I wanted to write this post a while ago. It was actually brewing in my head while I was in the recovery room. Why? Because I was miserable and misery loves company. I want to say just kidding, but I would be lying. My pregnancy and delivery were so much harder the second time around. It was just such a whole ordeal it seemed surreal. It’s really crazy how your body could do the same thing again but react a totally different way.
My first pregnancy ended in the kind of labor you don’t want to tell anyone about because it was that easy. My contractions started around one a.m. Although they were two minutes apart by the time I arrived at the hospital, I never dilated past one centimeter. I didn’t use any pain medications or need an epidural right away. It was painful, but tolerable. Once I received the epidural, my water broke very shortly after and it was time for me to push. Ronnie and I had Bob Marley blissfully playing in the background for the whole 14 minutes it took for me to push. I was in labor for only 12 hours. It was fast and beautiful. Don’t hate me tho. My second experience had me believing death was a better option in life.
You think you know all about pregnancy and giving birth until you do it again and pretty much nothing is the same. I was really sick and in so much pain from beginning to end the second time. The only factor that was the same both times was that I had prodromal labor with both boys (Masen since week 35 and Domenic since week 33.) My body basically opted to go into torture chamber mode and make me contract for 2-4 minutes apart for 1-4 hours at a time multiple times throughout the day/night. Yup, seriously. It’s not common by the way. And no, it wasn’t Braxton Hicks. We don’t do amateur moves around here. These were very real and very painful contractions that led to no cervical changes. They had to be stopped multiple times with a drug called Terbutaline to prevent me from going into pre-term labor. I needed steroid shots to help mature Domenic’s lungs at week 35 because we were sure he was coming out early. His lungs weren’t fully developed yet, and I carry small as is so he would’ve had major respiratory issues. On top of that, little man found the best spot to ignite sciatica so bad I couldn’t even walk most days. I was working and I had a super energetic toddler to tend to. There was an abundance of crying, frustration, pain and praying those last 6 weeks.
I miraculously made it to my 39th week of pregnancy. The doctor and I agreed that the baby needed to come out. My body was under too much stress and doing too much unnecessary work. I could get induced, but there was one catch. My cervix was still very high and closed (an “unfavorable cervix” in medical lingo). The only reason the induction could work was that this was my second child so my body would probably know what to do. We would later find out that my body was stupid and didn’t know WTF to do at all. Thanks vessel. Anyway, induction it was. I went in on December 13th at 8 pm to get induced. There was no way I was playing anymore of the waiting game.
At 10 pm, I was given Cervidil (a vaginal insert) to soften my fort knox of a cervix. The contractions started rolling in hot and heavy shortly after. I kept on being offered pain medication, but I held out. My body had done this nonsense for weeks already so it really didn’t faze me at this point. I was mainly holding off for the Pitocin and epidural to be given at the same time since it worked perfectly with Masen. The only problem was that at 6 am, my cervical exam showed no changes after all those contractions. Deep down inside I knew this was going to be an issue again. I didn’t have a birthing plan for this reason. You never know what is going to happen when it comes time to get your baby out. My goal was just a safe delivery for my baby no matter how that happened. Anyway, I told the nurse that my only “demand” was that we not drag out this process. My body was pretty much done weeks ago and I just didn’t have the energy to continue the experiment. Rather then go through another round of Cervidil, I was given Pitocin. Six more hours of very intense drug free contractions….my cervix still never budged. The six-week beat down I took was for nothing. I ended up having a C-section.
Having experienced both a natural birth and a C-section, I can tell you that there are pros and cons to both. The fact that you can hold your baby and walk around a few hours after a natural birth is awesome. Masen never once left my side. After my C-section, I was so incredibly cold from the anesthesia that I couldn’t hold Domenic for very long because I was shaking so badly. Once that subsided, I was able to nurse and then have him by my side for the remainder of my stay. With a vaginal birth, you definitely don’t feel the same down there for a while. You don’t have to worry about tearing or anything like that with a C-section tho. But, a natural birthing experience is more personal in that you don’t require as many nurses to come in and check on you. The constant nurses in and out of my room after my C-section annoyed me. They were absolutely great, but there was one in our room every 5 seconds. They were just doing their job, but I felt like we had zero privacy. Both options are no fun when you’re in it, but the end result erases it all. You truly forget it all once you have your sweet baby in your hands.
My amazing little Domenic was born on December 14, 2017. My 5 pound 15 ounce nugget caused all that big trouble and he was worth it all. Our family feels complete and it’s the greatest feeling imaginable.
Life is beautiful ❤️ #nofilterneeded