Over at The Daily Beast newsman Jim Sciutto tells the story of his wife Gloria’s accidental home birth and it’s pretty amazing. She expected a longer ramp up to actual pushing part; something more like her first labor. But this time her contractions went from ten minutes apart to incredibly close before she knew what was going on:
“‘Strip the sheets! I’m not having this baby on our white wedding linen!’ Of course I stripped the sheets, while simultaneously dialing 999, the British equivalent of 911. We assured each other we could do this on our own, but we both knew we’d love to have help.”
I love that she thought of the sheets!! Who says women in labor are not aware of what’s going on?
Gloria had given birth vaginally without medication before, so in many ways she knew what to expect. But it can be really overwhelming when it all happens so fast and you have no one with you. Unassisted birth is not something I advocate, but thankfully this story has a very happy (and fast) ending. Paramedics showed up just in the nick of time and then afterwards told Gloria she needn’t come to the hospital. They were all just healthy as can be.
My second labor happened fast as well. I thought I had just begun, when my midwife informed me that I was “already pushing.” Moments later Sylvia was in my arms. I’m not saying it was easy. That hour and forty five minutes was one hell of a ride.
I am always harping on about staying home in early labor but for subsequent labors, keep a close eye on early labor, it can move a lot faster than in first births. Or it can last just as long but go by unnoticed. I’d probably been in early labor for days before my rapid-fire birth; I’d had warm-up contractions sporadically and lots of pressure and mild cramping.
In any event, this story is pretty amazing to read and has a wonderful theme throughout:
“After our first son was born, I told my wife that childbirth should erase any man’s doubt about which is the stronger sex. This experience, well, has me bowing down to her and all mothers—plus the dispatcher and medics from the London Ambulance Service for their impeccable timing.”
Read the whole thing here.