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Why is everyone telling me the second birth will be easier? Is it true?

4202 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Nosy
We have interviewed a few midwives and talked with several nurses in the course of my 12 weeks of pregnancy, and everyone keeps saying how much easier the second birth is. I'm afraid I'm getting a false sense of confidence about the second birth. My first birth was a 3 day induction for low fluid at 39 weeks (not my choice), so I really have no idea how my body would have responded naturally.

Was anyone's second birth harder? Are second births really that much easier statistically? I'm confused.
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Well, my 2nd birth was much harder.
I think it was because labor started with rupture of membranes. With #1, contrax were 15 mins apart and there were times in between where I could take breaks and sleep. With #2, ctx were immediately 2 mins apart and very intense. They never let up.

But I do hear that most of the time, the 2nd birth is easier...
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Yes, my 2nd birth was harder. Well actually...not so much harder, but much much longer. My first labor was 1 and 1/2 hours total. It was lightening fast but my body took a good pounding because of it and it took me a long time to heal. My second labor was 26 hours, although most of that was very managable through concentrated relaxation. I think pushing time for both births were about the same...not long at all.
Mine was shorter, but harder- again, my membranes ruptured and that seemed to make everything more difficult. My first was a 17 hour labour, very manageable- my second, about 8 hours, but I had to work far harder. Pushing time was longer with my second (smaller) baby too.
Most people do have easier second births, yes. The hormone receptor sites in your cervix and uterus have been used before and tend to respond more quickly to labor hormones. Your ligaments have already been stretched once and will stretch more easily a second time.

Are there exceptions? Sure. But most people do have an easier time. I would just continue on with the mindset that it is going to be a positive experience. Worry will not change anything and only teaches you to fear birth, which produces anxiety and tension. (Not a birthing mom's friend.)
My second birth was just DIFFERENT. In some ways it was better - it was shorter (the painful part, anyway), and I remained fully alert and aware through it, whereas during my first labor I "zoned out" and my memory was really fuzzy afterwards (no drugs, just how my body responded to the intensity of it all). I was overwhelmed the first time with the sheer power of labor, but the second time I felt more prepared (even though I recall thinking in the middle of it "Why the h*** did I want to do this AGAIN?" :LOL ). I had lots of back labor the second time, though, because of Noah's position, so the pain was different than in the first birth. And the actual birth was much worse the second time because he was suprise breech and required resucitation and transfer to the hospital. But he did come out faster (pushing stage was 35 min the first birth, 15 min the second birth).

So, I think there are so many variables that affect labor and birth you can't really compare easily - in general, your body has "been there, done that" and that usually makes it a bit easier, but other factors can influence the process as well.
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Thanks, those perspectives help. I actually really loved the birth experience last time, even with an IV (no painkiller drugs, just pitocin). As soon as DS came out, I said, "I could do that again." My goal this time is to accomplish the natural birth I wanted last time, and I'm just trying to get myself in the right mindset for it and try not to get myself in the situation that precipitated the induction last time.
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