With all three of the other children, I'd expected them to be late, and Lena was the only one that surprised me by being early, all be it only three days. I thought that Anja would also be earlier, that would follow the trend; nine days late, six days late, three days early....... and sure enough two weeks before her due date I was getting all the signs, huge amounts of practice contractions, loosing plug in huge, golf ball sized blobs (sorry) and most importantly, I felt ready. It might sound a bit odd, but with the other three, I'd not been ready at all, until just before they came, that I'm really not ready to be a mother/have another child feeling that seems to descend in mid to late pregnancy suddenly lifts, and it's all systems go. I was ready, it was the weekend, I'd spoken to the back up midwife as mine was off (of course) and I was pretty sure that this was it. And then I got ill. Nothing major, just a bad cold that went straight onto my asthmatic chest, I was a bit frightened at the though of a full on asthma attack mid labour. My midwife assured me though, that they had all on hand to deal with such a thing, but more importantly she'd never known it to happen, the adrenalin took over.
All weekend I waited, a few niggles more nothing more, the next week came and went and still nothing. I couldn't understand it. My midwife did say to me that sometimes your body just wants to hang on until all is perfect, and looking back I wonder if that's what happened. If I hadn't been ill just then, would I have ended up having Anja a week or so earlier, of course I'll never know, but it's an interesting thought.
After two weeks of waiting, which of course felt like at least two months, things seemed to be starting again, and I wondered if things would be happening soon. The night before her due date, I was up in the night with contractions, and then again the next night, but I wasn't holding out much hope. On the third night, I'd just about given up on the idea of them taking me anywhere, but it was pretty clear that these were more than that. I remember posting on-line to a friend about it, just trying to distract myself for a bit. She advised that I try and go back to bed and get some rest, in case it was the real thing. Great advice, but next to impossible. Of course you should try and rest, but when they really start, there's no relaxing, and I found that keeping moving was far more comfortable that lying down in any case. I was excited too, that old adrenalin I suppose.
There's a huge part of me that loves the idea of a home birth, but I've never had one and never planned to have one. With my first it didn't even register, and after that, I wasn't keen, having had the emergency section before. Even so, I managed to continue at home for quite some time, even hitting the self doubt that is transition. Even though I knew what it was, it didn't seem to stop me thinking "I can't do this, what was I thinking, can it all stop now." I suppose I was lucky that it didn't all happen unplanned at home, with the children arguing about what they wanted to watch while Daddy got them ready for Grandma to come over in the back ground. By the time I did reach the hospital I was already fully dilated and ready to go. I won't go into the full details of her birth again, you can read them in her birth story, but it was fantastic, amazing and wonderful.
Skipping forward a little bit, so we really are thinking about two years ago, I stayed in hospital for a couple of days after having her. Not because there were any problems really, but because I was so tired the midwife thought I could do with a bit of a break. She told me to pretend to look a bit ill, while they installed me in a room on my own. Bliss, or at least it was during the day, I just lounged around and read. I didn't sleep well, only partly due to a little newborn, hospitals are just too noisy. It was also so hot, I remember asking for a clean night shirt so I could shower and change again.
So there we have it, two years ago my Littlest Miss arrived. I can't believe how quickly it's all gone, and at the same time, I can't imagine life without her now. I don't suppose I'll ever do it again, and it's a bit sad really to think that I'll never have a little baby again. Of course they'll all always be my babies, but they'll never actually be babies again. Happy Second Birthday Anja.