It was this time five years ago that I went to bed feeling a few twinges in my belly. I was 38 weeks pregnant with my third baby and I was tired. So tired. Tired to the bone. The kind of tired that you get when it is summer and you are heavily pregnant. And you already have a preschooler and a toddler. And they are both boys…
I had a few of those “Hmmm, this could be happening” kind of moments, but I wrote them off thinking it must be Braxton Hicks contractions. I had never had Braxton Hicks before, but I assumed that I was having them as I was just not damn ready to have another baby. I mean I was, but just not right now. There was much more sleeping to be had. And too many indulgent 38 weeks+ pregnant days ahead!
So here begins the story of my accidental home birth. I was tired. I had two more weeks until my due date. My first two babies were born either on their due day or the day before. I wan’t ready. I wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t packed!
I just needed more sleep. Yes. Sleep.
I had spent all day shopping at our behemoth of a local Westfield. From one end to another. And back again. I had felt some twinges at the shops, but dismissed them.
Are you kidding? I still have two weeks to go!
My husband was working late and my parents were over to help me out. My mum must have known. She had wanted to stay. She wanted to help me wrangle my boys but they – for some unknown reason – are so much less wrangle-some when my parents are around, so it was easier for them to leave.
I bid my parents farewell, and did the whole bedtime rigmarole solo then finally went to bed at 1am after Googling ‘mid tummy twinges when pregnant’ (actually I was Googling ‘early signs of labour’).
Who cares if I ticked ‘yes’ to almost all of the early signs of labour? S.L.E.E.P. I needed sleep. So I went to bed.
I went to bed at 1am.
1.07am I awoke with a contraction. *Sigh* I need more sleep. So I shut my eyes.
1.14am: another contraction. Hmmm… Can’t deny this for much longer.
I went to the bathroom.
My waters broke.
I called out to my husband to call the hospital.
Before he had even gotten out of bed I shouted at him to call the ambulance.
He hadn’t gotten down the stairs before I screamed “GET IN HERE!!!!!!!”
After just three contractions Dexter was born. I had felt his head after the second contraction. So surreal. So, so surreal.
My husband made it back up the stairs (just) in time to deliver our Dexter.
Perfectly healthy. Perfectly rosy. Screaming loud.
I never planned on a home birth, and never would again. But as these things go, it was perfect. I was deliriously happy. In shock. Who knows what I was talking about on the phone to the 000 lady for the 14 minutes it took for paramedics to arrive in my en-suite bathroom, boots and all.
I think back and it scares me to think of all the things that could have gone wrong, terribly wrong, but didn’t.
My home birth was not by choice. It was an accidental home birth. If something had gone wrong I would have wanted all the medical superpower in the world at my fingertips. But, as it happened, I was lucky. And it has become a fun story to tell.
My husband’s hands shook for three days afterwards. He’d delivered our baby before he was even fully awake which is probably just as well…
Of course, once we’d told the kids all they every talk about with the story is what a great job Daddy did…. Pfft!
The paramedics were lovely. They even asked if they could take a photo of young Dexter. As a paramedic you must see some horrific, unimaginable things, so it was nice to be part of a good news story for them. A healthy baby, and a healthy mum.
And today my baby boy is turning five… He is the most gorgeous, the most kind-hearted, sweetest soul I have ever met.
He still can’t quite understand the significance of being born in our bathroom versus being born in the hospital like his brothers and sister, but one day he will and he’ll ask “Mum! What were you thinking?!?”
Home birth or not, just make sure your baby is safe xx