the bed and sitting backwards on the toilet. Mostly I leaned on the bed. 

I was told beforehand that I’d be free to walk around because the fetal monitor had a battery pack. Once again, because of the times, medical supplies were short-handed and there were no extra batteries. I was constrained to a 10-foot circumference from my hook-ups.

At one point, my doula had me lay down on my side with the peanut ball between my knees. That was heavenly because I could sleep easier between contractions. However, during those 15 minutes on my side, my contractions slowed down considerably so she had me get up again. 

Through this, my doula was helping me moan and breathe “raspberries” through each contraction and my husband was reading through my Bible verses that I’d written out on notecards. 

Afterwards my husband told me it felt so pointless to read those verses for me. I told him every every time I asked him to read through them was a point at which I was ready to give up all focus and scream bloody murder. He was an awesome support! 

While I worked through each contraction with my doula, my poor husband’s hand got abused by my squeezing. 

Finally when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, I asked my doula for the laughing gas. She chuckled and said, “I think you’re going to have a baby before they have time to go get it.”

At 6:08am my water broke and at 6:14 our little baby boy came crying into the world. 

Oh the joy and relief! 

You know the amazing thing? My husband said that through it all he didn’t even feel anxious. God answers prayer and helped him through just as much as He helped me through. 

I had the doctor wait 10 minutes or until it stopped pulsing to cut the cord. 

Two contractions later I delivered the placenta but with a lot of extra blood. Right away I was hooked up to pitocin through my IV port. My bleeding stopped and I was fine, just very weak. And I had to move slowly so as not to pass out. 

I had 3 second degree tears that each got a stitch. 

And tons of poo! I always heard about the mom pooping on the baby, but never the baby pooping all over the mom. Welp, he pooped allll over! But we snuggled for a while anyways before getting cleaned up. 

My doula stayed an hour after his birth to make sure I was doing well. My nurse had shift change at 7am so I was in new hands but doing just fine. 

According to my son’s measurements and the number of days early he was, the state requires diabetes testing. He was one day early for the deadline. I told the nurses to please pass on this! No more pricks for my baby. The nurses took in the towering height of my husband and I told them he’s the shortest of his brothers. And that he’s shorter than two of my brothers. My baby came by his length and weight honestly! Thankfully, they waived the testing.

We had difficulty getting a good latch for nursing but the hospital had amazing lactation consultants for support. The pediatric doctor said my son had a slight tie but nothing that would affect nursing. A week later we ended up having his tongue tie cut and the difference was incredible! No more razor pain every time we nursed. The hardest part was keeping up with the every-three-hours tongue stretches to keep it from re-attaching.

On the way home on Monday, my husband was singing the praises of having a doula. He now recommends one to any of his friends with a pregnant wife! He loved not having to be my only support. But more importantly, she told him what to do, when to and how to be the best support for me. She even told him when to nap so that he wouldn’t be too exhausted.

What a joy it’s been to write out this story from first-hand memory! My first son’s birth was recounted to me second hand through my husband, ambulance personnel, my ER nurse friend and my giant scar. 

I thank the Lord for a “normal,” healing birth experience and a healthy, happy baby. 

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