A few days ago, I had my second sweet baby girl. Without further adieu, I’d like to introduce you to my lovely little lady…Miss Meredith Brown Davies.
She weighed a 8lbs, 15oz (!!), was 19 3/4 inches long, and arrived on June 18, 2012 at around 6:45am.
We won’t ever be sure of the exact time of Meredith’s arrival, because there were no nurses around to peek at the clock and note the official time of birth. We never made it to the hospital. She actually was born at home (no, we were not planning on a home birth) in our bed and was delivered by my husband.
You read that correctly. She was born IN OUR BED…and was delivered BY MY HUSBAND. I still can’t believe this happened to me and is my life. I think about the events of the morning and can only shake my head and laugh. It was obviously the most random and crazy experience I’ve ever had.
I have left many people hanging with my facebook posts regarding the events of Meredith’s birth, and my general lack of desire to talk on the phone…so I’m making myself at least blog some version of the tale. Knowing me, I will provide you more than enough information to get a sense of the events of June 18th. Sorry to the men reading, but I don’t know how to totally avoid talk of bodily fluids and such. You’ll be OK i swear. Man up.
2am-ish on Monday morning (weird weirdness…I also went into labor with Caroline at 2am on a Monday morning) I sprung a small leak. I went to the bathroom and knew that it wasn’t a bladder control issue, but that most likely my water had broken. I wanted to be sure it was my water because it was such a small amount of fluid, so I laid back down and waited for more to happen. Over the next half hour, I felt one or two more “trickles” all while reading lots of information about the “slow trickle” water break. I woke up J and we talked about it and came to the conclusion we should both sleep for a bit and plan on calling the doctor first thing in the morning. We prayed together that labor would start on its own so our doctor would not have to induce labor later in the day (sometimes it can take labor awhile to start after your water breaks, and doctors won’t usually let you wait to have your baby longer than 24 hours after a broken water due to risk of infection). I was really hoping to have another natural childbirth so induction wasn’t something I wanted to do unless it was absolutely necessary. Well I need not have worried, because God answered our prayer about an hour later. I started having contractions about 3:30am. The contractions were short and probably about 10 minutes apart, so I was able to rest in bed while having contractions till about 5:15am. The intensity felt very similar to the beginning of my labor with Caroline, which lasted for 20 hours.
5am-ish, J got up and started getting the car packed and pulling my list of things together. By then the contractions had intensified and I had to bust out some of my “natural labor techniques” to deal with them, but they still felt pretty short and far apart. I moved into the recliner in Meredith’s nursery shortly after J started getting organized.
5:45am-ish, I was still laboring in the nursery, but I definitely had noticed a significant increase in the length, frequency, and intensity of my contractions. I told J that he should stop running around for a few minutes to time some contractions so we could have a better idea of what was going on. He timed a few, and was really surprised at how long they were lasting and close together they had become compared to the last time he had checked on me. He called April (our future sis in law) and asked her to head our direction to get Caroline. She contacted Matt (J’s bro) so he was on his way as well and he lives much closer. J also called our doctor at that time and left a message with the service who contacts them. We knew it was time to head to the hospital and planned to leave as soon as we passed off Caroline.
6am-ish, I threw up twice. That was when I started to really panic internally because last time around, I threw up twice right before I started to get the urge to push. The panic combined with how intense my contractions had gotten and the fact that J was off getting Caroline & her stuff together…it was a kind of scary blur around this time.
When Matt arrived (he got to us very fast…props to Uncle Matt!), I was in the complete throws of “transition”. J knew things were getting pretty crazy, but he didn’t know that I was about to flippin push out our baby. Obviously.
Even though the entire ‘get Caroline & her stuff to Matt & April’ process only took probably 5-10 minutes of J being downstairs, I felt like it took AGES because J was not at my side and I was alone when I realized I felt the urge to push. I made it into the bathroom and knew that the baby was coming but didn’t know how to stop myself from pushing. I yelled out “COME HERE!!!” and he ran into the bathroom and found me on the floor basically starting to push. He could tell in seconds that we weren’t going to be delivering this baby in the hospital, so he called 911 and told them to send an ambulance immediately.
