Where does one start on such things? It’s truly amazing how the brain works… I clearly remember telling Greg while I was sobbing in the throes of labor to go make his appointment RIGHT NOW because I am never going through this again! And here we are on day three and I’m trying so hard to remember just how miserable I really was and how determined I remember being that this was definitely our last child. Which is really sad because I’ve always wanted a big family but labor man, I am not a fan. We shall see, we shall see ;) Ironically, the very next morning I got an article in my email on “What labor really feels like” and about half of the women said it was no big deal.. it hurt but it wasn’t unbearable… or better yet, didn’t hurt at all! WHO ARE THESE WOMEN?? Or rather, what is wrong with me because that pain… that’s as close to unbearable as I can stand. Either that or I’m a big pussy and am just not made for this sort of thing. As in all areas of my life, I prefer to think everyone else is just crazy, so we’ll go with that ;)
Our story begins with my water breaking yet again, at 2:30am. It seems to be the time water breaks for me. I had been having Braxton Hicks on and off for what felt like weeks prior so I was hoping they would amount to something soon. I actually started timing them the day before just to see if there was any regularity and they were about 10 min apart from 3 to about 7 and then by the time I went to bed they had gone down to about 6 min apart. I figured I’d get some rest while I could and if they were the real deal, I’d obviously know. Sure enough that oh so familiar gush came and I went into a little bit of a panic because the day I had been dreading was finally here. I know you are supposed to look forward to meeting your precious baby but seriously, I can’t express how much I hate labor. I was SO excited to see those two little lines nine months ago but then got some serious shakes, partly probably from excitement but probably mostly from remembering what comes first. I’ve burst in to tears so many times throughout this pregnancy just thinking about not wanting to go through that again and everyone reassured me that second labors are much easier than firsts and often half the time! My midwife reassured me that my first birth was definitely at the top of the pain scale and that she wouldn’t be surprised if this one was entirely different in a good way. So when early labor started, and was actually semi pleasant, I rejoiced! I remember getting no breaks last time… just pain pain more pain and some nausea thrown in. This time – no nausea (hallelujah!) and definitely no pain in between contractions! It finally felt like what people were talking about. Naturally I figured this was because I was a birthing master and obviously had figured out all the secrets to make this experience positively dreamy as I breathed through those suckers like it was no big deal. Twelve hours later, I realized it was no big deal. We were still in early labor and my mind checked back to birth #1 : this was the time we started pushing. Comparison is the thief of joy, eh? Certainly. This was when I started crying because although it’s early labor and totally bearable, it’s still hard and exhausting and you want it to be over. Mostly you want to meet your baby and when you’re on the 24 hr water breaking deadline, you feel a little under the clock. This was also when them contractions starting saying let’s get this show on the road and they started to get serious. Yet, as with the last birth, they never got all that consistent which with home births, makes it pretty hard to tell how far along you are. My mom came and picked up Abbie which might have been hard for me too because I envisioned this one going real fast, we’d have a baby by noon, she would wake up from her nap to a little sibling and all would be right in the world. The sun would be shining, the birds would be singing, these sorts of things accompanied said vision. Instead my baby girl had to go away because both midwives agreed having to attend to a child can slow down your labor. Looking back, I am SO glad she wasn’t there. I have no idea what we would have done because although the first part was such a drastic difference from my first birth, the second part was SO hard and SO painful and SO had me begging Greg to take me to the hospital because I had literally given up inside and could not do it. This was probably on account of all the things we did to try to get it going: Nipple stimulation. She kept saying it. I kept revealing my immature self with a flurry of nervous giggles, but I pumped those suckers till they could not pump any more.. Contractions sped up a bit but would fall back as soon as I’d stop. Castor oil. I’m pretty sure that just made them ridiculously strong and made me really nauseous. Black and blue herbs. They actually didn’t taste that bad but again, really strong contractions that were still pretty far apart. So, remembering how magical the shower was last time, I jumped in there despite everyone saying it would slow them down even more, and sat and cried and prayed that it all would be over soon. After quite a while and several really hard contractions later, I decided I don’t need to be a martyr and I was ready to go to the hospital. I got out, told Greg, and he went to get the midwife. She checked me, I was a 7, and we had a real serious discussion that went along the lines of: You’re really close. I think if we go it’ll be too late. Are you sure you want to? And then BAM transition happened and body said haha! remember this? and they came like waves in a freakin relentless storm. Look at me! I actually felt the different stages this time so that was fun! I started getting the shakes and feeling real nauseous and thought, this is it! I think we are actually in transition! to which I reminded myself that this was the shortest part and most likely we won’t be pushing for two hours like last time. I changed my motto from I can’t do this anymore to I can do this. I can do this. Greg was proud. I felt like a dork. But I think it worked to switch my mind back over to the finish line when all of my insides were still saying heck no you can’t. BUT THEN the most amazing thing happened and I felt it and told Greg in a less than calm manner, WHERE IS SHE!? I NEED TO KNOW IF I CAN PUSH!! and nine minutes later we had a little boy! I was seriously so shocked he came out that fast because I looked down and saw a head and everyone said they wished they got a picture of my face because I had no idea what it could have been. It looked so tiny and I thought there was no way we could already have a head. The ring of fire was felt this time and OW. These are the things I still remember ;) So there you have it! Seventeen hours later, much discouragement coupled with incredible encouragement on the part of my amazing Greg (seriously couldn’t have done it without him), and a whole lot of work, we have the most precious little BOY in our family! Luke Blane Nettles, you are the dearest most handsome little boy I’ve ever met and I’m still in awe that you are MINE! I love you, little one!
^^Bentley started getting extra cuddly the night before which made me start thinkin… hmmm I wonder if we’ll have a baby soon :) (he will rarely cuddle his momma… one of the great sadnesses in her life…)
^^The picture of the little feet we sent my parents to summon them to meet their new grandbaby! Mom guessed boy by the giant nature of those little footsies :) They are SO long!
^^Meeting baby BROTHER for the first time! She really did look so pleased despite the shock captured here ;) She just loves babies :)
Welcome to our family little buddy! We have waited and wished and prayed for you for so long and can’t believe you are here! We love you!!!
Oh Hilary!! That was a wonderful retelling – glad you wrote it all down! You are an excellent storyteller!
Brings back SO many of my own memories . The pictures are absolutely precious – but how did you manage to take them after ALL THAT?
PS: I don’t understand how ( how?) some women feel no pain at all. Come on!!
Thank you Cindy!
Luke is such a miraculous gift!! What an incredible account, Hill… You did it! AGAIN!! Have I told you again that you’re my hero? Your courage blows my mind and I am so SO grateful for such an amazing brother-in-law to encourage you and support you through it. I love you guys and can’t wait to watch little Luke grow up [SLOWLY]! Hehe
Ever so slowly!!! Kiku Lu :)
I love reading the way you write and to be telling such an awesome story… I have all the heart eyes over here! Congratulations again!
Thank you so much!
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