We went to the hospital last night at 6pm, with Jan feeling fed up, full of headache and back-ache, and she was getting herself all het-up about baby, simply because the official "due date" was Sunday just gone. memo to the world - "due dates" are best guesses, not to be relied upon AT ALL. Baby will arrive when baby is ready, regardless of what some midwife with a chart says is the due date. And stressing about it when baby is "late" is a massive waste of energy.
Anyway, the trip to the hospital ended up being a 5-hour stay - being monitored, being monitored again because baby kept moving, bloot-tests, headache tablets, and more monitoring, before being sent home just after 11pm. "Not in labour yet - take two of these and see if they help with the headache".
Just after 12 midnight we were on our way back in, with Jan *sure* that she was in labour. (She's been wrong twice already this week; the staff had turned us away last Friday, and again on Monday.)
But guess what - she was right this time!
Booked in at 12.30, monitored, moved from room to room, and finally settled in the second or third delivery room about 1.30am. Jan decided to have a hot bath to see if it would help with the back-ache, as a prelude to asking to use the birthing pool. It didn't help one bit, so she decided not to bother with the pool either. Birthing ball requested and similarly discarded, as by the time they found where they'd hidden it, she was on the bed pulling on the gas & air like there was nothing else that mattered.
Waters broke sometime after 2.15am, and she started to push at 2.30. Baby Shula was born 30 minutes later at 3am on the dot. Which was actually pretty darned fast in my book, and largely fuss-free.
Shula weighed in at 7lbs 2oz. Baby was fairly quiet and tired after all the pushing and shoving, but was awake enough to start feeding about 30 minutes later.
Jan found the whole thing pretty tiring (and very painful - especially as she needed a few stitches), but she was very pleased to get through it all so quickly and with just gas & air as pain relief. She was up and about an hour or so later, and had a bath to get cleaned up (I can't remember the last time I saw so much blood, snot and tears). She was feeling perky enough to walk to the maternity ward at 6am, with baby Shula grumbling about wanting another feed.
Here are a few pictures taken at 4-5am this morning.