She has quite the story for entering this world. At this point, no matter how different they may be, I am convinced there isn't a story that is any less miraculous. I will say it took me quite a few hours, lots of replays, talks with friends and nurses to really know how to feel about this particular story.
Tuesday evening went late. We had friends over for a small group that meets here regularly and Aaron went to bed early - I didn't realize it but he was feeling terrible with aches of every kind and a fever. When everyone left I came to bed to find him super pitiful and very warm. Three or so trips later I had arranged a humidifier, brought water and a popsicle, and crawled into bed. Maybe 5 minutes later I had dozed off but woke to the universal body language of a subtle but sure trickle of water leaving me feeling confused and wet. I told Aaron but really couldn't believe it might be what I thought it was until the next small gush when I stood up and found myself frozen in a quick forming puddle. (Last pregnancy my water stayed in tact till Woodrow was crowning. What a gift I now know that was.) Aaron shoots out of bed and helps clean me up, gets all the way dressed, then starts packing bags and cleaning house, while calling our good friend Kaki who is here within minutes, to be with Woodrow, all out of excited-crazed-nervousness. I took my phone and sat on the toilet, a little shocked but putting together the contractions I now realized I'd been having for the last couple hours.
Contractions were about ten minutes apart but within 30 minutes they were 5 minutes apart, then 3 so I started to get nervous in a typical "lets not get alarmed" - apparently, me way. The midwife changed her suggestion to head towards the hospital from 4am to 1. We checked into the hospital and were taken to our birthing room, things felt like they were slowing down instead of picking up. Until about 4am it felt like we were sitting around talking about vacations, food, nursing, and comparing labor stories. Some time after 4 contractions were getting stronger but I was so ready to wait all day for it to be consistent that I started asking questions about what could help speed things up. In the next hour we stayed busy between contractions, breast pumping, and a home enema kit. The plan had been to get in the birthing tub but I was so sure it'd slow labor down that I didn't consider it. It must have been 5:15 or 5:20 when we started filling the tub with water "just incase" the midwife gave me the go-ahead to get in. She came in and checked my progress, 8cm. "Boo..." I thought, as I crawled off the hospital bed and began a big contraction. That contraction ended with an urge to push. I tried to say it but I don't know who heard me. I think at that point every contraction was seamlessly tied to the last as I was helped into the foot of water and I tried to take myself to that "happy place". There was no time. Im told it wasn't more than 10 minutes before it was over. I barely remember as it felt like an eternity inside of 5 minutes.
Once I was in the tub, everyone was either touching me, spraying my back with water, or pulling out needed arrival things. Aaron was trying to stay out of the way as the pace was picking up but he says he saw Gloria's face exit my body and no one else was watching. She came out in one FAST push so he managed to squeak something to alert the midwife who thankfully was within reach. If the tub had been full, she would have been born underwater, still not breathing and they would have grabbed her, passed her to me through my legs and it would have been done. Instead, the tub was still maybe just over a foot full and I heard someone exclaim, "Don't let her go under!". That's the last thing I remember before I was told to stand up and they finagled her around me and handed her to me.
Like I said, it took me hours to catch up with what happened. Transition and everything after it was recorded as happening in under 20 minutes.
Aaron's version is really short and pleasant. I really like it.
Woodrow gets really still when he gets close to her. He always has a huge smile on his face around her. He gently pokes her a lot. It's like he's taking notes. Seeing their relationship begin has been incredible. From the first day when he came to meet her we asked him where his little sister was and he pointed to her. He only has about 15 words currently and he has about 6 or 7 signs so everyday we are shocked at the levels of conversation he is understanding well. His age is so much fun. 15 months.
I'm blown away with how different it is to meet a second child. It makes me even more grateful than I thought I could be. I am all of a sudden a little nervous about being at home without Aaron to give me an extra hour to sleep every morning. I've been waking up to smoothies and waffles. Every day has felt like my birthday. Sleepless nights can feel so productive that I don't notice or care (except for that first hour of the day). I'm soaking this up.
Anyway, here she is, we couldn't be more smitten. She was 6.11 when she was born and 18 inches. She's two pounds less than Woodrow. Imagine that! She sleeps a lot more than he did. I have to set alarms to make sure she's getting fed or she'd sleep right through. She is perfect.