Heather Elizabeth was born on Friday, August 27th, 2004 - on her due date!!
Friday morning started like any other lately - woke up and puttered around the apartment, playing with our 2-year old, having breakfast then off to do some errands. We got back around 11 am.
I put Owen (our 2 year old son) down for his nap - nursed him to sleep while Brad (my husband) cooked up some pasta for our lunch.
Between 11:30 and 12:00, I was sitting out in our living room, chatting to a couple of friends when the first contraction came on. Really strong, it actually HURT. And the next was about 5 minutes later, and they were a minute or more long.
One of the people I'd been chatting with was my doula - she asked if she should come over, but since I'd had a number of "false" starts lately, I put her off for a bit - she went to have a shower. When she came back, I told her it was a good time to come over, then I went to shower myself. Washing my hair and all during some strong contractions was interesting, but the hot water felt good.
I got Brad to start inflating our pool, and took to leaning over our exercise ball during the contractions - with Brad pushing on my hips/tailbone as hard as he could. Then he was filling the pool up with water.
When our doula arrived, my contractions were less than a minute apart, and she asked if we'd called the midwife - which we hadn't done yet !! So Brad paged her, and we found out that she was at another birth, but she got someone else to head our way - that was around 1:00 or so I think.
Owen woke up from his nap around this time and came out to the living room - he was a bit scared, and clingy to Brad. He gave me a hug and kiss, and tried to copy our doula in pressing on my back.
Not long after that, the pool was filled enough for me to get in - so I waited for a bit of a break and stripped down and got into the pool, leaning on the couch on my hands and knees.
Somewhere around there - our doula asked if she should call 911, but was told "NO" in no uncertain terms - there was a midwife on the way, and I was managing okay (contrary to the moaning and groaning and carrying on I was doing in the pool!). The phone rang then - the midwife who was on her way had been in a car accident!! But another midwife was on her way!
It wasn't long after that that what felt like multiple contractions on top of one another started - luckily that didn't last long, and I could feel the baby coming way down. Brad was standing in the pool behind me, pushing on my back and tailbone.
My water broke in a gush - clear as clear could be! Brad didn't notice anything being as I was in the water, but there was NO missing it for me.
A couple of contractions later I was screaming - loud - NO NO NO. Our doula asked me "No what" - I told her the baby was coming now, coming out.
Our doula was telling Brad to look and see if he could see the baby's head, but because of our positions, he couldn't tell. I think it was 2 contractions later that I could feel her head coming out - somehow I flipped from my hands and knees to sitting - Brad could see the back of her head then. I told him to hold the baby's head, but then put my hands back onto her as the next contraction came on and her head came out. I had her head in my hands as her shoulders came out next, then somehow caught her under the shoulders as she flew out with the next contraction.
I brought her up out of the water, and took a look to see if our baby was a boy or a girl. I *think* I told Brad and Our doula that we had a baby girl, but I'm not sure. That was 1:50 pm. Not 2 full hours after the first contraction hit me!
Heather latched on and started to suckle almost immediately, so we stayed in the water for a little while - someone contacted our midwife and told her that the baby was here, breathing, nursing and starting to get some colour, and I called my mom too.
With some help, I got out of the pool and onto our couch - and was lounging there covered in lots of towels and a blanket when the midwife (not ours) arrived about 2:15 pm.
Heather's cord was cut around 3 PM, placenta delivered not too long after that. She has been nursing like a dream, had lots of wet diapers and is working on clearing out the meconium. Her big brother has been kissing and loving on her, he's fascinated with her little nose.