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Everything They Told Me About My 2nd Delivery Was True

"I'll believe it when I see it."

I was told a lot of things about giving birth to (and recovering from the birth of) my second child.

Everyone said it would be “so much better,” but I took it all with a fair amount of skepticism. I wanted to be prepared to handle anything—even the worst, especially because recovery had been so difficult the first time around.

But, turns out just about everything they told me was close to spot-on. Here’s why:

1. “You’ll know when you’re in labor this time.” True! Since my water broke with my first child, I never had to time contractions or figure out if I was truly in labor. But when it came this time, I knew it. I remembered exactly what the contractions felt like, especially as they set in my back and neared my tail bone.

2. “Your labor will be shorter.” True! With my first, I labored an exhausting 17 hours (made more exhausting because I was awake for about 40 hours before he arrived). This time, I started counting and timing contractions at about 9:30 p.m., went to the hospital around midnight, (got an epidural/spinal block around 1:30 a.m.) and had my baby at 4 a.m. About seven hours, total!

3. “Your delivery will be quicker, too.” True! I didn’t push long last time, but this time my baby was born in just one push. It was pretty amazing.

4. “You won’t tear, at least not as badly.” True! But this is the only one that barely made the list. I didn’t tear as badly, but still had a decent tear and resulting swelling.

5. “Recovery won’t be as bad.” True! Three years ago, it took me three weeks before I could sit comfortably, and a week before I could manage the stairs to our apartment—even at a snail’s pace. This time, I was up’n at’em within a few days. Still sore, but not down and out like last time. And good thing, because I had a toddler to take care of this time around.

What about you? Was your second delivery smoother than your first?

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