Alright, here’s the story. I decided to write this while we’re still at the hospital, because it’s all fresh in my mind.
Will it be weird reading the husband’s perspective of the birth story? Maybe. But Sabrina’s busy teaching our baby how to properly maneuver a nipple…so here I am.
Charlotte was born today at 40 weeks and 3 days, but Sabrina had been 2cm dilated, almost completely effaced, and had hours of contractions (sometimes lasting entire days) for the past 3 weeks.
We went to bed most nights thinking baby would be coming the next day.
Fast forward to yesterday at 4 pm.
Sabrina started having another round of contractions, and after about 6 hours of tracking them she was averaging a 60 second contraction every 2 minutes.
We weren’t incredibly concerned, because this had happened several times over the last few weeks. But we put the car seat in the car, and I put our stuff by the door just in case.
We went to bed around midnight, and Sabrina woke up at 4am with more intense contractions.
She made herself some hot chocolate, ate some toast with peanut butter, and took a shower.
I was in the kitchen thinking about how early we were awake, and I could hear her breathing through each contraction. These were noticeably different.
We spent the next little while getting ready and left for the hospital at 6am.
The paperwork and initial hubbub isn’t all that interesting when arriving at the hospital, and we spent the next hour and a half answering questions, checking baby’s heart rate, measuring Sabrina’s cervical dilation, etc…
We were both a little disappointed when the nurse announced that we were only at 3cm.
I mean, we’d basically been at this stage for the last 3 weeks. When was baby going to come?
After calling our midwife, the nurse said that if Sabrina wanted to give birth naturally it would probably be best to labor at home until 6cm. More time at home would mean less intervention.
Totally makes sense. We already knew from our prenatal visits that our midwife wanted us to be at 6cm before being admitted, so it wasn’t a surprise. Just a little disappointing.
So Sabrina got dressed, we took our bags, and we went back home for what the nurse assumed would be another 4-6 hours.
Once at home, Sabrina immediately got in the shower again to try and relax while I made myself some breakfast. After her shower, Sabrina tried lying on her side for a little while.
From the noises she was making I was pretty sure things were picking up, but neither of us knew what she “should” be feeling before going back in. We didn’t want to get her dressed again, drive over to the hospital again, undress again, get monitored again only to find that she was now only at a 4.
After realizing that lying on her side no longer helped, she went to the bathroom. Every contraction made her want to pee, so sitting on the toilet just saved time.
Pretty soon she was holding the trash can in front of her because each contraction made her want to throw up.
I’m not a pro at delivering a baby (read: I’ve never delivered a baby), but I’ve seen some YouTube videos in my day…and all I could think is “She’s in transition. We need to get her out of here.”
I called the nurse, let her know my wife was currently throwing up, and asked her if it would be the right time to come back.
She said the room was ready, and if Sabrina was handling things at home we could either labor an additional 30 minutes or so at home or we could head over immediately.
I explained to Sabrina that we should get her clothes on and head out, but after a few tries she was like, “I can’t get up.”
Now I’m freaking out inside while trying to keep Sabrina relaxed.
I called the nurse back and said, “Sabrina can’t get up. Should I call 911? I mean, at what point should I stop trying to get her to the hospital myself?”
The nurse said I could either keep trying or I could call 911, it was my choice.
*Cue Sabrina’s voice from the bathroom*
”I think I’m pushing!”
Ambulance it is!
I called an ambulance while sitting on the edge of the tub, and my sweet wife…the woman I love most…had the audacity to say, “I think I can feel the head!”
Suck it back in! Do something! Stop doing something! Argh!
I’m trying to get Sabrina off the toilet somehow, the 911 operator is asking me about any medical conditions Sabrina may have, and the ambulance is still a few minutes away.
By some miracle the ambulance arrives before baby swan dives into the toilet, and they manage to lift Sabrina off the toilet and lay her on the ground – one EMT at her feet, another supporting her back, and 4 others supporting her husband.
What’s the first thing I see?
A baby head sticking out of my wife! I mean, maybe baby was just crowning. But still! A head, I tell you!
One of the guys turned to me and asked, “How’s the husb…wait, you’re the husband. How are you doing?”
(It was packed)
Sabrina’s next contraction came and within 5 seconds baby was out.
We have a daughter!
Sabrina gave birth to a baby girl less than 2 hours after we had been sent home from the hospital for not being far enough in labor.
Things seemed to calm down quickly after that. I cut the cord, placenta was delivered, EMTs were smiling and making jokes, Sabrina and baby were loaded onto a stretcher, and I stayed behind to wipe up the blood on the floor while the ambulance took my 2 favorite girls to the hospital.
The woman at the front door of the hospital pretty much summed everything up when I arrived the second time. She said, “Well, you’ve had quite the morning haven’t you?!”
Quite the morning.