was 3:30 in the morning and I had just peed myself. Okay, not really, but that was my first thought and really the only one that made even remote sense to me. After all, I was just over 8 months pregnant and going to the bathroom a couple dozen times a day was the norm. So when I awoke at that sunshiny time of 3:30 am and got up to go to the bathroom even though I actually didn’t really feel like I had to go (after all, I was just awake an hour earlier and had emptied my bladder then) and then proceeded to feel and hear something dripping down my leg onto the floor, it only made sense that I had peed myself. I thought, “oh great, not only do I have to pee every 10 minutes, but now I can’t even control my bladder”. It never occurred to me that my water had just broken….and that I would be giving birth to my second child, my son, later that day….3 weeks and 1 day before his due date.

Fast forward to 10:00 am. Georgia and I waltzed into my 37 (minus a day) week check up and told the doctor what had happened. By this time I had read a bit online and figured out that no, I did not in fact pee my pants that morning but that my water had broken. However, since I was induced and had my water broken for me by my doctor in my first birthing experience, I didn’t really know what it felt like or what it meant. So naïve little me thought my doctor could just make things stop and I could finish my last 3 weeks of pregnancy in peace. Maybe have to go on bed rest, but no problem, right? Well my doctor listened to my story, checked me out and then looked at me and basically said, run, don’t walk to the hospital, you are in labor.

Our county hospital is right across the street from my doctor so pretty easy to get here. Except I had my toddler with me. Except I had just started to pack my hospital bag that morning (since I couldn’t sleep after “peeing myself” and thus continuing to pee myself a little bit every hour or so) and it was still at home. Except the hospital was closed. Wait, I’m sorry, what did the doctor just say? The hospital was closed? Yep, shut down due to air conditioning problems, so I would need to go to the next closest hospital, 30 minutes away. Awesome, perfect timing.

So fast forward again to 12:30pm after I had gone home (don’t tell my doctor I didn’t go straight to the hospital) and finished throwing random things in my bag, found a sweet, sweet, precious, I owe you one, dear friend to watch Georgia, called to tell my husband that my peeing myself actually meant I was in labor RIGHT NOW, let the dog out in the back yard one last time, and drove 30 minutes to the hospital praying my labor didn’t actually pick up (I still didn’t believe that I was in labor) and I had to give birth by myself on the side of a road. I couldn’t even find a parking spot when I got there and was too stubborn to take advantage of the valet service, so there I was carrying my bag and purse, waddling across a couple parking lots into the hospital, telling them I was in labor. Adventure in the making.

Side note: I then had to wait over 30 minutes in the Birthing Center waiting room while they got a room ready for me. Apparently I was not the only pregnant woman who had to be diverted from my county hospital to this one. They were booked solid.

Husband arrived, contractions picked up slightly, but not to the point where I thought anything was really happening, and suddenly it had been 12 hours since my water had broken and my labor was not progressing. I was bored out of my mind, frustrated as heck, and yet still slightly hopeful that I was going to give birth on my own, no induction and no epidural like last time. And then another 1 1/2 hours went by with no changes and I was over it. So over it. It was time. Doc, give me the Pitocin, get my labor going. Crank up the pain and let me curse the day my husband and I decided to stop practicing birth control. Just get this baby out of me, I’m ready to be done with it all. So there I was, right smack dab back in the same place I was during birth #1-receiving the dreaded Pitocin.

Lets just say it definitely got my contractions going. It brought the pain and my body responded by shaking uncontrollably. Deja vu-just like birth #1. Only this time, I was mentally prepared. During birth #1 I felt like a failure because I got induced against my deepest desires (but to the advice of my doctor and husband) and then chose to get an epidural after fighting the pain as long as I could. Lo and behold, the epidural actually wore off way before it was supposed to and I remember thinking the whole time “I got a freakin’ epidural for a reason and it’s not even working. What is wrong with this picture?” The room was black and spinning, I couldn’t breathe, and then I ended up tearing really bad, losing half of my blood, and passing out because my blood pressure plummeted. My husband says he remembers thinking that he had gained a daughter, but lost his wife all in a span of an hour.

Anyway, this time, during birth #2, I actively chose to be induced. Not my Plan A, but it was a plan I chose, and so I was okay with it. I also decided that I was going try to hold out and not get an epidural, but if I did, so be it. And so it was. As I was sitting on the edge of the bed, not able to get up and move around because of all the darn wires hooked to me, I remembered how looooooooong I had stayed in labor after starting the Pitocin during Birth #1 and the thought of being in that much pain hour after hour after unending hour once again didn’t exactly make me feel all warm and fuzzy all over. So, we called in the good stuff. I knew it increased my risk of needing a C-section, could affect how long it took for my baby to start breastfeeding, and a list of other complications, but I wanted it. Good Lord, I wanted it!

And so Birth #2 was the same as Birth #1 in that I was induced with Pitocin and got an epidural, and yet the resulting birth was different, so very different. For one, I was actually able to sleep after my epidural and considering at that point I had been awake and technically in labor for over 15 hours, coming off of 8 months of very little sleep, I was in love with the drugs for that fact alone. Two, after getting induced, I gave birth a mere 5 hours later (again, some of which I was able to sleep through) where as my first encounter with induction kept me in labor for another 12 hours before giving birth. One reason I didn’t actually give birth even sooner was that William’s cord was wrapped around his shoulder and neck, preventing him from dropping down on his own. Three, I didn’t tear. At all. Recovery post birth has been completely different thanks to not tearing. Case in point-I was actually riding my bike 1 week after giving birth the second time. One week post birth #1, I still couldn’t even sit on my donut without immense pain and discomfort.

It’s now been 2 weeks since William was born and while we did have to go back into the hospital 2 days after being discharged after birth because he had jaundice, we’ve now been home for a week and he is good to go. His big sister is in love with him and even the dog is coming around slowly but surely (actually, she doesn’t seem to care one iota that there’s another baby in the house).