We’re officially 24 weeks now, and according to ‘science’ we’re also officially viable. Baby boy’s chances of survival outside the womb only go up from here, and that is always a comforting thought. Of course, I’d prefer him to stay put as long as possible, ideally to our due date, but if he’s anything like his big sister that shouldn’t be a problem. (Knock on wood.) Thinking about when baby boy will make his arrival also has me thinking about our birth plan. We’ve still got plenty of time to make those decisions, of course, but it never hurts to think about it early.
I’ve been listening to The Birth Hour podcast pretty much nonstop the past few weeks, and I have no shame in admitting that! Somehow the second you get pregnant, you crave birth stories! I want to hear them all and read them all because to me it’s like gearing up for the big game, or the big race – they’re your ultimate pep talk. They’re also super educational, and much better than googling everything. At least in my mind! Digesting real stories is the best preparation you can do for D-day, even though we all know nothing ever goes as planned.
The day that Adeline was born was, next to my wedding day, the best day of my entire life. I don’t have a single regret regarding the way we went about bringing her into this world, but there are a few things I might would do differently the second time around. Not because I wouldn’t do them again, but because I feel like with this second birth I know more, have learned more, and simply want a different experience. I would re-do Adeline’s birth a thousand times if I could, don’t get me wrong. But this time, I kind of want to change it up.
For some reason, talking about birth can be a polarizing topic and everyone has their own opinion. I’m not here to argue which way is best, midwife vs. OB, hospital vs. home, epidural vs. natural, etc. etc. because I honestly don’t care how you choose to deliver your own baby. Every birth is beautiful in its own way, and every birth should be celebrated! You will get no judgement from me! For me, I’m a hospital/OB girl, but if a midwife/birth center is more your style, rock on!
When I was pregnant with Adeline, I really didn’t take the time to make a hugely detailed birth plan because I knew going into it that I actually knew nothing. I knew that first time births could be difficult, take a long time, and of course be completely new and strange for the mom-to-be. I didn’t want to feel disappointed if my plans went awry, and I was honestly just so tired by the end that all I wanted was for the two of us to come out of the delivery healthy. I fully trusted my OB, and felt like a hospital birth would be the best choice for our family. The basic decisions like epidural, delayed cord clamping, immediate skin-to-skin, etc. I knew my stance on for sure, and relayed my wishes to our nurses on the morning of.
Our first birth story ended up writing itself pretty perfectly, and somewhat textbook. We chose to induce four days past our due date, with zero pressure from our OB. The induction went smoothly, and only took about 12 hours from beginning to end. I received pitocin, and an epidural, and after pushing for almost 3 hours, Adeline came screaming into the room and went immediately onto my chest.
Looking back, I have zero regrets. But like I mentioned earlier, this time around I think there are a few things I’d like to try to do differently. I’m not sure if this will be my last baby or not, and I want to make sure I’m able to get the experience I want and not feel like I should have done something else. Here are a few things I’d kind of like to do differently, just for experience sake.
Induction: I have no regrets about inducing Adeline. We truly believe if we had waited even another day, Adeline would have gotten too big and I may have ended up with an emergency C-section. After pushing for nearly 3 hours, and noticing her heart rate start to drop, a last minute episiotomy was the only way she finally budged. This time around though, I’d really like to experience going into labor naturally, on my own. I’d love to know what it’s like to start getting contractions, or have my water break, or have that moment of frantically rushing to the hospital! I just think it would be a different experience and something I’d like to try to be more patient for.
Epidural: I told myself last time that I’d wait as long as possible to get an epidural. I handled contractions just fine up until my doctor broke my water and then I realized how painful pitocin contractions really are! I lasted an hour and a half before I was begging for the drugs. This time though, since I’m hoping to not be induced again, I’m curious what natural contractions feel like, and would like to try and progress on my own as long as possible. I’d love to be able to walk around more and not feel so tethered to the bed.
Being Checked: My OB started doing dilation checks at 37 weeks. We found out I was 2 cm and 70% effaced. At my next appointment, we found out I was 3 cm and 80% effaced. “You could go into labor any day now!” I even had my membranes stripped at 39 weeks and again on my due date. And then I sat around until 40 weeks and 4 days. I didn’t know any better the first time around, and didn’t know how much more difficult it would be to constantly feel on edge and then disappointment at the end of every day when it didn’t happen! This time around, I’m thinking I don’t want to be checked until 39 weeks, or maybe even my due date.
Room Mood: Our hospital room was pretty standard, and this isn’t really something that’s a big deal, but for this next labor and delivery I’d kind of like to make a playlist, bring my own blanket, and try to make it a little more relaxing in the room. I mean that isn’t really that possible, and I really don’t remember even caring about this the first time, but it’s just a though for #2!
Continuous Fetal Monitoring: I don’t remember if we had this or not but I’m assuming we did, especially since we were induced, and I went with an epidural. But this next time, if possible, I know there’s such a thing as intermittent fetal monitoring that allows you a little more flexibility during labor.
Nursery Time: This is something I go back and forth on, but I think a lot of hospitals have actually changed their policy since we had Adeline. I don’t regret sending Adeline to the nursery while we were in the hospital recovering, because it was totally a god send and a huge help. But, our new hospital’s policy may not even offer the nursery unless necessary. I really feel like there’s nothing wrong with sending baby to the nursery, but this time around I might like to send him away less. If that makes sense.
These aren’t big things, and I’m sure I’ll think of a million other things between now and then but this seemed like a good starting point. We aren’t planning on totally pulling a 180 and going midwife/all natural style, so really this post isn’t much of a revelation. But, still fun to think about and weigh our options! Of course we want basic things again like skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, and the magic hour with just us before they take the baby for any tests or measurements, etc. At the end of the day though, we just want a healthy baby and a safe delivery and I can’t WAIT to see God’s plan for it!
So I’m curious, what would YOU do differently the second/third/fourth time around? Do you have regrets or just want to change it up? Or DID you change it up and wish you hadn’t? Tell me everything!