"Proud" Cheltenham dad delivers baby Sawyer
IT was not quite the birth the Cruz family had planned for baby Sawyer.
When the tiny tot started to make an appearance, dad Christo was still struggling to put up the birthing pool and two-year-old Chane had been woken up in all the commotion and was asking for a bowl of cereal.
But mum Annelize knew there was no time to spare when she felt an overwhelming urge to push.
She called Christo to help, and he came into the room on time to see his baby's head crowning.
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There was barely a chance to think as he stepped forward and took charge, delivering a 7lbs 7oz baby Sawyer into the world.
Annelize, 29, said: "Christo was trying to get the birthing pool ready.
"The contractions were one minute long and two minutes apart. I said 'I think it's all happening'.
"I stayed in the kitchen while my husband was trying to get the birthing pool ready and then I had the urge to push.
"He looked at me and I said 'I think the baby's coming' and went into the downstairs toilet.
"My husband came in and, yes, he said the baby's head was coming out. He said to sit down and I did and two pushes later the baby was out.
"Christo caught him. He put him on my tummy and covered him."
Christo, 31, said: "It was quite an exciting and proud moment.
"Chane and I cut the cord together."
The Cruz family, of Fiddler's Green, Cheltenham, were caught out because Annelize had been experiencing false Braxton Hicks contractions.
They started one evening, and she went to bed to wait and see whether or not it was another false alarm. Just hours later, she woke up to find she was in labour.
She got up and went to the bathroom, hoping not to wake Christo.
But the pain intensified and it soon became clear things had progressed.
The family, who moved to Cheltenham from South Africa eight years ago, had planned for a home birth so Christo phoned the midwife and the doula and started to set up the birthing pool.
But before any help could arrive, baby Sawyer started to make his way into the world.
Annalize, who runs a child-minding business with Christo and is a peer supporter for Gloucestershire Breastfeeding Peer Support Group, said: "He's very proud that he delivered our baby.
"Sometimes men feel so helpless during labour. It hurts for them to see the woman they love in pain. They try to support her but physically there's nothing they can do.
"It was an amazing thing for him to be so involved. Now people ask us if we were scared but we didn't have time to panic.
"I didn't plan to have any pain relief. When I had Chane I just had gas and air. It would have been nice to be in a pool but actually, now, I wouldn't have changed a thing."
She added that Sawyer, who was born at 3.56am on February 21, was a happy and healthy baby boy.