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The unforgettable birth of our baby boy

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The short version:
Following a very quick labor our baby boy was born in an unplanned home birth with the assistance of firefighters just before 2:00am on January 3, 2010. Everything went well and Mom and baby are doing fine.

The long version:
We had prepared for the birth of our son by taking the Bradley Method classes and hoped for a natural childbirth at a local birth center. I had not had any internal exams, so I don’t know where I was going into this. At my last two midwife appointments, the baby was very low and his head was engaged. I had been having occasional contractions for the past few weeks but nothing consistent or painful.

39 weeks, 4 days
Saturday, January 2nd, 2010
7:00 p.m.
We finally decided (or agreed) that “Teagan Eddie” would be our son’s name. "Eddie" after my late Father-in-law.

8:00-9:00 p.m.
My water broke . . . I think. I called my doula and told her I wasn’t 100% sure. She told me if it had broken I would continue to feel trickles. My husband and I were just about to go for a walk so we continued with our plan, but a few steps up the stairs next to our condo I realized I was definitely leaking so it must be true. We put the walk plans on hold and went back home to make sure we had everything ready. I called my doula and told her it was real. She suggested I go to bed and try to sleep as much as possible during early labor. She said I would either wake up in active labor or wake up the next morning not in labor and at that point we could talk about ways to get it moving. After we finished packing our bags, my husband made me a late-evening snack to prepare for the long night.

9:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.
Instead of immediately going to bed I decided I needed to send a few more work emails, which turned into about 3 hours of work. My husband checked on me every 15 minutes and encouraged me to go to bed, but I was determined to wrap up a few loose ends. During that time I was having contractions but they were not painful, so I wasn’t paying attention to how consistent they were.

12:00-1:00 a.m., Sunday, January 3, 2010
The contractions started to hurt around midnight. I finished up work at 12:30 and moved to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face, still thinking I could get a few hours of sleep. The contractions continued to get more painful until I had to stop what I was doing and pay attention to them. Around 1 a.m. they were bad enough that it was hard for me to move around.

1:00-2:00 a.m.
It was around 1:00 a.m. that I told my husband how bad the contractions were and moved from the bathroom to the bed. At 1:10 a.m. he timed two contractions (the only two we timed) at 2 minutes apart and lasting 45 and 60 seconds long. Each contraction was very painful and I was wondering how anyone does this without pain medication. I had a hard time relaxing and controlling my breathing. Within a few minutes I felt like I needed to be back on the toilet. While there, I could tell things were progressing very fast but I wasn’t really cognizant enough to understand what it meant or what stage I was in.

Everything after that was pretty much a blur for me. It felt like I was at the end of a dark tunnel. I remember my husband saying something about getting me dressed to go to the birth center. That’s about the time I told him I thought the baby was on his way and he needed to get out some towels on the bathroom floor. While still on the toilet my body began pushing. I don’t remember feeling an urge to push, but my body was actually pushing without me telling it to. That’s when I had a lucid moment and thought I better get on the bathroom floor. I remember hearing my husband call 911. The first two fire department paramedics arrived a few minutes later. They were followed by three or four more. We found ourselves in tight quarters in our small bathroom; lying on the floor, I was surrounded by several paramedics, as my husband attentively stood at the threshold to the bathroom. The paramedics gave me oxygen, said the baby was crowning, and told me that I needed to push on the next contraction. It hurt like hell and I didn’t think I could do it but I also knew I had to. I think I had 5 or 6 pushing contractions and the baby was out. The paramedics called the time of birth at 1:57 a.m. (Later, they told us that the call came in at 1:47a.m.)

Teagan’s first Apgar score was an 8. They cut the cord, wrapped up baby and me, put us on a stretcher and hauled us out to an ambulance. They were concerned about keeping baby warm enough so they put him on my chest. They also gave me an IV and baby some oxygen before we took off for the birth center. The second Apgar score was also an 8, but they said he was a 10 after he warmed up more. (They also told me that when he turns 6 years old they will give him a ride in their fire truck.) After we arrived at the birth center, the on-duty OB come in and helped me deliver the placenta because I had stopped contracting. I also needed just a couple stitches. My husband, my mid-wife and doula all arrived soon after. I got to put Teagan on my chest and start breastfeeding right way. They checked his weight and bathed him a couple hours later. He weighed in at 6 lbs 13.5 ounces and measured 18.5 inches long. We were able to get a couple hours of sleep before we called our families.

