Adeline’s Birth Story
My second pregnancy was a night and day difference from my first, and it made me realize this is the type of pregnancy that makes women want to keep having babies.
With my first pregnancy I was sick pretty much the entire time, gained 35 pounds, and stopped exercising at 27 weeks (did I mention a global pandemic?) This time around I had no nausea, and it was a game changer. This allowed me to continue to eat my normal healthy diet, and on top of that, I lost my sweet tooth, so I had no cravings for sugar or treats every night. Couple that with no longer drinking alcohol or sugary coffee drinks and being able to continue to exercise regularly throughout my pregnancy, and I only gained 12 pounds this time!
As a person who has always struggled with body image and weight, this felt like a miracle to me. It also helped me still feel like myself and continue to do all the things I need to, like taking care of my now toddler and working with patients.
I was able to use the same midwife I had with my first for another home birth. We agreed that this labor would probably be a little faster, so my midwife let me pick up the birth tub early to have it ready as soon as labor started…which I was grateful for.
I had some difficulty getting in the right mindset the second time around. I think once you’ve gone through labor (very recently I might add) it’s a little harder to be excited about it coming again. It wasn’t that I was anxious or afraid per se. But knowing what I was in for this time around, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it.
Adding in the fact that life was so much busier, I decided to do a hypnosis session with a hypnobirthing provider, and I’m so glad I did. I feel like after that session, I was in a much better state of mind and was able to start visualizing and listening to my birth meditations again. I imagined this labor would be much like my first and had planned for my mom to be in town to take our son to my sister’s house so we could fully focus on the birth.
Of course, my plans meant nothing.
Adeline Was Eager To Arrive
Technically, you could say my labor was five hours long. Around 4pm, I started having semi-regular contractions. But since I had been having Braxton hicks for weeks prior, I didn’t really realize at first that it was labor beginning. I had no water breaking, no bleeding, nothing.
I made and ate dinner and around 5:30 asked my partner if there was anything he needed to get sent out before he went on leave. He said yes, and I told him to get it out, just in case. By 6:30, the contractions were regular, every 15 minutes or so, and getting a little stronger, but I still wasn’t convinced it was go time. It was five days before my due date, and I wasn’t expecting baby to arrive even a little bit early.
I did call my midwife and let her know but didn’t want her to drive all the way up to my house in rush hour if it wasn’t time. She said she’d start packing up and call me back in twenty minutes. I had my partner start getting the birth tub set up as I hung out on the couch with our 2-year-old playing in the living room with me.
By the time the midwife called back, I knew this was it and told her yes it’s time. Come now! At this point, it was getting hard to talk between contractions. We turned the TV on for Charlie, and he zoned out while my partner finished getting things set up. By the time the midwife arrived, I was climbing into the birth tub, and contractions were less than a minute apart. To me this is when my labor ‘began,’ and it escalated quickly.
Joel left briefly to put Charlie to bed, and luckily, Charlie slept through the rest of the evening. I started to worry something was wrong. This did not feel like my first labor.
From the time I got into the water until the delivery there was no break in contraction. There were still waves of intensity every 30 seconds, but it never stopped. I overheard Joel asking the midwife if I needed an IV like I did the last time due to being Strep B positive, and she said, “Oh there’s not time. The baby is coming.”
While it was reassuring to know nothing was wrong, the intensity of fitting an entire labor into two hours was unlike anything else. I remember my arms shaking, nails digging into the side of the birth tub, and by the end having difficulty just continuing to breathe. At 9pm I could feel the transition. I was on my knees in the water when the midwife checked me and said baby was stuck on the pubic rim. I changed positions to be on my left side in the water, and out she came two contractions later.
A New Family of Four
As they brought the baby up onto my chest and I looked into her wide open eyes, that same bond of love and longing came over me. It was something I had been worried about, loving another little human with the same fervor as my son. But as everyone says, it just happens. Your heart just expands, and you can no longer imagine life without this new little one.
The placenta delivered more easily about 30 minutes later while we stayed in the water. After getting out, I had the onset of the shakes and handed the baby off to dad. Baby and I had all our checks done, ate, got her latched for the first time and were all in bed by midnight. The next day, Charlie woke up to his new baby sister, and life as a family of four began…