What NOT To Do If You Are In Labour: Part Two

Ah, the bathtub. Now we’re really getting the party (and delivery) started.

4:00 am:

At our midwife’s suggestion, I settled in for a nice bath. That is, if your definition of nice means being interrupted every few minutes with intense full body cramps. Since Scott was ruining the spa like ambience, he headed downstairs to…wash dishes. The things it takes to get him to do chores around here.

I must have been making some noises swearing loudly because Scott came back into the bathroom to time my contractions. At this point we realized that said contractions were about 2 minutes apart and getting closer. Scott suggested that we head to the hospital a little earlier than planned. I conceded that this was a great idea except for one little problem…

5:00 am:

…it’s really hard to stand up, dress and hop into a car when a baby’s head is poking out of you.

See, while Scott was prepping for our departure, I decided to check out the situation if you will. Thats when I encountered a handful of hair. I know us Portuguese can be pretty hairy creatures (I just speak the truth), but I’d like to think that I know my way around a razor, baby bump or not.

After a quick examination by Scott, it was clear that Isla was on her way out. While I was picturing a sweaty, moustachioed, European man yelling “no hospital for you,” Scott was being productive by first calling (and in the process, waking up) our midwife on his cell phone, followed by 911 on our landline. Nothing says fun like delivering your first baby in a draining tub while struggling to follow instructions provided via speakerphone from two different people. Try it sometime.

Long story short, within minutes Scott had drained the tub, caught Isla, cleaned out her mouth, placed her on me, and covered us both in towels. Just call him the second (there is a first, I checked) male midwife in all of Ontario. Oh, and me? I had successfully delivered a baby on my own. NO BIG DEAL.

"Wait...in OUR bathtub?"

5:30 am:

Prior to Isla (so pre 5:25 am on November 26th, 2012), I had this thing called modesty. Apparently, that left when two ambulances full of male paramedics walked in on me wearing only a poorly placed towel and a newborn. If this departure was unclear, the fact that I had an umbilical cord just hanging out there probably cemented that.

(Side note about the umbilical cord: it doesn’t work well with pants. As in, when the paramedic asks you to grab clothes for your wife wear to the hospital, sweatpants are not a good option. Also avoid the expensive white tunic your wife loves and the dirty college bar T-shirt. Just go straight to the zip up hoodie.)

Thankfully our paramedics were both competent and great at avoiding direct eye contact with…anything but my eyes. And it turns out they were Dexter fans (we were all bummed to have missed that night’s episode), so they appreciated the close resemblance between our post birth bathroom and Dexter’s kill room.

Anyhow, that’s pretty much the gist of it. There was of course the ambulance ride where we all established the fact that no one knew how to breastfeed (not surprising since I was the only one with boobs and I had no idea), all the post-birth fun with my midwife (the placenta is a beautiful thing), and our overnight hospital stay (periodically interrupted by nurses who wanted to see the lady who gave birth in her bathtub). You know, the usual.