I started having warm-up contractions around 9:30 Saturday night. We’d spent the morning on final baby preparations and had told the little one it would be a good day to come.
By 2:30am contractions were strong enough to wake me up, but about ten minutes apart. I managed to sleep most of the night.
By morning I expected to be in good, established labour and hold our new baby before lunch. But nothing much was happening. My mother came over, we made sure we had towels and things ready, and waited.
Before lunch we went for a walk to the park. As hoped, the fresh air and exercise helped move things along. By 1pm while everyone enjoyed a bowl of J’s lovely chicken soup, I was bent over a ball every three minutes in the next room. I called the midwife around 1:45 to check in, but still wasn’t in a hurry.
By 2pm we’d moved downstairs, but the girls were playing nearby while J filled the pool, so I stayed in a bedroom down the hall. Harder contractions now. The girls went upstairs with an auntie and I asked J to call the midwife – it was time to come over. He joked with her on the phone about delivering the baby if she didn’t arrive in time. He won’t do that again.
I’d been tracking my contractions all afternoon. At 2:18 when I’d kept trying to move to the pool, and kept thinking, no, in a minute, after one more contraction, suddenly my water broke. And I wanted to push. Or rather, my body started pushing while the rest of me objected that it was not time yet and I was going to the pool.
The rest is almost comical now.
Mom called the midwife to say my water broke. J tried to get me up to walk down the hall to the pool. Meanwhile I was protesting that we needed to wait until the contraction eased because I could feel the baby crowning. We hobbled slowly over a path of towels toward the pool while I put a hand to the baby’s head and pleaded with her to hold on while trying to remember what I once knew about applying pressure during a non-water delivery. By the time we got to the pool her head was half way out and I started getting demanding.
‘There’s not enough water in the pool!’
‘I still have my underwear on, get these off!’
‘How do I get in? No, I can’t lift my leg the baby’s head is out!’
My poor, amazing husband. He jumped into the pool fully clothed and somehow we got me over the side.
‘The water is too hot!’
I should mention that I’d been insistent there was no rush to get the pool filled, and the water heater was having trouble keeping up.
Before I could protest further, or even crouch down into the water, our little girl was born. I don’t remember the details exactly, but I saw her shoot forward into the water, ‘The baby!’, J scooped her up and handed her to me, and I pulled her out of the water, sat down and asked for a towel to put over her.
It then occurred to me to check that she (if she was a she) was breathing. It sounds odd, but it dawned on me that there was no one present whose job it was to be aware of things like that, and we needed to check her cord, colour and breathing. After a minute she gave us a good cry and started turning from purple to pink.
J got more water into the pool, and was busy checking that our little girl is a girl and watching me for shock.
Mom had called the midwife back (who was flying down the highway at 150k) to say the baby was here. By the time she’d flown into the house and down the stairs to us we were all relaxed, taking photos and introducing the girls to their baby sister.
Bella had insisted that she wanted to be there for the birth, and I’d promised to call her. She wasn’t too disappointed to have missed it as soon as she saw the baby.
The rest of the day was uneventful, thank goodness. Midwives came and checked us over, family arrived to meet the little one… I’d only really had an hour and a half of proper labour, so I felt great. We had a lovely evening eating spaghetti and laughing, and my dad won the weight pool.
Precious weighed in at 7lbs 8oz, measuring 50cm (19 3/4 inches) long. We decided that she was born at 2:31, when Mom called the midwife the last time. We laughed when we read the birth record. My labour is recorded as having lasted for a whole 48 minutes.
We are all happy and healthy. I had a small tear (no surprise with the speed of her birth) and people keep commenting on how round her head is – she wasn’t squished in there for long. 🙂
If we are blessed with another child someday we’ll do things a bit differently. We’re very glad though that we’d planned a home birth or she’d likely have arrived in the van on the highway
Now that I’m sitting still to nurse her umpteen times a day I may actually get back to blogging…