When I was pregnant with my first child, I regularly took yoga class, soaked in a epsom salt bath, took hypnobirthing class, and read many books and articles on natural birthing. This time, however, because I have a toddler, I focused more on spending quality time with her.

With my first child, I knew it was the big day when my water broke so I just assumed that it would happen that way again. But I found out about a week before I delivered that the water breaking BEFORE the contractions begin only happens to a small percentage of people. So I quickly downloaded an app to help track and measure my contractions for when the time came. The last night before Amelia arrived, I went to sleep around 10 or 11pm and woke up around 1 or 1:30am when my husband came to bed. We chatted for a bit and then I had a hard time going back to sleep. I’ve been having a lot of Braxton-Hicks and with my belly getting bigger, it was getting more and more uncomfortable. I switched positions, used the toilet, walked around a bit and yet the tightness was still not going away enough for me to doze back to sleep. By 2:30am I was starting to feel like this may be it. I started to negotiate with my daughter that it’s not time yet and she should wait another week or so. Then as time went by, I negotiated to, ok how about at least wait till the morning so I can get some rest. At this time, I was checking the time and it seemed regular but not uncomfortable so I wasn’t too worried. Around 3am I started using the app to track the contractions. Once I realized that I was having to breath through them a bit because it felt more like a cramp rather than just tightness in my belly and once I saw that it was coming pretty regular, I woke up my snoozing husband and said “honey, I think the baby is coming soon” “how far apart are the contractions?” I show him the graph on my phone for the 30 minutes of contractions I kept track. “OMG we gotta go!” so he went to action, calling his mom so she can come watch our older daughter and the doctor (since I delivered so quickly last time, he said to call him right away). By the time we got in the car, I was having pretty strong back pain, making turns and stop and gos in the car incredibly uncomfortable.

By the time we got to the hospital at around 3:45am I was 8cm dilated. My husband handed over the birth plan to the nurses while they frantically got me settled in. He said “she would prefer not to have an epidural” and their response was “that’s good because there’s no time for that!” Even though we called my OB before we left the house, it was starting to look like the baby was coming too soon and the staff OB was called in. At one point I felt the baby’s head coming out! Then with the next contraction my belly seemed to have a mind of it’s own, tightening and squeezing out the baby. The doctor said “you have to wait or you’ll tear!” and all I could say was “I can’t! The baby is coming!” and the baby popped out. 4:36am, I had tears in my eyes from relief and joy!

As much as I was in love with this new baby, I also missed our older daughter a lot. It was the longest I had been away from her since she was born 26 months earlier. Due to the flu no children were allowed in the maternity area. Sunday, around noon, we were officially discharged.

It’s been about 10 days since Amelia was born and our older daughter is finally acknowledging the new baby and taking active interest in her – touching her feet and playing with her toes.