Saturday, January 27, 2007

Sentimental Bathroom

The night before we officially called our new house at the acreage "home", I had a tearful departure with our main bathroom at the "old" house. Strange, yes. But I have a very good reason for being emotional about leaving the bathroom behind. It holds sentimental value for us because our youngest son, Tyrone, was born in this bathroom. No, this wasn't planned. We didn't anticipate a home birth. Ty was just too impatient to have a normal entrance into the world!
I woke up at 5:14 a.m. on June 5, 2001 with a mild stomach ache. I went to "assess the situation", and concluded that yes, the baby's arrival was imminent. It was my due date, so I wasn't surprised at all that labour may be starting. By 5:19 a.m. another pain was felt, this time more intense, so I woke up my husband and I called my parents to come stay with Thomas and Mitchell. My famous last words to my mom: "Don't panic about getting here. I'll be okay until you arrive." I knew it would take them at least 30 minutes to get to our house, and we had about a 20 minute drive to the hospital. So, theoretically speaking, we should have had just under an hour to get to the hospital and have the baby. Nice theory.
As we awaited the arrival of my parents, my pain became increasingly worse and more frequent. Wayne kept saying, "If we can just get to the hospital before your water breaks, we'll be fine." Well, those were his famous last words, and about 10 minutes before my parents walked in the door, my water broke (it was clear, thank goodness), and at that point I knew I wasn't going anywhere. I could feel the intense pressure of the baby's head and I was barely mobile at this point. When my parents finally arrived at 6:00 a.m., I was in the bathroom attempting to put on a dry pair of pants, with no success whatsoever. Although I had previously concluded that I was never going to make it to the hospital in time to have this baby, I was still in denial, thinking that if I could just get these pants on, we'd make it. My mom walked into the bathroom and I said, "Forget it. I can't do this. We're having the baby here."
Prior to my parent's arrival, I told Wayne to get the What to Expect When You're Expecting book and look up the section on emergency deliveries. He got the book, found the section and read this phrase often: "If you have time . . . " and he'd reply, "We don't have time! What does it say to do next?" Looking back on it, that part of the experience was actually quite funny.
Wayne was already on the phone with 9-1-1 (or, back then for us in a rural setting it was 310-5000) when my parents arrived, and the attendant on the other end of the line attempted to guide him through the delivery process. But there wasn't time for that either. My mom and I got down on the bathroom floor and within 1 or 2 minutes, I had pushed that baby out! There's no way any doctor would have allowed such a quick delivery (more for the sake of my body than the baby's), but I actually didn't even do too much damage to myself. Tyrone cried right away and my mom wrapped him up in a towel and handed him over to me. Wayne was just about to cut off the umbilical cord (as per the instructions of the 9-1-1 attendant), but our town's First Responders squad arrived and took it from there. They were amazing people, and I'll never forget all of their care and concern for myself and Ty as he made such a dramatic entrance into the world.
Ty's Apgar scores were both 10, and we were very grateful for that. Eventually MD Ambulance arrived and then they took over from the First Responders. I had to be hooked up to oxygen and intravenous before leaving our house, but I was able to hold my precious angel the entire time. He looked like a baked potato, wrapped up in a foil blanket to protect him from heat loss.
Wayne met us at the hospital and was present for the weighing and measuring of our 8 lb., 20 3/4 inch baby boy.
Tyrone was born at 6:07 a.m. From the time I first woke up with my mild pain at 5:14 a.m. until he was born was less than one hour! Yes, this was a surreal experience, and even as I write this, almost 6 years after-the-fact, it seems almost unbelievable to me.
The birth of Mitchell was equally as exciting, but in his case we actually made it to the hospital in time for his birth. With him, I started having mild contractions (at the time I didn't know they were contractions . . . they just felt like menstrual cramps - this was my first pregnancy and birth experience--what did I know?!) at around 7:30 p.m. and by the time we arrived at the hospital at 9:16 p.m., things had progressed significantly. I was ready to deliver! He was born at 10:14 p.m. and emerged very quickly as well. However, Mitchell's birth was complicated by the presence of meconium in the amniotic fluid, which can be extremely dangerous to the baby. I'm grateful we were in a hospital for his birth. A neo-natal team was present and ready just in case Mitchell had inhaled any of the meconium, which could have caused serious breathing issues. But he was great. He was a healthy 7 lbs., 4 0z. bundle of joy! He had Apgar scores of 8 and 10, and there was no damage caused by the meconium.
So, no epidurals for me. All natural and pretty intense labours and deliveries. My doctor informs me that if we ever decided to have another baby, she'll book me into the hospital a week in advance and monitor me closely in order to avoid another instance like either of the boys' births. Apparently my body likes to go through the labor and delivery process more quickly than the average woman. Yes, it's great to not have to endure long, arduous labours, but at the same time, I would have at least appreciated a bit of time to mentally prepare. I didn't have time for any of that. And an epidural would have been appreciated too.
But, all is well that ends well. We were blessed with two beautiful, healthy baby boys despite their quick entries into the world. Is there going to be a next time? The jury is still out on that. But probably not.
(Note: My third and oldest son, Thomas, is actually my step-son. I did not have the privilege of bringing him into the world, so I can't report on his birth very well.)


Melissa said...

Wow. You delivered in your bathroom. That is just unbelievable. It's actually one of my pregnancy nightmares come true...being in the bathroom and realizing the head is right there. I couldn't even imagine. Wow.

e-Mom said...

Wow, a little teary here. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful details of your births. And I can understand why you feel reluctant to leave that beautiful bathroom!

Michelle said...

So I have to say, Kimmy, I have gone back to the beginning of your blog this afternoon and started skim reading your posts in reverse (well actually forward) order. I am amazed at how many things we "kind of" have in common...experiences that you went through with your move, trying to fit in, etc. All the way through, I keep thinking of a million things I could comment on, but then I have to remind myself that all of this stuff happened to you 5 years have likely moved least I hope so.

Anyway, then I hit this post and I just had to comment. Now, I haven't ever given birth in my bathroom. I was in the hospital about 2 hours with Lauren and less than an hour with Isaac, but I WAS there while a friend of mine delivered her baby in her bathroom. As the medics arrived, I ran back to my apartment (I was called in the middle of the night to babysit her little guy while they went to the hospital) and grabbed my camera, managing to shoot the first photo of her and her baby. My favourite photo was of a fire fighter holding her baby boy wrapped in "tin foil".