Whoever told me your second baby comes early, I call BS LOL. Whoever told me that your second labour is much different, and easier than your first, I wish I believed you! It would've saved me weeks of anxiety, agonizing over labour and delivery. My first was SO long and painful, that I was worried history would repeat itself. I was told that one of the reasons my labour with Stella was so painful was because my water broke before contractions had started. This time around my water didn't break and it made all the difference during early labour.
I was a week overdue, 3 cm dilated, and about 7 stretch and sweeps, and 2 labour inducive acupuncture sessions in. At this point I thought I would just keep dilating, pain free, until it was time to push, HA! The evening before we met our baby, my contractions began, but I didn't tell anyone. I was starting to lose credibility because every night before bed I would say "this is the night!". Rightfully so, no one believed me, and I was also slightly in denial myself. At 3AM contractions woke me up, so I popped Tylenol and Gravol, and went right back to bed. In the morning the troops rolled in; my husband stayed home from work, my sister came over (she's been with us for the labour and delivery of both our girls), and our midwife came by to check my progress. I was at 4 cm. She said it was hard to say how quick I would progress, and told me to keep her posted. On her way out she did mention that most people go into labour once their mind was at ease. This meant, once Stella was out of sight and out of mind, and she was right!
The contractions were stopping me in my tracks, but I didn't want to scare Stella, so we chatted and played until nap time. Once I put her down, the contractions intensified. They were now 4 min apart. My midwife was going to come by and check my progress, but I wanted a change of scenery. I thought I would be home all day/ night labouring, and decided to go into her office. She told me to bring my hospital bags, and I laughed, thinking she was crazy. I was seriously in denial!!!
When I arrived at her office, I was 5 cm dilated, so we head over to the hospital. It was 3:30PM when I arrived. I was able to walk from the parking lot to the labour and delivery unit. I even stopped at Tims to get a muffin. It wasn't until my muffin felt like it was getting lodged in my throat between contractions that I was like HOLY SMOKES, I think I'm having this baby today! LOL. I put the muffin aside, and sh*t got real.
I progressed from 5 to 8 cm really quick. Because of this, I was losing quite a bit of blood and had to be hooked up to an IV. When I was having a contraction I would scream for an epidural, but once the contraction was over, I debated on whether or not I wanted it; I was SO indecisive. This is where my midwife put things into perspective. She said that if they broke my water I would have a baby in my arms within 30 minutes, which was 10 contractions. I could get through 10 contractions! This little pep talk was exactly what I needed. They broke my water, and OH MY LORD, I never experienced such intensity in my life. Just when I thought I was too tired, and too weak, I found it in me to get through, just one more contraction. Then, I started feeling the urge to push and I panicked. I was terrified to push, because I didn't know what it felt like. With Stella I was completely numb from the epidural and didn't feel a thing. In an effort to be transparent, let me point out that I was labouring on all fours. It was the only way I felt "comfortable" and I refused to change positions. Once I began pushing I felt like my butt was going to split in half (TMI? LOL), which is apparently normal. What helped me get through it (besides the fact that there was no way out!) was reassurance. I needed to know that what I was feeling was normal. It also helped that my sister told me once the baby was out all the pain would instantly stop. And she was right.
A few pushes, some sweat, and tons of lost lashes later (RIP lash extensions), the pain went away. It was 7:13PM. I was told to reach through my legs (this was so bizarre to me), as they passed me my baby GIRL! Just like with Stella, my first thoughts when I looked at her were, "Oh my god, another baby Joe!" LOL. She didn't have a name for the first few hours (we were stuck between two), but then decided on sweet little Ms. Chloe. Stella came in to meet her shortly after, and has honestly been so good to her sister ever since. Because we had midwives we were able to leave the hospital 3 hours after delivery, so we took our baby girl home that night.
I get asked a lot if I had a 3rd, if I would get an epidural, or not and I think it's all dependant on the circumstances. For me, it would have to be decided in the moment. There is no right or wrong, it's just what feels rights for you at the time. But now, let's not get ahead of ourselves, talking about a potential baby #3!! We are ecstatic to be a family of 4 and watch our daughters grow and become besties. So far there's been no jealousy, a few extra tantrums, and lots and lot of love for baby sis.