My pregnancy with London was a little different than my pregnancy with Jack. I was a little more nauseous at the beginning, but still never enough to throw up. I could tell I was carrying my weight a little differently and she sat a little higher from day one. All reasons I assumed I was having a girl… and I was right! I took a pregnancy test on my birthday (in February) and was so excited to see it was positive. We were in such a good rhythm with Jackson at home and felt like it was the perfect time to add another child to our family.
London’s original due date was November 6th, but at our big “anatomy ultrasound” they bumped it up to October 28th. Jack came four weeks early so I just assumed she would follow his lead and do the same. I was not going to be caught off guard this time around so I had everything ready weeks in advance. I deep cleaned our house, organized every room, cupboard and drawer and had everything washed, folded and ready to go in the nursery. We were ready for her.
I felt pretty good (although hot!) throughout the summer; however, as soon as September began and the weather started to turn I noticed my body started to prepare me for labor. I started to get super uncomfortable with lots of cramping, tightening, sore hips, groin and muscles. I asked my doctor about it at one of my appointments because I never felt anything like that with Jack. He said it is very normal to feel more of that with a second pregnancy because my body had already gone through the process and it was just getting ready to do it again. There were definitely days I knew I did too much and my body was sore and tired by the end of the night. That being said, I have a very hard time sitting still. I felt like I had so much to do before her arrival! I was also trying to entertain Jack every day and give him some special one-on-one time.
In late September Scott had a work trip planned and he left on a Sunday afternoon. Normally he is always available if I text or call but this trip was a little different. He had a huge presentation he was giving with several other coworkers and it was going to take them multiple days to get through all of their material. Since he was presenting most of the day he had little time to check his phone. Sunday night I did not feel great and was having lots of cramping. By the time I got Jack in bed I was exhausted and felt like I might have had a few Braxton Hicks contractions. Monday morning I felt a lot better so I took Jack to the zoo. We met up with some of our friends there and went to lunch afterwards. Jack wasn’t napping anymore so when we were done with lunch I took him to the park for a few hours. When we left the park and got home I knew I had overdone it. I started to get really tired, my body started to hurt and cramp. I struggled through the next few hours and then I got Jack ready for bed as fast as possible. I laid down with him to help him fall asleep and while I was in his room I started to have what felt like a contraction. Once Jack was asleep I went upstairs and laid on the couch. I had enough pain that I started to look up contractions vs. Braxton hicks. I was starting to get a little nervous because everything I read said Braxton Hicks would go away if you changed positions. These were not going away and I was having multiple in an hour. They weren’t getting more painful, and I could still feel the baby moving around a lot, which led me to believe they weren’t “real” contractions. I called my mom and told her how I was feeling in case I needed her to come over in the night. I also talked to Scott for a few minutes but he was in the middle of a prepping session for a big presentation he had the next morning so I just said I wasn’t feeling great and I would text him in the morning. I did not want to stress him out too much if it was nothing. I wasn’t supposed to have this baby for 5 more weeks! I finally laid in bed but had a hard time sleeping because I was so uncomfortable. Eventually I dozed off and Jack made his way up around midnight. Shortly after he got in bed with me things got worse. At 1:30 I took some Tylenol because I couldn’t sleep. That helped take some of the aches and cramping away and helped me focus on what the contractions were feeling like. Between 2 and 3 am I had four contractions, by far my strongest of the night. Luckily after that they must have settled and I dozed off.
I was still cramping in the morning but no contractions so I texted Scott and said I was fine. I wanted him to get through the presentation without stressing. I was supposed to have an OB appointment the next day but called and told them I needed to come in. The nurse said my blood pressure was high (it has never been high in my life) and that I must be stressed. I told her about everything from the night before and she said “yes, it sounds like the baby is getting ready to come”! My doctor said he felt strongly I needed to get a steroid injection, which can help with the baby’s lung development if they’re earlier than 37 weeks, so he gave me one on the spot, and I returned the following day to get another. He suggested that it was a good idea to “do it now, while we can, in case the baby comes in the next two weeks”. He also mentioned my history of having an early baby, and how that could play into this pregnancy as well. I left the office feeling like the baby was coming soon…and Scott was out of town!
I continued to feel contractions and cramping over the next few weeks. There were several nights where I was absolutely positive she was coming…and then the contractions would slow down. At 37 weeks I was dilated to a 3 and then at my appointment the following week they said I was the same. We set up an appointment to be induced at 39 weeks.
