Previously, I talked about my journey to being a parent for the first time. Here, I talk about how it’s like being a parent for the second time.
I found out I was expecting again at a time when my work life was going through a huge change. My boss had told use that he was leaving and that the lab was closing down. We knew that the lab closure was an inevitable thing but I wasn’t expecting it to happen so soon. We had actually stopped actively trying for a second child when I started seeing the signs of change coming into the lab, but I guess the universe had other plans.
This big impending change, both the pregnancy and the lab closure, had me feeling a lot of things:
- Worry at how we’re going to afford another baby with me being out of a job eventually when the grant runs out
- Guilt, that my girl won’t be the centre of our attention anymore, and guilt for feeling, just a tiny bit, not really accepting the pregnancy
- Surprise, because we weren’t actually planning to have another one so soon
But we managed to get over the negative feelings I had and I started to enjoy the journey again.
The pregnancy this time around was a lot smoother than the previous one, except for the morning sickness, which is a lie! I threw up every day during the first trimester at exactly 6pm. Every. Single. Day. And nothing worked to make the nausea go away. Not even constantly eating. I was just so glad that I stopped puking around 14 weeks, and I felt almost normal after that.
Fortunately, this time around, I didn’t have any food aversions like I did previously. I ate everything and surprisingly, the cravings weren’t very serious. That was pretty good too since I could actually satiate the cravings with substitutes.
Everything went smoothly and due to my placenta previa history, there was a high chance of me having the same issue again but I was blessed with a totally normal pregnancy. And I knew that I wanted a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean section).
However, one thing was exactly the same as the previous pregnancy; I had pre-term contractions at 32 weeks. Fortunately, the contractions weren’t very bad and I was only on a mild dosage of meds to prevent the contractions. And because everything was going well and smooth, my doctors gave me the green light to try for a VBAC.
And the waiting game began.
Here’s the birth announcement I made after my baby was born.
The birth story
Woke up at 2am because I was hungry and I had a sharp, piercing pain in the lady bits area.
Got up to use the loo and when. I stood up, there was a gush of water splashing my ankles.
Was shocked but ok, sat down on a pee pad just to make sure that my waterbag was leaking.
2 more gushes of liquid. Confirm plus chop, my waterbag was not intact.
Went to wake the husband up.
Husband: Why is the clock showing 2am.
Me: Because it is 2am.
I went to shower while husband packed his go bag.
We moved the toddler to my MIL’s room, kissed her goodbye, and called a Grab car. At the delivery ward, I was still only 1cm dilated (been that way since 36w) and irregular contractions , so they sent me up to the ward to rest and hopefully the labour will start naturally. 8am, only 2cm dilated. They did a cervix massage to help the labour along.
Given 2 options, either induce or emergency c sect.
I chose Option 3, talk to senior consultant first and see what he says.
Prof Biswas: Be positive. Try for natural and induce. See how the labour progresses and then we make a decision.
That’s what we did.
10.30am 1 pill inserted to help push the labour along.
2pm- some time before 6pm I lost track of time from when they gave me the laughing gas, the pethidine injection. I was 5cm dilated which means I can ask for epidural.
Sometime before 6pm I think.
They wheeled me into the delivery suite (because 1 finally cleared, it was a very busy busy day at the delivary ward that day) and I asked for epidural.
They checked and said, “Sorry, no time. You’re fully dilated. Time to push”.
Pushed for an hour but baby was not coming out.
(This is what happens when you’ve barely eaten the entire day and you’re supposed to push a watermelon out if a 10cm wide tube)
Doctors: We can give assisted labour if you need it.
Me: GET THE DAMN BABY OUT ALREADY!
1 episiotomy, and a vacuum, and a push later, the baby arrived. Screaming his lungs out.
I was too relived that I don’t have to push anymore to actually register the wonderful feeling of being a mother again. Then the stitching started. Thank god for the gas. I still felt the stitches but at least it was bearable.
BTW, I’ve had both a c sect and a natural delivery.
Which one is better? Neither. They both hurt. A lot.
Do I regret not going for an elective c sect this time? Only during the most excruciating contractions, and while trying to push the baby out. Regardless the method of birth, as long as the baby is healthy and arrives safely. That is the most important part.
So, tell me about your birth story. Was it hard? Humorous? Memorable? Share it in the comments below.