Yesterday, we published Ashley’s version of her third son’s home birth story. Today, we have the father’s version of events. Aaron tells us what’s up with home water birth and how it felt to be filling the pool, comforting his wife, and feeding his kiddos at the same time.
“On the morning of our 41st week, I woke up with Ash standing at my side of the bed; I knew something was up. She said she’d been having contractions for an hour and was going to take a shower. I asked her if this was “it”. She said probably, but that I should go back to sleep for a bit. Ha!
Some time later, she texted me from the bathroom, telling me to call the midwives. I went downstairs and got muffins out of the freezer; after all, one must have priorities in a situation like this. I put the liner into the already-inflated pool and texted Ash asking if I could wait to call until she was out of the bathroom. She said “no”. I called.
A few minutes later she texted “pool”. Ok, let’s do this! I called the midwife again with a bit more urgency in my voice. She wanted to talk to Ash so I went upstairs. Ash was lying in the hall. She talked a bit, and handed the phone back to me. The midwife said, “I’m on my way, but call me back if things intensify” …In my head I heard her say, “Call me back and I’ll walk you through how to catch a baby.” Oh fuck!
Got Ash downstairs onto the couch, and then the internal battle began: Comfort your wife. No! Fill the pool! No, your wife needs comforting! Dude, pool! I went back and forth trying a bit of both. At this point, time stopped having much meaning: Pool was filling, too hot, too cold, Ash went from couch to floor, water broke, called midwife, she was right up the street and then she arrived… Ash is moaning, second midwife arrives, I hear little feet upstairs, I run up and both kids are standing on the stairs wide-eyed, I run them into the bathroom to get them pottied and explain what is happening while trying to control my sense of urgency be their rock, Dad.
I bring them downstairs and want to keep them in the kitchen as it’s pretty intense, so I quickly slam two granola bars, two fruit leathers, and one apple on the table in front of them, “Eat breakfast,” I tell them. “I’ll be right back!” Run downstairs, turn off water to pool, Ash is in the pool, finally kneel next to her after what seems like way too long, labor, moan, doing great, breathe down to your baby, progress, Woah she caught her own baby! Woah there’s our baby! That was so fast! Up on mama, he’s purple, he cries, he pinks! Wow! I hear the gate, kiddos standing at top of stairs, I tell them, “come meet your little brother!”.
Phone call from Doula, almost there (bummer, she had a long drive), smiling brothers, skin-to-skin, happy tired awesome strong mama, calming down, baby boy is here, all is well in our home.”
Riley B., 9lb4oz, 20in, born 10/16/13 at 8:48am; pictured below at nine months!