First of all, thanks to all of you who commented on my last post or sent messages. Robin has been an absolute angel, feeding like there’s a famine threatening to strike and pretty much sleeping and pooping the rest of the time. She had her first doctor’s visit a few days ago and he confirmed what our eyes could already see…she’s one big baby. I don’t have a problem with that, especially because all the children in my family are taller than average (some more than others) but it’s a little sad to have already put away clothes she never got to wear or which she only wore once or twice. I guess my daughters will be towering over me in a few years’ time.
So, what happened 19 days ago? If you were following this space, you’ll know that we were booked for a medical induction. Because we had already gone for one two days earlier and had to go back home, I didn’t allow myself to get excited or nervous. This, together with the fact that Maia was sleeping at my parents’ and the husband was on night shift, meant that I had a good night’s sleep. It might sound trivial but I believe facing labour after having had a restful night helped immensely. At 8am we were at the hospital, waiting to be shown to the delivery room. I half expected them to tell me to come back another time, especially because I hadn’t felt one hint of a contraction since the previous visit but I was wrong. We were eventually shown into the room and it soon became obvious we’d be having our baby that day. I changed into the horrid hospital nightdress, the drip was prepared and the gynecologist was with us within minutes. He unceremoniously broke my waters (while chatting to my husband) and we were left alone for a while. The pain started immediately but it only turned into regular contractions about half an hour later. The husband timed the contractions on his iPhone using a special App and made labour much more enjoyable this time round, if one can call labour enjoyable. He was his usual cheerful self even though he had only slept one hour that morning.
I managed to read a book for the first couple of hours, stopping only to breathe through the increasingly intense contractions. At a certain point I was offered Entonox to relieve the pain and I gladly accepted. Needless to say, I was high after a couple of puffs, much to my husband’s amusement. I used yoga breathing and visualisation techniques to get me through the pain and only had the Entonox the first few seconds of every contraction because I wanted to feel in control. A couple of hours later I started feeling the need to push and there was a mad scramble as the midwife, two nurses and my gynecologist surrounded my bed and prepared everything for the baby’s arrival. I couldn’t quite believe how fast everything was happening. I also couldn’t believe my own doctor was by my side, supporting my leg (with my husband supporting the other one) and whispering instructions and words of encouragement in my ear. I’ve always considered him to be a good man and excellent doctor, but nothing could have prepared me for how supportive he was during Robin’s delivery. I have no idea how long the last phase of labour lasted but, according to my husband, our daughter was born after three or four pushes. She came into this world with a few whimpers, a head full of hair and the palest of skins. The first thing I remember saying is how beautiful and also how big she was!
If the above sounds pretty straightforward and fast, it’s because it was. There wasn’t a moment when I feared I wouldn’t make it through the pain or that my body didn’t have the strength to deliver our baby. Those were feelings I had experienced with Maia but not this time. There are many more differences between this experience and my first. The first time I was riddled with stitches and this time I ended up with a couple as well, but I could sit and move around normally almost immediately this time, as opposed to the two weeks of agony I experienced the first time. Six years ago it took me a month to get to grips with breastfeeding while this time it was as easy as nature intended it to be. Maia was a very alert and fussy baby while Robin loves her sleep and is very calm and easygoing. While I am sure a baby’s emerging personality is part of the reason one child is so different from the next, I am also positive that yoga, my husband’s support and my overall calmer approach have made all the difference.
What can I say? If I knew how much easier having a second baby would be, I’d have been spared nine months of useless worrying.