wow. what a different experience labor and delivery were the second time around. I can’t stress enough how mindblowingly separate these two things were for me. Talking with my sister-in-law today, I said it’s like comparing going to Europe with going to Asia. Yeah, both are a trip but other than a plane ride very little about the experience is going to really be the same.
I will say the one similarity was the drive to the hospital (NYU in my case). It was just about as horrific this time as it was last time. Despite going into Labor at exact opposite times of day, fortunately each time we hit very little traffic and each were still miserable. Both times, I had the distinct conviction that whatever # baby this was, that was how many I would ever give birth to in my lifetime. The other similarity was before going into Labor I was paranoid (for no reason) that I would go early (and be in a horrible predicament) or that I would not be able to get to the hospital in time, which was laughable after a 20+ hour L&D with Jack following his ten extra days in my belly.
And onto the differences. This time around my biggest fear was what I would do with my son. Who would take care of him, would I scare him as my pain took over and be unable to care for him? Having been at work when I was pregnant with Jack I was literally blocks from the hospital and now that I’ve been staying home to take care of him I was miles from the hospital. I think we got extremely lucky that Darcy came on her due date thus had planned coverage around those days given the likelihood of the situation.
This time, when labor began it was so low-grade that I wasn’t sure if it was some early labor, similar to what I had previously experience with Jack 48 hrs before he actually joined us or if it was the real deal. His Nana was in town for her due date, ready to take care of him in case, but I hadn’t felt much yet so we all went to his swim lesson that morning down at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pop-Up Pool (such an awesome place – more on this later!) I started to feel in enough pain that we went home right after it was over around 9:30 and I called my OB’s office on the way home. I had an appt set for the afternoon that we discussed bumping up but ultimately we decided I’d try to take a shower, eat something and reevaluate if I should go to their office in SoHo or straight up to NYU. I was 100% unable to eat anything (which beats throwing up twice with JWS) and the shower was slightly more enjoying than the horrible bath I tried to take my 1st time.
Upon arriving, I was 7-8cm dilated as opposed to 3-4 my 1st labor. I felt like I was burning up and fairly soon asked for an epidural. Inconveniently, my nurse had an insanely shaky hand which another nurse assured us was “just the way she was” so after a minor interrogation by my husband she put in my IV, a few anesthesiologists came & I arrived in Heaven 🙂 Then the alarm continued to go off on my IV drip “because of low battery” so they gave me a heavy dose, which was comforting and by some miracle I only had to push for 8 minutes and my beautiful 7lb 5oz baby Darcy Graham Sise arrived. I know this pretty boring for 100% of readers so I’ll cut it off here and discuss the (positive) differences of 2nd time recovery in another post.