Kate Hana Harnwell

So it happened, the birth I mean.

We went to bed Friday night, Anji a lot earlier then me (10.30pm) I crashed in a bit later at midnight or there abouts – I read for a bit then finally got off to sleep at 1.00am.

1.30am Anji awoke with a cry

I think my waters have broken!

Amazingly she got out of bed, so the fluid only went on the lino floor (easy to mop). After a quick clean up and shower we rang the hospital who advised us to come in as there is a risk of infection.

At the hospital, after having to gain entrance via emergency!. We were met by some very lovely Midwives who check Anji’s temp and blood pressure etc before finding us a room to wait for the on set of true labour… Then nothing happened… all night, all the next morning all Anji had were slightly short and infrequent contractions.

I went home at 2pm to have a sleep for an hour or so while Anji’s Mu, Debbie, sat with Anji. By the time I got back to the hospital after a sleep and a shower it was close to 4pm and things were sorta heating up.

Anji was having stronger contractions and they were getting more constant.

At about 4.30pm I started to count them and after 40 mins of good strong contractions I called the midwife. It was almost time… we started to move about with Anji leaning on me during the contractions and I could tell they were getting closer and stronger each time as she took longer to recover and leaned heavier on me.

About 6pm we moved into the deliver room, Anji was examined to see how far she was, about 3 cm, and the Midwife started to fill the HUGE bath and then taught Anji how to use the gas and got us all ready to have a nice warm bath while we got over the first part of ‘real’ labour.

After getting Anji into the bath, at about 7.pm, I managed to get Anji to one end where I could kneel behind her (outside the bath) and spray the warm shower head on her belly to help ease the pain while she sucked on the gas… and boy did she suck!

The Midwife popped in to see if all was OK saying to page her on the button if I needed help.

Some time later I noticed Anji was having stronger and stronger contractions – this was not being eased by the gas and in my mind was getting worse. I paged the midwife.

Walking in the Midwife stopped for a second then asked Anji if she felt like pushing?

Wait I thought how did we get to this point already?

After a quick exam the midwife simply said “This baby is coming now”. She went off and grabbed all the gear and paged an assistant.

The midwife asked Anji to get out of the bath as we were ready to deliver. After all the gas she had had that was not an option Anji’s legs had turned to jelly… “Well we’ll have the baby here then” said the midwife.

Anji started bearing down, the pain increased a hell of a lot, so much so she felt like she was going to die! The midwife assured us she was not… but the gas had to go and I must say the Midwife did a brilliant job unplugging the gas so all Anji had was the mouth piece.

As Anji’s body began to push she also began to grab me harder, on the shoulders and arm her whole back arching up as she pushed down. “push like you are doing a really big poo” said the midwife… my thoughts are best left out at this point… and my ears were kinda hit hard with Anji’s cries but I helped as I could by holding her and talking to her about how well she was doing and how it would soon be over.

The midwife paged her assistant who popped in, they talked for a moment, discussing how much head they could see and that it would be another 15-20 minutes. So the assistant went to leave when our attending midwife called her back “it’s happening now”.

No sooner had she turned back from calling but she was holding baby out of the water. The cord only just allowing her to get above water. Quickly the assistant grabbed the clamps and scissors asking if I wanted to cut the cord, “hell yeah!” and I jumped up and around to cut the cord and release my baby into the world.

FYI: Kate Hana Harnwell is named after the character Anji was playing in She Stoops to Conquer Kate Hardcastle (before we knew she was there) and Hana is Japanese for Flower, where we went just after the play finished (again before we knew she was there).

DSCN1354Here she is only a few minutes old in her Mum’s arms


The proud Mum and Dad

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With her Cousins

DSCN1384 DSCN1395 DSCN1381

Her uncles

DSCN1386 DSCN1378 DSCN1391

Her Aunties (poor Mel I didn’t get a good shot of her!)

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And of course The Grandparents (to be updated with Mickey)

DSCN1400 Peter Rabbit…

Alone in a VERY big bed!

4 thoughts on “Kate Hana Harnwell

  1. Wow Ben and Anj, thanks for posting this. I am all teary and feeling exhilirated for you guys. The astonishing wonder that is birth. Go Anj, you have just joined the Earth Mother club xx Haley xx


  2. Hello Anji and Ben (seal),


    It`s a pity that I couldn`t meet Kate, when I was in Australia.

    I would be very happy to hear from you.

    Greets from Germany,
    Yours Mel (the slug)


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