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fluthernutter's avatar

How did your second delivery compare with your first?

Asked by fluthernutter (6291points) May 7th, 2012

For mothers who have given birth more than once, how did your later deliveries compare with your first time?

We’re expecting our second at the end of July and I’m kind of nervous. I remember it being horribly, horribly painful.

I’ll be honest. I’m really just hoping to hear lots of my-second-time-was-a-breeze stories.

My uterus could use the reassurance. Thanks.

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40 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Congratulations! I have not given birth, but there is a saying about labor and delivery, “the first time there is the fear of the unknown, the second time the fear of the known.” So, my answer is just to comment that you sound like every other friend of mine who has had more than one, very normal. I hope your second one is a breeze, and I hope answers here help you feel better. Maybe look into different options for birthing if you didn’t the first time. Take the drugs if you didn’t, learn hypnosis, or use a midwife instead, etc.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I was right on my due date with the first. My Mom missed the birth by 10 minutes.

With the second I was due July 19th. At my six month check I told the doctor I wanted to change my due date. He laughed, but got out his clipboard and asked what I wanted to change it to. I said, “July 14th.
He laughed again and wrote it down.
I even changed my mom’s plane tickets to the 14th. She missed the birth by 15 minutes.
No, I wasn’t induced, wasn’t c-sec. It was allll me and my amazing powers of universal control. :)

As far as everything else, they were the same. I was an idiot for refusing the drugs!

jca's avatar

When I gave birth to my one and only, and was in labor almost 48 hours, the doctors and nurses all said that the first one is the hardest to push out, after that, they come out more easily. I can imagine it’s probably because the first one loosens the muscles up a bit.

wilma's avatar

33 hours faster.

34 hours of labor for the first baby, she was 5 pounds 10 ounces.
One hour in labor for the second baby, he was 8 pounds 7 ounces. With a huge head and shoulders. That part was ouchy!
Third baby was an emergency C-section. 8 pounds 8 ounces
Fourth baby was face up so he took a lot longer. I think about 8 hours of back labor, but not bad till the very end. I got on my hands and knees to have him, that is what finally worked. He was 6 pounds 1 ounce.
It gets easier mainly because you know more what to do.

Jeruba's avatar

For my first, I didn’t know what to expect, so I wasn’t really scared. I didn’t listen to other women’s horror stories, and I don’t know why people seem to relish telling them to expectant mothers. I do remember thinking after several hours of labor, “I’d like to go home now, and come back and finish this later.”

For the second, I did know, so like you I was anxious. But it was very fast, so fast from first contractions to delivery that the doctor barely got there in time to catch my son as he popped out. He was bigger and more solid than the first, but it was all so smooth that I scarcely remember it. I do recall that we had to bring my 2½-year-old along to the hospital because there wasn’t even time for the arranged-for babysitters to get to our house.

For what it’s worth, my mother always said “I’d rather have a baby than go to the dentist any day.”

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not me but my mother’s first birth (me) was very long, hard and painful. When my sister was born over a decade later then mom’s labor was almost exactly 20 minutes and then the baby was born like a breeze. Mom credits Lamaze stretching and breathing exercises.

Sunny2's avatar

My bone structure required that I have Caesarian sections both times. The difference was that I had to wait to go into labor before the surgery the first time. I was happy I didn’t have to go through the whole labor. The second one was scheduled by day and time. Other than that, they were pretty much alike.

Akua's avatar

My first baby took a long time to be born. My water broke in the middle of the night on a Wednesday. I went back to sleep and didn’t call anyone or go to the hospital until Thursday afternoon. I didn’t give birth until late saturday around 11:00pm.
When my second child was born, it was really fast and I wasn’t as nervous. She was a much bigger baby than her brother had been though and came out shortly after I was told to push. Both pregnancies were not difficult. I have issues feeling contractions when I’m in labor and that worried the midwives because I didn’t know when to push. I kept falling asleep during labor with my daughter (it was 2 am) and when I was completely dialated they woke me to start pushing. I have a high tolerance for pain so I think that made the births easier but that can also be a bad thing. Because I feel no discomfort during pregnancy, I didn’t realize I had a Urinary tract infection when I was carrying my son and apparently it was bad because I had to be hositalized and given antibiotics through an IV for 3 days. I don’t think you and your uterus have anything to worry about though, your going to do just fine.

jca's avatar

I describe giving birth as “it feels like you’re shitting out a watermelon.”

wundayatta's avatar

My wife did natural birth the first time. She loved that so much that the second time she said she would rather slit her wrists than go without an epidural. She got the epidural. She liked giving birth the second time infinitely more than she did the first time.

I think a lot depends on your birth plan.

jca's avatar

@wundayatta: LOL!

I didn’t have a birth plan, as recommended in books. I just said I wanted an epidural (that was my personal plan) because all the books and friends said once it really starts to hurt, it’s too late to get an epidural. It worked out well. I didn’t have the epidural turned up full strength, because my doctor had this notion that if you can’t feel your legs and nether regions, you can’t push, so I still felt pain but not as much, apparently, as if I had no epidural.

gailcalled's avatar

My first labor, the hard part towards the end, took less than an hour. The doc had to break my water in the delivery room. I asked for oblivion for the last ten minutes and got it, don’t ask me how.

