This is just after getting home from hospital
You can read Brodie's birth story here.
Brodie was born at 38 weeks 4 days, so by 38 weeks 5 days I was impatient. Not really, I was actually pretty happy, comfortable (ish) and happy to spend time with my boy whose time as 'only child' was running out.
At 38 weeks 6 days I went to bed as normal only to be woken after an hour our two by quite definite contractions. I stayed in bed beside a sleeping Greig for as long as I could before the excitement got the better of me. I got up and took a last photo of my bump and got up to watch some tv and bounce on the same purple ball which featured so highly in Brodie's birth story. I did that for a while and timed the contractions which were becoming more intense but not any closer together.
After a few hours I decided to lie down again and managed to doze between contractions. Morning soon rolled around and a sleepy Brodie yelled from his bed. I was still having random contractions with not any pattern.
We'd recently started taking Brodie to a ball skills class and I didn't want him to miss out so I phoned Morag and told her we'd still like to go but that it would probably be best if she drove. Greig made arrangements to work from home and we did a strange echo of our normal morning routine in the knowledge that the baby was coming sooner or later.
At Brodie's class I felt contractions on and off, particularly as I climbed the stairs. Morag dropped me off at home and took Brodie home with her as planned for when I went into labour. I made lunch and ate it with Greig. My best friend Vikki popped round and I baked scones which we ate whilst still having contractions which were enough to interupt conversation but after they passed it was like they'd never happened. I put on the TENS machine and used it througout the afternoon. I spent sometime online - ordering a ring sling from Etsy at one point. Vikki had to go, she had a family meal to get to. At that point I think I was wondering when and if things would go up a gear.
I checked my hospital bag and packed Brodie's overnight bag. Greig had a beak from his work and we walked to the shops for last minute supplies and dropped Brodie's bag in for him. I remember feeling very emotional when I saw him but being 2 and half he was wrapped up in other things and happily waved us off. I remember the walking seemed to intensify the contractions and I held onto the fireplace as they hit.
We walked back home and I think we phoned the hospital who advised just carrying on as I was, keeping active. We had something to eat. We went out for a walk. Greig went back to work. The afternoon turned to evening and still no real pattern to the contractions. Some felt pretty strong but they were not getting closer together but seemed to be lasting for longer. I was a bit confused and fed up, this was not at all how second births are suppposed to be!
Vikki and Kerry came back later and I was happy to see them and they distracted me for a while:)
At one point we started watching 'White Men Can't Jump', Kerry predictably fell asleep - late nights are not her thing, and Greig timed the contractions on his phone. They were strong and regular but still 5 mins apart and I was able to close my eyes between them and rest.
At about 2am I had the feeling that I needed to go to hospital. I'd been in labour for 24 hours by this point - Brodie was born 17 hours after I felt the first contraction - and I was tiring. I didn't know at the time but the baby was tiring too. I'm really glad I listened to my body and asked Greig to take me in even though I was handling the pain well - something wasn't quite right.
At the hospital it was weirdly reminiscent of Brodie's birth. The admitting midwife agreed to check me and I was delighted to learn that I was nearly fully dilated. My waters were still intact.
I was shown into the same room where I'd had Brodie which looked identical to the way it had 30 months before. This time I had my bag with me and I quickly changed and reaquainted myself with the Entonox. The midwife monitoring the baby noted she was in a little distress and said they needed to break my waters. I was surprised that as one midwife did the breaking - which was painless - another literally pushed down on my bump. This was to stop the baby coming back up the way and undoing all the hard work the contractions had been doing over the preceding 24 hours!
The baby at this point was fine and I had a few very big contractions. They were very close together and I felt a definite urge to push. The midwife checked as I was pushing., seemingly without really realising I was doing it and quickly got her colleague back in the room and put on her gloves. I had another couple of big contractions in between during which I believe I might have spoken about how I remembered this part from last time........
And then it was done. Two more pushes and she was out. And perfect. And we all looked at her not quite believing how quickly it all had happened. Grier was born about 120 mins after I arrived in the labour ward which was just fine by me. The long preceding part was worth every minute of being able to get her out swiftly.
She had all the usual checks and I showered and changed. In the throes of full on contractions I'd requested that if everything was ok could we possibly be discharged as soon as was safe as I'd rather stick a fork in my eye than spend a night on the maternity ward and the lovely midwife agreed that would fine. We ended being in and out in ten hours.
Grier was feeding well and was a bouncing healthy babe so as soon as we could we left. Greig phoned his parents and they met us at home so we could introduce Brodie to his new sister and he was delighted to meet her and then asked for some lunch:) The new grandparents and great grandparents met the baby through the day and by that evening if felt like we'd had this baby forever. She lay on her mat while Brodie played with his trains around her and it all felt so very normal.
Grier's labour ended up being longer than Brodie's. She was also back to back for most of it but turned just before she came out. My recovery was similar I would say although it's hard to compare when you have a two year old to keep you active.
I was so pleased that everything 'went to plan', such a relief and of course becoming a family of four was exactly as wonderful as I'd hoped it would be:)