Henry David was born on July 22 and weighed in at a hefty 9 lbs 13 oz and almost 22 inches long.
No wonder I was uncomfortable!
Let me tell you, his birth experience couldn’t have been more different from Evelyn’s…
I had fully expected Henry to arrive early. Anecdotal evidence had convinced me that second babies usually come sooner than their older siblings. Sure, there are those that come later, but most people I know seem to have gone into labor with second and subsequent children earlier than the first kiddos. And since Evelyn had been about a week early, I thought for sure I wouldn’t make it that far. But I did… My due date rolled around and I was still pregnant. What? How could this be? I was due on a Friday and we went out to a friend’s place on a lake that evening and had some pizza and let the toddlers run and play. I had a glass of wine, thinking it might relax me enough to get things started.
Saturday I took some evening primrose oil as had been recommended by various friends. I tried some acupressure points throughout the day, which was kind of hilarious since you have to locate your ankle bones in order to find the proper points and my ankles were so swollen I couldn’t find my ankle bones… I went to bed thinking I would wake up in the morning with no baby, yet again.
But around 3AM I woke up and had to pee, as is normal in late pregnancy. (Sleep? What’s that?) But when I got up, I realized my water had broken! Not in a great gush like it did with Evelyn, but it was definitely broken nonetheless. No contractions yet, but I told M anyway and since he’d been still up in his studio, and he wisely decided he’d better go to bed and get some rest while he could. The contractions started but they were mild and far apart. I timed them and dozed in between. Then, quite suddenly, a bit before 5AM, they were intense and 3 minutes apart.
It was my greatest fear and also what I’d hoped for – that this labor would go faster than Evelyn’s did. I didn’t want to be in labor for days again. But at the same time, I’d done it before so I knew I could do it again. I had no road map for a fast labor and didn’t know what to expect!
I woke M and called my mom so she could come watch Evelyn, who was still blissfully asleep. While M was picking up my mom, who only lives about 10 minutes away, I called our doula and had her come over. While she was on her way over, I was sitting there, alone, and thought, “Wow. I hope I last until someone comes back!” I called the midwife and told her the story so far and she said to come in right away, so as soon as M walked in the door with my mom, we were out of there! I’d had our doula help me put the last necessities in my hospital bag while waiting for M to return, so we were ready and waiting when they arrived, thank heavens.
That was not a fun ride across town.
We arrived at the hospital at about 6AM and everything was ready and waiting in my room. The nurses were ready, the tub was filled…with incredibly hot water. M went around to every ice machine on the floor and emptied all the ice into my tub. Still hot, but bearable. I labored very briefly in the shower while waiting for the ice and then climbed in.
There may have been some cursing at this point about how I couldn’t possibly do this. *ahem*
Once in the water, I started pushing and let me tell you – pushing out a nearly ten pound baby is vastly different from pushing out a just over eight pounder! But just before 7AM, my beautiful baby boy was born into the water.
He was, and is, perfect. Nobody thought he was as big as he was, he didn’t look like it. (Side note: apparently all the babies born that day were over 9 pounds!) He is happy and healthy and doing fine. I am recovering nicely and felt so much more alert and aware after this short labor and delivery than I did after Evelyn’s marathon birth. It feels like he’s been part of the family forever – I can’t believe it’s only been 5 short weeks!