It was surreal to have things happen so fast. I am told this is called “precipitous birth.” I definitely felt like I was in shock for a few days and almost like I had experienced a traumatic event. Although we laugh now thinking about the time we put into our written birth plan (Plans A, B, and C) and mentally preparing ourselves for a long labor, we’re glad we took natural childbirth classes and felt prepared for anything that might happen. We just had not planned on a rocket delivery that resulted in a natural childbirth on the condo bathroom floor with the assistance of fire department paramedics. We are adjusting to our new life now and are so thankful everyone is healthy. For the rest of his life, Teagan will have a story to tell as to how he entered this world.

Our newborn photo slideshow can be found here
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for adding me as a friend! I've added you back, and I just had to comment and say that my second child, Gideon, was also born at home in our bathroom, almost exactly a year after yours! Our home birth was planned, but the speed and location of the delivery in our house was not. :)
    2272 days ago
    Teagan is beautiful and I enjoyed the dramatic story as it unfolded. They definitely come in their own timing!
    2523 days ago
    I love to hear/read birth stories. Yours was a whopper. Teagan is so cute! Congratulations!
    2524 days ago
    Wow! I'm just reading this story now. A precipitous birth, indeed. I have a little confession: I love firefighters. I'm so glad they were there to help bring baby Teagan into the world and to help you through a very surreal experience. As the saying goes, "the best laid plans..."
    2916 days ago
    Wow! What a story! Reminds me that I am not in control, scary as that is. Glad you and Teagan are both doing fine - he's adorable, by the way!!
    2958 days ago
    Wow, what an amazing story!! I'm happy that you and the baby are doing well! He is adorable!
    2958 days ago
    I love the story! At least you guys were well prepared for "almost" every possibility--and were already prepared for natural childbirth! I love the photographs, they were gorgeous! He is really precious, congrats again.
    2979 days ago
  • JEN1239
    Your baby Teagan Eddie is beautiful!
    2990 days ago
  • LINZY523
    He's beautiful! The video made me cry!!
    2991 days ago
    He is gorgeous! Congrats on your baby! And on handling the situation so well. What an entrance to this world.
    3000 days ago
    How SWEET!!! I loved your story, and I am so glad that everything turned out great for you! Teagan is beautiful!

    Congrats again!
    3001 days ago
    Your birth story is AMAZING! And your little boy is stunning!!! LOVE those photos. My hubby and I prepared for the birth of our daughter by taking Bradley classes and hiring a doula. Ironically we ended up having a planned c-section as she was breech and unable to turn. Now preggo with baby #2 we're going to try to go natural. Your story was positively inspiring...natural, FAST and on the bathroom floor no less-love it! Many congrats on your beautiful baby boy! emoticon
    3003 days ago
    Teagan is SO precious. And you are such a brave, stong woman! He's lucky to have you as his mommy! Thanks for sharing your story; I was seriously so in awe of you as I read it. I wish you all the health and happiness you could imagine!
    3007 days ago
    What beautiful photographs! Looking at them has gotten my ovaries in an uproar and I just can't have that! I have 4 of my own, but seeing a precious bundle like your little son makes me wonder if 5 isn't entirely out of the question! Congratulations and relish the moments in motherhood! emoticon
    3009 days ago
  • NAENAE1213
    WOW!!! That's amazing! Yep, I'm jealous of the lightening fast delivery as well!

    Congrats to you, your hubby and your precious lil' Teagan!!