My second was more traditional and more protracted. Since I had the same doctor, he obliged me with the same blank ten minutes.

SuperMouse's avatar

I pushed for two and a half hours with my first before he finally came out. My second came out after two pushes. The labors were about the same length, but the actual delivery was much, much easier the second time around.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

My first was 24 hours of pure hell. Intense pain, starting during the second hour I was in labor. And the bastards at the hospital sent me home, despite the pain, because they didn’t think I was dilated enough. By the time I forced the hospital to accept me and I signed all the paperwork before getting an epidural, I had been in excruciating labor for almost 19 hours. They also had to give me pitocin, UGH. A hellish pregnancy, a hellish delivery, and that child is my difficult diva.

My second was 24 hours of easy peasy, mild discomfort. They had to give me pitocin again. I declined the epidural. That’s how easy it was, even with pitocin. That pregnancy was a breeze, the delivery was a breeze, and that child is my easy child. :D

I only had to push three times with both deliveries, it was getting to the pushing that took forever for me.

fluthernutter's avatar

@JLeslie I think I can handle the no epidural part again if I’m not induced. But you don’t have much control over when your water breaks. :(

@Dutchess _III That’s crazy! Do you have that kind of intuition in other parts of your life?

@jca That’s what they tell me. Though actually hearing about personal experiences is more reassuring.

@wilma 33 hours is a fabulous answer. Did the c-section catch you off guard (after having two vaginally)?

@Jeruba I loved hearing everyone’s stories because I felt like there was sooo much that no one ever told me about. I can definitely relate to the desire for a pause button. I would describe labor as being temporally claustrophobic. All the pain wouldn’t be so terrible if I could just step out of the experience for a second. Also, knowing how much longer it would last would have helped a lot mentally. Not knowing when it would end really messes with your head.

[signs up for Lamaze classes]

@Sunny2 Were the recovery times comparable?

@Akua My water broke early too. Did you get induced after 24 hours? Were you falling asleep because of an epidural or because your labour was so crazy long? I had complete trust in my uterus to do its thing. But once I was artificially-induced, I felt a lot less confident about how much my body was built to handle.

@wundayatta Ha. Too bad “not have my water break early” isn’t much of a birth plan.

[trying really hard not to ask about those last ten minutes]

@SuperMouse Two and a half hours! Holy cow. My labor was way worse than the pushing at the end. Though I’d probably sing a different tune if it took me that long. Yeow.

@WillWorkForChocolate Why were you induced the second time? I wonder if temperament is related labor. That’d be an interesting study.

wilma's avatar

@fluthernutter My baby was in a frank breach position and had been for months. I did not want to have a Cesarian and we tried external version, but that didn’t work. I was to be scheduled for C-sec, but went into labor before the appointment. I was dilated to 9 cm. wen I got to the hospital and I was bleeding. The baby was in trouble.
Everything turned out fine in the end, but it was scary for a while.

I had a V-bac for my last baby. My Dr. gave me that choice.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@fluthernutter No, I went into labor on my own, both times. The second labor was just so stinking easy, for whatever reason.

jca's avatar

I’ve heard that the pain when you’re induced is so much worse than the pain of a non-induced delivery. I was induced but got the epidural, as I stated earlier.

One thing that I found different about actual labor, as opposed to seeing women on TV documentaries (real women, not acting) is that on TV, they show you the part with the woman screaming in pain, but what you dont’ realize is that the contractions do give you a breather break in between, maybe just a minute or two, but it’s not like you’re screaming for two hours straight.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca A friend of mine said the same. I think she had pretty easy labors, but one of her comments was, “at least I could get some relief inbetween contractions, when I have period cramps it is pain without relief for 24+ hours straight.”

fluthernutter's avatar

@wilma Scary! I’m glad things turned out okay though. I’m curious though. Do your kids’ temperaments reflect their different deliveries?

@WillWorkForChocolate You went into labour on your own? Why in the world did they give you Pitocin?

@jca I had never heard of that before my delivery. Kind of wish someone has told me.

@JLeslie Can menstrual cramps really compare to labour cramps? (I’ve never really had menstrual cramps.) That’s crazy.

gailcalled's avatar

@fluthermuther; Since I was oblivious and woke each time to a perfect, beautiful son and then daughter, with long eyelashes and lots of hair, who cares?

fluthernutter's avatar

@gailcalled Because it’s good to hear about all the options!

JLeslie's avatar

@fluthernutter I don’t know, I have never been through labor. I was just stating what a friend of mine said. Most people I know say labor was very painful. Some say they felt like their whole insides were being torn out during the birth, other friends say it wasn’t that bad. I know two people who have done it with and without drugs, no drugs was the second birth for one and the third for the other, both preferred without. My exboyfriend’s aunt did her first two at home no drugs, the last was in America knocked out. She hated what happened to her in America with that birth.

fluthernutter's avatar

@JLeslie I’ve heard the comparison before, but I’m still incredulous. I just don’t hear women screaming in pain each month.

