I went to bed feeling quite disappointed the night before, resigned to someone else dictating how my baby would enter the world... but I needn't have worried, because I was woken a couple of hours later by an almighty contraction, which happened again two minutes later and again two minutes after that! I checked with Mum, who felt my bulging tummy and agreed that they were contractions alright. So Lee and I went out the side door into the car about 30 minutes after my first contraction at 2AM. It was the first time one of our babies' arrivals has got us up in the middle of the night. It was also the only time I've been afraid we wouldn't make it to the hospital in time, as the thought of Lee and I dealing with a newborn baby on the side of the road in the cold, wet, windy and wild darkness did not appeal to me! Despite (and in turn fuelling) my worries, the contractions didn't slow down on the journey. They were quite powerful, with none of the slow build-up that I experienced with the boys. But thanks to deep yoga breathing, I was able to cope with them. I was just so relieved that our little baby was coming without intervention or drugs.
Once we were at the hospital, I got the usual checks before walking up to the delivery suite, annoying the impatient accompanying midwife on the way as I had to stop occasionally with the frequent contractions. Once I was in the Delivery 'Suite', I was pretty much allowed to do what I felt like doing, bouncing on the Giant ball or moving onto all fours, so different from Roo's birth when I had to stay on the bed strapped to the foetal monitor. This time around, I can't remember them actually examining me internally at any stage. I think because I was coping quietly, they didn't think I was very far along. Also, my waters hadn't broken yet. But then, they hadn't broken spontaneously with the boys' births, so even I was surprised when I started feeling the urge to push and felt a delightful 'pop' before the midwife jumped up from her notes and came over to catch our little girl! And so, three hours after my first contraction, we found ourselves in the irresistible company of our first daughter! Lee had been my quiet, solid source of strength, as ever, calmly backing me up and making me feel safe.
Who is she like? Of course, once again, I don't get a look-in. She is her father's daughter, quite like the Toot when he was born. Dark hair like two of her brothers, and also like them, lots of it. Even more actually, as it spreads down her neck into a funky little spiky do. She cries more than they used to. But sleeps more during the day. Swings and roundabouts.
The following day provided more lovely moments, as the 'three proud brothers' as one friend called them, met their little sister for the first time. I will treasure those first moments forever. They arrived in with my Mum and Lee. The look on Toot's face was completely new to me as he warily entered the room, but he was so gentle with her. He was wearing the stethoscope from the doctor dressing-up set around his neck and he sweetly checked me and the baby to make sure we were doing well, just as he had done while I was pregnant, patiently placing the stethoscope on my expanding belly each day. Poonch was beaming as he bounced in to see his 'little buddy' and his enthusiasm towards his sister shows no signs of waning. Roo was his usual sweet self, marvelling at her gorgeous little hands and feet, 'Ah! Look!' They were all thrilled, with no hint of jealousy or rivalry. It was enchanting, being surrounded on the bed by these great little guys, sharing their first wonder-filled moments with their tiny sibling.
And so, we thank God for this 'indorable' little babe. Yes, we are delighted to have a girl, but we are more delighted that she arrived safely and is healthy. We would have been just as happy to welcome another boy into our family, because after all, whether male or female, they are all children, each a unique, marvellous and unrepeatable gift from God. And I feel so blessed to have been entrusted with their care.
Our fabulous little pixie girl is here, just in time for Christmas. Be good boys. The Pixie is watching!!!