It was August 28th, 2010 when my husband and I got what we call our miraculous surprise.
Our daughter, Omololu, wasn’t born in a hospital, although we had every intention of going to one for her birth. Omololu was on the fast track to make her debut and was born in our home after a dizzying 45 minutes of labor. Here’s the story.
It was while I was cooking a huge pot of island red bean soup and curry mince that I began to have mild contractions. They started off at 20 seconds and 90 seconds apart. A few days prior our doctor had told us not to call until the contractions were a full 1 minute long and 5 minutes apart. As these labor pains did not fit that description, I did not pay much attention to them. In fact, everything was so mild at first I thought I was having some pre-labor pains. In my mind the baby was going to come the following day, one day after her due date. But after just 10 minutes of mild contractions, they seemed to get gradually more painful and became 30 seconds and 90 seconds apart. Every time I tried to do something I would double over with a fresh wave of painful contractions. After 30 minutes of intensifying contractions, my husband took charge and said, “Baby, forget the signs. Let’s call the doctor!”
The doctor told him to bring me in to see how far I was dilated, but by then I could not get off my knees due to the intensity of the pain. What happened after that phone call was fast and furious, involving quite a bit of heroism.
Two minutes after the phone call to the doctor, I felt an unbearable, intense pain. I thought that my water was about to break but after a few seconds it began to feel more like a baby’s head was coming down. I remember shouting out to my husband, “I think the baby is coming. Call the doctor back!” My husband replied, “No way, sweetie, you just feel like that because the contractions are so intense. Just breathe.” He didn’t believe it was possible for the baby to come so quickly without more notice. After another bearing-down feeling I shouted, “Baby, I think you better call 911. This baby is coming right now!”
My husband took a quick man-like peek but didn’t see any crowning. He called the doctor back and left a message saying that it was urgent. Meanwhile, I was yelling and screaming so loudly that my husband decided to check my repeated claims that the baby was coming. After a second look he immediately called 911, threw a few clean towels under me, and began speaking to the emergency dispatcher.
“You are going to have to take that call out in the hallway if you want to hear them, because I am about to make some noise,” I said. My husband told the dispatcher that we needed a quick response because it seemed as though I was having a baby right now. Within minutes of that conversation the baby plopped right out onto the towels.
“The baby is here!” my husband shouted to the dispatcher, the world, and to me. He put his phone on speaker, scooped the baby up, dried her off, and began looking for signs of life. I was still kneeling, staring at the baby in disbelief. I didn’t bother to say, “I told you so.”
Meanwhile, a calm and commanding voice the dispatcher spoke from the phone, asking if the baby was crying.
Right then, she opened her eyes and looked right at my husband and I. Then she looked around the room as if to ask, “Where am I?” Shortly afterwards, she took a few gasps of breath. We smiled and welcomed her proudly into the world.
I was impressed at how well my husband kept his head about him and how quickly the emergency team responded. The emergency dispatchers arrived at our home within minutes. They were caring and efficient. They whisked me into an ambulance, with my husband following (like a crazed man) in a car behind, to the hospital where an equally efficient delivery team acted swiftly to help me deliver her placenta. We were relieved to find out the baby was highly responsive and just fine.
Since having Omo, our lives have changed quite dramatically. The local newspaper took up the story and for months afterwards people would stop us saying, “You’re the couple from the paper that had the baby at home!” We still look back on the labor in wonderment. We named our healthy baby girl Omololu Iyanu, which means “my child is my blessing and hero” and “surprise and miraculous.”
Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!