13 days past the 'due date' and 24 hours before Grandma flies back to California. We went to see Sally yet one more time. Pete said he was sick of the birthing centre already and we hadn't even had the baby yet. She hooked me up to the monitor to see how the baby was doing and of course baby was just fine. I was about 2 cm dilated, a bit more than the previous visit. Sweep number 5. Sally suggests that if we really want baby to come soon we could try castor oil. Hell ya, let's get this baby out of here. Pete then overheard Sally tell the girls in the office that I was taking some castor oil and would most likely be in tonight to give birth. There was only one more bed available at the centre and Sally's other client was going down to the hospital to be induced. I was determined that that bed was going to be mine. We stopped by the pharmacy and I sent Pete in for the castor oil. I thought it would look too ironic to see the pregnant lady waddle in to buy some castor oil. Pete dropped us off at home and went back to work. No point starting paternity leave until we actually had a baby in our arms. I took one dose of oil at noon and laid down to rest and read. An hour later I took another dose of oil. At 2pm I phoned Sally to say that yes indeed the oil was doing the trick. I was having solid contractions every 5 minutes. We got the girls all packed up to stay the night at Nana and Pa's and my mom got all showered and pack to be picked up by the taxi at 2:45am to go the airport. I was trying to take my time and as they say "stay at home as long as you can". I made a cup of tea and had a shower but the contractions were coming on stronger. Sally had mentioned to come in when I was getting 3 in 10 minutes. That was where I was at. Pete came home and picked us up. The ride to Bill and Noelene's was pretty uncomfortable. Contractions while sitting in a moving car are not a good thing. With Gigi's birth, we arrived at the birthing centre to find out I was only 2 cm and Sally told us to take a walk to get the contractions working more. I was determined to be further along this time when we got there so we took a walk up and down Bill and Noelene's road. I called Sally who said there was no point waiting any longer that we should go in and see what was happening. We arrived at 6:20pm. I was 3 cm, yippee! We all settled in to the birthing room; Peter, myself, Sally and the student nurse, Zara. We all kind of sat around while I bounced on the exercise ball and they recorded my contractions. We put on some music and chatted and made bets on how much the baby would weigh, time of birth, sex, etc. It was all quite cruisey and relaxing and totally surreal. At 8:30pm Sally ruptured the membranes with the crochet hook; I was fully effaced and about 4cm. I felt a few trickles but not much of a gush. I wandered around the room some more and after a few strong contractions felt more of a gush. Sally suggested I lie on the bed with the lights dimmed to try to get the contractions more intense. Immediately upon lying down they started to get stronger. 10:15pm I want to get in the pool, right away. Contractions are lasting a minute now. 10:35pm contractions are 4 in 10 minutes and getting very strong. 10:40pm feeling pressure in bowels. 10:50pm contractions are almost unbearable now and I tell Sally that I need to push. 10:52pm start pushing involuntarily. The final few contractions before I felt the urge to push were super intense. I knew at this stage that it was almost over so I wanted the contractions to come so it would end but I didn't want to go through another at the same time. Being the 3rd time around I knew for sure this was transition and wouldn't last long but you still don't want to be there doing it. Once I felt the urge to push, it all gets very animalistic. You can't stop your body from doing anything. It naturally and involuntarily is going to get the baby out of there. I had one push, then at the second they said the head was out but the chin was stuck. Pete ran around the other side of the pool to catch the baby. He said the head was out then an arm flew out and another arm and then slip slop out came this baby. It was literally about 5 pushes and it took 5 minutes. Tui was born at 10:57pm. Pete took off his shirt and they put her on his chest while I got out of the pool to birth the placenta. Darn placenta took nearly an hour to push out! Baby was on my chest for a while feeding until Pete took her again to cuddle. After about an hour he declared that she would be called Tui Ann. We phoned Bill and Noelene and told them to bring my mom in to see the baby before her taxi arrived to take her to the airport. Mom came around midnight and she got to come into the birthing room to see her weighed and measured. They then went with her into the lounge while I took a shower and went into my room. Tui had arrived just in time to meet Grandma. My mom was over the moon. Pete and I had a lovely first night together with Tui at the birthing centre and his parents arrived the next morning with the girls to introduce them to their new baby sister. They were pleased as punch. I was truly amazed that the birth went as well as it did. It certainly wasn't a breeze but I don't think it could have gone any better than it did.
Almost 2 weeks later, we are settling into our new routine and Tui is gaining weight and becoming more alert. The girls are finally settling down after all the excitement but they still want to cuddle Tui every chance they get. It is just beautiful to watch.