Our daughter (surprise!) is here! She was born on January 16th at 4:34pm.... 9lb 9oz (5oz shy of big brother when he was born!)
First thing on the morning of the 15th, I had lots of mucus with blood.... the mild contractions continued throughout the day. We spent it cleaning and getting things ready, even though I thought it might be a few days yet. My son was two weeks late and I was still 4 days from my due date. The contractions picked up at night but I was able to sleep. I was up at 1am, 3 am and 6am...... and stayed up at 6. We woke up on the morning of the 16th to snow! It almost never snows here in western Oregon, so it was quite a treat. We called my sister to take care of my son and went for a very chilly walk in the snow to get things going. Contractions were a bit erratic in strength but I had one that felt so different the only thing I could thing was.... I have to get home now!
I called the midwife at 10am and she came. I requested a check and was already 5-6 cm and very effaced! Yay! I was so relieved that such erratic contractions were doing their job. Soon after that it was all tough work. The contractions were intense, with a lot of back pain..... this baby, as was my last one, was stubbornly posterior.... and edgy in a way I didn't experience with my son. I had wonderful support, though..... a super attentive, loving partner, a sister happily engaging my son, and awesome midwives. I was staying afloat! The midwives were frantically trying to set up the birth pool, as they thought I was starting to sound pushy with my contractions.
The contractions were sending me over the edge for the last two hours of my 8 hour active labor and they kept sending me to have contractions on the toilet to intensify things..... Eek! Contractions on the toilet were the most intense and I really wanted to avoid it. It was the only place I felt panic, but I knew that those were the contractions that would bring my baby. Once the pool was set up, it was nice to be there....it definitely took the edge off.... and my son would get in with my and help me get through. He was so sweet.
I really felt that my body was hanging out fully dilated but not ready to push... so back to the toilet it was. I reached in and felt my cervix to see if I could tell anything (what, I don't know!) and when I did I could tell that I was fully open and the bag of waters was bulging through. I told my husband and he looked at me very seriously and said "DON'T DO IT!"..... reading my mind that I wanted to break it!! I knew that if it just broke the baby would come through like a freight train.....
Boy, was I right..... the next contraction.... POP! It splashed my husband in the face!..... and then she started barreling out! I screamed "get Elise" (the midwife). The baby was coming with a vengeance. They helped me hobble to the pool, Elise holding in the baby's head. I got in the pool on my hands and knees. One crazy, intense push brought out her head. I reached down and held her sweet little head before one more push brought her shoulders.... one more brought her body!! Dad caught her and unraveled her.. she was wrapped up pretty well in the cord. I was so relieved! This pushing phase was so much more frantic and sensational than with my son and the feeling of relief was overwhelming when she was finally out. We all did a crazy dance to get my leg over the cord and flip around so I could finally hold her... and see that we had a beautiful little girl! My husband immediately pulled my son into the tub, overalls and all, so that he could meet his new baby sister. He was finally interested after all.... as my sister had said afterwards he was more into his Odwalla bar than actually seeing the baby come out! When she arrived, though, his face lit up and he was overjoyed! We all spent a beautiful, timeless moment in the tub together as a new family of four marveling over our this new and perfect little life. It was wonderful!
I was delighted to find out that I didn't tear nearly as bad as I did with my son... which had been a big fear of mine for this birth. I needed 7 stitches, all in different spots, considerably less than the twenty I needed before. So, I'm healing..... falling in love with our new little girl.... we are all readjusting to becoming a family of four. My son is doing fantastic. I do have the second time mama guilt over not being able to give each child 100% but I'm working through that.... and open to any hopeful advice any of you second time mamas may have.
All in all, the birth was beautiful and I am once again reminded of my strength as a woman. My daughter is as amazing as my son and I am excited for us to grow together as a new family! Thank you to all of you incredible women who have given me so much support throughout my pregnancy. I wish those of you left amazing births and those of you with new little ones incredible babymoons! My birth bead bracelet gave me strength and graced my birth alter beautifully.