Marco Rogers, a web developer and self-described “movie buff” from San Francisco, got a little bit more than he bargained for when his wife started having contractions one night at home.
What did he get, you ask? Well a brand-new baby in his hands and a darn good story for his Twitter followers. Because after Rogers unexpectedly ended up delivering the couple’s baby in their home (while his father-in-law looked on nervously), he took to the Twitterverse to share the birth story loud and wide — leaving followers everywhere fascinated.
One of the ways she prepared was to read this hypnobirthing book, which promises to help women “become empowered by developing an awareness of the instinctive birthing capability of their bodies,” “greatly reduces the pain of labor and childbirth,” and “shortens birthing time.”
But that darn hypnobirthing shortened the birthing time maybe just a tad too much. After about nine hours of “very mild to moderately intense” contractions at home, which his wife handled “like a champ,” the couple wasn’t worried about heading to the hospital yet. After all, the medical advice they had received so far said this is totally normal.
“They said first child labor could be up to 24 hours,” he wrote. “We called [the hospital] once and they said ‘you’re doing great. Stay at home’.”
Are you hearing that ominous yet ironic music playing in your head like I am? That’s not the only sound heard, because just when the couple thinks everything is going hunky-dory, a more intense contraction hits and something seems to change.
“I remember because it was the first time a sound involuntarily escaped my wife’s mouth,” Rogers tweeted.
For some reason, the couple decided to use the keyword “banana” when a contraction would start so Rogers could start the timer for them. At this point in the story, I’m a bit confused. Why a keyword? Is banana significant? We may never know.
Anyways, Rogers insists that the contractions were still spaced pretty far apart, about 5 to 6 minutes. At this point, Rogers and his father-in-law are starting to get a little anxious.
The couple apparently call Kaiser, a health organization, for advice. What do they say when they call? Wait until the contractions are closer to 2-3 minutes apart, guys, it will be fine! Also — and this will slay you — look what Kaiser tweeted in reply to Rogers’ birth story:
I would say you may be a tad late on that assistance, guys.
It is as this point I will interject and use my knowledge as a former OB nurse to say that typically, that advice is spot-on. Most of the time you do want to wait until your contractions are closer to 2-3 minutes apart, and most of the time that signals active labor. However, all women are different, and not once in my life if a patient called and asked, “Should I come in?” would I advise them to stay home.
By now, Rogers admits he is a “little worried,” but figures the experts know best and besides, it’s “only been 10-11 hours.” Taking the advice of Kaiser again, the couple decided to wait it out for an hour or two, and Aniyia climbs in the bath for some pain relief. The water seems to help — at first. Then it helps a little too much, because next thing you know, her water’s breaking right there in the tub.
And suddenly, things got real, fast.
“At that exact moment another contraction hit,” Rogers continued. “Category 5. And a sound came out of my wife that scared the shit out of me. Let me tell y’all something. Most of us only know late stage labor from what we see in movies. Some of it is accurate, but not the sound. It’s not a scream, it’s not a brave grunt, it’s not tense teeth gritting. My father in law described it as a wail. Low and heart-wrenching. I never want to hear that sound again from someone I love. Not ever.”
By now, Rogers has realized (smart man), that the health experts were wrong and they don’t have an hour or two to wait. He starts rushing around to take them to the hospital and drags his wife out into the garage as he pulls a dress over her head (OMG this poor woman).
And then Rogers panics. He yells at his wife to stop pushing and says he is having trouble processing that the baby is actually coming. Like a typical man, he relies on his wife to help him through this rather urgent situation. She advises him to call 911 and — get this —retrieve their well-thumbed version of What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
While Rogers is flipping through the “emergency delivery” section, his wife is literally on all fours on their bed with the baby’s head crowning. Finally, Rogers is all business.
After a moment of confusion where Rogers’ wife begs him to actually pull the baby out, little Noemi Rose Rogers slid right into her dad’s waiting hands.
As he’s gazing at the miracle of life in his hands, Rogers realizes that his father-in-law is on the phone with the EMT, who is “talking him through it. They advise him to be careful, because the baby will be very slippery. For the record, that is indeed true. Brand new humans are very slippery,” he quips.
He also notes that What to Expect When You’re Expecting did end up coming in handy after all … when they used it as a table to cut the umbilical cord after the EMT finally arrived.
Rogers and his wife are now both enjoying some time off with their baby. Rogers gets an unusual eight weeks off and his wife, whom he describes as the “birth-giving parent,” gets a full 12 weeks off.
Congrats to the happy new parents, and may any future babies give a little more warning so you can prepare — or start your own hashtag.More On