Here is the story of how I ended up delivering my own baby on my bedroom floor.
It was Saturday, January 28th. I was three days overdue, which was the longest I had ever been pregnant. I was sooo ready to get that baby out! My sister gave me a castor oil shake recipe that had been given to her by her midwife back when she was 8 days overdue. 2 cups of ice cream, 1/2c castor oil (I couldn't bring myself to use that much and used 1/4c), and a raw egg. You really have to be desperate to drink it bc it was not super tasty!
I drank it at 1pm then per the instructions laid down for one hour, then got up and began to be active. I tidied clutter, swept the floor, cleaned a bedroom, and mopped the floor. I sat down at about 4pm after noticing a few cramps while I was mopping. My 2yo climbed on my lap and promptly fell asleep while I timed the contractions with my app.
I noticed that they were about 2-3 minutes apart and fairly strong, so I let Mark know. Suddenly I had to run for the bathroom because that castor oil was taking effect! I quickly transferred Cambry to the couch and had a diarrhea episode during which I counted 4 or 5 ctx. Came out and began to concentrate through them in my bedroom kneeling by my bed and letting my belly hang down, a labor position I have found comfortable in the past.
I kept timing the ctx and they were still 2 and 3 min apart. Mark asked if he should call his mom, but I hesitated bc my labors usually have several starts/false alarms before becoming the real thing. But these ctx were pretty hard and fast so I said yes, please call her. A few minutes later I was telling him to pack the car! Hurry! I needed someone to push on my lower back during ctx so he was trying to do both pressure and pack the car between ctx but they were now only 30-40s apart and he couldn't do both. I called my 8yo, Hannah, in to push on my back and she did a great job. I was doing my low moaning (hypnobirthing technique. Lower sounds keep your vocal cords relaxed which in turn relax your cervix)and I'm sure Hannah was scared but she did great.
Soon I realized I was in transition (most intense part of active labor, about 7-10cm) because I was nauseous and hot and sweaty. I asked for a bowl and for the fan to be turned on.
“I'm in transition!” I said to Mark.
He said, “We need to leave before my mom gets here. I'll go find a neighbor.” He ran (literally) out to a few different houses and found our neighbor, Alan, to come over and sit with the girls just until mom got there. He is in our ward and was so nice to come help out.
Mark came back in and suddenly I had to go more diarrhea so I asked for help walking to the bathroom. Mark stayed with me in the bathroom and I suddenly felt very weak and faint. He said I was white and was asking me questions like “Should I call the paramedics?” I found that I could not make myself speak. The ctx were so hard and fast that I needed to completely go into my mind to find strength to get through them.
I was also praying a constant prayer - Heavenly Father this is too fast and hard and sudden, please be with me and give me strength. I came to grips with the fact that I was not going to make it to the hospital and that I would be having my baby in my home. It was a deep, surrendering process and I was able to find the courage to go forward with the next part.
I told Mark to yes, call the paramedics. He ran out and asked Alan to call, which he did and began calling in questions through our bedroom door. I needed to get off the toilet but couldn't really move. As I was sitting there, I felt the baby begin to move down past my cervix. I told Mark to help take my pants off. He started to help me walk out of the bathroom but as you may know, it is pretty much impossible to walk with a baby in your birth canal! I yelled for Mark to let me down so he lowered me and I ended up on my hands and knees on my tile floor.
It was around this time that my MIL arrived and took my poor scared kids out front to wait for the fire truck. Cambry had woken up to find our neighbor there and a general feel of tension in the air was was crying hysterically. Hannah did her best to comfort her (Natalie was not home) but grandma arriving helped her. I could hear her from the bathroom but had to resolve to myself that I was not able to help her.
The paramedics arrived and I suddenly saw all their boots around me from my position on my hands and knees in the bathroom. Mark told them I was losing consciousness and I told them I wasn't (because of the period of time on the toilet where I was pale with my eyes closed and couldn't respond to him). They were asking me my name etc but I couldn't respond. I shouted “The baby is coming!” They said, “ok ma'am, we need to get you to the gurney.” I was like, “no.” They didn't understand that the baby was coming now! So they said, “We need to get you to the bed.” I shook my head again. They might as well ask me to climb a mountain. So they settled on moving me three feet forward onto my bedroom carpet, still on my hands and knees. They wanted to have me get on my back but I yelled out that I didn't want to give birth in that position. They didn't argue, thankfully! Once I was there I began to push. Pushing is quiet. They still didn't realize it was so soon.
I reached down and felt the baby's head nearly crowning. I can't remember but I may had said again that the baby was coming. In my previous births this part has been very quick- the last one was less than 2 min of pushing. So really- baby is coming NOW! I pushed again and her head came out. The ring of fire, the part that I was dreading the most, was much less painful in that position. I reached down and held her head. The sac was still over it so it felt slippery and I looked down and saw that it was a whitish color. Still nobody noticed that this had happened.
I took a breath and pushed the rest of her out! I reached down and lowered her to the floor with both hands as I sat back on my feet. She had the sac still over her head and upper torso and it looked so weird! Mark was behind me and happened to look down right as she came out and said, “Baby's out!”
The paramedics all turned their attention to me and the baby with many surprised exclamations - someone began toweling her off and put a hat on her. She didn't cry but was breathing fine and was a good pink color. She squeaked a few times. They gave her Apgar scores of 10 and 10.
Someone called out that they needed to cut the cord. I said no- I wanted to delay the cord clamping. They were not expecting that so I explained that if it is delayed, all the last blood gets from the placenta into the baby. They said ok. Once baby was dry, they gave her to me wrapped in the towel with an oxygen mask near her face. I held her and they helped me onto the gurney and wheeled me out. I was glad my floor was freshly cleaned because there were no toys on it to get in our way! Haha.
I was wheeled out the front door where I saw my MIL and kids (and a few neighbors, ha). I waved and smiled because my poor kids were crying. The firemen called them over to look at the baby for a minute and I said goodbye and they drove us off.
During the ride someone cut the cord and they told me I could deliver the placenta but I ended up breathing through those pushing urges so I could deliver it at the hospital.
We got to a room, I pushed out the placenta, and my midwife came in. She was happy to see me and congratulated me on delivering my baby. I got checked out and she informed me that I hadn't torn and that my bleeding was very minimal. All good news!
People have asked me if it crossed my mind to just stay at home instead of going to the hospital. Yes, it did because I don't love the post baby hospital stay. However, we were unprepared for a home birth and since I have hemmorhaged in the past, I wanted to be in good hands in case anything like that happened again.
All in all it was an amazing experience. I had had a lot of fear leading up to the birth that I hadn't quite gotten over. My previous labors have been so long (my 4th was 30 hours!) that I was really dreading the stamina and energy required to go through it. This short labor- 1 1/2 hours total- was so awesome in comparison. I had energy left over afterwards and I felt great. My recovery has been amazing. I feel almost normal a week later. I would totally do it again!