When the day came we woke up early that morning and called the hospital around 6:00 am. They told me to call back around 8. They called me back at 7:45 am and said to head in. We grabbed our stuff and headed to the hospital. The hospital is very close to our house so we arrived just after 8 am. They checked me in and the nurse came in and introduced herself. We really liked her. She was from the south and really sweet. As she was getting my paperwork ready they began the Pitocin and my IV, but insisted that I not let the Dr break my water until my epidural was in place. She said the doctors usually strolled in around lunchtime to break your water. The next thing I know my doctor is in the room and says he wants to get things started and breaks my water at 9:03 am. Things were happening. We were about to have baby! Meanwhile as he is breaking my water the nurse is in the background mouthing that she is sorry. I didn’t understand what she meant until seven minutes later when I had my first contraction. They came on FAST.
The nurse started running around trying to get everything in place since things started moving so quickly. She finished up my paperwork and continued giving me Pitocin. The anesthesiologist came in and got my epidural started. I was starting to really feel some pain so I was so grateful once it kicked in; however, just like my epidural with Jack, I could still feel everything on my left side. I had one hot spot where I could feel the contractions super strong. The nurse couldn’t put in my catheter yet because I was still in so much pain. Meanwhile I sent Scott to go grab some lunch. I felt like things were progressing quickly so I figured he better go or he wouldn’t have time later. He probably left around 10:30 am. While he was gone the contractions really intensified. I was in so much pain. The nurse was trying to get the anesthesiologist back in the room to adjust things but he was helping the lady next door…who I could hear screaming at the top of her lungs!
The nurse checked me and told me I was dilated to a seven. No wonder why I was feeling so much pain! As soon as the anesthesiologist was done next door he came in and gave me a second dose. He said it was a little different than the first thing he gave me. It was wonderful! In 5-10 minutes I finally started to feel some relief. Once it kicked in all the way it was amazing how I felt no pain at all but could still feel some pressure. I would say it was a PERFECT epidural. Right at this time Scott came back from lunch. It was about 11:35 and the nurse kept checking the monitors on my belly and adjusting. She said she didn’t like what the baby’s heart rate and oxygen were doing so she put an oxygen mask on me. She went to put in my catheter and surprisingly yelled that I was ready to deliver. Then things happened FAST.
The nurse ran around the room getting things ready and yelled at somebody to call the doctor. She was waiting for some help to set up the table with tools but then said they weren’t coming fast enough and started to do it herself. That is when I had a wave of emotions come over me. I started to shake a bit and get teary. I was excited, nervous, scared and anxious all at the same time. It all happened so fast that I didn’t really have time to take it all in. It was almost as if the second I stopped feeling pain and my epidural kicked in, they told me the baby was coming.
After a few minutes the doctor came running into the room and sat down. He started telling me to push immediately and within a few minutes I was holding my beautiful daughter, London Blake Heninger. She was born at 11:44 am. As soon as she was born Scott cut the cord and said that she looked just like Jack but more beautiful. Haha don’t tell him that! I held her for a minute while Scott snapped lots and lots of photos and then passed her over to the nurses. When they broke my water there was a little bit of meconium in the water so they wanted to check her out and make sure she didn’t swallow any. I sat there in shock as the nurses cleaned her up and checked her out. One of the nurses even yelled out that she had some poop in her ear! What had just happened? It all happened so fast! We checked into the hospital just after 8 am and she was born at 11:44 am. In the end, it was a very smooth delivery! I was the mother of a new baby girl, and was so in love!
I absolutely loved my “hospital vacation” this time. I was so relaxed (second kid) and I put London right on the schedule of eating every three hours. Scott went home both nights to put Jack in bed (and get some sleep). That was a pleasant change for him from Jack’s delivery hospital stay. During the night I would feed and snuggle London and then send her back to the nursery so I could sleep for one to two hours before repeating. It was so fun to sit and snuggle her. She was so perfect. She was born with the cutest birthmark below her lips on the left side of her chin. I loved just holding her. And I loved having so much alone time with her before coming home. I felt like we really bonded and connected during this time. There is something so special and spiritual about having a newborn baby. You get this incredible confirmation that God is real. We are so lucky London chose us to be her parents. She is a beautiful baby with the cutest personality. We are so blessed to have her in our family.