birth story part one: an unexpected home delivery

We were actually kind of hopeful on Thursday when we went to bed. We had made it more than 48 hours out of the preterm rupture (apparently most moms go into labor within 24h after rupture, then lots more within 48h), my temperature was still fine, and I didn’t notice any contractions. I had had an episode of uncontrollable shivering in the morning, and I had some weird localized pain in my belly every now and then, so clearly it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, but we had hope. I had read a number of PPROM success stories online, but also scientific papers with statistics on larger numbers of cases, which were much less encouraging*.

On Friday I woke up around 6am, feeling lots of pressure, which wasn’t uncommon at this point. I went to the bathroom, but found that peeing didn’t relieve much of the pressure – this was a bit odd, but I was too tired to think much of it. H woke up, thinking he’d heard me scream. I told him everything was ok, and we went back to bed.
I woke up again after 7, still feeling lots of pressure, and decided to try the bathroom again. But as I sat down I realized, no, this pressure was coming from somewhere else… I got up, grabbed a few sheets of paper as I had no idea what was coming, and called for H. Moments later, I held my precious little C in my hand. I don’t know if I pushed at all, if so, very little. It wasn’t painful, physically.
I sat down on the floor, largely in shock. The I-don’t-feel kind of shock. I talked H through finding a piece of yarn to tie off the cord (for some reason I thought that was important), calling 911, packing the last items for my mostly pre-packed bag.

Looking back, I regret not immediately hugging my baby. In part of course this wasn’t possible, with the cord. In part I was just in too much shock. But she was (is) my firstborn, and I feel bad about not giving her the love she deserved in that moment.

The firefighters arrived very quickly and were very kind and professional. They clamped and cut the cord, gave me extra oxygen but decided I was stable, put me onto a chair-stretcher-thing and took us to our hospital. We spent just enough time in the ER for me to be hoisted from their stretcher onto the ER bed, then L&D communicated that they wanted me up on their floor.

* That’s the drawback of actually looking up the statistics, they aren’t always comforting. We had a friend come over (with a 3-course dinner!) a couple of days ago, and he could commiserate – his father died from cancer earlier this year, and there had been many appointments when the doctors painted a rosier picture than what our friend, having read a number of papers, knew to be more likely.


13 thoughts on “birth story part one: an unexpected home delivery

  1. This is very brave of you to share the birth story of your precious girls. Like Suzanne, I too feel very honoured to be trusted to read this account. It is also important for you. Your girls were born, despite the fact that they did not live. They were born into this world, and their story should be told and remembered.
    Your sweet C knew in each of her cells that her mama loved her. She knew.

  2. The others are absolutely right, you did the best you could in that moment and I know that C would have known that her mother loves her very much. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. This is such a brave and heartbreaking story. I wish it could have been the birth you both deserved, and that you had a whole lifetime to hold her and love her. But as the others have said: Under incredibly devastating circumstances, you brought your little girl into the world and I have no doubt she felt your love.

  4. I can’t even imagine. I am so glad you told your story, and the story of your girls. It honors their memory and their legacy. I know your daughter knew how much she was and IS loved.

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