Quick Recap of the first two parts of this story….
-We (and by we I really mean Colleen) were planning on having a natural (see: drug-free) home-birth in water
- Colleen was in labour
-There were 2 midwives (1 more to come) and a doula present
- I had just been tasked with filling the birthing pool in our living room as we were reaching “push-for-real-cause-this-human-is-coming-out-whether-you-like-it-or-not” time
- All people’s names outside of my wife and I have had their names changed to characters from Sex and The City. I am sure they would not have wanted it any other way
As the clock approached midnight, things were only starting to get more intense. Colleen was rotating her time between the couch in the living room and sitting on the toilet trying to be as comfortable as possible during her contractions. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that these also happen to my two favourite places in the house. The midwives and doula were coaching (is that the right word?) Colleen through her screams which rotated between sounding like an exorcism was taking place and some weird tribal chanting. By this point, Colleen was a sweaty mess, but powering through it like the boss she is. I’d be lying if between the screams and moans there wasn’t the occasional comment of “I can’t do this anymore!”, “I need drugs!” or “how much longer!?”, but I must say the ladies on-hand did a great job of diffusing the situation and never answering any of her questions!
While all this was going on, I had been tasked with filling the birthing pool, which as previously mentioned was basically like a large-scale kiddy pool with “oh-shit” handles that we had inflated in our living room. Since we live in a newer build house,
many all of
our taps in the house do not have regular attachments. Because of this, I had
to buy an adapter for the hose to hook on to our kitchen tap when we were
filling the pool. When I had originally
purchased it a couple of weeks earlier, I had quickly made sure that it fit
over our tap so that there would be no problems when it was go time. I never
actually turned the water on, but everything seemed pretty simple: or so I thought.
Once I got the hose hooked up and the water running, it became quite clear that something was not right with the water pressure. The tub was filling… but it was filling at a really slow rate. When you consider that there was a woman about to give birth who really wanted that fuckin’ tub filled, it looked like molasses coming out of the hose! Somewhere in the first 30 minutes or so of trying to get the tub filled I believe Colleen’s water broke. Thankfully it happened over the toilet, so I was spared having to rent a carpet cleaner the following day. It was around this time that our student midwife, Charlotte, walked into the kitchen and figured out why the tub was filling at such a slow rate: we had a flood on our hands! We quickly came to discover that in the 30 minutes since we had started to fill the tub, only about half the water was going into the tub, while the other half was backing up into our faucet and flooding the area underneath our sink. This eventually spilled out onto the kitchen floor and by the time we knew what the fuck was going on the kitchen floor was flooded, the cabinets underneath the sink had flooded, and water was dripping down through our vents into the basement. Charlotte and I quickly grabbed every towel we could find in the house and attempted to right the ship in the kitchen.
Since Colleen had issues of her own to deal with at this time, we decided it would be best not to tell her that her less than one-year old kitchen was sinking like the Titanic while she was in the worse pain of her life. As if there wasn’t enough shit (pun intended)n happening, Colleen yelled out in frightening agony “I HAVE TO POO!” which meant baby was coming ASAP! After a quick check from our midwife, it was confirmed that it was go time. During all of this panic, our midwife, Samantha, made the executive decision that we were not going to be able to get the tub filled in time given our current status and that we would be moving this show along without the birthing pool. Being told that your wife’s birthing plan of many months was literally in shambles in the exact moment that you are attempting to clean your semi-flooded kitchen was definitely a “FML” moment for me. How in God’s name where we going to tell Colleen this? If I remember correctly we started to skirt around the issue a bit while Colleen kept asking, “is the tub ready"? Eventually we caved and told her that we couldn’t get the tub filled up in time and that she was not going to have the water birth she had been dreaming of. It was at this time that Colleen looked at me with an almost “defeated-exhausted-you-got-to-be-fucking-kidding-me-look” and I felt like the worst tub-filler in the world! And to think my high school guidance counselor told me I could be whatever I wanted when I grew up.
As Colleen kept going through her contractions and the midwives were prepping for the birth, our doula, Carrie, decided to take Colleen into the master bathroom. At this point we decided we might as well try and fill the bathtub and see if we couldn’t get that filled in time for the birth, although we were really starting to come down to crunch time. While it was significantly smaller and more cramped than our original birthing station we had set-up in the living room, it was worth a shot as Colleen was dead set on having a water birth. With that in mind Carrie started running the water while the two of us comforted Colleen through her contractions. In keeping with the comedy of errors theme, about 30 seconds after she started filling the bathtub Carrie looked over at me (while trying to not let Colleen see) and mouthed the words “there’s no hot water left”. Are you kidding me?! As it turned out we had used all of the hot water to simultaneously flood our kitchen and fill the birthing tub to about 20% capacity. Here was my wife, mere minutes away from pushing a tiny human out of her hoo-hah, and we had no access to drugs, no water, and there were five people standing around in my bathroom trying to figure out what the hell to do! Since we still had a bit of time, we quickly devised a plan to transfer the only hot water available; and that happened to be in the birthing tub. So while, Samantha and Carrie attended to the now near-ready-to-pop Colleen, Charlotte and I gathered up a couple of salad bowls and literally started bailing water one bowl at a time from my living room to the 100 or so feet to our master bathroom. We looked like we belonged in a
Three Two Stooges sketch. During all this commotion, another midwife, Miranda, showed up as two
midwives were required for the birth (Charlotte was a student so she didn’t
count). This meant only one thing: it was show time!
I can honestly say in all of the wildest birthing situations I could have imagined this was not one of them! Miraculously we were able to get all of the water out of the one tub and into the other tub using our deft salad bowl carrying skills and we were back in business! Colleen was going to have a water birth after all!
And with that, Colleen was in the tub in her birthday suit, five of us were egging her on and little baby Moreau was going to be coming into the world Michael Phelps style!