The Second Time Around . . .

Updated on January 18, 2013
K.L. asks from Fort Stewart, GA
16 answers

I am now considered full term with my second child! With my first, I went into the whole labor and delivery thing with an open mind, not knowing how my body would be able to handle the situation. Not to mention that my husband could not be their for the birth of his firstborn due to scheduled field training in the army, which took place the next state over. I was very lucky and everything was smooth sailing (as much as can be during the hard work of labor and delivery!).

I had my bloody show on Friday and went into true labor on Sunday night. On Monday morning I was admitted into the hospital at 5cm and ended up going with a natural birth (when I went into transition, I though to myself that I had made the wrong decision, but it was already too late). Before my water was broken, my contractions stayed at bout 4 minutes apart, although they were much stronger and were very effective (the nurse told me I was lucky and I would have to agree!) The doctor broke my water at 8 cm and I pushed for 23 minutes! My first birthing experience went so smoothly.

I was wondering about your second time around and how it differed from your first. In our birthing class the other day, the instructor was discussing some differences in second births. For first time moms, she recommended coming in at 3 minutes apart for 2 hours, but for 5 - 6 min apart for the second timers because labor usually goes much faster. She had said it was typiclly about half of the time. She also said that the bag of waters is more likely to break on its own the second time around, and that pushing is usually much shorter.

how did your second birthing experience differ form your first? I am trying not to pay too much attention to what the nurse had said because I don't want to think too positively, but am also curios as to other people's experiences.

PS- My husband, who was not supposed to have any access to phones during his training, felt that he needed to check on me, and since his trainers knew of his situation, he was taken back to an office building to phone me. He called about 20 minutes before I pushed, and stayed on the phone for about an hour after our son was born. It was a true blessing! everything was so wonderful with my first birth, I know that God was looking out for me because I was terrified that I had to give birth without my husband even in the same state as me. I feel that since I am more prepared and my honey will be here with m this time, that God might help out another woman who needs it more, and my second will be a litlle more rough for me! I know it is silly!

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answers from Boston on

I will have to say my second was pretty easy but my first was also very easy (more painful though) and was quicker than my first. For both of my children my water broke on its own. I pushed only about 3 times with my second but my first I only pushed for about 30 minutes. I found both births to be easy but my second was a little easier with no tearing. Best of luck.

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answers from Augusta on

I am a nurse midwife so I get to see a lot of labors. Usually the second labor is faster and easier! So try to put those worries out of your mind. Keep in mind if you do get the epidural it will likely slow things down some.

Just as an FYI, everyone's water will break on its own eventually. Otherwise there would be lots of people walking around still inside the amniotic sac :) Labor tends to be more manageable and less painful while the bag of water is intact, so it's worth waiting, in my opinion. It's mainly a provider convenience because if it breaks while you are pushing everyone in the room may get a shower ;) Research has proven that it does not speed up labor, which is what many people think.

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answers from Fargo on

I've had 3 all natural births.

1st was 2 weeks late, induced, 6 hours total....pushed for a very short time.

2nd was 1 week late, went into labor but needed pitocin, no meds and pushed 4 times (i went so fast i actually not pushed longer than i pushed waiting for a doctor).

3rd came 2 days early, still needs my water broke at 7 cm and immediately was at 10 and pushed her put in a couple pushes.

Each of mine went faster and easier and mine are 8 years between the first 2 and 7 years between the 2nd and 3rd.

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answers from Indianapolis on

My first was a water birth. Everything from start to finish lasted about 6 hours. I went in when I was 4 mins apart. The dr broke my water, and an hour later my daughter was born. I think I pushed 3 times. Gravity helped out a lot because I was on my knees in the water. Truly a beautiful birth. :)

My second woke me up at 2 am Thanksgiving morning. She was supposed to be a water birth as well, but we didn't have enough time. An hour after we got to the hospital (4 am) she was born. It was 1 1/2 pushes (the dr said, lol). My water leaked for hours so it was all gone by the time she was born.

I was told if I ever have anymore babies I better give birth at home! :)

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answers from Chicago on

I have had three pregnancies, all with different experiences. All three I was contracting on my due date, but was not aware of it, and gave birth the next day.
1st baby I went in around 2pm, had baby at 10pm. I had an epidural and so I mostly hurt afterwards.

2nd baby I went in around 6pm, had baby at 11pm. Luckly the doctor said come in since he wasn't busy. By the time I got to the hospital I was contracting every 5 min, compared to 15 min when we left. I was checked in at 5cm and while the nurse did the paper work I was crying in so much pain. She was so mean and said, "Fine I'll check you!" I was 8 cm! I was pushing for far too long because the epidural fell out and I just couldn't handle the pain. When the doctor talked about a c-section, I pushed baby out in three pushes! The doctor wasn't ready and I ripped. I felt completely fine after the birth!

3rd baby I sat down on my bed at 1am, folding laundry, when my water broke! Got to the house at 2am and baby came out naturally with no episiotomy at 5am. I felt great afterwards, just felt like I did a million sit-ups. I also had great nurses. I warned them about my bad experience and they were so helpful with my delivery.

I told my husband that if a fourth baby found it's way into my prepared to deliver the baby at home.

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answers from Detroit on

I had 5 and they were all the same except the first took longer. Vaginal births with epidural.

All were quick and easy (third was NO pain at all!)
All were induced on the exact due date (except the first was induced after the water broke ALMOST right on the due date). They tended to be close to 10 lbs. and I didn't want to wait around and have them be too big and risk a C-section. I'm really small but I followed all the health advice out there to avoid low birth-weight, and they ended up big and healthy. :)

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answers from New York on

Four babies. Water never broke on its own. Each delivery is different. They say second should be quicker, but don't count on it. So hard to predict. My kids all just popped out. However I was on bed rest with all because I would dilate in my fifth month. Did not have cerculage then.

