Around 5am the twinges were getting more powerful and regular so I woke Lee to tell him we might need to go to the hospital soon. By the time we'd had something to eat, the lads were awake and the contractions were getting less frequent. Lee had phoned his business partner to tell him he couldn't work and so was getting a bit 'quiet' about my disappearing labour. In the absence of any contractions, we decided to stay busy and go into the village. Mum and I went to Mass and afterwards the priest said a lovely blessing over my bump. We bought some homemade cakes and went home. Lee left us to do a call and so of course, the contractions resumed their pattern!
So I rang the hospital and in we went. We arrived at 3.25pm and after examining me, checking out the baby's heart rate and movements and discussing baby names, the admissions midwife packed us off to the delivery ward, at 6 cms! Things moved quickly once they ruptured the membranes and our little fella was born just under an hour and a half after we arrived in the hospital.
As with the other lads, I used my yoga breathing to get through the contractions. This automatically placed me in Nora the midwife's 'hippy weirdo' category of patient, because she looked at me like I was a nutter when I said I was going to try and get through it as naturally as I could. Then, after our little baba was delivered, she asked us if we wanted to bring the placenta home with us and bury it in the garden....! It's not that I'm super-brave or anything. In fact probably the opposite- the list of possible side effects/ disadvantages from epidurals and the like is pretty scary to me. (Not least an increased chance of having more interventions including Caesarean section, which to name just one thing, puts you out of action for 6 weeks: not a good idea when you have two busy boisterous buachaillí at home.)
We came home next day after an excited, relieved, sleepless night. Thank you everyone for your good wishes, prayers and kind words.
Our next mission.... to find a name for the little babe! Aren't we terrible?