My children, Scotty and Kennedy, were born 2 years and 17 days apart. Both were born by way of a run-of-the-mill, uncomplicated vaginal birth with the blessed assistance of an epidural.
Beyond that, however, their labors and deliveries were night and day. For starters, Scotty’s total labor and delivery time was nine hours, while Kennedy’s was just shy of four. Here’s how they stack up when compared to each other:
The Water Factor
Baby #1: With Scotty, my water had to be broken.
Baby #2: While sweeping the floor one morning at 10:20 a.m., I felt a trickle down below, followed by the cliché-ish description, “I felt like I was peeing on myself.” An hour or so later, when I lowered my big butt onto the wheelchair at the hospital’s valet drop-off, the levy broke. Big time.
There. Was. Water. Everywhere.
The Hair Factor
Baby #1: I was induced for Scotty. The Hubs and I inked the date a week before it happened. Therefore, I had ample time to do everything – including take care of the hair situation in the southern hemisphere.
Baby #2: It was a jungle down there. My husband joked that our daughter just might come out with a safari hat on.
The Ick Factor
Baby #1: After tending to my lady bits, I was free to luxuriate in what I – no lie – remember to be a 40-minute shower before heading to the hospital for the induction. I was clean as a whistle.
Baby #2: No shower. Kennedy’s labor felt as if I was being shot out of a canon. I had little time to even process what was happening. And before you say that I should have already showered by 10: 20 a.m., I was nine months pregnant, with an ass the size of Texas, and moving at the rate of a sedated moose.
I was lucky to have even made it out of the house properly clothed.
The Push Factor
Baby #1: After nearly four hours of Pitocin, Scotty’s push time clocked in at 2 hours and 41 minutes. You could say he was a biggun at 8 pounds, 11 ounces. While The Juice minimized the discomfort somewhat, pushing Scotty out still required the presence of a rope – yes, a rope – which the nurse held at one end as I pulled and yanked on the other. Oh, and TMI alert: I built a log cabin right there on the table.
Baby #2: No rope. No embarrassing defecation (thank God). I pushed for not even 30 minutes with Kennedy, who was 6 pounds, 14 ounces. (After the path Scotty had cleared, I’m sure she thought she was coming down a slide.)
The Milk Maid Factor
Baby #1: Nursing was easy-peasy. From the very first latch to my last suckle 17 months later, it was pure bliss.
Baby #2: There were times when chewing and swallowing glass would have been preferable. The first two weeks were hell: Cracked, bleeding nipples, the sensation of someone grinding a Scotch-Brite pad against my breast… the works. At one point, I thought the problem was her and scheduled an appointment with her pediatrician to have her frenulum clipped. When that wasn’t necessary, I thought the problem must be me and cried out to just about every lactation consultant within a 20-mile radius of our home. Guess what? It was neither. The problem eventually worked itself out, and it’s thankfully been smooth sailing ever since.
And you know what? If I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t change one thing.
What differences/surprises did you encounter during your pregnancy(ies)?