I woke up on Saturday, May 24 knowing that today was THE day that my support team would all be within easy reach. My daughter, unfortunately, woke up at the same time, making it a bit tougher to jump straight into bed with my husband. 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 husband that I wanted to go home, and he should bring the girls home when he was ready.
Later when youngest daughter went to sleep and we put in another movie for my eldest daughter (she was very tired, but wouldn't nap) and I continued to have mild surges - they seemed to be decreasing in intensity, though. Once I finally got my husband to get off the phone, I pulled him into the bedroom for another quickie in hopes to get things picking up a bit (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 my husband "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 my husband to phone people. 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 my husband 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 my husband was trying to pacify our daughters. As soon as baby started to descend into the birth canal again, I yelled to my husband 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 to 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.
It really was amazing. I chose to concentrate on the power flowing through my body, the energy flow, and it worked. In fact, I had chosen to experience that power prior to labour - I knew what to do with it this time. I knew how to use it, and how to release it, and it was amazing. I used my voice - I didn't scream, I . . . well, I'm not sure what the term was, it wasn't moaning or groaning, it wasn't screaming as my throat was wide open, and it didn't sound like singing, although I suppose it was the closest thing . . . a kind of a gutteral sound; it was like that. And I spiralled my hips.
I'm sure I felt pain, but it was irrelevant. I know I did not feel orgasm in a sexual sense, but I felt a surge of power. It was what I needed to feel, for me.
Little Anja has taught me more than I ever thought possible already, and her own journey on this plane has just begun.
She's amazing. She was 7lb.10.5oz at birth and 19 3⁄4” long.
Mandy Herle, written May 2008