Ophelia's birth was night and day different from Jessamyn's... I should probably just start out with that. You can find Jessamyn's birth story HERE if you haven't already read it! Everything started with the Solar Eclipse... I was 39 weeks and 1 day, we were out walking and looking at the sun in the shadows created by trees... and just like that my water broke! We of course didn't realize my water had broke and I honestly thought I pee'd myself so we kept walking and having our day. By the time we got home my skirt was soaked... but again I figured it was nothing and changed so that we could take Jessamyn to the aquarium.
At the aquarium I had two more huge gushes of fluid and at that point we figured we should probably head in and get checked. Okay actually we went home first and got our bags, Ben grabbed some food, and then we went in to be checked. I wasn't having any contractions and honestly figured it was nothing since Jessamyn went past her due date and I figured this would be the same.
We first went to our doctor... who sent us to the hospital. It was about 5pm at that point and they admitted us and talked to me about our options. The general idea is that we have 24 hours from when my water breaks to give birth because of the risk of infection. I knew this coming in but wasn't having any contractions and really wanted to try things as naturally as possible so we asked if we could walk for a bit rather than start pitocin.
They put me on a fetal monitor that had a very short leash so basically we paced back and forth in the hall way for several hours... still no contractions. At that point it had been 10 hours since my water broke and we opted to start pitocin. I never thought I would decide to do that but with zero contractions and a looming clock it made sense to try something to get things moving. This killed the walking as I was basically limited to standing around my bed. They had not checked me yet because they didn't want to risk infection... but at my 38 week appointment I had been long and closed so I figured without contractions there probably hadn't been much progress.
It took quite a while for contractions to pick up with the pitocin... I spent most of that time listening to music on my headphones (it was actually my road trip playlist on Spotify you can find it HERE). Eventually though I was having fairly regular and strong contractions... I knew ahead of time that pitocin would make the contractions stronger than normal ones and potentially closer together... because my labor really didn't want to start they never got terribly close even on pitocin but they were pretty strong. I can't remember what time exactly but after a while I opted to get an epidural just to try and help with the pain and allow me to get some sleep as we were going on over a day since the last time I had really slept and I was starting to really struggle to stay grounded in my body. After the anesthesiologist came they checked me and I was 2cm dilated... this was kind of discouraging as it had been hours It was probably 7 in the morning at that point and to be only 2cm really frustrated me.
Another problem was that the epidural only worked on one side of my body.. so my right side was numb but the left was not. The anesthesiologist came back in but never actually fixed it so basically I spent the rest of my labor having horribly awkward half contractions that I could feel on my left side. Baby girl was doing great through all of this and so they let me keep going with no real pressure or concerns about the little progress.
I on the other hand was a complete wreck... I got an epidural and was only 2cm. I felt like such a failure and literally at that point could just sit in bed because I couldn't walk anymore and felt like there was nothing I could do to help my baby come. I was literally sobbing but the nurse I had during that shift was the sweetest, she came and sat with me and listened to me ramble on about c-sections and my fears and she just was there and with me and it really helped me to calm down and rest.
A few hours later they checked me again and I was still 2cm.. a bit more effaced. They never said anything negative but we were reaching the 24 hour point and I was getting really stressed. Honestly I think I was the only one putting pressure on myself but I wasn't sure what the hospitals plan was and was just really wanting to be done being stuck at 2cm and was ready to give birth. Contractions were really painful at this point... the epidural didn't really help because of the fact it only numbed one side and I was basically just a tired emotional wreck.
3 or so hours after this point I started to feel really intense pressure and the contractions were way more painful. I think because of how long I had been 2cm and because they had literally just checked me again 45 minutes before this they weren't necessarily feeling like believing me but I told them the baby was coming... and she was.
At that point the nurse checked and said I was complete... but to wait while they went and got a doctor... which I basically ignored because I mean seriously telling someone whose body is pushing a baby out to stop and wait is a joke. She was born 10 minutes later, no tear, no issues, absolutely beautiful. August 22, 2017 at 2:15pm ... MUCH later than I thought after my water broke the day before but she was here and that was everything.
oh and PS. we picked her name Ophelia... partly because we just liked it but also so that she could have a song to go with her name (The Lumineers) like Jessamyn has (Chris Thile).
Ophelia's birth was seriously crazy it was the longest 19 hours of my life while at the same time the fastest 10 minutes of pushing I have ever experienced. She came out vocal and full of energy and has held that same presence ever since. Minus the fact I was extremely sore things postpartum have been pretty good. Ophelia is awesome at breastfeeding which Jessamyn had zero interest in so that has been amazing and yeah basically everything even though it did not go how I planned has been beautiful and good and I wouldn't change any of it.
I would love to hear did your second birth differ from your first? What surprised you? What did you love? For me I am still processing the birth but find the more I look back on it the more I love it and hold it for the amazing thing that it was.