Some days it still hits me that I am not only the parent of one, but TWO little babes. I can look back on TWO pregnancy experiences, TWO gender reveals, and meeting TWO brand new, tiny humans! Not only that, but now both of those sweet tiny people are over the age of ONE!
The second time around was definitely different, but still I was again blessed with another beautiful birth experience. I was due with Joshua on April 13th, 2019. My dad is also an April baby, so we all were messaging back and forth with guesses of when our sweet little boy would make his appearance.
I remembering feeling wildly discouraged when I went to one of my last appointments and was only measuring about 1 cm dilated. I was also terrified because Joshua was measuring pretty big. Sophie had always been petite, and looking back I feel as though that had something to do with my quick recovery the first time around. My doctor had told me that Joshua was measuring as though he would be over 8lbs which absolutely freaked me out. I was terrified because this time around I would not only be a mother of a newborn but also a toddler. Granted, Josh was lucky enough to have two weeks off, which is more than other women’s spouses usually get, but if I couldn’t really recover in those two weeks, I felt like I would have a hard time with my recovery.
I began doing my own pre-labor tricks that I believed to have worked with Sophie; drinking date and pineapple smoothies, taking Primrose oil, bouncing on an exercise ball. Nothing really seemed to be working. That is until April 7th. That Sunday night, I started to feel serious contractions. By that I mean seriously painful and long enough to make think that labor was not far away. I told Josh how cool it would be if we had both babies on Monday’s and in my head, I thought I would be. All of the doctors I had seen had told me that this delivery would be pretty fast since with Sophie I barely spent anytime pushing at all.
But the next morning I woke up and the contractions had died down a bit. Yet within a few hours they came back long and strong. The thing was though, they were wildly inconsistent. Some would be 3 minutes apart each lasting for 45 seconds, and then there would be some that were 28 minutes apart, each lasting about 1 minute 15 seconds. I was so confused and pretty frustrated. These were painful, but obviously, my body was not regulating these contractions. I started to get pretty worried. I would later find out that I was in Prodromal Labor. Prodromal labor is still early labor, but the intensity can confuse many women to believe that active labor has begun. I am not going to lie; this stage was pretty painful and frustrating. I felt overwhelmed with the fact that I was going through contractions while taking care of a toddler, and the thing was that I felt as if they were not productive in furthering my dilation.
Monday came and went. No baby. Tuesday came and went. No baby. Wednesday came and went. NO BABY. But what did Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday all have in common? Contractions. Painful, inconsistent contractions. I would wake up in the middle of the night either needing to pee, trying to get comfortable, or recording how long a contraction was lasting. Just in case.
I woke up Thursday morning at 2:49 am to yet another painful contraction. I recorded the time on my phone. 1 minute 8 seconds. 3:02 am. 1 minute 12 seconds. 3:11 am. 1 minute 1 second. 3:20 am. 1 minute 7 seconds. These contractions didn’t feel any different than the ones I had been experiencing. Just as painful, just as uncomfortable, but still not as consistent in time between. I decided that I was awake and that I just wanted to get comfortable. So, I rolled my big basketball belly over the side of the bed, and waddled my way to the bathtub. I threw in some Epsom salts, turned on the warm water and settled into the bath. And all of a sudden. Boom. 3:46 am. 45 seconds. 3:50 am. 58 seconds. 3:55 am. 1 minute 9 seconds. 3:59 am. 49 seconds. 4:02 am. 57 seconds. 4:06 am. 59 seconds. 4:09 am. 1 minute. 4:12 am. 1 minute 7 seconds. 4:15 am. 1 minute 5 seconds. I held myself up on the side of the tub during every contraction, and I remember thinking, “Oh no. No, no, no. I am not about to have this baby at home or in the car.”
I got out of the bathtub and went to tell Josh that I thought something was up. I showed him my timer and asked what he thought we should do. He said that since they had been that quick for less than an hour, we should wait and then go. That moment I got another very big, very painful contraction. I had to hold myself up on our dresser, trying my best to breathe. After it was over, I will never forget the look on Josh’s face. He looked at me and said, “Yeah, we need to go.” I couldn’t help but laugh. He told me later on that he had never seen me in that kind of pain, even with Sophie. So, seeing me like that had definitely freaked him out. The thing this time though was that we had to wait for my parents to get to the house since Sophie was asleep in her room.
