2nd birth vs 1st birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 07-24-2014, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
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2nd birth vs 1st birth

How does the birth of a second child compare to the first? Is there anything that happened in the labor and delivery of the first child that affected how you prepared for the second?

single mama to DD1 (June 2011) and DD2 (Dec 2014)
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#2 of 14 Old 07-24-2014, 11:48 PM
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Yes! With my first I thought I was so prepared. In hindsight I really wasn't. I was scared, and I tightened up. It was still a 12 hour problem free labor in a hospital, but I really didn't enjoy it. It felt like thunder abd lightning in side me. And I felt completely out of control, and at the whim of everyone else in the room.

With #2 I took control. I went to a birthing center with midwives. I hired a doula. I did even more research. My doula gave me a few pages of birthing affirmations and one in particular really spoke to me "the power of my contractions can not be stronger than me, because it is me". That was monumentally important for me to hear, and internalize. I realized that all my words to describe my first labor involved outside force. I read a lot of articles on mothering about positive language of birthing, and I read every gentle birth story I could find. I had a 4 hour labor where I was able to go inside and just let go. It was beautiful. It was peaceful. It was even pleasurable. I loved it so much!

Then of course with my 3rd I thought I had this birthing thing down. I hired a homebirth midwive, a doula and was ready to rock out another peaceful labor. Instead, I had an under 2 hour labor. My doula got there at the very end, my midwife barely made it in time, and I full on ROARED that boy out. Loud and fierce. There wasn't time to go inside, there wasn't time to let go, there was just enough time for me to realize that I needed to get out of the way. This was happening now. It wasn't my favorite experience, but it sure was fast!

Now with this little guy I 'think' that I've learned enough to know that I just don't know what's going to happen!
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#3 of 14 Old 07-25-2014, 05:05 AM
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Yes. My first was a 26 hour induction with 3 hours of pushing. My second was 2 hours total with 8 minutes of pushing.
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DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
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#4 of 14 Old 07-25-2014, 06:12 AM
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My first was such an experience. I went with the pretty laid out birthplan that I developed with my midwife (I delivered in a hospital). I went 12 hours with no epidural but eventually the pain and exhaustion took over. After 32 hours of laboring, I got stuck at 6 cm and my son had actually moved back up the birth canal instead of descending. In the end because of the duress it causing both him and me, we did an emergency C-section and all was well.

With #2 due in December, I'm going into with an open mind and considering a vaginal delivery. I am TERRIFIED of the pain but I want to let my body do what it does to the best of my ability. One thing I have learned is that even the best laid plans need to be flexible.

Me (33) - DH (39) - DS (6) - DS (3months)

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#5 of 14 Old 07-25-2014, 08:34 AM
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I was induced for oligiohydramnios with my first (against my will! I was sooooo disappointed to be induced!). The pit was so high that I felt I needed an epidural (which I really didn't want). He rotated posterior and after 3 hours of pushing, and an attempt to manually rotate him, he was super wedged in there and stuck, so I had a cesarean. They had to shove him back up from below since he was wedged in my pelvis. It was so hard and I had PTSD symptoms afterwards (nightmares, flashbacks, emotional outbursts).

My second was a totally natural and beautiful hospital VBAC. I labored at home for 12 hours and then arrived at the hospital at 9.5 cm!

My third was a home water birth and only 3.5 hours start to finish, and I felt much like maranapanda in that it was too fast for me to really get into labor land.

My second labor was my favorite one, although the third birth (pushing and postpartum) was my favorite.

Really... all very different experiences!!!

I found I had to do a lot of emotional healing in between the first and the second. I had to release a lot of fears. I read a lot of birth books, including Ina May Gaskins' "spiritual midwifery" and "guide to childbirth." I also took the hypnobabies home study program. I also sought out supportive midwives.

RN, IBCLC. DS is 6, DD1 is 4, DD2 is 1! DD3 due in December!
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#6 of 14 Old 07-25-2014, 01:11 PM
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the biggest (most important) difference between birth one and two was switching care providers from an OB to a midwife. My OB gave me a rough internal exam that caused bleeding (on purpose?) at 39 weeks, as she was telling me that she would be on call for the next 2 nights. Two hours after my appointment, I started leaking fluid. I waited until the next day to call the OB, trying to see if labor would start on its own. It never did, so I had to be induced with Pitocin and it was increased over and over, by the time my contractions started they hit me like a ton of bricks with no breaks in between. I still managed to have a vaginal birth without pain meds, but it felt like torture. The prenatal care provided by my midwife was worlds apart from the care I had with an OB. If I was lucky, the OB visit would be 15 minutes (shorter than the wait in the lobby!) but my midwife would spend one hour minimum at each prenatal appointment. I had #2 (at 41 weeks) with the midwife at the hospital. Quick birth (2 hours from start to finish) and only in the hospital 30 minutes before baby arrived. Stayed at home for births 3 and 4 and of course in hindsight, I wish that I had birthed all my babies at home <3

Laura ~ Mama to three wild and wonderful boys , our rainbow baby girl on 7/2/12 and our newest baby girl on 12/30/14!
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#7 of 14 Old 07-26-2014, 06:15 AM
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my first birth was sheer hell. it was at home and everything, but omg, i thought i was dying. literally. i was begging people to call 911. lol. i was convinced armageddon had some at last. neighbors were circling the block to stop and ask about the screaming, while onlookers were stationed downstairs, waiting to see if i really was dying. 15 minutes of pushing, but felt like 8 hours.

