Natural Parenting

Natural pregnancy, birth, and parenting: healthy, happy and ecological ideas from a mother's personal experience.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My unplanned freebirth! The Dad's story...


(also featured in Halstead and Sudbury NCT newsletter Summer 08)
I almost had to deliver our son, Oscar the first time round. I remember the midwife taking me through what to do on the phone, and seeing the water bag, thinking what was this lychee looking object coming out, trying to ask the midwife on the phone what it was but in my panic forgetting the word for this strange looking fruit thing. Ten minutes later the midwife turned up burst the bag and Oscar popped out. Since then we have joked about going solo for the next baby. I payed attention to what the midwife was doing and was thinking.... I could use those Ikea bag sealers to clamp up the umbilical cord... and so on...
I think it’s called ‘The Bradley Method’ or ‘Husband-Coached Childbirth’, a technique of unassisted delivery buy the Dad.,,465r-2,00.html

Holly started feeling gentle contractions during the day, she took Oscar out to Jumping Gym and pottered around the house taking it easy, hoovering the house AGAIN! Around 4pm our friend Heather came round, we where all hanging out in our bedroom, (chosen birth location). I started gently massaging Holly’s lower back. Holly was still talking and not zoning out yet.

There was a thunder storm and triple rainbow an hour before the birth which we were excited about as Oscar had decided he wanted to call the baby Rainbow already. Oscar wanted heather to take him out, we thought she would be good entertainment for him, we wanted him to stay at home during the labour, we didn’t want to exclude him. They went out for walk on the meadows.

The contractions were 20 minutes apart.We laid out a shower curtain and sheets on the floor in case it got messy, hit shuffle on the hot tub soul playlist on the ipod. All felt pretty relaxed.

Contractions still around 20 minutes apart... (I was taking Holly’s word for this). Started getting the camera ready wondering if a time lapse film would be a good idea! Holly went to the toilet, I started timing the contractions. 4 minutes apart.... shall I call the midwife? No lets keep timing waiting for them to get more regular.

If you are wondering why we didn’t call the mid wife a few hours ago, we had a funny experience with Oscar. The midwives were not that comfortable with a home birth, they where looking for problems throughout the last stages of the pregnancy, making Holly have scans every other week. So we thought to keep things stress free we would tell them at the last moment. The Halstead Midwives are not that far away, we didn’t want someone hanging around making Holly nervous - we had switched to the Halstead midwives - they are not shocked by home birth.

So one minute Holly is walking around the house the next on all fours screaming
“time to call the midwife”, we get into a conversation about where we live “it’s Sandal, The Street...” “what’s the house number, no house number”.....and so on... I don’t really have time for this debate. “Is it serious”, Holly lets out an rabid scream, I hold the phone to the direction of crazy woman noise “I’ve got to go now I think I can see a head”.

It was a head, a purple shriveled head, totally still almost lifeless which was pretty scary, not breathing, but I guess she was still breathing through the umbilical cord, no time to think about this, need to get this baby out, over as soon as possible.

Holly still had her track suit bottoms on, I tried to get them off, more swear words, ok lets try it with them on. “Come on Holly push”.... mistake never tell someone in intense labour to push probably the most stupid thing to say..... I can’t really remember what happened next,... it all went into a blur... she just seemed to slide out still totally still and seemingly lifeless, I held her (saw that she was a girl), then prune girl started to move and breath.

What now? Holly bent forwards, couldn’t see anything, I was holding Rainbow, the cord felt pretty tight, Holly didn’t want me to pull it, had some weird logistical moment, where Holly tried to shuffle round to look, in the end I had to crawl under her leg, surreal game of twister.

Midwife turned up about 30 minutes later and did the technical work, getting the placenta out, stitching up the wound - that's the hard work.... its quite easy catching a baby like Rainbow she seemed to decide when to come out, impulsive girl, oh dear....