I would have to say that this pregnancy I found the last month, if not 6 weeks the hardest! Being unable to move comfortably, lacking energy and looking after the other 5 children 24/7 certainly took its toll. I also found myself lacking the energy and motivation to prepare lots of healthy, nutritious meals which of course became a vicious circle. I would advise pre cooking meals for the freezer for the end of the pregnancy as well as forwhen the baby is actually born!!
During the last month I had lots of pre labour pains and feelings, a mini show 2 weeks before she was actually born and actually believed labour had started one night - I came downstairs, decided to try laying on the sofa and practise relaxing, next thing I knew it was 5:30am I woke up and the pains had gone!!!
Saturday night and deep down I kind of knew that something was happening and said to my husband "I wouldn't be surprised if baby came tonight" we went off to sleep and about 2:30am I felt the first "serious" pain, I got up, went to the bathroom, put my relaxation cd on and concentrated on some deep breaths. I found my notes out and rang the hospital who sent my midwife out to me - amazingly for the first time in 3 births my community midwife was on call! I also rang the student midwife who I had allowed to follow me so that she could be there for the birth too.
My midwife arrived and listened in to hear baby's heartbeat, I politely declined an "examination" we breathed through a few more contractions, to which there were no rhyme or reason - no txt book every so many minutes for me I'm afraid, she asked me again if she could examine me so that she could ring for a second midwife in time, so I reluctantly agreed. I was just 5-6cm, so we decided to send for gas and air just in case I needed it (it has to come in a taxi) within about 10 mins I could feel the contractions travel down my body and knew we were almost at the second stage, I wanted to go to the toilet, where I got the overwhelming urge to push. The midwife had to come and help me off the toilet as I just could not move and could feel the baby's head crowning already.
During all this we had rang Mum who came up to be with the children, all of whom were awake by now, as Rebekah had woken them all, and Bethany (my eldest) did a marvellous job of entertaining them all on her bed. Deborah (3yo) at this point was kneeling in the living room, wanting a front row seat for the action but as I waddled in, about to do the "messy" part she took one look, saw blood and ran to join the others!
I knelt by the sofa, pushed and out came baby, though it did feel like she was in there a long time as they were trying to untangle the cord. She was delivered under me I looked down and here was my baby, it was just 4:05am.
We also wanted a natural third stage so I half sat/laid on sofa with baby on my front, rooting nicely while we waited for the placenta to come away.
That took about 20 minutes and all was ok, though I did feel a little under pressure as they were constantly looking to check I wasn't bleeding to death lol.
We got all cleaned up then and relaxed on the sofa :-) as children came through to see their new baby sister.