Will my second baby’s birth be faster? Thinking about my first baby’s birth

Motherhood, Parenting, Pregnancy, Second pregnancy
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*** You might not want to read this if you actually know me  (please?!)***

Given the impending arrival of Baby #2 in less than 3 months, I have been thinking about the  birth of Toddler H and wondering about the birth of Baby #2. Will it be quicker? Will I manage with just the tens machine and a few puffs of gas and air? Will she get stuck? Will I get to hospital in time?

With Toddler H, I had no warning or twinges. We had a slow morning, pottering and I Skyped my parents for the first time. We were going out for lunch and getting as many cinema trips in before baby made an appearance, but running late that day, we dived into McDonalds to grab some chips on our way to the cinema. Walking out of McDonald’s eating our chips  I thought I felt something… my instinct said it was my waters. I hadn’t had any signs, nor any twinges,  cramps or tightenings… So I knew it must just be things stating to move. I was of the opinion that with a first baby especially, labour takes forever. Most of my new NCT friends had already had their babies; they had hours and days of twinges and increasing intensity. I was of the opinion “we can go to the cinema, this is the first twinge, or it might not even be that!” However, we watched the previews and hastily left as the film was about to start, convinced this was it, my waters were going. The people around us must have been curious given I was 39 weeks pregnant and leaving the cinema hastily as the film started!

I guess with baby #2 we might be more prepared in the sense we’ll have to have a bag ready for Toddler H as well as us and baby. Oh and back up plans. I also imagine we might have plastic car covers ready! In a moment you’d imagine we might have prepared for, Hubby ran to wilkinson a to get a groundsheet or any plastic to put on the car seat, while I slowly walked back to the car. I wouldn’t like a repeat of that given second births are meant to be quicker!

I really hadn’t had any twinges before and wonder if that’s the way it will be next time, is just me? Is that the way I labour, or is it something to do with that birth? Will I have days of twinges and contractions before Baby #2’s birth, like most of my NCT friends? My contractions only started on the walk between the the cinema and car. Not only that less than half an hour later I was sat on my birthing ball at home and contractions were coming every 2.5-5 minutes. Sporadic, I thought. More like I was in the shower and didn’t record it on my app! 

I remember following all the advice, I had a shower hoping the water would be nice and my waters completely went. We had quick food, some pizza and chips, before going to the hospital. I remember pacing the stairs, trying to eat with my tens machine doing its thing. I was doing funny yoga walks around the living room. Three hours after the film started we abandoned dinner on the table and headed to hospital. I imagine we’ll be in a similar situation with Baby #2, and I’ll be doing funny walks too. 

At the birth unit I remember walking in circles doing more yoga walks, the pain increasing ten fold when I took the tens machine off to have a bath. I also had a quick dip in the birthing pool as per my “I’d like a water birth” on the birth plan I’d popped on the front of my notes. I’m not sure that I’ll repeat either next time.

Toddler H’s heart rate increased in the pool so I had to get out after a few minutes. In saying that I wasn’t entirely comfy in it, I felt very far from hubby and he midwife, a bit abandoned in this pool with a this edge separating us. So I do wonder if my heart rate also went up, or if baby sensed my unease, and this isn’t how I imagined. For a long time afterwards I believed a water birth wasn’t my thing. But I do wonder if I’ll give it a go again, or will I just stick with my trusty tens machine. For some reason I sold my tens machine so I’ll need to buy another soon. I know that’s one thing I believe helped and would hate to labour without it. I’m tempted to learn about hypnobirthing too, but will see if time allows!

Another thing that I know I’ll keep the same as much as I’m allowed is to keeping moving and being upright. I remember being determined to not lie down for the all stages really, sitting upright, helping baby slide out using gravity… “I don’t want to lie down!” really was drummed into me from pregnancy yoga. But baby was a bit stuck so instead of being born 6 hours after my waters started tricking, it was another 3, including stirrups and two episiotomies. The joy! 

It was the threat of the (toilet?) plunger and the help of that second impromptu (no numbing) episiotomy that let me push baby out without any help. Oh I can still feel that pain sting of that episiotomy. But it was almost instantly forgotten as, Baby H popped out, crying, squirming. Perfect. I’ll never forget looking at hubby, him saying “girl”, watching him cut the cord. Skin to skin time staring at our baby with her tiny long fingernails and gorgeous eyelashes, being fascinated she had both! I’m definitely opting for immediate skin to skin time again and once again will be writing no episiotomy in my birth plan, just like last time. Keep your fingers crossed for me please!

We then hit a bit of a snag and I hope the next bit of Baby #2’s birth is much easier, especially after the quick birth, and given we’ll have Toddler H to get home to, and a sister to introduce. 

I was given some gas and air as the midwife sewed me up. Unfortunately one of those rare occurances happened and the midwife’s needle when through an artery. I was oblivious puffing gas and air and staring in wonder at my tiny baby on my chest, but hubby saw blood sqoosh across the room. I must say I noticed the effect of gas and air during the stitches but not in actual labour when I’d had a couple of puffs getting out of the water pool. The artery was quickly fixed and all sewn up nicely, and I moved room listening to H suck her thumb loudly.  

