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If you haven’t heard my DIY home birth story, then you’re in for a treat! I can confidently say this is my most rewarding DIY to date and it forever will be!
It was 5:30 in the morning and I woke up with I didn’t even know was my first contraction. I thought it was just another round of the never-ending trips to the bathroom to pee and that I was likely having Braxton-Hicks. Spoiler alert: I was not! I decided to wake up my husband, Griffin. I let him know that I think it might be happening and that he should probably hop in the shower just in case, and especially before our other baby woke up. So I started timing my contractions and assessing the situation. The next contraction came 5 minutes later and was a minute long. Mom’s, that right there already tells you where this is going…
I had Griffin start to get my son’s things together to get him accounted for. We were originally going to take him to daycare, but you’ll soon find out that plan didn’t exactly play out!
My next contraction was just three minutes from the first one, and then my water broke…
Griffin called his brother because he’s the closest family member to us. And we didn’t have time to wait for daycare to open. We were thinking his brother could meet us at the hospital to pick up my son, Riley, and take him to daycare. Then, I told Griffin “scratch that, we don’t have time for that plan, I need you to call the neighbor.” Thankfully, we had a neighbor who would help out with Riley from time to time. She already offered to be on standby for any middle-of-the-night needs. Thank you, Ella!
By the time Griffin got off the phone with Ella the plans changed again and the situation was quickly becoming an emergency. I told Griffin, “I need you to call 911.” He was like “Kayla, I need you to listen to me, we need to get in the car and get you to the hospital right now.” I should probably note that we live 20 minutes from the nearest hospital. Since this wasn’t our first birth, I was familiar with the feelings of how quickly this was progressing and far along we were in this delivery!
At this point, I’m in the bathroom breathing through very rapid contractions while trying to problem solve in-between. Because to be honest, Griffin doesn’t even think we are in full-blown labor at this point! To his defense, he was down the hallway getting our son dressed. And I was in a problem-solving auto-pilot mode, so it’s not like he ever heard be yelling or seeming ‘dramatic’. Looking back, I was probably too calm to be believed someone was in active labor from the outside looking in. I was just so focused on splitting my energy between convincing him that this was actually happening and having to choose where this was actually about to go down. I didn’t have time for the other conversing!
So after another contraction we met back in the hallway and I said, “Griffin, I NEED you to listen to me. I need you to call 911!”
First things first, I also want to paint the bigger picture here… Grifffin is NOT somebody who wouldn’t normally trust me on this and hesitate to call 911. Butttt I am a cautious Cathy to a T. I drive with my hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2 and he thought I was trying to be ‘better safe than sorry’ by asking him to call 911. Especially since I wasn’t even physically appearing to be in extreme distress and in active labor to him. He also comes from a family of firemen, so he was trying to be practical about if we actually needed to get first responders involved, or if he could just support us by delegating our need to get in the car and get to the hospital. These were all such valid thoughts and responses, but boy was he wrong!
So then he asked if I was serious about him needing to call 911 and I said yes. Then he asked if I was actually serious, and I yelled, “YES!”
This picture is a preview of what comes next, but keep reading for the real drama…
So he (finally) called 911 and the dispatch lady is telling me to go lay down. Truthfully, I don’t think she realized the urgency here because Griffin was the one relaying it to her. And even he STILL didn’t think this was actually about to go down…
At this point I’m laying on the bed and Griffin has her on speaker phone. She first asked, “Can you wait it out a little bit longer until paramedics get there?”. And Griff looked away from me to look at the phone and answer her, and then looked back at me and yelled…
“Her baby’s head is already out!”
And then with the next (involuntary) push in the same contraction, she was airborne and shooting out of me as Griffin caught her! Next thing I know, we hear sirens approaching, ended the dispatch call, and in walked the paramedics. We told them we were “all set!”
She was born at 6:25a. The 911 call was only 8 minutes and we had her within 1.5 minutes of making that call.
The best part was that Griffin still needed to get Riley to daycare en route to meeting me at the hospital and didn’t know what room I was in. He ended up calling me as I’m getting stitches. So I turn to the surgeon and say, “Do you mind if I take this call?” I didn’t know surgery etiquette – LOL!
Then there were also the adrenaline-filled calls of updating his brother that we no longer need his help because Griffin had already delivered the baby himself, or calling to update my mom that she was a Grandma…and why we couldn’t call her sooner!
I never intended to have an unassisted birth. It’s definitely not the birth experience I was expecting (we planned on a hospital birth with some pain relief closer to our due date, haha!) But I think it all turned out better this way, with it just being me and Griff and not a full birth team! We ended up having a baby girl named Blake, and apparently she had a home birth plan! It’s just crazy because I was literally working on building Riley’s bed nook up until 4 hours prior to me accidentally giving birth at home!
Moral of the story: if your wife ever tells you to call 911 – it’s probably a good idea to make the damn call!
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