Yeah. American hospitals seem to favour being interventionist. But things seem to be getting better.

JLeslie's avatar

@fluthernutter The birth I spokeof in “an American hospital” was almost 50 years ago when husband’s could not go in the room. That is why she asked for the option of being knocked out. In her country her family was there during labor her mom, sisters, and her husband. I am not sure who was actually present during the births. She didn’t want to go through it alone. She woke up with bad pain from stitches that she never had had before. American hospitals now are much different.

wilma's avatar

Oops, that should be breech, not breach.

jca's avatar

@fluthernutter: Even though a woman may go into labor on her own, sometimes the contractions are not coming along as well as they should. That’s what happened to me. My water was broken but nothing was happening. You can be in labor and nothing happens and the baby will die if it doesn’t come out.

wilma's avatar

@fluthernutter I don’t really see any reflection of their different deliveries in their personalities.
Their personalities are all different, but not really in the same ways as their deliveries were.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@fluthernutter They gave me pitocin because although I was laboring on my own, my dilation stalled at a 4. Both times. I just wouldn’t dilate past 4, despite heavy contractions. So they hit me with pitocin to get me going again.

fluthernutter's avatar

@wilma Good catch. I think I’ve been spelling it the wrong way this whole time.

@jca and @WillWorkForChocolate Gotcha. Confusion on my part. Yes, I started going into labour on my own. Just got a bit stalled.

@WillWorkForChocolate Did you notice a big difference (beyond just the progression) before and after the Pitocin?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@fluthernutter Now and again I have those kinds of intuitions. Kept my children off guard! But the fact that I actually acted on that one was pretty cool.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@fluthernutter The first time, all I noticed were the huge lines on the contraction monitor. I couldn’t feel increased pain, since I was numb from the epidural. The second time, with no epidural, I could feel an increase in the contractions most definitely, but it still wasn’t “painful” until the last 20 minutes or so. The last 20 minutes sucked, because the baby was right frigging there and helloooooo… trying to squeeze a watermelon through an orange-sized opening? Not a walk in the park.

The second time through, with pitocin, I could feel the contractions getting a little more intense, and slightly longer, but I was still able to breathe through it and stay calm. What really helped was to sit, straddling the birthing ball, leaning forward against the hospital bed (sort of like if you were to sit in your computer chair and lean over to rest your chest and head on your desk), with my mother rubbing my back. I would also get up every 15 minutes or so and walk around the room, then do some slow squats, then get back on the birthing ball.

Seriously though, I know it’s different for everyone, but I really think my first was SO painful because I was terrified of the pain and couldn’t relax. The second time around, since I thought, “been there, done that,” I was able to relax, and just let my body do the work, and (up to the last 20 minutes) it was smoooooooth sailing. Even with pitocin.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The contraction monitor would start its upward swing before I felt anything, and my husband would oh so kindly let me know another one was on its way…and it was like panic time. “No! NO!!! NO!!! PLEASE NO!!!!” then I’d be left gasping for breath and writing in agony, unable to talk or to even think.

Akua's avatar

@fluthernutter With my son They waited 2 days after my water broke to see if I would go into labor on my own and when that didn’t happen, they induced my labor. I still wasn’t feeling any contractions and didn’t know when to push so I heard them whisper on the 3rd day that they were going to do a C-section because I wasn’t pushing and they baby had been in to long without amniotic fluid. When I heard that I started pushing even though I didn’t feel the contractions and around 11:30pm on the 3rd night he was born. With my daughter I fell asleep because it was the middle of the night when my water broke and I was tired. I asked the midwife if I could go home and come back tomorrow and she said no my cervix was opening too fast. I wasn’t feeling any pain or contractions so I went to sleep in the labor room until they woke me up to push. By the time I woke up my daughter was pretty much already born. So all in all I was blessed in that area. I hear a lot of other womens birth stories and it’s frightening listening to what they went through.

JLeslie's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate You say the first one you felt nothing because of the epidural, and then you say the first one was so painful because you were terrified of the pain. Which is it? Do you mean it was terribly painful so you took the epidural?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Yes, I meant that the labor was excruciating, but after the epidural, the delivery itself was painless. I was in pain from about the second hour of labor, until I reached my breaking point at hour 19. I asked for the epidural, then couldn’t feel anything afterward.

fluthernutter's avatar

I’m gonna answer my own question!


My first delivery was induced. Over fifteen hours of active labor. The pain was horrible. My thighs were bloody afterwards because I had gouged my fingers into my leg to distract myself from the pain. No epidural. But had two shots of fentanyl.

Second delivery was crazy fast. Left for the hospital at 4am. Nurse in Triage measured me at 6cm. By 6am, I was at 10cm. Doctor got there at 6:05am. Had the kid at 6:22am. Half a shot of Fentanyl.

Pushing out a person from your uterus is no joke. But so worth it! Sooooo excited about our little one!

Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories!

wilma's avatar

Way to go @fluthernutter !
Now the real work begins! But you already know that.

jca's avatar

Always such happy news to hear about a new baby! Congrats!

JLeslie's avatar


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