I fed H and was brought tea and toast. But, a bit like the water pool, I didn’t enjoy it, I was so engrossed in feeding baby and trying this breastfeeding thing I’d heard so much about. I definitely do not identify with people saying its the nicest toast they’ve ever tasted, I was just all consumed by baby and hubby. 

I hit another hurdle as the midwife ran me a bath, I didn’t reach the toilet, going faint as I got there. I was helped back to bed, the bath abandoned. It turned out I’d lost a bit more blood than they estimated when that artery sprayed. 

I had to wait for my blood to stabilise as after birth it does a huge dip as it adjusts. You have to wait 24 hours to see what your blood levels actually are. Mine were low, just on the transfusion scale. So the next afternoon, I had two pints of blood and my levels rose by over 300. I felt a lot better, and off we went home as a family of three. Here’s hoping I avoid a transfusion next time!

I loved my experience of the midwife led birth unit and found it relaxing. I never wanted an epidural or any of that, but would have happily moved to the delivery suit if I’d been in too much pain or had a long enough labour! The birth unit had such lovely rooms and I was so pleased that hubby could stay too. I really do hope for a similar birth unit experience next time, with the added bonus of baby #2 not getting stuck and no episiotomies or arteries spraying! 

In saying that, it was a fast first labour, less than 9 hours from start, waters trickling, to birth (and could have been 6!), and that scares me. I do wonder how quickly Baby #2 will be born? If my waters will go first as well? I’m also keep my fingers crossed we’ll be healthy and home not long after the birth to introduce H to her little sister. We would have been home 9 or 10 hours after H’s birth. 

I’ve written before about how excited H is about being a big sister and also my hopes for her becoming a sister. I’m feeling more and more at ease with that, she’s so caring and excited. She loves her friend’s baby brothers and sisters and is so caring to them. 

As you’ve heard, my birth with H was quick and I loved my tens machine, I actually hope for both with my second Baby, as that will mean H doesn’t see me in pain and we can get home again quickly.  I also hope Baby #2 doesn’t have a tongue-tie like H did. 

Was your second birth much quicker than your first? Did you find a tens machine as good as I did? Would you recommend hypnobirthing? 

Lynne xx 

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  • Reply
    Jenny (Accidental Hipster Mum)
    March 18, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Oh God, I didn’t even know that could happen with stitching up! Poor you,I felt faint on your behalf then haha. Hopefully number 2 is easy and not super quick!

  • Reply
    Devon Mama
    March 19, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Fingers crossed for you that you get all your wishes this time around. I too will be hoping that labour number 2 isn’t faster, I don’t think we’d make it to the hospital! Loved your note at the start telling people you know to stay away as well – made me giggle! #kcacols
    Devon Mama recently posted…Mother’s Day: My Top Mum MomentsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kayley Allard
    March 20, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Great post. I am planning my baby no.2 for later this year and hadnt even thought about this part. I had a 12 labour which was nothing like my plan. I put on so much weight i couldnt go in the midwife led unit and they insisted i needed to be monitored so had to lay down! Next time round im gona do it my way!! X

  • Reply
    March 20, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Oh it;s so good to write about your birth – wish i’d done that for mine as you do forget so much as they get older! Hope it’s not faster – at least you’ll be prepared this time!! #BigPInkLInk

  • Reply
    March 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Wow, you had a lot to deal with first time around! My first was born in 4 hours – first contraction around 4pm and she was born at 8pm on the dot. I kind of prepared myself for longer with number 2 thinking my first was too good to repeat. But he was born in about 3.5 hours – not a single warning sign just first HUGE contraction around 10:45pm, waters around 11:30 and then he was born at 2am! Good luck with number 2 x #bigpinklink

    • Reply
      March 20, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      Hmmmm I could cope with it being a similar amount of time (without the stuck bit!), I just have a fear it could be two hours and we wouldn’t get to the hospital! Fingers crossed!

  • Reply
    Kelly | and Jacob makes three
    March 20, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    I’m not planning another baby yet, but I really hope my second labour is quicker than my first! It was so loooooooong. Good luck with it all. It sounds like you did amazingly well and fingers crossed you avoid the transfusion this time. That did sound incredibly unlucky so it’s likely it would happen again #KCACOLS

  • Reply
    Agent Spitback
    March 21, 2017 at 10:13 am

    That’s scary with the stitching! I think subsequent births are always faster. My #2 and #3 were super fast and quicker. My doctor could not make it for #2 so I understand your apprehension. The best way is what you’re doing, just prepping in advance. Good luck and I look forward to reading your birth story. Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

  • Reply
    March 21, 2017 at 11:26 am

    My second birth was longer than the first, but then my baby was huge (9lb8, the first was 8lb3) so I blame that. The labours were completely different: waters went b4 contractions with the 1st, but had to be burst with the 2nd, dilated from 2cm-9cm within 2 hours with the 1st and took 8 hrs with the 2nd. Interestingly we put “don’t delay episiotomy” with my 2nd, as they waited with the 1st and baby got in distress, so we wanted it soon rather than later the 2nd time.
    Don’t worry about it, all labours are different, good luck x #kcacols
    Amy recently posted…Children’s name labels: mynametags.com reviewMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anna (Toys Preschool)
    March 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Some of those experiences were very similar to my first, notably the episiotomy and the fainting after birth (I came to next to the toilet!) but all I would say is don’t focus on length of labour as although they do tend to shorten, I’d say just focus on the fact that now you know what to expect. You know you can trust your body and your instincts, you will know what are just early signs and what is ‘we need to go to hospital now!’ so your second birth will be much easier.