Somehow, he got me to the bed. He checked on me and could see the baby’s head and he literally held her inside me and kept telling me that I needed to wait to push (he wanted to at least have the equipment that the paramedics would bring). It was the most excruciating thing to resist pushing, but I managed it somehow. A few minutes later, a fire truck arrived and 5 firemen (I assumed they were paramedics, but the actual paramedics had not arrived yet) filed into our bedroom and surrounded the bed. J told them he was a doctor, but not an OB…but there was no time to get me anywhere else to have this baby. He basically announced that he was gonna have to deliver the baby right now. I suppose that since they weren’t official paramedics and just acting as “first responders”, they just listened to him and did what he said. Ha! J told me to go ahead and push when I wanted to, and the head was out a single push. J delivered the shoulders and Meredith was officially born. Literally took 30 seconds. I found out later that the cord was wrapped around her neck, and J wiggled it off without me even knowing it (probably good I didn’t know this at that moment). J suctioned her and she started crying immediately. He clamped and cut the cord as well. The ambulance and paramedics arrived right after she was born and everyone was thrilled to see how well Meredith was doing. She was pink and completely healthy and perfect.
I was just laying there holding my new baby in complete and total shock in regards to what had happened. I’m sure you can imagine the mixture of thoughts parading through my brain- relief to be finished with the pain, internal laughter at the ridiculous scene before me, emotion at seeing my little girl for the first time, pride in seeing my husband rise to the occasion in such a stressful situation…
The firemen were clearly jolly and it was quite obvious that they enjoyed being a part of this crazy scene. I guess a full term birth with a healthy baby happening at home is something that doesn’t happen often. I am just happy to have provided them with a story for dinner parties. They were very impressed with J’s handling of the situation and I have a feeling it was nice for them that they really didn’t even have to do anything because J was such a baby delivery go-getter… J is talking about taking Meredith up to the fire station to see them; I, on the other hand, would prefer to never see them again for obvious reasons.
I definitely wanted to wait to deliver the placenta till we got to the hospital (anyone who has seen a placenta understands why), so they pretty much wrapped Meredith & I in up in the bed sheets and put us onto the stretcher to head to Vanderbilt within minutes of delivery. As you can imagine, neighbors were outside wondering about the fire truck and ambulance…it was quite the scene. J followed along in the car because it had all of our stuff in it, so there I was in the ambulance with my new baby and some random paramedic who seemed as caught up in the excitement of the story as the firemen. My first time breastfeeding my child was in the back of an ambulance with some random dude. There are no words.
We got to the hospital and I felt like there were 50 people waiting for us to arrive. Nurses were outside waiting. Nurses were lining the hallways. One nurse announced loudly “Full term baby. Healthy. Nursed in the ambulance” and people scattered. Again, I guess unplanned home deliveries don’t usually turn out as well as ours. Everywhere we wheeled by, people were like “there’s the home delivery!” I was famous, much like the delightful fame enjoyed by women on the show “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”. Super.
From there, the story normalizes. They do all the baby checking up, we find out that I pushed out a 8lb, 15oz baby in ONE PUSH, J’s on the phone with people, placenta, people keep pressing on my stomach and I want to punch them, etc…
Me posing with my midwife/urologist/husband, & our new baby
So by the time most of ya’ll were headed to work, the entire process of labor was complete and we were left to decompress and get to know our lovely Meredith. She really is fantastic by the way. I mean, look at her and her random head full of dark hair…
Watching a newborn grow the first week is so remarkable. She has already changed so much! I can’t believe I have two beautiful daughters…
So there you have it…the story of our random home birth. I can’t tell you how many times this week J and I have just looked at one another and laughed. Telling friends has been extremely hilarious..the reactions to the story incite mouth dropping, laughter, stunned silence, and a great deal of ‘i can’t believe it’ head shaking.
Every husband who hears the story leaves in a deep state of either gratitude that they have not been put in J’s position, or fear that they might be one day. I cannot even begin to imagine if J had not been in the medical profession and this had occurred, I think I would have been pushing a baby out in a car on the way to the hospital. I think God knows J & I well though, and decided for whatever reason to make us the couple who had this experience. God knew how much I wanted to have another natural childbirth, my penchant for story telling, my husband’s personality and medical background, the title of this blog, and I’m wondering if he just flat out thought it was funny to allow things to happen this way. Regardless of his intentions, I am just thankful for my healthy baby girl who made a dramatic entrance into the world.
In conclusion, at the suggestion of my sister in law Katy- I plan to regularly turn over to J late in the night and say “Remember that time we had a baby in this bed” and then turn back over to fall asleep.
Welcome to the world.
First time seeing big sis.
First family pic, big sis was enamored with lil sis so she couldn’t look up.
Uncle Matt & (almost) Auntie April had a pretty long day themselves…
Dad- Monday afternoon. Bahahahahaha.
With my little Meri-beri (i’m currently testing nicknames)
all that hair makes me wanna throw on them bows.
20 kisses this morning for “SIS!”
P.P.S. We threw away our mattress pad & sheets…in case you were wondering. This has surprisingly been one of the top questions I have received. You people and your concerns. Of all things.