For those of you who are interested in a sketch of the details:
The contractions started at 5:30 in the evening and he was born at 12:30 am, so only 7 hours start to finish. It was really fast. There was a kind of mad rush to the hospital around 10:30 because I waited too long laboring at home, not realizing how fast things were going or when we needed to be taking action. At the hospital they had a room but no nurse for me so I labored in triage for an hour, full on transition, shaking and everything, hollering at the top of my lungs. Then the baby had a major heart deceleration which wouldn't come up and everyone freaked out; they put oxygen on me and had me rolling around which was hard in the middle of contractions, and they broke my water which revealed meconium and then they ran with me on a gurney down the hall, yelling things as they went. One resident said, "It's like in the movies!" They heaved me onto the delivery bed and yelled "push!" and in 3 or so pushes he was out. They actually used the vacuum for the first push, as I understand it, because everyone was so worried about the baby. I didn't really realize what was going on. At one point when I was pushing I said for them to put the baby on me when he came out and the nurse said, "we can't put him on you if we have to resuscitate him, honey." Very helpful. We were only at the hosp and hour and 1/2 before he was born. MAN did it hurt to push him out. The cord was wrapped tightly around his neck and he was completely purple (which is probably why his heart rate was dropping so much) but he cried right away and his apgars were 7 and then 9, which are all good signs. Now he's here, and he's great. I didn't even have stitches!!!! That's been wonderful—the recovery from this one is SO much better than the first. Frances was over 8lbs, though, and this guy is so small. Her delivery is what made this one so easy. I keep forgetting that I haven't fully recovered and I overdo it a bit and get pretty worn out.
Frances is doing really well so far. She just loves him and kisses him and wants to hold him for about 3 seconds, and she's interested in all he does, which of course isn't much. She's suffering a bit from lack of mommy-time, however, and I've been making a big effort to hand over the baby to someone else and read books or stack blocks with her. It's hard to tell, though, if some of her struggles are because of the changes she's experiencing or simply because of her age and developmental stage. My tendency is to hole up with the baby—it's funny the draw I feel, and I have to suspect this is hormonal and natural for me to want more to be with the young one right now. That, and I'm in that hormonal/emotional choas of post-delivery. Tonight I cried at a performance of the song "desperado" on PBS. It was just so *moving*. Ugh.