Every single birth story is diverse and they all have their inherent dangers.
But as I sat down recollecting all the possibilities of what could have happened, I felt a sense of deep strength knowing that even though things didn’t exactly go to plan, my wife gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
Many parents have parental questions, especially when it comes all things baby related, but very few dads would have the foresight to learn what to do in the unlikely event of an unplanned home birth. I never envisioned in a million years that my duties as a father would stretch to delivering my own baby, some would say that was probably a stretch too far!
In this article, I’ll reveal the summit of events that lead to me delivering my own daughter and my wife giving birth at home, with zero pain killers and no assistance from the paramedics!
Just before dawn
My wife had begun exhibiting signs of painful contractions a few days in a row, so I naturally anticipated that the baby was coming soon. This was our 2nd child and with her first, my wife gave birth 9 days before her due date, so we expected our baby to arrive early.
My wife had been very active for the past few nights, so I was well aware of her unusual patterns. However, on this night, I didn’t manage to catch her limp out of bed, so she was up for around 2 hours before me.
By the time I had rolled out of bed, she had been going through moderate contractions already, so I decided to start timing contracts immediately to catch up.
But, as I started timing the contractions, I noticed they were coming very frequently and were also surprisingly very close together. I decided to try avoid any accidents and gave the hospital a ring to tell them that we were coming in right away.
Beforehand, the hospital had told us to only call and come in when contractions were very close together and after they had done an oral assessment on my wife.
However, before I could even get through to the appropriate department my wife let out a shriek of pain. She stood there, half on her feet and a half on the ground, in complete disarray.
I didn’t need to question what had happened; it was clear. Her waters had broken all in one go and she stood there in hysteria.
Seeing her distress and realizing that it would be very difficult to get us all in my car quickly, I decided to call an ambulance. Although the bags had been packed the night before, I hadn’t yet woken up our 2-year-old son and it would be very difficult to get him dressed and ready with all the commotion.
This choice proved to be an intelligent one as we probably would never have made it to the hospital!
The baby is crowning!
As she hunched in confusion, still going through sharp contractions, I spoke, nervously, with the emergency operator on the telephone.
I explained the details and she assured me an ambulance was on its way and was close.
Everything was going so quick and by this point, we both knew that whether we liked it or not, this baby would be born at home. It was a very discomforting as we hadn’t prepared for this at all.
I tried to think of a few quick ideas to make the living room more peaceful. I dimmed the lights, gently laid out some cushions and covers and shouted across the room at “Google Home” to “Play Rain sounds”.
As my wife tried to manage contractions, the operator gently asked me to check on the baby. She wanted to see if I could locate the position she was in.
As my wife reluctantly opened her legs, I saw the unmistakable sight of the baby crowning.
Luckily, I had read a few baby books previously, so I was better informed about what to look for. I comprehended that this meant the baby was coming very soon, so frantically asked the operator “Where is the ambulance now!”
She assured me they were nearby, but suddenly began to ask me to pick up a few non-medical home items. I instantly got an unusual feeling in the pit of my stomach that something wasn’t right.
Baby isn’t waiting!
As I struggled to get these peculiar items, (a shoelace, what was I going to do with a shoelace??) I knew things were going from bad to worse.
My wife was exhibiting signs of extreme pain and I felt helpless. It was a terrifying moment, but just as I thought there was no way things could get worse, our 2-year-old son smashes through the living room door.
He had slept through most of it, but on hearing his mother’s increased screams of pain, had awoken to see what all the uproar was about. I tried to settle him, as quickly as possible, and continued to take instructions from the paramedic.
It was the absolute worse timing!
Euphoria & fear… together!
My wife had passed into active labour very fast and she was ready to push the baby out immediately. We couldn’t wait for the ambulance.
I took her hand, tried to remain relaxed while simultaneously taking instructions from the operator on the phone and managing our toddler, who was in clear distress.
I remember the operator having to repeat herself on multiple occasions, not because I couldn’t hear her request, but just because things were taken a long time to process in my brain. (Was I going to deliver my daughter by myself!)
Time slowed down and each second felt like a minute.
As my wife started to push, our daughter started to show. Instantly her head protruded out and I saw my gorgeous daughters face for the first time.
It was a culminating sense of utter euphoria, followed by deep fear. It’s a feeling that’s difficult to describe and one I will never forget.
The next few moments were a blur of screams of agony, specific instructions over the telephone and high pitch yelling from both new baby and our toddler. So much was happening that I had to take a second to catch my breath!
As my wife continued to push the rest of the baby followed; shoulders, back and bum and then her feet. I supported the baby’s head and body and wrapped her up in a fresh towel. I instantly praised my wife and told her how happy and proud I was with her.
She is the strongest person I know and to do all of that with no pain killers or pain relief was something that she deserves to be continually praised about.
Paramedics arrive (late)
A few moments later I hear a knock on the door as the paramedics finally arrived. They walked in and was very surprised to see that the baby had already been born.
They immediately checked the baby over and gave her the all-clear. As we collected our things together to get a more in-depth check at the hospital, I felt both frustrated and relieved.
Frustrated that the paramedics didn’t get there on time, but totally at in awe that my daughter was born happy and healthy at home.
Our baby girl weighed 6 pounds and 2 ounces and was healthy and perfectly normal.
Sometimes I look back at our ordeal and can’t help but to be completely elated. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I was able to assist my wife in delivering her baby and that everything turned out fine.
I always thought that a dad’s primary responsibility was getting everyone to the hospital on time. I could have never envisioned, in my wildest dreams, that my parental duties would stretch to assisting a baby delivery.