the second was soooo easy. omg. i know they're all different, so its not always the case, but it was heaven. it was slow to start, but no pain at all til well into transition. when i started making those sounds, the ones that start happening later on, they put me in the tub. that was fantastic! (only water birth i've had of the 4, but the best). 2 pushes, he was out. i actually made a lasagna and took a shower after. called a friend in another state and giggled into the wee hours of the morning. i still can't fathom how it was so much better.

i should add- i also had a very narrow birth canal to start, so i'm thinking my first one, where she had to break my body in half to come out, had something to do with all that pain. i remember my mother talking about birth, and how it was like bad period cramps, and the stuff you saw on tv was just 'dramatic women' making more of it than it was. LOL. boy oh boy, 'cause i sure was one of those dramatic women on the first go-'round!
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#8 of 14 Old 07-26-2014, 08:05 AM
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There were two huge enormous differences between my first 2 births and the rest. These 2 things made a huge enormous world of difference. I had them in the dark ages, before I had laid eyes on the internet. I had so little information! Still managed natural hospital births, but they were near nightmarish.

The 2 nd huge thing was- by the time I had my 3rd, 8 whole yrs later, we had internet and- I got a midwife! Giving birth was so, so different with a midwife. And I learned that this was MY birth and MY baby, not the hospital staff's. Who knew!!
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North Idaho rural living  mama to: 23 yo DD, 17 yo DS, 9 yo DS, 7 yo DS, 5 yr old DS, 3 yo DD, 2 yo DS, and our newest family member, a boy born December 2014!
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#9 of 14 Old 07-26-2014, 08:08 AM
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my first one was 40 hours terrible labor! I didn't know how to breath or how to push, how to handle the pain lol! my mw didn't help me with any of that and was constantly looking at the watch to show me how slow I am ....anyway I was transferred to the hospital (at her request) and the staff there was totally awesome! The rest of birth went fine and I delivered normally.

my second was at home, but again the mw was not an angel. She felt very authoritative. 14 hours and some 2 hours of pushing.
my third one was the best as labor. I breathed through all the pain and contractions were so manageable. mw came when I was 10 cm dilated! She told me I will push him out in an hour. But it took me 6 hours of pushing, screaming and almost dying of pain. Was totally out of control. Later my mw told me that after my second birth that mw stitched me so narrow! I looked like the first time birthing! Maybe that had to attribute to pain and inability to get him out fast. But the mw was terrific, I hope I can birth with her this time too and really hope I can handle the pushing pain better.

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#10 of 14 Old 07-26-2014, 11:26 AM
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My first was an induction via AROM, we were getting ready to evacuate for a hurricane (and I was already 6 cm dilated). Now I would definitely not do that, but at the time I was completely unprepared for a UC, especially with it potentially happening by the side of the highway in hurricane evacuation traffic!

I was able to refuse all the other interventions that the hospital kept trying to push, but it was very distracting. I ended up spending most of my time sitting in the shower so they would leave me alone. I pushed before my body was ready, simply because I was fully dilated and the CNM said to start pushing. Huge mistake, my body wasn't working with me since I didn't have the urge to push yet and I ended up with a pretty bad tear. Overall it was only about 9 hours from AROM to baby, so not bad.

My 2nd birth was at home and was much quicker, just over 2 hours from first contraction to baby. About 5 minutes of pushing, maybe 2 contractions. DD1 was 10 lbs so she was over 1.5 lbs bigger than DS1 and she was much easier to birth. Definitely a much better experience! I felt safe, I trusted my care provider, and I was comfortable in my environment so my body labored much more efficiently.

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#11 of 14 Old 08-06-2014, 04:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing your stories!! I'm debating whether or not to hire a doula this time, as I'm single and don't have a birth partner. I also remember feeling very scared during the last few hours of labor. I went from 1cm dilated to baby coming out within a couple of hours. The hospital midwives had my birth plan that stated no interventions and pretty much left me alone to figure things out.

I definitely don't want to go to the hospital too early this time, yet I'm afraid if labor this time goes faster I won't make it to the hospital! My family members kept urging me to go to the hospital last time so I don't think any of them will be helpful this time around.

single mama to DD1 (June 2011) and DD2 (Dec 2014)
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#12 of 14 Old 08-06-2014, 05:39 AM
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Reading back through this, I think I will labor at home for a bit this time before going to the hospital. I feel like once you get there they immediately start you on Pitocin to speed things up. I want to let my body do its thing before any interference. Plus I think mentally it will help me.

Me (33) - DH (39) - DS (6) - DS (3months)

I blog: allthingsandlife.blogspot.com
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#13 of 14 Old 08-06-2014, 12:24 PM
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I would definitely stay home as long as possible because it reduces the rate of interventions, like pitocin, and shortens the length of labor overall in most cases! The change of location sometimes slows labor, but it's less likely in later stages.
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#14 of 14 Old 08-06-2014, 12:25 PM
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@girlspn I think hiring a doula is a great idea. I hope you find one!
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