Monday, September 9, 2013

Indiana Couple Gives Birth in Their Bathroom -- ON ACCIDENT! (It's a Better News Story When it's Not Planned)

My uncle sent me this video over the weekend of a couple that accidentally had their baby at home just around the corner from their house in an affluent neighborhood in Indianapolis.  My uncle was born at home and his attitude about homebirth is as positive as they come.  He grew up on a farm and saw many animals born and always takes the attitude that birth is a normal physiological event.  I think he secretly wanted to catch my cousin when he was born but went ahead and drove my aunt to the hospital anyway! (She did have him very soon after arriving at the hospital - without any drugs!)  He always sends me interesting articles about birth or breastfeeding. This time is was a YouTube video.  It was a Banned From Baby Showers moment for me -- I was not about to comment on the video, but I have just a few things to say about this broadcast.

1.  First of all, congratulations to the couple.  They obviously were pretty excited about their unexpected experience.  She was obviously embarrassed to have been to the hospital twice before, thinking she was in labor.  She said she wasn't going to go again until "water broke" or she "just couldn't stand the pain anymore".  I think she discovered that she was able to handle it afterall - it never reached that point like she expected.  It was tolerable. Lesson #1.

2.  The nurse gave her a tool to put in her bag - take a shower to relax.  If she had taken a Birth Boot Camp class (even the online class!) her and her husband would have had lots of tools to, not only figure out if labor was "real", but to relax.  

In addition to learning about labor and to relax, the couple would have also have learned about "emergency childbirth", which I actually like to call "unplanned unassisted birth".  Both partners, while not giving birth in their intended birth place, still would have been confident in knowing what to expect and what to do and not do. He would not have just "thrown her a towel" and called 911.  We have a saying that we worry more about babies that don't come than babies than do!  How awesome would it have been for this mom and dad if he had just stayed with her and caught his baby?  (I'm embarrassed to admit how many of my couples have been in this exact situation.  I can say for sure that all of the dads caught, while none were out of the room on the phone with 911!)

3.  She instinctually knew what noises to make.  She admitted that she wasn't screaming, just vocalizing to stay relaxed.  That was awesome!  But then dad, who didn't realize the benefits of the sounds she was making, told her to be quiet, to not wake the 2 1/2-year-old.  They didn't want him "coming into this", like it would have been traumatizing, gross, or disturbing.  Adults think kids will be scarred from witnessing a birth, so we shield them instead of letting them be a part of it.  It's our own hang-ups about birth that prevent some pretty cool things from happening within our own families.  (I've written several posts about siblings attending birth if you are interested in learning more.)

4.  Didn't you love the part where the EMTs said they put on their "cover ups"?  It reminded me of the Cone Heads video clip, "The Birth Spasm Has Begun".

My pool builder, Chris, is also a firefighter/EMT, and we've had many conversations about childbirth.  He said that is the one call they all dread the most.  We've talked about all the misinformation they are given, but yet, it's what they are told to do.  For example, they are taught to clamp the cord immediately with whatever is available, even a shoelace.  According to Chris, they really know very little and are pretty terrified of being called to a birth.  A couple of years ago, one of my moms from class was taken by ambulance to the hospital while pushing.  The EMTs were begging her to not push!

And so, I imagine that these fellows were quite relieved to show up and the baby was already born.  They skipped several details, like when she delivered the placenta, did they cut the cord, etc., but they got the "patients" out the door via an emergency chair (since the stretcher didn't fit!) and off to the hospital!

5.  And then there is my favorite part of the story -- the part where the OB told them that he'd never seen a baby born in "this good of shape born outside of the hospital".  He/she must have some magical powers to make babies be in "good shape" when they are born in the hospital!  My guess is that this OB never sees all the healthy babies that are born at home.  Why would he?  If he does see a baby that was born at home, it's because that baby needs medical attention. Being born in the hospital does not mean that a baby will be in "better shape" than a baby born outside of the hospital. It's not a magical place.

6.  While this couple seemed excited to share their experience, I can just about guarantee that their next baby will be a 37-week induction to prevent this from happening again.

1 comment:

Night said...

Love unplanned unassisted births. And of course the doctor hadn't seen home born babies in good condition, they don't generally go to the hospital.

PS. Could you PLEASE, for the love of my English major soul, use the proper expression BY accident.