    OH, btw, that is a PRECIOUS picture!!!!!!
    3010 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/22/2010 9:52:08 AM
    Amazing...I had 2 c-sections so I am envious of the birthing experience. An adorable boy, Congrats!
    3016 days ago
    Awwww, how precious! Your birth story could have been mine 9 years ago. :o) My daughter was born just like that at home, sans 911...
    Conrats on your little darling! Makes me want a new one... like, now. :)
    3016 days ago
    Wow! How amazing your story is! Congratulations on your little boy :) I LOVE your slide show!
    3017 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/15/2010 4:16:45 PM
  • LW8843
    Wow what an amazing story. I wish I had your fast labors mine have been 5 1/2 hours of pushing and 2 1/2 hour of pushing..lol
    3017 days ago
    Congratulations on your new baby! Wow, what a birth story! We had our third daughter Jan. 2nd, she was 6lbs. 13ou. I see that you're on the bfing team now too, so I look forward to seeing you around Spark People... what do you think? Is there going to be a 2010 P-town marathon???
    3017 days ago
    Always knew you had great abs! Bet the work people were really excited at your tying things up :-) You will now go into my file with the student who finished and sent me her homework while she was to be walking the halls (walked right down to the school of pub health grad offices and medical library and did it.) and the grantee who dictated part of her grant to a secretary while in labor. She got the grant (it was quite good) and the student earned her A too.
    3017 days ago
    Holy Cow!!! What an amazing birth story! You handled it so well! Congrats on your beautiful son and I am so glad everyone is happy and healthy. The slideshow made me cry! emoticon emoticon
    3018 days ago
    What an incredible journey into this world. You and your husband handled the situation beautifully. All the best Tara and enjoy this time with your little prince. The slide show is brilliant.
    3018 days ago
    Wow! What a story! Congratulations!
    3018 days ago
    Wow, what a story!

    I love that he decided to be born so soon after his name was ready for him.
    We didn't name my daughter until after her birth. Maybe if we named her beforehand, she'd have come out faster. :)

    You totally have the best birth story I've ever heard, and he is such a handsome little boy! Congrats!!
    3018 days ago
  • SHORTY20
    Wow, how cool is that?

    Glad everyone is okay, and congrats again, he's beautiful!
    3018 days ago
    Beautiful and AMAZING story. Thank you for posting the details!
    3018 days ago

    That is amazing!!!!!! And yeah, you are STRONG!!!!!!

    Wow, what a speedy birth! And that kidlet is always going to get family jokes about his entry into the world.

    I especially like the firefighters offering a ride on the firetruck for his b'day, LOL!!!!!!

    Thank you for sharing - and I hope to meet the little guy in a year or two!
    3018 days ago
    What a crazy birth story! Baby Teagan wanted OUT! I am so happy for you, sweetie. Congrats to you and your DH.
    3018 days ago
  • SINGER73
    You did it!!!! Thanks goodness for the bradley class. At least you knew how to manage the pain without any meds. I did it without meds :-)

    I love the pictures.
    3019 days ago
    congrats guys. what an exciting way to come into the world!!!!
    3019 days ago
    What a priceless story! My word! I am so happy that you and your son are ok and the delivery went well. I guess we will have to add this option in our birth plan...LOL The just in case plan! WOW! What an adventure!

    Wishing you all the best! Looking forward to hearing about your stories of being a Mommy!

    Congratulations again! What a beautiful boy you have been blessed with!

    3019 days ago
    Goodness, hope you didnt' have to pay that doula! HAHA So glad everything worked out and all are healthy, you son is just beautiful!
    3019 days ago
    Hey you!!!

    Congratulations! I'm so very, very happy for both you and your husband. Teagan's gorgeous! Great job mom!
    3019 days ago
    Wow! What an amazing birth story! Huge Congratulations to you! And huge props, because I know there is NO way I could have done it without the epi. You're super strong and that is fantastic. Teagan was the EXACT size as Taylor at birth (weight and height!). Congrats again, Mama!
    3019 days ago
    What a fantastic story! emoticon
    Teagan has one brave momma. Take care of that bundle of love. I know he might not remember it but Ibet you ALWAYS will.
    3019 days ago
  • MERRIH23
    Wow!! Congrats to your family. You did it!!! Good for you.
    3019 days ago
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