This is my favorite birth story to date.
And it’s hard to top some of the births I’ve seen. But this tops it.
I got a call on a Wednesday from my dear friend. She had asked me to be her doula and snap some pictures so she was calling to let me know she was possibly in labor. She sounded like she was having to work just a little bit on her contractions so I suggested she hop in the tub and see if she could relax out of them (she was still 2 weeks from her due date). She hopped in the tub and sent her husband to take her daughter to swim team, all of us thinking she was in very early labor (if in labor at all).
Her previous births had been induced and 8-10 hours long so no one was particularly worried. She called me back half and hour later to let me know she’d lost some blood and that things were getting more difficult. She was still talking through contractions just fine and not struggling but I told her it might be a good idea to call her Doctor and see what he wanted her to do. His office had just started closing for the day so no one answered the phone. She called me back again to let me know they were getting really painful. I told her my husband would be home in 10 minutes, her husband would be home in 10 minutes and so I’d head over then and we could all just go in.
I rushed to pack my bags and as I was doing so, my phone rang again. I answered to hear the panicked shriek: “There’s a baby in my tub! I had the baby in the tub!! April!! Come, get here quick! The baby is out!!”
I am a 3-5 minute drive away from her house but I’m pretty sure I made it in 2. I grabbed my bag and flew out of my house as fast as possible, my mind spinning. In the meantime, her exchange student called her husband to let him know what was going on and then they called 911.
I arrived to find her in her tub, baby on her chest. I asked her if he was breathing and if she knew what the gender was. She did not. He was purple and quickly pinked up with a good rub down, his heart rate/breathing absolutely perfect. His cord was still pulsing so I waited to cut (I carry a sterile kit just in case). Her husband arrived very soon after I did and also ended up in complete shock. Because she had delivered in the tub in a sea of birth he was worried she was bleeding to death (it looks so much worse than it is and she hadn’t delivered her placenta yet so no real bleeding).
2 Ambulances and 2 Fire Trucks showed up a few minutes after that and no less than 12 men filed into their bedroom. There was SO MANY people. They walked in and looked at me, eyeing my stethescope and said “Who are you?” I explained I was a good friend, EMT and Birth Assistant that just got there before them. They cut the cord and handed the baby off to Steve. They then just kind of looked at Kim in the tub. I suggested we get her out to deliver the placenta to which they all agreed. So I sent them to grab some chucks and lay them out on her bed and for in-between her legs. We moved her and as she settled down on her bed another Paramedic walked in and was like “I got this, I got this. My mom’s a midwife!” He was awesome. Her placenta was going nowhere with a room full of men staring at her. Cyndi (the CNM I work for) offered to come over and finished up assessment and such but they really wanted to go in. It was too big of a decision and going to the hospital was the original plan!
The best was that she had called her Dad to come pick up the kids and her sister was on her way to grab her daughter and that’s the last they had heard-so they showed up to fire trucks and ambulances without any notion of what was going on! They loaded her up on a gurney and Steve climbed in with their new babe still wrapped in a towel. She came home 12 hours later, no damage and in awesome shape!
It’s funny because as I tell this story there are 2 reactions. Most react with “Oh my gosh, they are SO lucky to be alive! They all could have died!” To which I respond: that is ridiculous, birth is a natural process, most people do not die delivering babies!! People deliver at home all the time!
The second group are like “Oh, women’s bodies are so amazing-instincts kick in and everything just works out.” To which I respond: they could have had serious complications! While I do lean towards trusting the birthing process, I absolutely think it’s a good idea to be accompanied by a birth professional while delivering whether that be a Midwife or Doctor. They’ve seen it before, they recognize trouble and they’re there to help when needed!
Born in this lovely home! Their kids and exchange student couldn’t be more in love. He is such a sweetheart.