Emiko is here!
The following is a pretty detailed description of her birth. Not for the squeamish. :-)
We decided to induce labor so that she could be born well before my parents needed to return home. I knew it would be a lengthy process; it wasn't a short one by any means last time around, and I was definitely 'in labor' when I showed up at GWU Hostpital to deliver Mayumi.
So, we checked in at 7am and by about 1pm I was experiencing quite painful contractions. I was advanced enough to make me think that I could hold on and have a 'natural' birth (although why I thought of doing that after having been induced I have no idea...). But by the time I was 'at a seven' I was in agony. If the doctor thought it could be any minute then I may have held on longer. But the positioning of Emiko's head suggested that I had some ways to go. We ordered the epidural but had it turned on 'light'--allowing me to still feel the peak of the contractions. I was still in pain but it was do-able.
Finally it was time to push. This was (by far) the worst part for me last time; I had no idea that it could take so long (it took well over an hour last time...much longer than the three pushes they show in the movies). I had been discouraged and even angered by everyone's instructions (push harder!) or encouragement (just one more like that, good job!) because it JUST DIDN'T SEEM TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Well--I ended up feeling the same way this time. Once again, I started to cry when tons of pushing seemed to yield no results and just further instructions.
But alas--it WAS faster this time. I started once, took a break, and then she was born after 25 additional minutes of pushing. Last time, Mayumi was crowing for many minutes and many pushes....but Emiko came right out more or less after she crowned. That is, she came out and got a little stuck (V. PAINFUL), but eventually made her way through.
She weighed in at 7lbs6ozs, almost one pound heavier than Mayumi! Wow. I knew she'd be larger...she felt heavier. She is 20 inches. Dark, short hair (not as much as Mayumi had) and that glorious natural suntan.
And now we have her! I feel just fine--more or less back to normal. She is sleeping, nursing, etc. We are authorized to stay in the hostpital for two nights but I'd like to go home today. It isn't very restful having someone barging in every five minutes, and I can't WAIT for Mayumi to meet her baby sister.
There you have it! We have a few pictures and a video for you to enjoy. Naturally, more will come! (But not necessarily soon...I may not have ANY time now for blogging...we'll see).