Hello Snap Moms! I’m sure you may not even read my intro because this story looks so interesting, and boy it sure is! Krystle K and I met this momma a few months back and were blown away by her. Jenni Stahlmann of jenniandjody.com is a radio personality, blogger, homeschool mom, writer and more. Can you say overachiever? Haha, but in all seriousness she is the real deal. Enjoy this most exciting birth story!
The Accidentally Unassisted Birth Story
by Jenni Stahlmann
I think I’ve had every kind of “natural” childbirth there is, but our fifth baby was hands-down the most exciting (and surprising story). Over the course of birthing six babies, I’ve had a hospital birth with an OB/GYN (natural in the sense that I didn’t have an epidural or pain meds), a hospital birth with a midwife (pretty similar to the other hospital birth, except she let me walk around and offered a little counter pressure on my lower back during a few bad contractions), a home birth without water (he was born on our couch), two home births in the water (definitely the BEST way to have a baby), and a birth center experience with a doula (which made me feel like a queen for a day).
On that Saturday morning of our fifth birth, I woke up and knew that would be the day. It was just kind of an intuition – there were no overt signs of labor coming on. I spent the day in supercharged nesting mode; stocked the house with food, did all the laundry, wiped and polished every surface, and washed all the kids. That night I put all the little people to bed, and my husband and I had a Chinese food feast. I’m not sure why, but I love me some Chinese food right before a birth (and a big sub sandwich after a birth go figure).
At about 9:00pm I had a contraction – nothing major, but I knew it was coming. I asked Matthew to fill the tub. I figured we could always drain it if nothing happened. By 9:30pm I’d had a few more. They didn’t hurt, and they weren’t exactly regular, but I just knew something was happening.
I called the midwife. “How far apart are the contractions,” she asked. “Oh, about five minutes.”
We talked for about 15 minutes, and she said, “Well, we’ve been on the phone for a while, and you haven’t had any contractions. I think we should wait.”
“No, I’ve had three.”
“Okay, but you talked to me through them so they couldn’t have been too bad.” Point taken. We decided to wait.
At 10:00 I went to bathroom, and my water broke. So much for waiting.I told my husband to call the midwife, who lived 45 minutes away, and tell her to come. Our 7 year old daughter, who had planned to be at the birth, heard what was happening and slipped out of her bed to join in on the experience. “Ask the midwife if I can get in the tub now,” I called down to my husband. The tub wasn’t as full as I would have wanted, but it was going to have to do.
“She said you can,” he answered, still cradling the cordless phone on his shoulder. Stepping into the big AquaDoula in our dining room, a contraction hit. My husband said it was amazing to watch my belly clench into a football shape. As I slid slowly down into the water, the contraction began to subside. The next one came soon after. Matt was still on the phone with the midwife, when I called out, “I think I have to push!”
“She said she has to push,” he repeated verbatim in a strangely calm voice. “The midwife said to get on all fours and pant through the next contraction but don’t push.” I did as I was told (woof, I felt strangely canine-like), and when it was over I sat back down in the water, feeling panic rise up. I was not prepared to push this baby out in the middle of the dining room with a cordless phone being the closest thing to an expert on hand. “Okay,” said my unusually composed husband (he’s typically the kind to FREAK OUT in emergency situations). “The midwife is at Exit 5 of the Palisades Parkway (which meant she was still 35 minutes away). Are we good?”
“No! On the next contraction I’m going to have to push this baby out.”
“She said on the next contraction she’s going to have to push the baby out,” he repeated into the phone. “The midwife said we’ll be okay.”
“I think we should call 911!” I said.
“She thinks we should call 911,” he repeated. “The midwife said we’ll be fine. She’s going to stay on the phone.”
My 7-year-old was sitting next to the AquaDoula, frozen, not saying a word. As I’d predicted, on the next contraction I had to push. Halfway through that first push, I heard Matt say (his voice elevated, showing some excitement for the first time in the conversation), “I see the head! The head is out! The baby’s out!” He dropped the phone and reached into the water to help grab the baby. He later said that it was an amazing sight. He saw the baby’s head and watched it turn, and in one fell swoop, the baby seemed to just swim out. I held the baby in total panic and shock at what had just happened. My eyes fell on the clock across the room. It was 10:10pm. From the time my water broke until that moment, only 10 minutes had passed.
As I frantically made sure the baby was breathing, our daughter ran into the kitchen to get the towels that had been warming in the oven. She brought them to me, and I wrapped the baby in the warm blankets and sat stunned. “Matt picked up the phone and relayed the details of what had happened.” “Well,” said the midwife, “is it a girl or a boy?”
In all the excitement, we’d forgotten to look! I moved the umbilical cord aside to see that we had a little girl! With three brothers in the house, my 7-year-old was thrilled to finally have a sister. She had been pulling for a girl. “The boy store is closed!” she kept saying through the pregnancy.
The midwife finally arrived to find us both still in the tub. I was determined to not deliver the placenta until she got there. After that, things went like clockwork. The next morning, our boys awoke to a new baby sister. I think that birth spoiled me. I expected baby #6 to deliver himself in my sleep. It didn’t quite work out that way, but that’s a story for another time.
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Jenni Stahlmann is mom of six kids, ages 16 to 1. She co-hosts a weekly radio show for parents on WSRQ radio, freelances and blogs at www.jenniandjody.com.