  • Reply
    Paula from Her Life Is Love
    March 21, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    I only have one child , but I do hear the rest after the first are always faster. My story isn’t as event filled as yours. I hope your second comes easily and healthy! #KCACOLS
    Paula from Her Life Is Love recently posted…Korean Cuisine Golbangi MuchimMy Profile

  • Reply
    March 22, 2017 at 4:56 am

    I was born tongue tied! I remember the closer it got to my second’s birth the more nervous I got, remembering my first birth, and all the things that fade to the background after you have that lil baby and years go by and you forget the less fun parts. Loads of my second birth was the same, and just as much was different. The biggest thing was when it was time I trusted myself and my body more. You will be fine, better than. #KCACOLS

  • Reply
    Abi - Something About Baby
    March 22, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    I hope my second labour would be quicker than my almost 50 hour labour with my first! I was induced and had my waters broken, so I have no experience of actually going in to labour and the panic of when to get to the hospital. Due to complications with my first, I will likely have a c-section with my second, so at least I know it will be quicker and more controlled than my first! Good luck with the arrival of no.2, hope you get the birth you want #bestandworst

  • Reply
    Alana - Burnished Chaos
    March 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Oh god that knicked artery sounds scary. I had csections with both of mine so can’t really comment on speed of labour but both experiences were every different. I hope you get the birth you want x

  • Reply
    March 23, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Mine were perhaps quite similar. The first, I was induced, and it was horrible. My waters had broken 2 days before, but I’d only progressed to 1cm, I didn’t notice any contractions. So while technically it was 2 days, I don’t count it until it started to hurt. I was induced at 10am, and had him at about 7pm.

    2nd my waters broke at about 6:30pm, and I thought “oh god not again!” I even told the hospital nothing was happening and id stay at home for a bit. Then it all started very suddenly and I thought I was going to have her in the car. Gave birth at 5am, having had my first contraction at about 7pm.

    They were so totally different its hard to compare! 2nd was better though!

    Good luck


  • Reply
    March 23, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I only have one and we’re not having another so have no comparison but I was always under the impression that the second ones were faster so it will be interesting to hear how it goes for you hon! Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub xoxo

  • Reply
    March 23, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Only one way to find out hun and you will soon enough! xx
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

  • Reply
    five little doves
    March 24, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I think it all differs! My first was 11 minutes (I KNOW!!), my second was 30 hours (induction) and my third, fourth and fifth were all inductions but I went from 4cm to birth in less than 2 minutes with each of them! Good luck with the birth! #coolmumclub

  • Reply
    Sarah Howe
    March 26, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I would just say yeeeees!! Gremlin was 36 hrs from twinges to birth and Piglet 7.5! Lol. Wishing you loads of luck and hope slightly smoother! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

  • Reply
    Sarah - Arthurwears (@arthurwears)
    March 29, 2017 at 9:00 am

    i keep wondering the same thing myself….I went 15 days over with Arthur and had the first stage of induction ( a pessary) to get things started…my contractions started so strongly that I was sick with the pain and spent an hour in the bath on the induction suite with pretty much no rest inbetween and went from 0-10cm dilated within this time. They didn’t actually believe me when I said I was pushing though, so they made me hang on and wait for a private room for another hour..at which point I got out the bath and almost had Arthur in the corridor. Another hour of being ‘monitored’ on a machine because they’d not bothered to check me before and then I was finally allowed in the birth pool to have him…ended up with a seriously bad tear though and hours in surgery afterwards being repaired. I am absolutely terrified of it happening so quickly next time! #kcacols
    Sarah – Arthurwears (@arthurwears) recently posted…Should I give in and try controlled crying?… I think I’ve found my answer…My Profile

  • Reply
    Ali Duke
    March 29, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    My son was born 2 and a half hours after my waters broke suddenly in the middle of the night! I was so paranoid when I was pregnant with my daughter. My waters broke with her then nothing happened. I was having a planned c section so we went to the hospital and I had her 4 hours later.

  • Reply
    Rachel George, Ordinary Hopes
    March 29, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    My first one was a planned home birth, and a relatively easy 11 hour labour. My second needed to be born in hospital and took 22 hours to be born. Hoping that everything goes smoothly for you.

    Thanks for linking with #KCACOLS and I hope we see you next Sunday.
    Rachel George, Ordinary Hopes recently posted…What happened to me?My Profile

  • Reply
    Jenny (Accidental Hipster Mum)
    April 1, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Just popping back to say #KCACOLS I missed that off my comment before because I’m a silly old sausage!

  • Reply
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