Early in June something wonderful happened for us – we welcomed our second baby into the family, a daughter named Violet. We were expecting another early bub and anticipating late May but a new baby will come when they want to, so instead she arrived spot on her due date.
We are now the lucky parents of two beautiful girls and are currently enjoying and adjusting to life with a newborn again. Other than her dislike of sleeping in her cot at night, and a slight tongue-tie causing some challenges with breastfeeding, it has been a relatively easy adjustment.
Violet’s arrival was a little different to how we anticipated also. Once you have a child, you have a bit of an expectation things such as pregnancy and birth will be similar. But how wrong that can be. My pregnancy started harder, with worse morning sickness related symptoms, but ended easier with less of the aches and pains my final month with our first daughter brought on. Instead it was the emotional adjustment that was most challenging – worrying about my first daughter and the impact a new baby would have on her.
Birth was also very different. My first one was long and I think my biggest fear was another really long birth simply because it was so exhausting and drawn out. This time was not what I would call short overall, however different would be an understatement.
We had lots of false alarms with steady braxton hicks for a day here and there in the weeks leading up. Lots of ‘This is it’ moments only for it to suddenly stop and leave us hanging. With our first it started and it was the real thing.
On the day of Violet’s actual birth, I woke up at 4:30am with the start of labour. She arrived at almost 9pm so still not short but a hell of a lot shorter than the 24 hours of the first time around. But so not what we expected. We headed to hospital at 2pm that day with close and intense contractions. They strapped me up to the heartbeat and contraction monitor instead for 1.5 hours with some concerns my contractions were being felt by the baby as her heart rate dropped slightly each time. Not concerning enough for us to stay, so they sent us home to get things moving again.
2 hours later we were back at the hospital and I was in complete and utter agony with the most horrendously intense contractions. Some were lasting 3-4 minutes which is pretty bizarre.
They hooked me up again to the monitor and then to allow me to be more mobile during birth, actually broke my waters and added a heart rate tracker to bub’s head while she was still inside. Hubby said it was like wifi for babies.
My contractions were unbearable. I had a natural labour first time around with no pain killers. I expected to do the same this time but things were different. The pain was so much worse. I wasn’t coping so I requested morphine while sucking down on the gas. Neither made any difference to the pain at all. Just made me dizzy and tired so I had to sit down instead.
The midwife asked me if it was time for the Epidural. Something I never expected to agree to, but I said yes. I am petrified of the epidural and it was never part of my birth plans unless I had to have an emergency c-section or similar. But I wasn’t coping with the pain at all. So they started getting organised for its administration.
The midwife needed to do a progress check before the epidural and said the baby was low but still only 6-7cm dilated which to me sounded like total hell. How much longer?
She told me to roll onto my side to get the pressure off my back. I rolled then suddenly I also needed to push. Within the 2 minutes of the exam and me rolling over, somehow I had fully dilated and our new baby was well on her way.
Violet was in my arms less than 10 minutes later.
So no Epidural and slowish labour suddenly turned speedy birth. Such a relief in the end that it was over so quickly because whoa was it worse than my first. I have a pretty good pain threshold, but that pain made me completely change the ‘birth plan’ I had in mind.
It sounds like it was partly due to having the earlier examination when we first came to hospital when the midwife did a bit of a sweep and stretch to help things along, plus having my waters manually broken to fit the heart rate tracker. It all came on a lot like it might with being induced. All I can say now is if I ever had to be induced, epidural might be a must!
While I could not be happier with my beautiful girl and birth is a fading (but traumatising) memory, it certainly goes to show how flexible and open you need to be when it comes to having a birth plan. Thankfully mine were always made with no really firm plan in place. The other big adjustment is having a winter baby this time instead of summer.
Our beautiful new baby was around 200 grams heavier than her big sister and a similar size overall with length, at a tiny 3.07kg and 47cm long. It’s so easy to forget how tiny a new baby is until you hold one in your arms again. Violet is completely swimming in the 0000 size baby clothes she is wearing.
The other surprise is the head full of dark hair after having an almost bald first baby. It’s so soft and fluffy. I love it and can’t wait to see how her hair turns out when she is older. My big sister was born with a head full of black hair and went blonde.
Feeling so blessed with our beautiful new addition and so lucky to have two healthy little girls to call my own. Life is good!