My contractions started roughly around 1 am. My husband was out with his brother, and my sis-in-law was reading my 33 month old son his bedtime stories as I lay beside them. After she finished, I read him one last story and nursed him to sleep. Shortly thereafter, the contractions picked up just a bit. I still wasn't sure if this was it or not, but called hubby anyway around 2 (maybe a little before) to let him know that he should probably come home just in case. Sis-in-law went to sleep in the livingroom as I quietly labored in the bedroom (family bedroom) to keep an eye on the kid as he slept (to keep him from waking if he started to rouse).
Hubby arrived home shortly after (maybe 2:30?) A few contractions later, i was unable to be sociable during the contraction. I decided that I wanted to try a little water to see if that helped at all with the pain, so hubby drew a bath while my brother in law started to get a bit excited that "this might be it". I think at this point he woke up the sis-in-law, but I'm not sure because I was in the bathroom (they waited in the kitchen right next to the bathroom).
Shortly after getting into the bathroom, I gave up on stifling my labor noises. During contractions, I pressed my forehead against the wall and went to all fours while moaning. At that point, I stopped lying down between contractions because it was too much of a struggle to get up while they hit. At this point, I remember feeling grunty-pushy and I though "there's no way I'm in transition already", which is kind of funny because you would think that I would have learned the first time (first birth, I thought the same thing as I hit transition). Anyway, a little later, I started to feel immense pressure, so I turned toward my husband (i was in the tub on my knees while he was sitting on the floor right next to the tub). The pain was so intense. I put my hand down between my legs and felt the bag bulging outside of me. I was so desperate to end the pain (of the bulge) that I tried to break the bag with my fingernail (I could feel her head just inside the bulge) but couldn't- it was just so strong. I was in a lot of pain, but also so excited and suprised at the same time. I remember saying something to hubby like "here she is, I can feel her head."
Anyway, my body pushed out her head. I felt her turn inside me and I exclaimed to my husband "I just felt her move!" I suppose that's when she rotated. I just remember that her head was out and it felt so good to have her head out, but she wasn't coming down any further and that I just needed to wait a moment. Then, with a mighty push the rest of her came out into my husband's hands. Her color was what hubby described as "whitish gray", but it didn' scare me. He was worried, saying that we needed to get her started, etc. but the color just didn't seem frightening. Sure, she wasn't pink, but she had some color, it just wasn't as bright as I remember my son's color being when he was born.
So anyway, I flipped her over to drain and rubbed her back as hubby threw some recieving blankets over her (we also had a space heater running in the room so it was quite toasty). This part felt so chaotic. We were in a very small space, and not expecting the birth quite so soon (I had expected to labor at least for a little while). I definitely did not expect to give birth in our tiny tub. I had blood dripping down my legs- the tub even had blood spatters, and here is this slippery, floppy little girl in my hands with a cord tying her to me (she was also starting to breathe).
So at this point I was trying to mentally process everything and thinking about how to clean up this mess so we could leave the room (by mess, I meant me) and also just waiting for the placenta to come. Meanwhile, hubby was concerned about her color, and concerned about the amount of blood coming out of me (it wasn't much, but blood is not something that he's used to seeing, and I suppose that it's different when it's not coming out of you). Shortly thereafter, the placenta came out (we were so unprepared for such a short labor that we didn't even have a bowl handy). Someone grabbed a bowl, and the placenta plopped out with a bit more blood (5-10 minutes after the birth). I continued to bleed a little and couldn't remember if that was to be expected, but assumed that since i felt ok, it must be alright. Abigail nursed around 15 minutes after the birth, then we cut her cord (because it was floppy).
Well, anyway, we cleaned up, wrapped the wee one warmly, and I got dressed. I lay down to bed around 4 am, and my little boy woke up because Abbey was trying to latch on but was becoming frustrated. He came over to nurse, and saw her in his place. He then got really excited and said "our baby!" He stroked her head and cooed, then nursed while stroking her face and we went to sleep.
From start to finish- roughly 2-2.5 hours (I thought she was born at 3:30, but brother-in-law said that she was born at 3:10). I'm not as grateful for such a short labor as some seem to think I should be.
I weighed our little Abigail around 9:30 that morning- she came out to 7 lbs 9 oz. Smaller than I had expected- her older brother was 8,3.
Crossposted a few places...