Savannah’s Birth Story

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Well this birth was TOTALLY not what I expected at all! And as I promised, it’s an interesting story… I’ve been dying to share it but getting to a computer for any length of time has been difficult. :-)

36 weeks

36 weeks and 2 days, almost three weeks before Savannah was born

I should probably skip the whole beginning, the part where my contractions started Thursday night. At the time I remember thinking, “Oh I should write this stuff down now so I remember!” But little did I know that the beginning would seem so trivial after it all was over. :-)

I had mild contractions on and off all day on Friday. I called the midwife Friday morning to tell her I was in labor. I tried to spend the day distracting myself – walking or sleeping. The sleeping thing didn’t happen, but I did try to be on my feet. Towards the evening they were getting worse. I was going to walk around Target with Paul, but I decided I wasn’t up for that. The pain was all in my back and it was starting to get intense!

They were about 15-20 minutes apart all night on Friday night, and I didn’t get much sleep. Paul stayed home from work on Saturday after I finally threatened him that if he went to work I would be very upset! He was great during this whole time – coming to my side with every contraction, and dutifully timing them so we’d know when to go to the hospital. At noon on Saturday, they were 6 to 7 minutes apart and I called the midwife again. She said to call back when they were 5 or less, and we’d go to the hospital. She warned me to get rest if I could, because I probably had 8 hours of labor ahead of me! (Ha! Famous last words!)

I really don’t remember much at this point. I was so tired – I actually laid on the couch and slept between the contractions! They were getting intense. I’d call Paul’s name and grab onto his hand until they passed. He put a lot of pressure on my back which really helped. I kept asking him, “Are they 5 minutes yet?” We were getting close… under 6 minutes apart is the last I remember him telling me, but we hadn’t hit the 5 minute mark yet. Finally I decided warm water would help make me feel better and I asked Paul to help me to the bathroom. Everything is a blur now… I remember feeling the sensation to push, and I thought it was just a bowel movement which confused me. My water broke at this point, but I didn’t realize at the time that’s what it was. I went into the bathroom and sat on the toilet (still thinking bowel movement). Everything hurt so bad and I just clutched Paul’s arm with each contraction. I remember him saying, “They’re coming really close together now.”

Something inside me told me that this wasn’t a bowel movement. I couldn’t figure out why my body was telling me to push. I reached down and felt a head between my legs and screamed to Paul, “I felt her head!” Then I went on to inform him that I couldn’t do it. He’s like, “Well you have to!” I just remember being scared – everything was happening so fast! It was only like one or two more contractions and suddenly the baby popped out and into the toilet! I jumped up and screamed; at the same moment Paul grabbed the baby. She gasped for breath and started crying.

My first reactions were confusion and fear – what had just happened? I knew from my birth class that if a baby is born at home, you need to check to see if she’s breathing (crying) and if she’s pink. I could see her skin changing quickly from white to pink, so I didn’t worry. I also knew it was really important not to let the umbilical cord break. I sat back on the toilet and held her gingerly while Paul ran and got the phone. I was just in shock… I couldn’t do anything but sit there and shake. Paul called the midwife and she told us to come in to the hospital right away. He draped me with towels and we got into the car. I remember looking behind me at all the bloody mess in the bathroom, and Paul assuring me that we would clean it up later, that we needed to get to the hospital. I just sat there half-dazed, clutching the baby, with the cord still attached to me.

Savannah was born at 1:30pm. That whole last part happened so fast – there was no time to do anything but react. I am sooo grateful that we talked in our birth class about when you don’t make it to the hospital. It really helped calm me, as scared as I was at the time. And I knew that we didn’t need to call an ambulance since she was crying and her color was good. :-)

Savannah’s first car ride was in my arms in the front seat without either of us buckled in. :-) Ha! Not even an hour old and already breaking the law. We got to the hospital and they were expecting us – they rushed me back to the maternity section in a wheelchair. At this point, I was unaware of anything – just sitting there clutching the baby making sure not to break that umbilical cord! We were put in a room and immediately everyone was there to help us. They cut the baby’s cord, and my midwife delivered the placenta about 50 minutes after Savannah came out. So, I guess we made sure she got all the nutrients? :-)

I had torn a little bit, so the midwife stitched me up. THAT part was the worst – worse than actually pushing the baby out! Oh my gosh. We stayed in the room for an hour; they checked Savannah over and said she was healthy and perfect. They helped me up to move to the postpartum room, and I passed out on the way there. At this point I was so dazed; I remember sitting there and then suddenly there were tons of nurses around and they were making me smell something terrible and telling me to wake up and talk to them. I kept hearing, “Redhead… redhead…” Later they told me that redheads tend to have a lot of problems with bleeding and passing out. I guess I was just doing what comes naturally. :-)

First pictures... in the hospital

First picture after things settled down enough to take one!

