Every Birth is Different
Haven’t we all heard that? Every birth is different.
While it’s true that each birth provides its own unique feelings, changes, & happenings… I never really *grasped* this concept until I had my second son, Benjamin.
My daughter Addison was born pretty “standard”. My labor was short for a first time mom- 6 hours start to finish (almost to the minute). My water broke before labor began, & from there went nearly textbook. No matter how that first labor goes though, I personally believe that there is something about your FIRST baby that makes that birth more unique, special even. She was my rite of passage, my moment of becoming a mother for the first time. A title that would stand with me for the remainder of my days.
Then there was my second born, Thomas. Another fairly textbook labor, only my water did not break before & I still had him in about 6 hours time! We chose a waterbirth this time. The waterbirth made his birth seem so different from Addies. We had birthed alone & on land with Addie; it was intimate, private & amazing. We decided to have people at the birth with Thomas. It was still amazing, wonderful & empowering- yet less intimate. He changed me. His birth was the start to a season in my life that I can only call… hard. The transition to 2 children was not what I couldve prepared for. He was a fussy child & sickly child that kept me constantly teetering on the edge of insanity. I had 4, yes FOUR bouts of Mastitis while nursing him. He became ill with Spinal Meningitis when he was only 5 weeks old. Shortly after our stay in the hospital for treatment & the 2 months that followed of constant O2, I developed full blown pneumonia. He didnt sleep through the night until after 1 year old. He began to have weekly seizures at around 10 months old & suffered kidney damage. We finally were able to diagnose him with Celiacs. But yeah- tough season in life to say the least.
This is important because leading into the birth of my 3rd child, I was scared. I put on a brave face, but on the inside after bring so rocked by the toughness of that first year with Thomas, I wasnt sure I could handle having another child. This fear put a bit of a shadow on what was supposed to be another amazing homebirth experience. Changing things up again, we decided on the more intimate land birth (I think trying to mimic what I had experienced with Addie). Im SO glad we chose the intimateness – as Benjamins birth threw me for a loop I never saw coming! I had experienced 2 six-hour labors that were textbook. I knew there was a chance that this labor could go completely different- but really, how much of one with having a “track record” now of pretty standard births?
Weeeeeellllllllll… My water partially broke at around 5:30pm- then NOTHING, NATTA, NILTCH… until right when I was getting into bed, calling any attempt at labor a utter failure & getting some sleep. 11:30pm rolled around & BOOM, contraction. 30 seconds later BOOM another contraction & so on & so forth until 2 chaotic & crazy hours later, our son Benjamin entered this world. All 9 1/2 POUNDS of him. Now, I could go into the deatils of what happened next & all that (but thats a whole other blog;)) I instead want to stress the LABOR itself. I had read about “short labors”, heck, I even thought I had HAD short labors (I mean really, 6 hours for a first time mom is pretty darn fast!). Nah, nothing could’ve prepared me for a 2 hour ride like that. The contractions were hard, strong & powerful FROM THE GET-GO… and I dont just mean the “normal” hard & strong- these were knock you over, make you wanna PUKE & SCREAM strong from the get-go & they didnt let up for 2 straight hours until he was in my arms.
Im a CBE- I teach this stuff & I never realized it was like *that* to have a “race-car labor” as they are often called. Sure, they’re fast, over & done with in a miniscule amount of time. But… dont be fooled, these labors are all the work in none of the time. You dont get a get-out-of-jail-free pass with a race-car labor. Nope- it CRAMS all the work that a typical 12-14 hour long labor would do- into 2 unbelievable crazy hours of near panic.
Would I want to ever have it happen again? No, thank you. I will take the nice, textbook 6-hour labor over *that* any day. All my births were unique & all were amazing moments that I proved something to myself. All were a new phase, new rite of passage into a new era of me. All were experiences & moments that I wouldn’t trade for the world. But, it is true: Every Birth is Different.
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