The wonderful Erin Snell, Sadie (4) and Xavier (14 months). Erin had easy, healthy pregnancies with each of her children.
With Sadie, she went into labor on a Friday evening just after work and went to the hospital in the midnight hours. There was only one anesthesiologist on who told her she needed to get an epidural right then, or she wouldn't be getting one at all. She hadn't planned on getting an epidural, but went ahead out of fear that if anything happened and she needed it later she'd be in a difficult situation.
The epidural was placed incorrectly and never inserted in her spinal space so she continued to labor feeling everything. He came back later and realized he'd made a mistake so he gave her another epidural but at that point she was already fully dilated and could have gone without. She waited for the doctor to come in to push and says the labor was a lot more medical than she had anticipated. They ended up placing an internal monitor on Sadie and Erin was given an episiotomy, she didn't know she had received which made for a difficult and painful recovery.
Erin's second birth was much different. She had a midwife and didn't have many interventions outside of an epidural. The experience was calm and smooth and he arrived quite quickly after an hour of pushing. Her recovery with his birth was also much faster, and less painful than her first.
Erin describes herself as very introverted and has found that since going from one child to two she has had to find more creative ways to find time for herself so she doesn't get burnt out. She returned to work when her son was 9 weeks old and after working full time and the cycle of working and pumping and waking to feed through the night, she was feeling very drained. She's had to find pockets of time in her day to allow herself time which helps a lot.
Erin says she tends to be very negative about herself but even if she doesn't like what she sees in herself today, she knows that 60 year old her will look back on these moments and be grateful that she took the time to embrace herself with her children.