Okay, so Violet is sleeping again, and it's the middle of the day, so the rest of the family is not. I decided I would post our story for inquiring minds.
Yesterday morning the contractors were here and I was having some contractions. These were lower down than usual and spanning across my back, but no real frequency and I've been having contractions for a couple of weeks now, so I wasn't too concerned about it. I was restless as all get out the night before and had only slept about 2 hours total, so at 10:30, after the contractors left, I took a nap. I figured I'd sleep until a little before 2pm when I had to pick GraceAnne up from school. For some reason I couldn't sleep past 12:30pm, even though I was exhausted. I got up and went to the bathroom and noticed some brown-tinged fluid. It scared me because I've been so freaked out about the baby and meconium, so I called the midwife. Since it was watery, she told me to come in and get checked out. I asked her if we could wait until we picked up GraceAnne and she wasn't thrilled with that, but she said yes finally.
We decided to be on the safe side and put our bags in the car "just in case." Before we went to get GraceAnne we stopped at KFC to get some lunch and after we picked her up we had to come back by the house and get gas. When we got to the birthing center it was about 3pm. The midwife checked me and I was indeed leaking fluid, but it was not tinged brown from meconium, so I was happy. She announced that I was at a "stretchy 4" during contractions and that we would not be going home. As I was laying on the table and she asked me if I wanted to have this baby today, I was VERY apprehensive. I told her we had an appointment scheduled for next Tuesday and she laughed at me and said that she didn't think the baby would wait that long. She sent me out to walk around the park while Allan and GraceAnne played on the playground.
We called our neighbor, Susan and she came to pick up GraceAnne to take her home. At this point I figured we wouldn't be seeing Gracie again until the following morning, because 4cm is so far from 10! Keep in mind when we had GraceAnne I got to the birthing center dilated to 8cm already and my water never spontaneously broke, so this was all new to me. After Susan took GraceAnne, (at about 4:30pm), the contractions were too intense for me to walk through, so I went in the birthing suite and bounced on the birth ball. I tried the tub, too, (I didn't even try to drown myself this time!!), but that was relatively short-lived. When she finally checked me again, I was "only" at a 6, so I was incredibly discouraged. By this point I was hurting pretty bad and the contractions were on top of each other. Then came the most awful contraction yet and she checked me after that, announcing we were at a 9.
I don't remember the exact time frame of all this, but Violet was born at 7:13pm. It was, of course, the most difficult, amazing, awful, awe-inspiring thing I have ever done, (aside from birthing GraceAnne, too!), and I'm SO glad it's over.
GraceAnne came back to the center at about 9pm and got to hold her sister. I'm going to try to upload video of that, we'll see if it works. We came home at 11:30pm. Violet nurses like a tiny champ, (just like her sister!), and slept well last night. I hope both of those keep up.
People have been asking if this was easier or harder than the labor with GraceAnne. I will say that I can't compare the two. GraceAnne's labor was certainly longer, but Violet's was much more intense. I was glad that I invited God into the room for the birth of this baby. I know He was there for GraceAnne, too, I just was unaware of it. I think because I was praying so much throughout the labor I was much happier when they laid Violet on top of me. I was immediately sucked into bliss when I saw her, and that is a good feeling. I'm still delirious with happiness at my new family.
**The video is too dark, I'm sorry...I'll post more pictures later, though.