Every birth story is unique and special. I have always found them interesting and I am excited to hear other women’s tales of labor and delivery. However, it occurred to me that I have never written about my second daughter’s birth. I think I haven’t really shared because it was such a whirlwind and truthfully, not a great experience. My first daughter’s birth was peaceful, smooth and relatively easy. My second’s was fast, chaotic and painful, but I still feel like it’s important to share birth stories, even when they aren’t picture perfect.
I’ll start with the night before I went into labor. I was 38 weeks pregnant and feeling it. My husband, daughter and I were living with my in-laws for the summer (working on their strawberry farm) before my husband started his new job in Rochester. We went into Minneapolis and St. Paul for dinner and dessert. I thoroughly enjoyed the Ecuadorian food we ate (a little spicy food to induce labor?) and the tres leches I had at Cafe Latte. We walked around Grand Avenue and I joked that this was the perfect combination of evening activities to induce labor. And I was right!
I had sporadic contractions throughout the night and became suspicious the next morning that my water was leaking. My husband was about to go to work, when I stopped him and said we should maybe go to the hospital. Hoping that it was not a false alarm, we got our hospital bags, left our daughter with his mom and drove the 45 minutes to United Hospital. By the time we reached the birth center my contractions were regular and intense. We got there around 10:30. I was only dilated to 3 cm, but the test for my water breaking was positive, so we were admitted. The nurse started my antibiotics and began going through what seemed like a million questions. I was anxious to bounce on the birthing ball or take a bath, but the contractions grew very intense and by the time she was done with all the questions I was requesting (or maybe begging?) for an epidural.
Finally, I got some pain medication and an epidural, but shortly after the pain medication wore off the contractions came back with increasing intensity. Since I remembered the pain relief from the epidural with my first, I knew the epidural was not working. The contractions became super intense with barely any breaks in between, until I knew I needed to push. The nurses were surprised that I was fully dilated, because it had only been a few hours since I had arrived at 3 cm. After about 20 minutes of the most excruciating pain of my life, my daughter was born.
I remember being very shaky when they handed me Dahlia. She was so small and so perfect. She was born at 1:23 p.m., just 3 hours after we got to the hospital. She weighed 6 pounds 2 ounces and was 20 inches long. Dahlia was the perfect addition to our family.
Do you have a birth story to share?