Josh called my parents and told them that they needed to get to the house right away. My parents live about 15 minutes away. My dad was in our driveway in a little under 10. I remember thinking “THANK GOD.” as I waddled myself, and our diaper bag to the car. On the way to the hospital I just kept thinking “Please God don’t let me have this baby in the car. Please, please, please.” Thankfully we live maybe 5 minutes away from the hospital we were giving birth at. Josh parked as close as he could and helped me out of the car. On the way up to the L&D floor, we had to stop 4 times as I was experiencing contractions.
We got signed in and I got into a gown, and as they went to check how dilated I was, THE CONTRACTIONS STOPPED. I don’t mean slowed down in time or spacing. I mean STOPPED. Once they hooked me up to the machine to monitor myself and the baby, it took about 20 minutes for a contraction to come. I looked at Josh and my eyes started to well up. “I was just being a big baby. I made it this big thing and it’s not I was just being a baby.” He laughed and gave me a hug and promised me that I hadn’t been a baby. That he had watched me and helped me record each contraction and they were real and the pain I was feeling was real. I still felt like the dumbest and biggest baby in the world. We sat there as the contractions again were painfully long, but inconsistent. One of the nurses checked to see how dilated I was and let me know that I was a little over 3 cm. Not enough to be admitted. But she also told me that they were a little worried about Joshua. His heart rate seemed to dip every time I would have a contraction. I asked if it was bad, and she told me that it was enough to make them worry and want to admit me so they could keep an eye on it. In that moment I was exhausted, in pain, and now deeply worried for my little one.
They got us into a room and asked if I would want an epidural, to which I enthusiastically answered “Absolutely!” The doctor came in and gave me one about 30 minutes later, since it was just about to be change of shift and there were no other women in line before me. I remember being thankful that I now knew what to expect, and Josh helped hold me still, and it was over and done in less than a minute. I remember talking with the doctor as she told us she remembered us from Sophie’s birth, and that I had excellent anatomy. I laughed and thanked her, and to this day I think that is the funniest compliment I have ever received. After that we talked with the nurse for a while and then decided to get some rest as the epidural kicked in. The nurse came in a little later and let me know that my contractions weren’t regulating out, so I was given a small dose of Pitocin. I finally was able to get in a small nap and I don’t think I have ever been so thankful to get some rest! That whole week had been wildly exhausting dealing with a mix of having contractions, taking care of a toddler and getting very little sleep. Truly, I think it was my best nap ever!
Around 10:45 am, I was finally at 6 cm and they decided to break my water. After that, each contraction came with intense pressure and a little pain. I kept thinking, oh crap. It’s actually happening again! For some reason, I had been under the impression that I wasn’t actually having a baby that day. What can I say, pregnancy brain is a very strange and complicated thing! About an hour later of intense contractions, I was finally 10 cm. The doctor came in to check me and asked me to push a little whenever I felt the pressure of the next contraction. When I did, she said “OK, ok stop! Stop, stop! You are definitely having a baby, RIGHT NOW.”
Their team all came in and got everything prepared, and I remember being so ridiculously thankful for all of them. They were all so helpful, kind, and funny. This was absolutely their calling. One of the nurses asked me if I wanted to use the mirror and I said “Sure.” And I am so thankful I did! Going through birth is absolutely incredible, but watching birth is another story. All I can say, is that I absolutely view myself and other mothers as powerful and warriors. Women are without a doubt, INCREDIBLE.
I had told my nurse and doctor that with Sophie, I was lucky to have a quick birth with only a few pushes. This time, all I needed was two contractions and four pushes, at 12:02 pm, our sweet Joshua Daniel was suddenly here.
Something about Joshua is that I chose his name when I was twelve years old. I always knew that I would name my first son Joshua Daniel. I have always thought that Joshua is a handsome name, and Daniel is a family name, being my dad and my brothers, two of the most incredible men I have ever had in my life. So, it was just God’s sense of humor that I ended up marrying a Joshua, and his dad’s name was also Daniel.
My sweet, handsome boy came earth side on April 11th 2019 weighing 7 lbs. 8 oz. and 20.5 inches long. My sweet boy. I remember looking at him and whispering that I had waited most of my life waiting to meet him. Now, here he was lying on my chest.
I will forever be grateful for the two, beautiful birth stories I am lucky to call my own. I hope this is counts as a little encouragement to all the mothers out there who are waiting for their own birth stories. My only advice is that it is good to accept whatever may come. Stay positive and be prepared for anything. Giving birth is one crazy beautiful ride!
Joshua, if you ever stumble upon this, know that we love you with everything we have, and I am so thankful for the ways you have changed me and helped me grow. You will forever and always be my sweet blessing baby boy. I love you, and Happy First Birthday!
Thank you all for taking the time to read about one of the most special moments in my life. I hope you all have blessed day!