I’m excited to share how baby number two came into the world today! (Don’t worry – this is a positive and non-graphic birth story!)
Christian Matthew Windle was born on January, 2nd and since then we’ve just been in survival mode. It’s definitely harder to deal with an infant when you also have a toddler to take care of! But we are starting to get into a routine so I have time to post about how it all went down!
Christian’s Birth Story
My due date was January 1st but I had a feeling that I’d go over my due date. I was five days late with my first and had to be induced so I figured this one would be similar. Even though I wanted the baby to come out ASAP because I was really uncomfortable, my doctor was out of town until the 30th so I didn’t want baby to come TOO early. Luckily, it all worked out and my doctor and my parents were able to be in town by January 1st!
I started having cramps sporadically close to my due date. Looking back on it now, those were probably contractions! I didn’t get contractions at home during my first pregnancy so I wasn’t sure what they would feel like! On January 2nd I had a chiropractor appointment in the morning around 10am and I had been having pretty regular cramps all morning. I went to my appointment anyway but by the end I felt like I should probably go to the hospital! I had downloaded a contraction timer app just to make sure and it told me I should head to the hospital because they were happening every 4-6 minutes and lasting for about a minute.
So I headed back home, my parents came over to watch Harrison, and my husband and I headed to the hospital around 11:30am! I was admitted and when the nurse checked me out I was about 4.5 – 5cm dilated! So things were starting to happen!
At the Hospital
The first thing they have to do is put the IV in and for me, that’s the worst part of the whole labor experience. I hate needles and for some reason it really hurts! I was started on some antibiotics because I was diagnosed with GBS towards the end of my pregnancy. It’s a bacterial infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics right before you give birth so that you don’t pass it on to the baby. It sounds a little scary but as long as you get to the hospital early enough they can treat it with two round of antibiotics and everything is fine!
Then it’s just a waiting game. I had to wait for the two rounds of antibiotics and get the epidural scheduled. I ended up getting the epidural shortly after so I might have been around 5 or 6 cm dilated. The contractions were starting to get more intense but it wasn’t unbearable. With my first birth I waited until I was 7cm and it was definitely painful! I recommend getting the epidural sooner than later. There’s no reason to be so uncomfortable! The epidural is definitely uncomfortable but I don’t find that it hurts that much. The IV for me is definitely more painful!
Once I got the epidural things were good! The epidural numbs my legs but I’m still able to move them around a little bit. My doctor stopped by around 5pm to check on me. He asked the nurses to check on me in an hour to see how far I had progressed and then let him know. Obviously, I wasn’t far enough along to start pushing or he would have stuck around.
When 5pm hit my nurse came to check on me and was shocked to find that the baby’s head was coming out! Ahh! I was shocked too! I couldn’t really feel much down there because of the epidural so I had no idea! She shouted for some help because my doctor wasn’t there. My husband ran into the hall to ask more nurses for help. My main nurse wasn’t even there because she was in another room helping a lady who was delivering.
It sounds crazy but I pushed once or twice and baby Christian was OUT! It all happened in about 4 minutes! I couldn’t believe it. My doctor showed up shortly after and was there to finish things up…haha. I guess he still needed to deliver the placenta and stitch me up a little. I ended up having a small 2nd degree tear which wasn’t that bad.
I feel very lucky to have delivered a happy and healthy baby so quickly! I was even more shocked to find out he was 9lb 2oz!! How did he come out so easily?! The whole labor experience was about 7 hours. I got to the hospital around 11:30am and delivered around 6pm the same day! I guess I was right when I kept saying that I felt like the baby was going to fall out because he was so low! I thought since this was my second birth that things would be a little quicker but I didn’t expect it to go so quick! But I’m definitely happy about it.
My Advice for a Good Labor and Delivery Experience
I’m not a doctor or medical professional so this advice is just my personal opinion based on my experience. Always consult your doctor with any medical questions!
My advice for having a good labor and delivery experience is to skip the birth plan. You need to be able to go with the flow and, in my opinion, having a detailed plan for how you want things to go will only leave you frustrated and disappointed. The only things that I had on my “plan” were to get an epidural and delay the cord clamping after Christian was born. For the rest of it I trusted my nurses and doctor to do what was best.
My second piece of advice is GET THE EPIDURAL! I think that being relaxed and rested is the best thing you can do for your body to make it easier to push and deliver a baby. There’s really no way to be comfortable and get rest when you are having intense contractions. Having the epidural allowed me to get rest and actual enjoy the labor and delivery process.
My last piece of advice would be to focus more on plans for your recovery after delivery. I was surprised that the first couple days postpartum were actually some of the hardest of the whole pregnancy. I was really sore – especially after my first birth when I had a 3rd degree tear and a lot more stitches. I could barely walk, I felt like my insides were going to fall out, and I was really tired.
There’s so much focus and planning that goes into pregnancy and labor and delivery but hardly anyone talks about The 4th Trimester – aka, the first 3 months after you give birth.
I’ll have an updated post up on my Postpartum Essentials soon but make sure you have a support system for the first couple weeks after you deliver! You also want to make sure you have everything to make YOUR recovery easier and more comfortable.
I also want to add that I think chiropractic care during pregnancy really helped me have smooth deliveries both times. I start seeing a chiropractor in my third trimester and I go back postpartum as well. I do have back pain during pregnancy so the chiropractor helps with that. But I believe it also helps align the hips and get everything ready for an easier birth. Towards the last couple of weeks I was seeing the chiropractor every week and then every couple of days for quick adjustments. At my last appointment (which was the day I gave birth!) my chiro told me that my hips looked really open and ready for labor and that I’d have an easy birth. He was right!
Since Christian’s birth we’ve just been taking it slow and trying to adjust to being a family of 4! It’s definitely a lot harder with a baby and a toddler! But we are surviving thanks to help from our family and friends!