We got settled in the room, finally some peace after a pretty traumatic day! We set about making phone calls since we didn’t get a chance really to tell anyone I was in labor (except for the Facebook status update I put up on Friday night). Savannah doesn’t seem too worse for the wear, having been born into a toilet, and now we are having fun telling her birth story. I am very proud of myself that I was able to deliver her naturally, though it really was unintentional! I am so, so grateful that it all worked out – things could have been really bad, had there been any complications and having no one else there. I am a little sad I didn’t get the water birth I wanted, but oh well.

Well there you have it, Savannah’s birth story. Hope you enjoyed. :-)

savannahfirstbday

Savannah’s first birthday


28 thoughts on “Savannah’s Birth Story

  1. WHOA!!!!!!! I’m picking my jaw up off the floor right now. THAT WAS AMAZING! First, way to go for laboring at home — that had to have been really intense for you! And hooray for Paul!

    You both did an incredible job.

    Was it as painful as you had expected? I know you were really concerned about the pain.

    Did/do you feel all loopy and happy from the hormone rush?

    Also … you had a natural, unassisted homebirth! LOLOLOLOL!!!!!

  2. Wow! Savannah certainly got her water birth but in an unexpected way! What an amazing first birth story!

  3. You crack me up! Thank you for being a blogaholic. I loved this story.

    So you did have a water birth! Our birth instructor called those babies born into the toilet divers and it immediately took me back to that roomful of laughter. I’m sure it was scary, though. Both of you did a great job. You were so generous towards Paul in your telling; I can’t believe he thought about going to work! Good thing he didn’t! You would have been tempted to mop the floor! I remeber thinking that about my water. I couldn’t wait to get to the hospital just so I’d stop gushing everywhere.

    Way to go. I’m glad you got to experience a natural birth. I knew you could do it!

  4. Ummm, wow. Just, wow. Two things: 1. I am so incredibly impressed by you! I would have been screaming my head off, and if Matt told me “well, you have to,” I might have been tempted to commit homicide. 2. That TOTALLY counts as a water birth. Totally. Congrats :) And one question: Would you do it this way again?

  5. Hehe, since Alisse brought it up… I was kinda wondering… are you tempted to do an ASSISTED homebirth next time?

    I am SO proud of you. :-) You amaze me! Such a wonderful story! And BEAUTIFUL baby!

  6. Oh, wow. Based on everything you were expecting, what happened is almost unbelievable. But Savannah’s here, healthy, and you & Paul did an amazing job. AMAZING. And you and she now have a great story to tell!

  7. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. My mom and I just had the BEST time reading this together out loud. I think Paul should totally go for OB training and y’all should become unassisted childbirth advocates. LOL. I can totally see you in that role ;-). Hehe. Wow. Wow. Wow. What a great story! You did awesome! So happy for you!

  8. Oh, my goodness!! Wow, Paul wins insane points for holding himself together!!! That’s so incredible! I laughed, and I almost cried…what an amazing story.

  9. I’m so proud of you! you did great! that is a great birth story! that’s amazing. :) Now you know you can handle it without meds next time! :) Good job!

  10. So, yes. I had to stop packing up (we were in Indiana this morning) to listen to Susan read Savannah’s birth story out loud while I sat there stunned. What a hoot! Savannah will love to tell that story some day: “I started my life-outside-the-womb in a toilet.” What a great story! And what a happy ending! … You did it! Yay, Ashley! And Paul too! Way to go and keep a level head. :-) This is just too funny/great/amazing/wonderful/etc.! We are soooo happy for you all!

  11. Thanks for all your comments, guys! They’ve made me smile. :-)

    Kacie: To be honest, it really wasn’t as painful as expected. But, I think that I missed the most painful parts. I was able to walk and talk through my contractions the entire time. I have no remembrance of the “ring of fire” that people talk about, and I only pushed a few times before she came out. So I got really lucky. :-)

    Beth and Alisse: I had to do an UNASSISTED home birth because the assisted ones are illegal in Georgia. ;-) (I’m not kidding either. Gotta love laws that don’t make sense! Had my midwife been there, she would have been breaking the law. We draw the line for our illegal activity at car rides.)

