Written in April 2007
On Saturday morning, 21 April 2007, at 11h11 our 5th baby, a girl, was born. She took me by surprise!
Labour started just after 01h00 with contractions about every 10 minutes. I got up and went to our spare room so that I could move and moan and groan through them without disturbing my husband and 2 year old son who sleeps in our room too.
At about 7h30, I got up and did chores between contractions, hoping that being active would speed up the contractions, but it didn't.
At about 10h00 I decided to go and rest again on the bed as I was tired from my sleepless night and thought I had hours still to go. My previous labours were quite long.
We live in a very large L-shaped house. I was in the very back room and my husband, Riaan, was at the very front of the house. At about 10h55 my husband had checked how I was doing and I told him there was still no progress, contractions were still 10 minutes apart, as they had been since the early hours of the morning, so he returned to his study.
Suddenly during one contraction at 11h06, I felt a bearing down and uncontrollable urge to push. I got up and walked myself hand over hand leaning first on a chair and then the wall to the en suite bathroom, sat on the toilet and ripped off my ankle length dress which was in the way!
I thought my water was just going to break, but then I realised the baby's head was emerging. I screamed for my husband, but I knew from past experience that he would never hear me from there. My thoughts were - "I can do this solo, but I know that Riaan won't want to miss this!"
Once the contraction ended, with baby's head 3/4 out, I staggered back to the bed to get my cellphone, then staggered back to the bathroom and rang my husband's phone. When he saw the call come in, he came rushing to me!
I said: "The head's already out" ... and when the next contraction came, baby slipped out into Riaan's hands at 11h11. I was standing upright, with slightly bent knees.
Then the children came in to see the baby, now on my lap (I sat on the toilet again) while we waited for the placenta. It slipped out just a few minutes later into a bowl brought from the other bathroom, where I had planned to give birth.
Riaan and the children then rinsed off the baby and dressed her, while I cleaned up and dressed myself. Then we all got on my bed and baby immediately latched and started feeding.
Once again I am in awe of the miracle of birth and the beauty of my newest little blessing!
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb is his reward.
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