It all started with a negative pregnancy test. Actually, three negative pregnancy tests.
My husband and I were ready for our second kid and for some reason, I was convinced that our most recent try was the one that stuck. Even after three negative pregnancy tests, I still had that lingering feeling that there was something happening.
Sure enough, Charlie was there, beginning his journey to existence.
My pregnancy was strange in that it was exactly the same as my first. From how he moved to the food I craved, my two boys have been very similar from the start. The biggest difference was, I had a toddler this time to keep me busy so time didn’t move quite as slow.
So let’s fast forward to the day Charlie was born.
At 4:45am, I woke up to a sharp pain. It was dull, but I could tell contractions have begun.
This continued for the rest of the night. They were so slight that I could almost sleep through them. They were coming about every 30-45 minutes for the better part of the day.
My doctor had an induction scheduled for the next day and while I didn’t really think I’d make it to that, I was also convinced that I was going to need to settle into labor for a while so I decided there was no reason for any of us to make a fuss and that everyone should go along with their day while I made myself comfortable on the floor with a trash bag and towel under me just in case my water broke.
It wasn’t until the afternoon that my contractions started coming in a little stronger and closer together. Between 12pm and 3pm, they went from mild at 15 minutes apart to somewhat painful at 5 minutes apart. That’s when I knew things were moving forward and moving forward quickly.
With my first, my contractions were 3 minutes apart and off the charts painful for a good 10-12 hours, most of which was spent at the hospital. So that’s what I was waiting for. I was waiting for that level 10 pain to kick in and stay for hours and hours and I didn’t believe that anything but that could actually be productive.
But even as they got closer and closer together, my contractions were never too painful to talk or walk through. They never got that bad.
SO BY THE TIME WE CALLED THE HOSPITAL, I wasn’t convinced anything was really happening.
I took a bath around 3pm where I had my first contraction that hurt bad enough that I thought it may be productive. At the very least, it hurt bad enough to remind me that labor hurts and I wanted to get to the hospital to get an epidural ASAP.
I hadn’t made up my mind about the epidural during my pregnancy. Basically, my plan was to decide once I got to the hospital. If I was far enough along, I’d go without.
Once labor really kicked in, I made my mind up about the epidural: if I could get it, you better believe I was going to get it whether I was far along or not.
SO IAN CALLED THE HOSPITAL AT 3:30pm to let them know we would be coming in today.
Even with my more painful contractions coming in, I still wasn’t sure if it was time to go to the hospital. I decided to wait an hour, but when my next contraction came along, I knew we needed to leave immediately.
When we got to the hospital, my contractions had gone from pain level of 7 to 9 in a matter of minutes. Honestly, I didn’t connect the dots that maybe now that things were moving, they’d start moving fast. I was convinced that real labor had just started and that I’d be cozied up at the hospital with my epidural for the better part of the evening.
Then the nurse checked on me. I was 7cm. She knew I couldn’t get the epidural, though she kept saying, “We’re just waiting on one thing and then they should be ready.” In the back of my head I knew it wasn’t coming, but I still had hope that each of my contractions would be the last and that the epidural fairy would come in and save me from the torturous pain that is labor.
Instead, my doctor came in and said it was time. I was going to birth a baby with no epidural.
I didn’t feel quite as scared as I thought I would. I knew that this meant labor would be over soon and if I could just get through “the ring of fire” I’d be golden.
So they broke my water, because oh yeah, that still hadn’t happened yet, and told me it was time to start pushing.
AND THEN, THE BOY WAS BORN AT 5:40pm.
Only two hours after we called the hospital to let them know we were on our way. Only two hours of intense labor.
Right before pushing, I whispered to Charlie, “Help me out son.” And then I pushed a couple times, felt that dreaded ring of fire, and there he was.
It was actually a very euphoric experience. Something about pairing the relief of the pain being done with holding a baby in your hands that creates a really special moment.
Charlie immediately wanted to eat and continued to eat for almost two hours before the nurses were like, “Okay kid, it’s time to move on.”
He was born the exact same size as his brother: 8 lbs 15 oz and 21 in.
And now he sits in his hand-me-down swing in his hand-me-down clothes in true little brother fashion. He sleeps like a dream, eats like a fiend, and is beloved by us all. He looks just like his dad down to the tip of his toes and even the two year old thinks he’s the cutest.
I didn’t know for sure if we’d be able to handle two, but the minute they put him in my arms, I had a wave of confidence rush over me that hasn’t gone away. Because of course we’re ready for Charlie. He was always meant to be here and now that he is, I couldn’t imagine life any other way.