Labor Day Submission: I Delivered My Own Baby In A Bathtub
Waking up September 2nd, 2013 I was a bloated, emotional wreck who wasÂ seething with the usual “get this baby OUT!!’ mojo of anyone who has madeÂ it to their due date. For three weeks my contractions would start, becomeÂ regular, then vanish. At my near daily checks I never got past the three centimeterÂ dilation. I’d pretty much resigned myself to the fact that this baby wasÂ staying put until college. Acupuncture, castor oil, ball bouncing, tea —
nothing was making this baby budge.
Labor Day evening, I got up off the couch and BANG — I was hit by a wave ofÂ pain. Finally, a real freaking contraction — the kind that take your breathÂ away and make you walk like you’ve been shot in the ass. I called myÂ midwife, who after three weeks of me crying wolf, was skeptical. She told meÂ to go lay down, have a Tylenol, a glass of wine, and to chill out becauseÂ without regular contractions there was no way I was REALLY in labor- and
it certainly hadn’t progressed far.
Twenty minutes and four contractions into the conversation and she seemed to getÂ the idea that it was indeed game time. She agreed to come to my house to doÂ an assessment, just to see if I was ready to transfer to the birthingÂ center.Â In the mean time the contractions were intensifying so I hopped inÂ the shower to help with the pain.Â And then- shit got real.
Helpful note: Important distinction for water births — sitting in a bathtubÂ of warm water slows labor. Standing under a warm shower, intensifies it.
Once in the tub I let out an animalistic shriek — out of nowhere theÂ contractions started coming fast and furious. My water broke — popped like aÂ balloon, one more contraction and I reached down and remarked that I couldÂ feel the babies head. It was such a surreal experience. No one elseÂ existed; just me, the flow of the water, and this baby who was coming.Â I was only vaguely aware of the pandemonium in the rest of the house — my
son and husband racing about in a panic, searching desperately for theÂ midwife. I remember standing there and thinking I had to catch her. Damn meÂ if I dropped the baby as soon as she was born.
One last push and my one handÂ cradled her head while the other slipped under her back. I held her before I sawÂ her for the first time. I brought her up so we were face to face. Oh yeah,Â born sunny side up. She was all bluish grey, covered in vernix, she looked
like she was sleeping. I brought her up to my face and whispered “Hello!Â Hello baby! Just breathe, please breathe, thats all you gotta do…” andÂ she did. Every breath pinked her up, oxygen like a sunrise warming herÂ little body. I crouched over her, my husband by my side, and just watchedÂ her breathe.
So thats how I came to deliver my own baby girl in my bathtub. My phoneÂ call to the midwife was atÂ 12:14 am, September third. I hung up atÂ 12:34 and baby
was born — best guess between12:40 andÂ 12:47-ish. One hour late to make her