I'm happy to say that the homebirth was a success. I may write the longer birth story out later, but it was pretty straight forward. I was 40weeks and 5 days pregnant. I woke up just before midnight Wednesday morning. My contractions were 6-7 mins apart and kept coming, so around 1:00am I decided that I was probably in labor and going to have the baby and that I should wake up my husband. It didn't take long after that for things to start feeling more intense. I called the my midwife at 1:49am when the contractions were ~5mins apart.
Susan arrived about 2:30am and checked me right away. I was only 8cm. Jill, the birth assistant arrived a little later. I was able to sit on my ball for awhile. Eventually the contractions got pretty hard and I was up pacing trying to deal with transition. Soon I felt the urge to push, which I ignored because I was thinking this would be like Michael's birth and after transition, my contractions would slow down before pushing. But then the urge to push came again. So Susan checked me again and my cervix was gone and she wanted me to push. My husband and Jill grabbed my legs and all of a sudden I was pushing. I had 3 contractions (about 9 mins) and out came Gemma at 4:29am. Much faster and less pleasantly than the laid back pushing I experienced with Michael, but I suppose if something is going to be difficult, it was good that it was quick. And although it was quick, I still came out in one piece, no tears or stitches needed (although I'm doubtful that would have happened if I had pushed my first out so quickly).
Having her in my arms was fantastic. She cried for a good while but was very alert after that. She has a bunch of hair. Susan and Jill made themselves scarce for awhile after the placenta was out and I got to just hold Gemma and drink her in. No one took her away to clean her or examine her. Eventually I decided I wanted to know how big she was and we weighed her, 9lbs 2oz... almost a pound bigger than her brother. Susan dressed her right there for me to watch. The baby was never out of my sight.
Susan and Jill inspected the placenta in the kitchen and filled out paperwork. They brought me juice and made me some breakfast. They started the laundry and cleaned up (although there was very little to clean). They left around 6am.
Michael had spent the night at his grandparents and they were taking him to school that morning, so I called them when they were on there way and asked them to bring him home instead to meet his sister. He was excited, although the Hotwheels car carrier that his grandparents had bought him the day before was probably more exciting. That's 5 for you.
I have been pretty delighted with Gemma. She has been a much more agreeable baby than Michael. She spits up a normal amount, versus the spit-up fountain that was Michael. However she has become very fussy and sometimes inconsolable since she was 2 weeks old... which may be colic. It's difficult, but I don't take it personally (and that's not a joke, if I did take it personally I'd be weeping on my bed right now instead of blogging... not being able to comfort your baby is awful). As unpleasant as this is, it will pass eventually.
She took to nursing pretty well, although I'm sorry to report that establishing nursing with Gemma has been just as difficult and painful as it was with Michael. Actually, it was more painful in a way because my uterine contractions while nursing hurt a lot this time and I didn't experience that with Michael... probably because my uterus was more stretched out since this was my second child and it had to work harder to shrink down. I also got mastitis at one week just like I did with Michael. I had chills all night and woke with a high fever so bad that I could barely walk or see. (That was kinda scary. I'd never had a fever like that.) But I have kept on nursing. Gemma is getting super chubby all over and seems to be gaining well. I've said it before and I'll say it again, giving birth is easy, breastfeeding is hard.
So that's where I am right now. Happy. Busy.