At 36 weeks and two days, on December 12, it was like every other day. I was at the table with my son, Josiah (or Little Ox #1, as he’s nicknamed on my blog), having lunch. I was struggling with him, trying to get him to eat what I had made for him—which is a daily struggle, unless it’s pizza, noodles or breakfast foods.
After feeling defeated, I got up from the table to throw his food away and think about what I could feed him that he might actually eat. As I stood up from bending over to throw the food away, my water broke. It was 2 p.m. I knew it the moment that it happened because the same thing happened to start my first labor.
I panicked, left Josiah in his high chair and ran to the bathroom. I laughed to myself for a minute because I was telling my husband, Mac, for months that our baby would be coming that weekend. (I was joking, of course, because I knew that that weekend was probably the worst day for him to come.) Mac had his busiest day of the year coming up, and my mom had an important day for her business that same day, too.
I decided to call my mom first. She answered the phone, and I said “I know you don’t want to hear this, but my water just broke.” She laughed and thought I was joking, but then she said she would be there soon. Next, I called Mac, and I said the same thing. He worked an hour away, so I knew he was going to jump out of his chair and leave right then. After panicking on the couch for a few minutes thinking of our boy coming a month early and that he might have issues after birth, I called for my brother to keep an eye on Josiah while I got last-minute things together.
I turned on “Daniel Tiger” for him, gave him a cookie and headed downstairs. I changed and got things together while waiting for my mom to pick me up. I put Josiah down for his nap and explained to him that his baby brother would be here soon and that mommy had to leave for the hospital. I left him with grandpa and took off to the hospital with my mom.
We bypassed a triage room (because my water was clearly broken), and we stepped into labor room No. 8 and waited for Mac to get there. My friend Kendall arrived, and we watched “Friends” (again) as we all waited for my contractions to start. We pondered about whether the baby would be here on the 12th or the 13th—because Josiah came fairly quickly.
(I had wondered throughout my pregnancy what this labor would be like. My first labor could not have been more perfect and “easy.” Well, I was right that there was no way it was going to go as well as it did with Josiah.)
When I think about my labor with Nolan—sometimes I wonder how I even progressed at all. Throughout my entire labor, I did not have regular contractions—even up until I started pushing. I attribute this to him being late preterm.
I came into this labor thinking that labor is labor, and it would feel just like it did before. I came into this labor wanting to do it all natural, like the first time. However, once I realized that back labor is very different than regular labor. My thoughts changed after hours of more pain than I experienced my entire labor with Josiah. We tried natural techniques for a while, and the pain became unbearable. I asked for them to check me to see how close I was (even though my contractions weren’t normal like I said before).
I was at 3 cm. It was after midnight. I had already been in labor longer than I was with Josiah, and I was only at 3. That’s when I decided that I wasn’t going to be a horrible mom if I got an epidural. I was not going to let myself feel guilty or like a failure because I couldn’t do it like I did last time. So I talked with Mac for a while, and he told me he would support whatever I chose to do. So, nervously, I asked him to ask the nurse for the epidural. Another thing that factored into this decision was how late it was and the knowledge that we would be up all night long waiting for this boy to come.
The epidural was a lot less scary and a lot less painful than I had expected. After that, it was so nice to get some rest and sleep for a while. I could still feel the pressure that was coming from the pain masked by the medication. After quite a few hours of no regular contractions, I asked to be checked again—and I was at 8 cm around 5 a.m.
Coming into the final stretch, everyone was sleeping, and I was lying there awake, waiting to get to 10 and dreaming of the little boy who would soon be in our arms. I thought about how beautiful this labor was—even as different and unexpected as it was. It is crazy how two very different labors can be equally amazing. (I know I am crazy, but I love being in labor.) This made me think of every woman who has had the opportunity to birth a child—how each story is so perfect and different in its own way.
With the pain easing its way through the medication, I asked the nurse to get my midwife and check me one last time because I felt like it was time. She checked, and I was at 10 cm. Things were being brought into the room to bring our baby into the world. The nurse told me that when I feel pressure to push to call her, but that it might take a while to feel it. About 30 seconds later, I felt it and called her in. It was 7:50 a.m., and I was ready to start pushing.
Because it took me an hour of pushing with Josiah, I expected it to be about half that time, but little did I know that in only seven minutes and 2 and 1/2 pushes later—our boy would be here. With the first push, you could see his head. The second, his head was out. The last push, he came so fast that the midwife almost dropped him, and I couldn’t pull him out like I did with Josiah.
Nolan Robert Oxford was born on December 13, 2014 at 7:57 a.m. He weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces, and he was 19.5 inches long.
Yes, you read that right. My little month-early preemie was 7 pounds. I don’t want to think about how big he would have been if he had gone full term. Either way, my beautiful little baby boy was here. I loved my second labor just as much as I did the first. It was amazing and breathtaking. I love having Nolan in our life and looking down at him every day thinking he is just like a mini Josiah. I swear they are twins.
I am so thankful to be a mommy of my two amazing little boys.
To read more about Kimberly’s adventures as a mom of two, visit her blog.
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