This couple were students of mine for their first pregnancy 4 and a half years ago. They asked me at the end of the first class what my thoughts were on homebirth. "Well, let me tell you...."
This time, FaeryLady called at 10 PM on Friday night and said that the mom was having contractions about 10 minutes apart and was going to try and get some sleep. I set out my birth clothes, read a magazine for a bit and snuggled in bed with PreacherMan for a while. At midnight the phone rang. FaeryLady said, "Her water just broke." This mom is 1 hr and 15 minutes away. I said, "I'm not going to make it, am I?" She was thinking the same thing.
So I threw on my clothes and got in the car to get going. I got there about 10 minutes before FaeryLady. It was 1:25 AM. The mom was having contractions every three minutes, but smiling and talking between. I silently wondered if the baby was posterior and she was maybe not quite as far along. When FaeryLady got there, we finished setting up, which made some noise and commotion in the room even though we were trying to be as quiet as possible. The mom and dad went downstairs for a few minutes to get some privacy and quiet.
Soon the birth tub was ready and she came back up and got in. Her contractions were very strong. She was vocalizing during them and in between was very aware of what was going on, hugging her 4 year old, telling him how happy she was that the baby was coming and that it would be soon. She soon said, "I'm going to be pushing soon."
FaeryLady and I put on gloves and just sat watching. The mom had that first pushing contraction and said, "Help me! What do I do??? I don't know what to do!" I said, "Listen to your body. Just do what it is telling you. Only push as hard as your body is telling you to, but push if it feels good." She later said it was the perfect thing to say.
She started pushing and the dad reached his hand down and could feel the head almost crowning. She gently pushed again and we could see a little face (the mom was kneeling against the side of the pool) that was covered with membranes still. FaeryLady reached in and brushed the membranes off the face. With the next contraction, the dad helped guide the shoulders out and there was the baby, swimming like in the Russian waterbirth videos. FaeryLady passed the baby through the mom's legs and she let her little baby rise to the surface and up to her chest. Other than sweeping away the membranes and helping pass the baby through the mom's legs, no one touched the baby except the mom and dad. It's the first time I've seen FaeryLady just sit by and do nothing but watch.
The baby did great, a little slow to start, as is normal for water babies, but her color was excellent. The parents had no idea what sex the baby was. They already had two boys and the mom did want a girl, but had convinced herself it was a boy so she would be happy with whatever. She felt between the baby's legs and announced with great joy in her voice, "OH!!! It's a little GIRL!!" It was 2:41 AM at the time of birth. Her four year old had watched the whole thing with eyes as big as salad plates and an awed expression on his face. It was so sweet.
We tucked her into bed with the baby and she nursed right away. She didn't even have a skid mark. Her bottom looked like she'd never had a baby.
FaeryLady suggested I go lay down, as she could see me fading fast. That is the first time I ever laid down and slept when FaeryLady wasn't sleeping. It's the first time I didn't stand guard, set my watch to check the mom or anything else. I just laid down and went to sleep.
It was a beautiful, beautiful birth. After Faerylady and I had both slept for a few hours, we got up and did the baby exam before going to my house for a full day of prenatals and a Postpartum on the blue baby, who came home to his family on Thursday.