A year ago today, my wonderful daughter came into this world! In honor of her birthday, I am reposting her birth story, which has been rewritten with the help of Lindsey. It’s been a wonderful year, and I have LOVED being a mom to Savannah!
Savannah’s birth was completely the opposite of anything I might have expected it to be. It is an interesting and exciting story; and it is my hope that one day she will appreciate having these words to read, as I recount that very special day on which she came into this world.
It would be easy to just skip the beginning of this birth story. Little did I know was that the beginning of this story would seem so trivial after the whole event was over.
I began having contractions on Thursday night/early Friday morning. The contractions continued off and on all day on Friday as well. They were mild contractions, so I tried distracting myself by walking or sleeping. The sleeping idea didn’t really work, so I tried to be on my feet. Towards the evening, the contractions were getting worse. Paul and I had planned to go to Target and walk around for awhile, but I quickly realized I was not up for that activity. The pain was in my back and it was starting to get intense!
The contractions were about fifteen to twenty minutes apart all night Friday. I did not get very much sleep. Paul stayed home from work on Saturday after I threatened him that doing so would make me very upset! He was really great the whole time. He came to my side with every contraction, dutifully timing them so that we’d know when to go to the hospital.
At noon on Saturday, they were six to seven minutes apart and I called my midwife again. She said to call back when they were five minutes or less apart, and we’d go to the hospital. She warned me to get rest if I could, because I probably had eight or more hours of labor head of me! (Ha! Famous last words…)
At this point, I don’t remember very much. I was so tired; I actually laid on the couch and slept between the contractions! They were getting more 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 seemed to really help. I kept asking him, “Are they five minutes yet?”
We were getting close. Under six minutes apart is the last I remember him telling me, but we had not hit the magical five-minute mark yet. Finally, I decided warm water would help make me feel better. I asked Paul to help me to the bathroom.
Then, everything became a blur.
I remember feeling the sensation to push, and I thought it was just a bowel movement. This confused me. My water broke at this point, but I didn’t realize at the time what was going on. I went into the bathroom and sat on the toilet (still thinking bowel movement, of course). Everything hurt so bad! I just clutched Paul’s arm with each contraction.
I remember him saying, They’re coming really close together now!
Something inside of myself told me this was not a bowel movement. I couldn’t figure out why my body was telling me to push. I reach down and felt a head between my legs and screamed, “I felt her head!” I went on to inform him that I couldn’t do it.
Paul insisted that I could indeed do it, because at this point, I had to do it! I just remember being very scared. Everything was happening so fast; too fast. It took only one or two more contractions before suddenly the baby—OUR BABY—popped right 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 of sheer 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 and see if she’s breathing (crying) and if she is 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 toiled and held her very gingerly as Paul ran and got the phone. He called the midwife, and she told us to come 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 he would clean it up later. We just needed to GET to the hospital. I sat there, half-dazed, clutching the baby with the cord still attached to me.
So, Savannah was born at 1:30 pm. The whole last part happened so fast, there was no time to do anything but react to the situation. I am so very grateful that we talked in our birth class about what to do if you don’t make it to the hospital in time. Having that knowledge helped calmed 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.
So, one could say that Savannah’s very first car ride was a little ironic; here she was in my arms, instead of a car seat! Neither one of us were buckled up. Not even an hour old, and my daughter is 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 everything. I was just sitting there, clutching my baby making sure I didn’t break her or the umbilical cord!
We were put in a room and immediately there were people there to help us. They cut the baby’s cord, and my midwife delivered the placenta about fifty minutes after Savannah came out. So, I guess we went the extra mile to make sure she got all the nutrients?
I had torn a little bit in the process, so the midwife stitched me up. THAT part was the worst of the whole ordeal; worse than pushing the baby out! We stayed in the room for an hour. They checked Savannah over and over and said she was healthy and perfect. They helped me move up 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 me. They were making me smell something terrible and kept telling me to wake up and talk to them. I kept hearing, redhead…redhead…
Later they told me that redheads tend to have more problems with bleeding and passing out. I guess I was just doing what came naturally to me, then.
We were settled in our room, finally finding some peace after quite a traumatic day. We set about making phone calls since we were unable to tell anyone I was in labor (except for my Facebook status Friday night!).
Savannah doesn’t seem too worse for the wear, having being born in a toilet! We’re now having fun sharing her birth story with others. I am very proud of myself for delivering her naturally, even if it were completely unintentional! I am very grateful that things naturally worked out as they did in her birth. The entire situation could have gone from bad to worse quickly if I had any complications with an unassisted birth. I’m still a little sad that I didn’t get the water birth I had hoped for. But, oh well. Savannah is here, and that’s what is the most important of all.