This one is about pregnancy and labor and birth and all that fun stuff, so if it’s not your thing, now would be a good time to stop reading.
I remember a lot of people telling me that I would forget all the discomfort of pregnancy and the pain of labor and delivery. That the general adorableness of the first baby would make me want to do it again.
I thought it was a load of BS, but here I am doing it again (I shake my fist at you, little boy! Why must you be so darn cute?!)
Let me start off by saying that I was extremely lucky and thank G-d had a healthy, full-term pregnancy. I am extremely grateful for this and do not take it lightly.
Now let me say that I am just one of those people who does not like being pregnant. I always kind of assumed I would and that it would feel totally natural and comfortable on me. I expected to rock at being pregnant.
I was off my rocker. I didn’t like it the first time and I certainly don’t like it the second time. This isn’t to take away from the honest-to-G-d miracle that is pregnancy, but I just don’t like it. I must ask Tuvia at least once every day in a very attractive and non-whiny voice “was it like this last time?”
I am totally torn between wanting to really give over how scary and painful this all was (and why it scares me for this time) and not wanting to sound whiny and complainy when I was completely lucky and healthy. Read on to find out which part wins!
I do think that if circumstances had been different, labor would’ve been fine(comparatively), but things just weren’t going my way (or lots of other women that night at Roosevelt Hospital).
I started having hit-in-the-gut contractions the morning of Aiden’s due date, but my doctor said to stay at home as long as possible and the general feeling was that it would take so long so I should really go on with my day as much as possible. Tuvia and I went on some errands, saw some people we knew who seemed more worried than we were, and even went to my in-laws to celebrate my FIL’s bday, but by the time we got there we knew it was time to head back…just in case.
We went home, called the doctor (the one doctor in the whole practice I hadn’t liked btw) who said to come right in, grabbed our bags and got in a cab.
Tuvia threw the bags in the trunk and all I had to do was tell the driver where to go. For some reason, I must have thought I needed to stop at Bloomingdales for a hat (get the “You’ve Got Mail” reference and we are buddies for life) because I said to go to 59th and Lex.
We had to go to Roosevelt Hospital on 10th Avenue.
Tuvia got in the car and our journey started. Bumpy taxi ride while having contractions? OUCH! I just kept praying we would get there soon and wasn’t focused on much else. When we started cutting through Central Park, Tuvia asked the driver where he was going. He looked in the rearview mirror and said, somewhat defensively, “she said 59th and Lex”.
Tuvia quickly amended the situation and told the driver to go in the complete opposite direction. I remember getting out of the cab, still feeling all rose-colored-glasses and feeling like soon we would be leaving with a baby.
Mwahahahahahahah (my evil laugh)
This is where it gets fun.
There weren’t enough seats for all the pregnant ladies in labor to sit down in the waiting room. No one saw us and said “you- look like you’re in pain, go get triaged…you-your contractions are too far apart, go for a walk…you-look like you’re about to pass out, let’s get you a room”
There was literally water breaking, insane contractions, partners getting angry (which made us happy because then we didn’t have to and could look nice and maybe get nice treatment?)….it was a mess!
I can’t tell you how noble I felt when I finally thought I was going to be called in be triaged next and then I saw someone who looked like she was in even more pain and told the nurse she could go first. I’m sure what I said had no effect on anything but a good deed (even if just an attempt) before giving birth can’t be a bad thing.
I just remember being so scared to have another contraction because I had never felt ANY pain like it and they just keep getting more intense and painful! I realize that I knew this would happen logically, but I assumed I would just be a trooper and someone who would suck it up and get through it. I mean, I generally consider myself someone who is pretty tolerant of pain (teeth drilled without anesthesia? yup.), but this was like nothing I could ever have imagined.
It was mid-way through active labor when I first thought everyone LIES that you forget the pain! LIES!
I didn’t get triaged for hours because there weren’t enough beds, got triaged and they sent me for a walk because there were still no beds (belly in the fridge of Duane Reade felt pretty good), got triaged again and was there for five hours, and once I did get a bed, I didn’t get a room for another two hours and than didn’t get an epidural for another hour. So it was a looooong time before I got the epidural I was begging them for.
Then I had the best six hours of sleep ever. For me, an epidural = bliss.
From there, it still took awhile to progress (it was the next afternoon) but at that point I didn’t care because I had the epidural and pushing was really a blessing, 17 minutes!
Again, I probably shouldn’t complain, but I did. And I’m really genuinely sorry for everyone who had a harder/scarier time. My hurt absolutely breaks for anyone who has a hard time getting pregnant or any other difficulties along the way. It was my one experience and it makes me nervous for the next time.
