In my earlier blog post about our accidental at home birth, I talked about giving you guys a run down on our very unexpected bathroom home birth. Today I asked Steve to give you his perspective on delivering his second daughter all by himself…..at home! So I’ll start it off with my water breaking at about 10:40 p.m. and me going into our bedroom room to let him know.
This is Steve’s story: It was a very rapid turn of events. Katie comes in and wakes me up. I had been working all day and I was pretty tired. I actually only ended up getting about an hour’s worth of sleep. When she wakes me up, she says, “Hey, it’s time I think we need to go.” I got up and started gathering stuff around the house that we needed for the trip to the hospital.
Then she starts calling me, “Hey, I need you, I need you.” So, at that point I ended up coming back into the bathroom. She was having contractions that were pretty close together so I didn’t get a chance to finish putting everything together that we had around the house to take to the hospital.
She said, “I need you to call my mom and dad.” So, I made that call. As soon as I got done with that phone call she asked me to call our doula. That was about 12:15 a.m.
Shortly after they all showed up, I made another phone call at 12:27 to the hospital. Katie was like, “We need to call the hospital and let them know that we’re coming.”
I get off the phone with the hospital and not two minutes later she’s saying “I need you to call 911 we’re having the baby here!”
This is Katie again: After he got off the phone with the hospital I was having a break between my contractions so when he ran out of the bathroom to grab a few more things I did a really quick self-check. I was able to feel our baby’s head and that was when I was like, “Oh my gosh, we’re not going to make it to the hospital. It’s going to happen here in our bathroom. G-r-e-a-t.”
That was when I called him back in and told him, “You need to call 911.”
Back to Steve: Well, I made that phone call at 12:32 a.m. but there was a pause in my dialing speed. I literally looked at my wife when she said that and I kind of went on a little mini vacation in my head. I think she probably thought I just like fainted or something because, I mean I just stared at her blankly.
The thought going through my mind was, “Okay I’m not listening to a word this woman’s saying. I’m getting her to the hospital and it’s going to be in our car. I’m not calling 911.” That didn’t end up working out. I ended up getting on the phone with dispatch and the lady ended up walking me through some stuff.
It’s kind of funny because as the phone call progressed, I realized I’m sitting there talking with this lady on the phone and she’s like, “Well, where’s your wife now?” And I told her, “Well, she’s on the toilet.” And she’s like, “You need to get her off the toilet right now!”
So, I look at my wife and I’m like, “She says you need to get off the toilet.” I think she just let out this “aaahhh”. She heard me but she wasn’t having it. I was like, “Yeah, I’m trying.” The lady said again, “You need to get her off the toilet” and I was like. “Okay.” Then she started giving me a list of stuff I needed to get and this is where I got confused.
About that time, as I’m on the phone with EMS, my wife’s mom, dad and her doula all show up at the same time. So I’m running around trying to talk to them and let them in on the situation. There was hardly any time for anybody to do anything. First thing, I’m sitting there talking to the EMS lady and she was saying, “Okay, here’s what you need.” I’m sitting here thinking, “Okay, this is like a game plan. I got this.” She told me,”You need a shoe string and a safety pin.” I’m like, “Great, got it.”
I go to Katie’s dad and tell him, “I need a shoe string and a safety pin.” The whole time I’m saying this, I’m like I don’t even know why I’m asking for this stuff. Finally, as I see him come back with the shoestring and the safety pin I begin to realize what this stuff is for. I still don’t understand why the safety pin. Well, yeah, we still don’t know what that was for. When dad hands me the shoestring I look at him and at that exact moment I knew what it was for. I looked at him knowing the ambulance was already on it’s way so I knew that somebody was coming. I looked at the shoestring in my hand and it’s dirty like from a shoe he just grabbed because we didn’t have any brand new shoestrings. I looked at it and went back to what I was doing. No way, I’m not using this stuff.
At that point the dispatch lady said, “Listen, you need to get your wife down on the ground, on her back.” Katie was in an awkward position and I was momentary holding pressure against the baby’s head while she was changing positions. Finally, she gets down on her back and then it’s go time! I basically have to doctor up.
I’m sitting there and I’m trying to do everything that I know how to do. I’m trying to remember everything that I went through with the dispatcher. The lady’s still talking to me, so at that point I think I just dropped the phone. Actually, I just threw it off to the side and focused on Katie and our baby. She got down on her back probably around 12:41 a.m. The paramedics pronounced the baby born at 12:44 a.m.. This gives you the whole timeline of events.
The coolest thing about all of this is they talk about the corkscrew a baby does as it’s born. I watched our daughter and since she wasn’t in the birth canal very long her head wasn’t misshaped like they often are after a long labor. She was born with this perfect round head. Her face came out to the side, shoulders like this, and there was one push for the shoulders. Katie did another push and the shoulders came out, and then she went to waist. She did two more pushes and our baby was out! She was face down, head, shoulders, and corkscrewed all the way out.
Baby did exactly what she was supposed to do. I remember with our first daughter, they had to rough her up a little bit to get her to cry. This one came out and we didn’t do anything. She just started crying on her own. We finished up and I handed Katie our baby as the paramedics were just standing back, like, “Hey, good job.”
They had been waiting in the hallway because our bathroom’s not very large. Our house is a little over 1,000 square feet and we have just the one bathroom.
The whole time all this was going on our four-year-old daughter was sound asleep in the room next door. With six EMS people, Katie’s mom, dad, the doula and everybody making noise, she stayed sound asleep. Thank God for that. It would have been complicated if she had woken up.
It was an amazing experience. I’ve talked to many people like big tough guys I see at the gym and they are like, “Man, I would have fainted.” I tell them, “If I had fainted I wouldn’t have been the strong figure for my wife and she wouldn’t have had the support she needed.
Let me tell you, I was like “this is not going down in my bathroom” but it did. It did. It went down in the bathroom and it was really good anyway.
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