what second childbirth feels like
Babies, Pregnancy & Birth, Stories of My Life

What The Second Childbirth Feels Like | Story of my life

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I enjoy being pregnant. I think the pregnancy stage is the most beautiful stage of women’s lives. If I were to choose, I’d choose to be an elephant as they get to grow babies in their wombs for two years. We have only 40 weeks. Except for the last two to three weeks, the rest of the pregnancy is simply magnificent.

And, of course, some women may disagree with me, as the first trimester is rather tricky and may involve lots of nausea and intoxication. For some women, unfortunately, the pregnancy process is rather difficult. But for me, it remains magical. As all spectrum of hormones triggers, I become simply happy and calm. Every day, I get to enjoy life and connect with that little “seed” growing in my body.

I was warned that the second pregnancy may happen quicker. This is when your doctor or midwife ask you about your first pregnancy, birth and labour, and then they conclude what your second birth could look like. Apparently, it’s very common that the second babies repeat the pattern.

Based on the first time, I gave birth on 40 weeks + 0 days exactly, this is why this time I was told I should have a child born probably a few days earlier than my due date and much quicker than the first one.

Looking ahead, Kai was born 3 days earlier (39+4) and in 25 minutes.

Any regrets?

Well, I should have remembered about that warning, and left the house earlier to be on time for my water birth. Unfortunately, by the time the bathtub was filled with warm water, Kai made his first cry.

Lots of people were saying I am lucky it happened that quick. Indeed, I agree with them. My body and my newborn son didn’t let me down by leaving zero tears after all.

So, let me quickly share my story with you, a story of my life.

I decided to work until the last day. You see, in the UK, I have got only one year of maternity leave. Paid or unpaid, it is a legal requirement to hold off your position by the employer for one year. I knew that there was nothing I wanted to do before the birth, so I didn’t need to rest. Besides, I worked from home, so it was already convenient enough.

Everyone’s body works differently. I have never met anyone like me. It seems the standard situation is when contractions and pain start only a few days before the actual birth. In both cases, I had my “pre-contractions” started three to four weeks prior.

It wasn’t an exception this time. Sleepless nights and pre-contractions were there long before Kai was born. The only difference was that this time I had a very uncomfortable pain on my side and in my ribs. Only later, the midwife explained to me that these were what we call contractions. What a weird sensation!

I guess my body needs a fair amount of time to prepare itself for a smooth birth. All these contractions I had for such a long time lasted only in stages. For instance, this time I had them every morning starting at 2-3am, whereas the first time I had them started by 9pm sharp. This pain is not extreme, but rather dull, boring, nagging pain.

And so slowly, I got used to this mode. I worked fine, we used to go out with my first son, Teo, to the theatre, to the adventure park, to cafes, etc.

My last day at work was Tuesday, the 17th of January. On Thursday, my soon-to-come-to-this-world baby disturbed me during the working hours for the very first time. That happened on Friday too during the meeting (which is very inconvenient, especially when you need to talk and you are left out of breath). I had to excuse myself from the meeting. This was when I thought: “that must be it!”. However, like on Thursday, this discomfort lasted for a few hours only. I joined the last work meeting of the day and who knew then that it would be my last meeting for the next year and a few months.

I woke up on Saturday and suddenly I had an urge to be left alone. It is such an odd feeling when you are absolutely irritated and disturbed for no reason. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or to think about anything. I requested to close the door to the room and give myself an hour.

It was the entire morning I had these light contractions come and go. I remember, I went to walk our Labrador Max, I sent a voice message to my mother-in-law saying that I feel I will be a mother for the second time soon. I called our nanny who should stay with Teo during the labour. But she could come only by 6pm in the evening.

I still wasn’t sure. The thing is that I did not want to be sent home, so I waited. I started to discuss something with my sister over the phone, when I realized I couldn’t finish one sandwich in the last ten minutes because of the repeated contractions. My husband looked at me and asked to start tracking the contractions again. I opened the tracker app. It became obvious very soon that we may be a bit late for spending time alone together. You know, how they say, “we were admitted to the ward and spent the whole day together watching movies, listening to the music, exploring different positions to rest, we even managed to get some sleep and had several massage sessions.” This wasn’t my story.

The taxi was there in 10 minutes. And as I got in the cab, it started.

The elevating pain every 3 minutes. And there was a fear I won’t make it on time. I thought I would be one of those women that had their baby in a car.

I wasn’t lucky with a triage nurse, they let me wait far too long before I was admitted to the ward. I missed my bathtub and water birth.

By the time we entered triage, my mind started to blur. I vaguely remember the details.

Finally, somebody got in. She asked why they waited so long and put me into a wheelchair. My poor husband had to take charge of it all. He had our suitcase with baby things and a set change of clothes, our coats, my shoes, some documents and he was asked to push me on the wheelchair.

It was only 100m to the ward, I think. But I requested to stop a few times on the way because I couldn’t bear the contractions anymore. Nothing was comfortable. Nothing was dull or nagging. It was a killing pain when you don’t know where to put yourself. The worst case is that you don’t know what is happening and what you should do exactly: to push or hold, to take long breaths or breathe like an exhausted dog.

We finally arrived. The room was so spacious and so beautiful. I regretted that we didn’t come earlier. I knew he was about to go out. I felt his head. By that time, contractions happened every minute … or even non-stop. I didn’t check the clock, I was just asking if I was allowed to push.

The midwife tried to take the baby’s heart rate by kneeling down and quickly realized she was too late with any type of tests. She ordered me to put me on a bed. That bed was so high, I remember I struggled to get on top of it. Bed sheets were snow white and I was thinking how they managed to keep them so clean.

I was lying flat on the bed, and staring at my husband’s face. Another contraction came and that was horribly deadly painful. I felt that this baby was literally tearing me apart.

“They will need to repair my entire vagina after this!” – I thought and screamed so loud that everyone in the room needed to close their ears. It was similar to opera singing. My husband couldn’t help himself to laugh. He found it very amusing.

Me too. We had a good laugh afterwards. Even I was scared of that screaming ability of mine. Normally, I can bear pain quite well. But at that moment, the pain was quite real.

The midwife then asked my husband what to do. He then said that I should stop screaming and put all this energy that just came out of me into a push, but silently. Later, he told me that I was unresponsive to whatever the midwife was saying. It seemed that I could hear only him.

Once he said that, I pushed. In complete silence.

Kai Adrian was born on the 14th of January at 11:01 pm. He wasn’t loud, and he didn’t scream a lot. This boy always knew what he wanted since he was born.

What I liked the most was that once he showed up, they put him onto me. It was that skin contact we both needed. Both naked, both exhausted, both fragile. I am pretty sure our minds were somewhere else. However, I do remember crying and thanking my husband for our second child. That moment of pure joy, happiness, surprise can’t be explained. This experience can only be lived. And so, we were in absolute ecstasy.

Until the umbilical cord stopped pulsating, we were there together, Kai and I. My husband finally was allowed to cut it. Kai was checked, he weighed 3,374g and he was 50 cm long.

Half an hour later, he found his way to eat. He was breastfed a couple of times within the first two hours of his life and slept through the night until 9 am in the morning.

This was our last time we slept for so long….until Kai turned three.

Enjoy the parenthood! You are the best parents to be!

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