Labor Day Submission: I Delivered My Own Baby In A Bathtub
Waking up September 2nd, 2013 I was a bloated, emotional wreck who was seething with the usual “get this baby OUT!!’ mojo of anyone who has made it to their due date. For three weeks my contractions would start, become regular, then vanish. At my near daily checks I never got past the three centimeter dilation. I’d pretty much resigned myself to the fact that this baby was 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 of pain. Finally, a real freaking contraction — the kind that take your breath away and make you walk like you’ve been shot in the ass. I called my midwife, who after three weeks of me crying wolf, was skeptical. She told me to go lay down, have a Tylenol, a glass of wine, and to chill out because 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 get the idea that it was indeed game time. She agreed to come to my house to do an assessment, just to see if I was ready to transfer to the birthing center. In the mean time the contractions were intensifying so I hopped in the shower to help with the pain. And then- shit got real.
Helpful note: Important distinction for water births — sitting in a bathtub 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 the contractions started coming fast and furious. My water broke — popped like a balloon, one more contraction and I reached down and remarked that I could feel the babies head. It was such a surreal experience. No one else existed; just me, the flow of the water, and this baby who was coming. 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 the midwife. I remember standing there and thinking I had to catch her. Damn me if I dropped the baby as soon as she was born.
One last push and my one hand cradled her head while the other slipped under her back. I held her before I saw her for the first time. I brought her up so we were face to face. Oh yeah, 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! Hello baby! Just breathe, please breathe, thats all you gotta do…” and she did. Every breath pinked her up, oxygen like a sunrise warming her little body. I crouched over her, my husband by my side, and just watched her breathe.
So thats how I came to deliver my own baby girl in my bathtub. My phone call to the midwife was at 12:14 am, September third. I hung up at 12:34 and baby
was born — best guess between12:40 and 12:47-ish. One hour late to make her