Tale of Two Births


She is finally here! Our little I was born on Tuesday. We know have an E and I. It is a bit like Old McDonald’s farm, but no plans for an O to complete the song. E,I,E,I,O…

They were both healthy and strong and I escaped the ordeal relatively unscathed. This time around has been different in almost every other way, though.

For starters, I had an epidural this time and I was au natural last time. I recognized the building pain from a mile away this time and was so grateful for the epidural that I gladly accepted the side effects like all the wires and monitoring, body temp regulation extremes, and itchy skin. My first labor, I dilated from 1 to 10 cm in about two hours. This time, I was dilated at 1 cm for weeks then went from 3 to 10 cm in 45 minutes. Most women suffer through that pain in bite sized pieces over an 8-24 hour period. I do not know if one is better or worse than the other, but my first labor I literally thought I was going to die. The second time around, I ate lunch reclining in my hospital bed and texted friends while I dilated.

Pregnancy, labor and recovery are truly miracles, but Mother Nature is one wicked, sadistic bitch sometimes. No one really talks about the days immediately following giving birth. My uterus has already nearly contracted back to its normal size. So what took nine months to stretch from my pelvis to up by my rib cage has contracted back in 3 days. Contractions are Mother Nature’s way of doing this. And who is the driver? Your baby and her insatiable sucking urge. It felt like being in labor and nursing simultaneously. I could only take two paracetamol every seven hours. It felt like peeing on a house fire.

Yesterday marked the beginning of my hormone roller coaster ride. Let the tears flow. It must correspond to the uterus contraction completing and the filling of my milk jug sized, well, jugs. A sign should be posted on the door, “Beware of hormones.” They are so real and so controlling and overwhelming yet unrecognizable to most people.

For our recovery, last time I walked the four blocks home from the hospital just hours after giving birth. This time I am staying in the hospital’s birth hotel. Along with my mom staying with us for six weeks, staying at the birth clinic were the best decisions we could have made.


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