Pregnancy has definitely been harder this time, but I attribute 90% of that to the fact that last time if I was tired, I went to sleep. This time if I’m tired, bells must ring in Aiden’s head to be super adorable/difficult and either ask really earnestly “you wanna play with me, Mommy?” or have a tantrum (I know, it’s hard to believe he would be that illogical, but sometimes he’s such a 2 year old). I’d say 10% goes to the fact that we live on the bottom of a hill and that it was the hottest summer ever. Look at me doing math!!
I also feel a lot less prepared for what comes after. Last time I had the leisure of reading a TON (Tuvia assures me I’m doing that again, but I think it’s a lot less) and regardless of whether that prepares you or not, I felt prepared. You would think that having done this once already, I would just be ready for what’s to come, but I’m SO nervous!
I’m nervous for the regular stuff like timing (will Tuvia be around? will we get to the hospital wayyyy too early? will we be too late?), labor (thinking about it makes me want to cry), and delivery (last time was pretty great, so can that happen again??). I never claimed to be logical.
Now add Aiden to that mix. What if we have to leave while he’s in daycare? What if we have to leave in middle of the night? What if he’s awake and there’s no question he’ll know something’s afoot and be upset that we’re leaving. We can prepare him with words and books and pictures and other babies all we want, there’s just no way to really prepare him for what’s going to happen.
Also Aiden was born in the summer, so we threw him in a onesie and we were good to go, how am I going to deal with layers and hats and gloves? Ahhhhhhh!!!
And this is all before we come home! Last time it was just us and this guy:
If there were a magic way to keep Aiden, but somehow just do over being a parent for one we could totally rock it.
We feel a lot more confident in a lot of things obviously. We know how to cut baby nails (though one of us recently did it for the first time ever! I won’t say which one, but it rhymes with shmuvia), we can give a bath, we know that baby acne and cradle cap is normal from our own experience, we know that babies have to work really hard to poop sometimes but that it’s okay (do you find that you try to do it for your baby the way we did? Super strange experience)….etc.
But someone else is going to need a lot more attention and his name is Aiden (though this morning he told us that he is Boots, I am Dora, and Tuvia is Tico).
I have read so many things and spoken to so many people at this point about having a second kid and what advice/tips they have and it seems to come down to this: new baby doesn’t need my attention nearly as much as the precocious toddler that tumbles into our bed every morning.
Great! We have a plan!
Buuuuut easier said than done. It is of course possible that baby #2 will be as magically easy as a newborn as Aiden was (again, I really shouldn’t complain, feel free to temporarily hate me) and that Aiden will love up his little sibling and adjust beautifully, but I have a hard time with the unknown. Which is weird, because I love new people and places and situations because you never know what’s going to happen and the good possibilities are endless (ending tangent….now) but it’s just different with kids.
Aiden is so much happier when he knows what to expect (part of why we have always tried to have a routine, though obviously it changes sometimes). We try to let him know in advance what we’re doing that day, if someone else is going to be picking him up from daycare, and basically anything that is going to be different. If we let him know in advance that he’s having a babysitter, he generally doesn’t even look at us to say goodbye. But heaven help us if we don’t!
Pregnancy has also been different this time by virtue of being the second time: earlier Braxton Hicks, showing way earlier, I’m carrying differently…But what’s nice is, this time I get to share it with Tuvia and the little boy we love most.
Amidst the kisses and blowing raspberries on my belly, there are the occasional admonishments from Aiden “no kicking, Segundo!” and name suggestions “Pooh” (but like Winnie the Pooh, not diaper contents). I definitely took wayyyyy too many pictures of Aiden, but that’s just going to be worse this time. I won’t just be trying to document her life, can you imagine me trying to capture every sibling moment that happens? I need way more memory on my computer. Or a second hard drive.
In other ways, pregnancy is of course the same: sleeping is a thing of the past, heartburn and reflux are a regular, I need more naps than a 4 month old, and I say ridiculous things.
And maybe post things more personal and longer than I normally would post 😉
Did you have a different experience the second time? Any tips for having the second kid? We’re definitely having a gift to Aiden “from the baby” and he’s going to help us choose one to give to the baby.
You know I love a good pregnant rant so feel free to comment with that!
I am also trying to remember what I did/did not need to pack for the hospital and what things really made things easier to have right away (that pillow cushion was a lifesaver in the car) so any suggestions, please send them my way!
**In other news, this was my 100th post!**
- Making Pregnancy Public and the Nickname (shoesoffplease.wordpress.com)
- Missing in Action: Photo Improvement, Babymoon, and Daycare (shoesoffplease.wordpress.com)