V ~ Born 3:42 am, April 16th, 2011
This was the first home birth I attended with Dr. Stuart Fischbein, the only local OBGYN that I know of who delivers babies at home. Juli Anderson was the midwife, and it was a great pleasure to work with them both.
This was the couple’s 3rd birth. Their first, a girl, was a water birth at a birthing center. The second, a boy, was planned to be the same, but they didn’t quite make it on time and he ended up being a rush-hour-on-the-405-freeway-carpool-lane birth. So for the third one, a surprise, they decided on a home birth.
Knowing that she tends to birth fast, the mom was a bit concerned that I won’t make it on time, especially since I live 24 miles away, and LA rush hour can turn that into 1.5-2 hours of driving. So when we met for the first time, I expressed how important our communication would be as we get closer to the due date. I also provided them with a list I created of “When To Call Jodie.” I told them that I’d rather be there way early and crash on their sofa if necessary, than miss their birth. Besides, I have friends in their area that I could hang out with and be just a 10min call away. They loved the idea, and that’s indeed what happened. As soon as Mom felt the slightest sensations and we knew it could happen that night, I drove over. It was on a Thursday night, sometime after 9:30 pm. I arrived, the house was quiet, the kids were sleeping, and soon after, so was I.
The next morning, we all enjoyed breakfast together, and I spent most of the day working on my new website. In the evening I visited friends who lived in the area and at about 9 pm, I got a text from the dad saying that the sensations were getting a bit more intense, so I headed back. I started filming just as they were calling Dr. F with an update. The surges were about 8 min apart. Mom reminded Dr. F, that she did not want to be pressured into breaking the water. “She can design her own birth,” he told her husband over the speakerphone, “we’ll be there in about an hour.” I just love that approach!
Mom was laboring in bed, and not much was happening. The surges were still about 8min apart.
Indeed within the hour, Dr. F and Juli were there, and so was the babysitter who was a great set of extra hands and helped in any way she could.
Dr. F and I thought that perhaps if they took a nice night walk in the neighborhood I could join to film them, and the birthing will shift and pick up some pace.
It was a beautiful, almost full moon night, and besides some very expressive birds in the area, the neighborhood was silent. Mom, Dad, and the little dog walked swiftly and stopped on occasion for a surge.
She paced up and down stairways, did some lunges on the sidewalk, had a surge here and there, and once in a while stopped for the dog to pee. About an hour later we headed back home.
By now the surges were more like 3 minutes apart! We all decided to lay down for a bit and let the couple have some alone time. I have no idea how long I slept for, maybe an hour, maybe less, when I woke up abruptly to the sound of “SHE’S PUSHING!” Within less than 3 seconds I moved from horizontal to vertical status with camera in hand and ran to the bedroom.
Within two and a half minutes and one push, Baby V was brought out and onto his Mommy’s chest by his Daddy and Dr. F.
Their little dog was on the bed the entire time, often curious, often just chilling by Mommy’s feet, and when the baby was born he came closer to sniff the little one.
Thank G-d I’m a light sleeper and my instincts kicked in fast because even though I was right in their home, I could have missed it. That’s how fast it was! Another boy! Another great surprise!
Soon after V was born, Daddy brought in the two cats, one by one, to smell the new baby as well.
I continued filming ‘till the morning; all the lovely first moments of Baby V’s life outside the womb, and when his little brother and sister awoke, they got to meet him for the first time and I got some more sweet moments to remember for the family.