Born at 19:42 weighing 3600g and measuring 52cm.
Carol broke water just after 7am, we decided not to take Sarah to school and I am glad we didn’t. Carol finished preparations and had a good long shower. I did a few pre-birth things and took care of Sarah. Everyone knew it would be a hard, long day and that this was a time to eat a good breakfast and take things as easy as possible.
The first midwife showed up around 11:30, shortly after the birth photographer showed up and by noon the second midwife showed up.
The pool was filled and for the next few hours Carol laboured in the water. But by 4pm it was clear that not much progress was being made. Carol, the midwife, gave a stern talk. ‘There is a lack of progress, and that is a reason to move to the hospital’, Carol, my wife, was devastated to hear this.
But there was a second part: ‘The baby is in a good position and there is plenty of room for the baby to come out, we just need to push more effectively’. So Carol was forbidden from the pool and exiled to walk and try using the toilet and the sofa.
Quickly the mood changed.
I saw the midwives getting excited in a way they weren’t previously.
Sarah was restless and while the photographer was doing a good job of keeping Sarah distracted (she had been asking since 12pm why it was taking so long), that wasn’t his job. She hadn’t eaten a meal since breakfast or left the house yet that day.
I called a friend who got Sarah’s music teacher to come by with her boys and take Sarah for a walk to the park. It was good to get her out of the house for a while.
Carol was clearly in pain, but at 6pm the midwives started placing bets as to the minute in which the baby would be born (they were both wrong), this inspired optimism for me. Though Carol says she was dreaming of a c-section at this point.
Sarah got back from the park just in time to see her brother be born!
I was handed Jacobo while the midwives were giving Carol some stitches. Carol lost a lot of blood and spent the night on the same sofa she gave birth on. She fainted when she tried to sit up an hour after birth.
We never ate a meal that day, we all slept by the fire in the living room. Slept is a loose term, I got up when I had business, when Sarah needed attention, when Carol needed help, and when Jacobo needed help. Sarah cried until literally the last second before she was snoring that she didn’t want to sleep.
All told, the home birth experience, attended by professionals, was as good as I could have hoped for. An advantage to the hospital is that the postpartum cleanup is someone else’s job.