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answers from Chicago on

My second birth was amazing. My first, a total nightmare! With my daughter (my first), I went to the hospital when the contraction were about 3.5 minutes apart. But my midwife was a jerk, my nurse was a jerk, and I ended up with a very long 30 hours of backlabor. I was in pushing stage for hours upon hours, as I was in such a negative space in my head.My body retreated and they have to give me pitocin.

With my son, I was at home. I went for a long walk, and then hopped into a birthing tub. My water didn't break and my midwife had to assist, but it was an easy, amazing experience, with only a few hours of hard labor.

I'm hoping my third is even easier. We shall see ;-) But I'm sure it won't be rough just because the last was easy.

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answers from Washington DC on

my first baby was tough! It took 22 hours from start to finish (induced). I had an epidural and I remember throwing up a lot and sleeping a lot. Pushing was 30 minutes and that was the worst part. I was so exausted!
My 2nd baby was a lot faster. MUCH more painful since I didn't have an epidural but I was also induced again. He was 10 hours start to finish. I was in so much pain that I was fainting in between contractions (4 minutes apart). I remember the nurse had to keep waking me up. they also had to put me on oxygen because I couldn't feel my arms (they were tingling). But once it was time to push, I did 2 quick pushes and he was out.

I'm glad your husband can be with you this time. Good luck!

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answers from Washington DC on

i had the opposite experience! my first birth was long and hard, with an enema, TWO epidurals and forceps. my second baby practically arrived in the car. i'd have loved an epidural but there was no time. it was also hard as hell, but the recovery was so much faster and better.
good luck and congrats, mama!
:) khairete

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answers from Jacksonville on

Both my labor/delivery experiences were without drugs. Very natural. My water broke at home with my first, and total labor with him was about 8 hours with a LOT of pushing at the end. Son was 8 lbs 12 oz, and 10 days past due date.

With our second, my water did not break until after I was already at the hospital. (I probably could have waited a little longer to go to the hospital than we did, but we had to deal with our 3 year old son as well, so it worked out better to go ahead to the hospital and let our friends pick him up from there, rather than hanging around the house waiting for them.) With our 2nd, the labor was much faster, and yes, about half the time of the first. Probably 4 hours. I only pushed 3 times and she was out. Daughter was a week ahead of her due date, and weighed 7 lbs 6 oz.

2nd delivery was faster and really just as smooth... but the pushing was VERY minimal, unlike with our first.

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answers from Chicago on

My first labor was long and painful. Water broke at home, but had horrible back labor until I got the epidural. Every time I had a contraction, it felt like someone was trying to rip my spine out of my back. 15 hours of labor + one hour of pushing.

Second labor was a breeze by comparison. Again, water broke at home, but it was 4 hours from start to finish and no back labor. Six pushes and this baby was out.

Good luck!

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answers from Norfolk on

My Mom had 36 hours of labor with me.
She went to the hospital Christmas eve and I was born 8am Dec 26.
She had a horrible experience (this was the 1960's).
Few wanted to work the hospital during Christmas so she was strapped to a gurney and basically put in a closet till someone remembered her.
Then they knocked her out for the birth.
Apparently one of us almost died.
For my sister a few years later (different doctor and different hospital), total labor was 6 hours and it was much less traumatic (although I think they still knocked her out).
I was 36 hours with our son but it was a wonderful experience.
I don't have a second child but I'm very glad things have changed quite a bit since my Mom had us.

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answers from Spartanburg on

My first baby took 12 hours had an epidural and pushed for an hour, nothing really eventful. My second took 8hrs, had epidural and he was pulled out with forceps. My 3rd baby took 4hrs and literally did not have to push more than three times. My 4th was a little different as i was induced at 39 weeks due to gestational diabetes.Took about 6hrs from the time they started the pitocin. Didn't push more than 3 times with him as well. Good Luck!

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answers from Minneapolis on

My first birth was "induced" - I put that in quotes because I was in early labor, 9 days over due, went to the hospital when my contractions were 5 min. apart, but even though I was only in early labor, they made me stay since I was so far past my due date... then when labor "stalled" they started me on a number of interventions.

Baby #2 was an all natural water birth. He was 11 days over due - and we went to the hospital when I felt like I was really in labor... meaning, I kind of felt like I couldn't handle it any more, and didn't want to be at home. I had spent a few hours in our bathtub at home and when I got out (at my husbands urging) I thought - whoa - we better get going. We we arrived I was at 5, then I labored in the birthing tub for a few hours before delivering.

Baby #3 was the same.... I just stayed home until it "felt" like time to go in.

NOW - that said - my cousin-in-law has super fast labors. We used the same midwife and after her first delivery, they wanted her at the hospital pretty quick. Baby #2 for her she was dilated to 4 or 5 before she was even in labor! So - they broke her water at the hospital (about 7 or 8 days past her due date) and she labored about 2 hours before delivery.

Talk to your doctor or midwife (not the nurse). She what she says.

Good luck!

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answers from Lansing on

With my first I had went in thinking I didn't want an epidural, and it was too late when I decided to have one. So it was a natural birth. I went in at around 12:30am and had her at 5:26am (Oh and I was 11 days past my due date)
With my second I went in at around 1:30am, got an epidural, and had her at 6:28am. (I was 9 days past my due date)
So mine were both very similar births except for my second I was able to sleep most the night.

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