I sit here right now not wanting to write this out. My recovery this time has been much more painful, stressful, and just otherwise not enjoyable. Doing anything other than sleeping, nursing, and just laying around seems like the biggest chore in the world. Sadly, the world doesn’t stop when you have a baby. Paperwork still has to be filled out, doctors appts made, and memories need to be documented (before my mommy brain forgets them).
I didn’t do a lot of documenting with this pregnancy like I did with Noelle. I didn’t do weekly belly photos, or blog updates. I just didn’t have the motivation (I had a toddler!). I did get maternity photos done and I was very happy I did that!
I documented Noelle’s birth story on my OLD blog and I was very glad that I did, so I told myself I was going to document Juliet’s birth story so here it is.
For those that didn’t know, Juliet’s due date was one day after Noelle’s (Noelle’s was the 6th, Juliet’s was the 7th). They also came the same days late (Noelle came on Dec 12th, and Juliet on December 13th). The labors however were EXTREMELY different. For one, with Noelle I started labor the morning of the 11th and ended on the night of the 12th. Juliet’s birth was all on the 13th.
So I had been waiting and waiting for Juliet to be born and the night of the 12th I felt something that felt a little different than the typical Braxton hicks. Juliet had been giving me pains throughout the week but this felt like a contraction, with a build up, and a taper off. These started about 9pm but they weren’t bad. They continued throughout the night about every 15-25 minutes. They were short and not super intense. It was enough to keep me from sleeping super well (although I hadn’t been sleeping well for at least a week anyway).
In the morning, I continued life as usual. As I started walking around, things started to speed up fairly quickly. I had to go by the storage unit (since we are moving and the “check in date” was the 13th) to check in. By the time I got there at 9, I was in active-ish labor. At around 12pm, we decided to have Dawn come and check me. I hadn’t lost my water and so I figured might as well. I knew I was probably barely in active labor but contractions were painful.
Dawn checked me and there was a bulge of water in the way. That made her think I was 8cm at first… my response was “what the heck! Are you kidding me?” Well she wasn’t kidding but it was a mistake haha! I was only 3cm (which she quickly corrected!).
Let me break down contractions a bit for you. I mainly write this information for me so that I can remember. With Noelle, I had lots of back labor. I had to stay on my hands and knees while Ivan applied counter pressure. This labor was super different. I needed to STAND, swerve my hips, bend my knees a bit, and apply my OWN counter pressure. I basically had to put my hands on my back and push down. I would have GLADLY given this job to Ivan if it would have worked. However, if he applied the counter pressure the way I needed it, it would have pushed me into the wall. It was basically up to me. I was exhausted. I couldn’t sit, couldn’t do hands and knees, and had to apply my own counter pressure. My hands were numb.
I really had hoped that I wouldn’t have back labor this labor. However, I did, despite her being perfectly anterior. I think my uterus is connected to my back. I tried a TENS unit and it didn’t help at ALL! I also thought that having my water intact would help this time… however it didn’t (I would soon find out why).
Dawn left after checking me and went to HEB for lunch, we called her quickly after at around 1:30. She came back around 2pm and checked me again. My contractions had picked up and I had begun to get more vocal. Dawn came and checked me and I was at a 6. At this time she said we could start inflating the pool.
This was a shock to me because I didn’t get in the water with Noelle until about 8cm (when I arrived at Nativiti). Dawn and Ivan started to fill the pool and it took FOREVER. By the time the pool was filled, contractions were bad and I had to bear down slightly to help relieve some of the pain. It wasn’t fully “pushing” bear down, but just slightly.
Once the pool was filled, I got in the hot water and like before, it felt AMAZING. However, that “amazing” feeling was short lived once the first contraction came around. It did slow the contractions a bit though so I got a bit of a break between them. It wasn’t long before my contractions were signally me to “push”. This was very different from Noelle’s labor. Noelle’s second stage labor started in a fury. My body could not STOP from pushing. This was different. Pushing felt BETTER but it wasn’t like I couldn’t stop it if I needed to. I WANTED to push though. So Dawn checked me again. Honestly, I don’t know what time this was. I was 10cm with a small cervical lip. Dawn pushed it back through one push and it was gone (thank the Lord!).
Then it was go time! Pushing hurt more than it did with Noelle. The back labor continued through second stage (which did not happen with Noelle). I also was pushing faster. It took 2 hours to push Noelle out… probably less than 15mins with Juliet. It was horrible though!! It was super hard, super fast, and super intense. I could feel Juliet once in the birth canal and that is when a minor panic set in. She was IN the birth canal but my contraction stopped so I was sitting there in pain. I literally was yelling to “push her back in”. I was screaming and panicking. The midwives had to keep my butt under the water because I might have just jumped out otherwise. Only a couple more contractions and she was out but wow that last part was bad! It wasn’t even the ring of fire that was the “bad part”… it was just her being in the birth canal.
Anyway, then it was “reach down and grab your baby”. I pulled her up and out of the water.
According to the video, my first words to her were “you hurt me!” Haha! My cord was short with Juliet just like with Noelle so I couldn’t pull her up too high.
Thankfully my placenta came fast this time with no need for pitocin. I had a tear again that was between a 1-2 degree tear. She got 10/10 agpar scores. (One thing we did notice was there was no vernix on her skin and her skin was peeling slightly. This was indicative that my water was actually NOT intact. However, no one knew when it broke. We think that I may have had a very high leak for awhile. Thankfully she knew when she needed to come out!
Overall it was a fast and furious labor! We are doing well now. Just adjusting to life with two and post partum healing.
I want to say a huge thank you to my midwife Dawn who was super supportive! I am quite a chatty patient via text, but she continually answered all my questions. She also was willing to come early when I just needed to be checked. I was unable to “read” my own labor, but thankfully Dawn saw that it was moving faster than I thought it was. Thanks also to Paula who assisted Dawn in a last minute situation (the original midwife who was supposed to assist was unable to due to illness). Thanks also to my family who helped take care of Noelle during the entire labor (as she was definitely scared that mommy was “crying”) and Ivan who helped support me during labor.