Because of all this, I was pretty anxious to meet our little girl. My doctor thought I would deliver somewhere between my 39th and 40th week, which only made that week a very long one for me as I counted down the days. Every day brought some new sign or symptom that made me think that day would be it, and then I'd wake up the next day with no baby. We even tried to see if Hank's ice cream could coax her out, and although I'll give them some credit since we went Thursday night and I went into labor Friday night, it didn't have quite the same effect as the first time.
On Friday night, Clint and I went for a last date to Carraba's while Clara was at Kids Night Out at church. I had been having pretty constant but irregular contractions all week, but was always able to make them stop after some period of time. We went to sleep that night, I woke up around 12:45, and then at 1:30 my water broke. I wasn't completely sure because it wasn't as obvious as last time, so I laid back down to take some time to make sure. I didn't want to wake up everyone in the middle of the night for a false alarm. I started timing contractions which were about 10 mins apart, but quickly went to 6 mins apart. At around 2 we decided we should probably head to the hospital either way, and called Kathy to come over to stay with Clara. We got to the hospital around 3, and it was confirmed that my water had broken and that I was 4-5 cm dilated. Apparently there are two bags that the baby is contained in, and only one of mine had broken, which was why my water breaking wasn't as obvious as before (they often break together at the end of pregnancy) and why the baby was still carrying pretty high.
My contractions were getting pretty painful at this point, so I decided to go ahead and ask for the epidural. I wasn't sure in advance if I was going to get one, but based on how far I still had to go and my pain level, I decided it was inevitable. And the nurse encouraged me to get it before the nurse/doctor shift change at 7 so I wouldn't be delayed even further. I was taken to labor and delivery around 5:00, and got the epidural at 6:15. An ultrasound was also done to check the position of the baby, and we saw that she was head down but face up. At around 7:15 my new nurses needed to insert my catheter (necessary with an epidural) and were going to check my progress as well. I had two nurses, because one was new and was being trained, which was actually really helpful because the experienced nurse was explaining in detail everything that was going on. The new nurse checked and thought I was 7-8 cm, and then the experienced nurse checked and said,"I think she's at 9, no, I think she's complete!" We were all pretty surprised that it had happened that fast, and now I know why the contractions had been getting so painful towards the end. I happened to mention that the baby was face up, and the nurses suggested I roll to my side to see if the baby would turn. When they started to help me re-position, the rest of my water broke, and the baby dropped, which temporarily caused her heart rate to drop. I was put on oxygen and told to basically relax and do nothing because my doctor wasn't there yet. At this point, I started to feel a lot more pressure. Luckily, my doctor arrived shortly after and immediately started the preparation for delivery. We pushed for probably only 10 to 15 minutes and Emma was born at 8:09 am.
Baby E gave us a little bit of worry in the minutes after she was born because she started turning very purple. The nurse calmly took her away and started to suction her mouth and nose. Apparently she had swallowed a lot of fluid and pretty quickly her color returned to normal and she let out some good cries. The nurse was also concerned about her eating quickly because she was so big, but when they checked her sugar levels she was within the appropriate range.
We wanted Clara to be the first to meet her, so as soon as we were able Clint went and brought her in. She seemed a little shy at first, and sweetly said "Mama, are you okay?" I guess I looked a little tired and pale. She got to watch as they changed her sister's first diaper.
And we are now a family of four!