Easter – 4 very excited children anticipating chocolate! In reality they had a stressed Mummy looking after 3 poorly ones and deep cleaning the house for about a week. Baby Pip`s `official EDD` was March 30th, Easter Saturday, while the girls were aware of this I also made it clear that Pip will choose when he is born and it may well be after the Easter break.

Katherine`s 5th Birthday was April 10th, the days leading up to it were busy, the night before my parents stayed and I had a bath with Epsom salts and Clary Sage Oil (alone!!) and felt very relaxed, I had a few Braxton Hicks and niggles that evening but slept quite well.

Next day, April 10th, we had a small party for Katherine, I made sandwiches and a bit of party food and we had both sets of parents to celebrate. After, I had another bath, then started to nest – I should have known…the bathroom was thoroughly scrubbed, house hoovered throughout – washing and ironing done and away! I went to bed around 9, I couldn`t get comfortable and commented to Chris that I felt a lot of pressure, like I was being torn. I eventually slept and woke up at 23:49 … 2 minutes before Katherine was born, I lay in bed thinking `aww how fab I am awake as she turns 5…then 23:51 – the exact time she was born I had a contraction! I thought `Ohhh, what was that?!` Shortly after Chris came to bed and I had another…every 10 minutes for a while and then 7, different to any contractions with the girls, these were spreading to my back too. I text Catherine, my midwife at 12:58am:

`Putting you on alert. Contractions every 7ish mins I think. Will keep u updated.X`

I lay in bed for a while longer, wondering whether to tempt fate or not and set up the room I planned to give birth in. Part of me didn`t believe `this is it, this is labour`. I went downstairs about 1.30am, only to be back up and down the loo, trickles of urine, Pips head was so low. Once downstairs the contractions were coming every 5 minutes and unbeknown to me Chris text Catherine again and she came out, while she was on her way about 2:15am Chris went out for snacks and I paced the floor with each contraction watching Friends on Comedy Central `The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs` and `The One with All the Candy`. I was trying to distract myself!

Catherine arrived and took my blood pressure, measured my bump and listened in to Pip`s heartbeat – all was well. Pips back was turned to my right side and he needed to rotate round, this would explain the intense back pain! Contractions by then were every 3 minutes but not lasting longer than 30 seconds…around 4am this changed again and they were back to every 5 minutes, much more intense and lasting about 60 seconds. I had a hot water bottle on my tummy at this point, with each contraction the intensity and pressure low down was growing worse, I found the pressure far more intense than the actual contractions and required all my attention. Contractions were ticking along nicely and it was decided Catherine would leave us to it for a while. Catherine left around 4:30am I think, Chris went to bed to get some sleep and I decided to stay on the sofa to sleep…that didn`t happen, as soon as everyone left and I was alone massive contractions every 5 minutes, I didn`t know where to put the hot water bottle, my back or my tummy!! I breathed through them, closing my eyes to focus while using the heat from the hot water bottle to reduce the intensity. Mum and Dad arrived at 5am.

At 6:03am I text Catherine again:

`Contractions every 3ish mins. I am coping okay. Will keep u updated. Chris gone to bed.X`

I sat talking to Mum in between contractions, Chris has said earlier that he needed to pop into work to sort something out and I wasn`t sure whether to let him or not. He has lost his iPhone, so I was worried that if Pip decided to come when he was on his way to or from work he would miss the birth. By this point it was around 7am, labour had been 7 hours so far. In the end we decided he would go, he said he`d be an hour maximum. My parents sorted the girls around 7.30am and I decided to have a bath. Chris ran it and went off to work. I went to the loo and had a massive show, it wasn`t showing any signs of slowing so I text Catherine again:

`Had Massive show. Having warm bath will update after x`

I got into the bath but couldn`t lie down, I found sitting forward eased the pressure, the pressure of Pips head was much more intense than any of the contractions.I planned to stay in the bath until Chris got home, the warm water didn`t take the edge off the contractions, if anything it made them more intense and closer, I couldn`t concentrate to time them, eyes closed, breathing through them, telling myself Pip was on his way and that my desire to scream wouldn`t help anyone. Dad (and Sasha) kept coming up to check I was okay, calling through the door. Sasha was desperate to get to me, sniffing round the door – my intuitive baby. After about 20 minutes in the bath I decided to get out, I thought the contractions may ease so I let the water out first. A contraction hit as the water ebbed away, perhaps the water was helping more than I had initially thought, there was no way I could get out of the bath, I started to panic a little, thinking I may end up giving birth alone in the bath, the contractions were on top of each other at this point. I tried to think calmly, determined to get out. I text Catherine again:

`Trying to get out of bath. Very intense now. Don`t know how often hard to time.X`

Catherine replied she was on her way so I thought I have to get out of the bath! More show, made it from the bathroom to my room, then downstairs. Dad had said Chris was on his way back so I sat waiting for him, growing more and more impatient as each minute passed. Just as Catherine arrived I said to Mum:

`Where the hell is Chris?`

Worried he would miss the baby being born…he arrived as I was cursing. It wasn`t long between him calling and arriving home, but to me it felt like hours. I wasn`t comfortable on the sofa, but couldn`t move to get comfortable. I had text our birth photographer about 8am and she was now on her way, this was around 9am…she arrived soon after. By this point I`d made if off the sofa, I was squatting on the floor leaning as far forward as possible to reduce the immense pressure, Entonox was offered but I refused until 9:37am, my waters broke, I felt a pop and looked down thinking `ooh aren`t they clear` but unable to say. At this point the contractions changed, I grabbed the Entonox and started to bear down, feeling woozy and spaced out thinking `he is coming`, I ended up half sat/half lay, feeling his head as it came…then nothing, I opened my eyes and expected him to be here..his head had been delivered but his body wasn`t coming, my contractions had stopped, one weak one later he slowly started to come, I had to literally push him out myself without contractions. He was like a parcel, the cord wrapped around his body several times. He was shocked, we tried skin-to-skin and rubbing him, but he needed some help.

Longest.
Two.
Minutes.
Ever.

Hearing him cry was such a relief, holding his little warm body next to my skin while the cord stopped pulsating was the best long awaited feeling!!

My waters broke at 9:37am and James Raymond Peter was born at 9:50am, weighing 8lbs 10oz at 41 weeks and 5 days. Hes been born with a tongue tie, but this isn`t affecting his feeding at all, he has a good strong latch and shows signs of hunger (chewing fingers etc).

He is beautiful, I am madly in love :D God has truly blessed me with 5 beautiful children :D