Bit of a backstory: Friday, May 23rd I was rubbing my belly and said to my baby boy (because I knew the baby was a boy) "Tonight or tomorrow would be really good, everyone's here for us Baby Girl" . . . I shook my head and quickly said "or boy" . . .
I woke up on Saturday, May 24 knowing that today was THE day that my support team (doulas and my parents) would all be within easy reach. dd2, unfortunately, woke up at the same time, making it a bit tougher to jump straight into bed with dh. So, we popped in a DVD, got her set up with some food and managed a quickie. A bit later I had some bloody show - I tried not to get my hopes up as I'd had bloody show 2 weeks prior and it didn't result in a baby. But, I started getting some more intense cramps and thought perhaps . . . we phoned everyone to let them know, but I made sure to add that I wasn't wanting to get my hopes up, as it really wasn’t much more intense than every other day for the past two weeks.
We took the girls to a park nearby and after a few minutes I told dh I wanted to go home, and he should bring the girls home when he was ready. I walked the block and a half home and pulled out the blender to make some more smoothie popsicles for labour - I decided to add cocoa powder to make dd1's favorite chocolate smoothies - there was enough left that when they got back the girls each had some, along with some soup I'd heated up for them. I also measured out some ingredients for a batch of almond butter cookies, but didn't get the mixer pulled out before they got home and didn't feel like baking with toddler/preschooler help, so I put everything aside to do after dd2 went down for her nap.
After eating, dd2 went to sleep and we put in another movie for dd1 (she was very tired, but won't nap) and I continued to have mild surges - they seemed to be decreasing in intensity, though. Once I finally got dh to get off the phone, I pulled him into the bedroom for another quickie in hopes to get things picking up a bit (and, I must say, because I was blessed this pregnancy to be able to enjoy sex right up to the last!) - and boy, did it work! My surges started picking up in intensity straight away. I went outside for a few minutes to pray and reconnect with the earth, then had a bit of a hard time getting back into the house. I told dh "I think this is it - give me a few minutes and I'll let you know"
I went to shower, and at some point either right before or right after I jumped in, I told dh to phone the doulas and my parents. Dd2 woke up to the sound of the shower turning on. I showered for a few minutes, but quickly decided I’d rather lay down and put the plug in (shower still running). After a few surges, I heard my tone change to a pushy roar . . . funny how I knew I was pushing more from my vocalizations than from what I was physically feeling (don’t get me wrong, I was definitely still feeling it though!). I yelled at dh to turn off the water and drain the tub (didn’t want baby inhaling the water, and I knew it wouldn’t be deep enough to submerge baby in time). I tried to tell myself NOT to push, but I really really just wanted baby OUT!! Baby nearly crowned, then went back! “no, no, no” I said. Then the intensity of the past several minutes subsided and I was able to breathe for a minute “We can do this” I repeated over and over. Meanwhile, I think dh was also trying to pacify the other kids, getting them food or something. As soon as baby started to descend into the birth canal again, I yelled to dh to come in and catch her . . . the tub isn’t exactly a soft place to land!! I sure as heck hadn’t planned on birthing her in THERE! I pushed, I must admit, with all my might (but I did breathe/vocalize through it, thanks HypnoBirthing – not quite a “j” breath, but I wasn’t holding my breath either), and my baby GIRL was born at 2:10 PM after about 3 or 4 pushes Everyone started arriving about 5 minutes later. It was maybe 20 minutes between the time we realized it was labour for sure and her birth.
She’s amazing, our Anja Helena. She was 7lb.10.5oz at birth and 19 ¾” long.