William's Birth - Emergency childbirth at home

February 1, 2009
Briar Hill Midwives

At just after 11:00 pm, Saturday, January 31, I asked Chad to put the waterproof pad on the mattress as I had been feeling a little crampy during the evening. Five minutes later, as I was curled up in bed, my water broke. We called the midwife on duty, Maura, and she advised us both to try to get some sleep. By midnight, I was getting fairly strong contractions about 8-10 minutes apart. We called Maura again, and she offered to come down to check me, however, she said I still wasn't technically in active labour until my contractions began to come at 2-3 minute intervals for about 1 hour. Maura arrived at 1 am and took my vitals, filled out some paper work and then checked my cervix at 2 am, which was only dilated to 1 cm. I wasn't entirely surprised that I was only 1 cm dilated, as we still weren't at 2-3 minute intervals with contractions. Maura decided to leave at about 3 am, advising us to call if anything changed, even if she had only been gone 10 minutes.

We all figured I would be labouring for a while. About 10-15 minutes after she left, contractions got extremely intense, coming one after another. Chad called Maura to let her know and she advised me to take some homeopathics to help calm me. Approximately 10 minutes later, I was feeling the urge to push! Chad called Maura again, and she was on her way back to us. We had learnt that, on average, it takes first time moms 1-2 hours to push, so we were surprised when the head began crowning. Chad began frantically paging Maura again, and she told Chad to get me to the bed and that she was minutes away. Chad delivered our baby after two additional pushes at home at 4:04 am, with Maura arriving about six minutes later.

Fortunately, we had covered how to handle emergency birth situations in our prenatal class, and for some unexplained reason Chad reviewed that particular chapter that night. When the baby's head came out, the cord was wrapped around his head, and Chad said he looked slightly blue. We had seen what to do in a birth video, and so Chad did just that. He started crying immediately. Chad and Maura cut the cord after all his vitals had been taken. Little William was born in perfect health on February 1, 2009 at 8 lbs 8 oz and 20 1/4 inches and we are so thankful to have had a safe delivery with no complications.

Maura, the senior midwife on staff with Briarhill Midwives said this is the first birth she has ever missed. She also said that she's never seen a first time mom birth a child in the time frame we did. She estimates that active labour laster 1 hour and 9 minutes, including the pushing stage and delivery of the placenta. She has also advised us for future births that we're probably not good candidates for a hospital birth, or to at least always prepare for a home birth, as we likely wouldn't make it to a hospital on time for subsequent births; ie: they would likely happen even faster! With everything happening so fast, the last 24 hours has felt extremely surreal. We can't believe our son is here with us already! Chad & I are completely in love with our new addition and cannot imagine our lives now without him.

Shanon & Chad

Emergency Accidental home birth story