    It was quite an exciting day. I think overall, I’m happy with how it turned out. Dramatic, but everything was okay and no one is too worse for the wear. And I can say I’ve given birth naturally! I feel sooooo good about that; you have no idea! Now, to conquer the apparently more difficult task… breastfeeding…

  12. I am fairly jealous that you have such an amazing birth story to tell! :) Congratulations on all your hard work and the resulting beautiful baby!!

  13. That’s an awesome story! I think I would’ve absolutely freaked…and yeah, way to be gracious with Paul; I know that’s something I would have done. Did Becky tell you how her water broke, and I wanted her to wait while I made a cappuccino with our new machine before taking her to the hospital. She was like, “Ummm, no. Take me to the hospital NOW!”

    Again, congrats to you two, and welcome Savannah!

  14. Matthew: Paul appreciates you being on his side. :-) I love that you wanted to make a cappuccino! That made me laugh outloud (and Paul did, too, when I read it to him).

  15. Ashley – what an amazing, incredible birth story! Congrats to you and Paul on the birth of your new sweet baby girl! Congrats to YOU on doing it completely natural! Wow! What an awesome story! Love Savannah’s name too! Beautiful!

  16. You are soooo amazing! And I had to laugh that threw it all you made your husband promise to clean the bathroom! It sounds like something I would do. Thank you for sharing.

  17. I found your story through Sonya Ann’s blog. That is a pretty amazing story, especially for your first baby! Congratulations on your little one. I can’t imagine having one of my kids at home like that. I do not stay calm.

  18. All I can say is “WOW!” I came here from SonyaAnn’s blog. You did a good job by staying calm and also by paying attention in your birth class! :)

  19. Oh My you’re a very strong woman, I could not done if I were you hehehe.. I may faint before I can see hold the baby.., Very inspiring story..

  20. I hate to repeat what everyone has said… but really, WOW is all I can think of!! Thanks for sharing Savannah’s birth story… often it is the things we think are crazy or undesirable when they are happening, make for the best stories. This is definitely a great true life tale!

  21. I love birth stories and home births are the BEST! Found your site through Kacie’s. Be sure to get help for nursing if you have ANY problems in the beginning. You should NOT have soreness, that means incorrect latching, so you want to get that corrected right away and everything should go great. Nurse that baby whenever she’s hungry and if you practice the family bed you’ll get great sleep. I had to work outside the home after my first son was born. Two other women had babies right around the same time I did, and they were falling asleep at their desks they were so exhausted from night time feedings. I just kept my baby in bed with me and moved him from one side to the next and slept very peacefully. Congratulations, you did an excellent job!

  22. Like Mrs. Accountability, I’m here visiting from Kacie’s site. Wonderful birth story. I’m sorry that your state doesn’t allow assisted home births but, you never know. By the next time you do this the law may have changed. I had 4 kids (in *3* different decades and the rules always change). The first of my 3 adult kids was supposed to be born at home with a doctor in attendance (midwives were illegal) but she was delivering another baby across town, so I ended up having to go to the hospital. Three years later, in the same city, doctor assisted home births were now illegal, so I had to go to the hospital. Two and a half years later, in a different city and province I also had to go to the hospital. The nurse didn’t believe I was in labour so she didn’t call my doctor. Half an hour later the nurse delivered the baby and we had to stay in the delivery room hiding out until she had the doc drive 45 minutes in a snowstorm because we had to pretend the doctor delivered the baby! The last one was born at home in 2003 with a midwife legally in attendance. Best. Birth. Ever.

    Enjoy Savannah, get as much sleep/rest as you can and let other people do the cooking for the next couple of weeks!

  23. woweee- bit late on the uptake here- but what a story. Have to say my two sound a bit run of the mill now…..wonder what number 3 will bring? Over here it is almost always midwives who deliver babies either at home or hospital or birthing centres- I am glad we don’t have to wait on the doctors :)

  24. Oh wow! I cried reading that!!! What a story!! You could kind of say it was a water birth!!! Kudos to you both for keeping your cool and getting to the hospital! I’m so glad you’re both ok! Congratulations! Your baby is beautiful! :o)

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