Emmanuel’s birth as told by Julian, his daddy
We had done three of Amanda’s classes together. Stories and ideas shared of Co-Birthing in the classes as well as practicing the breathing and positions had brought us close. I felt ready and excited to for birth of our baby, feeling I was within the whole process. Rebecca had done a lot of meditations and relaxation work to prepare herself for a pain free and even ecstatic birth and this also enabled me to look forward to labour without apprehension.
We intended to have a home birth, in a birthing pool as per our previous child. About 8.00 p.m. on Monday 30th August Rebecca had begun to wonder whether something was beginning to happen. It seemed like it was early stages though. Soon after that Rebecca’s then 8 year old daughter discovered that she had worms.
She had not experienced this before and was quite freaked out by it . . which took Rebecca’s energy and focus for quite a while. Once E was asleep, maybe 10.00 p.m., Rebecca was in quite a quandary – bringing a baby into a house of worms was troubling her greatly and she now felt she was certainly in early stages of labour. But the children were both asleep and the upheaval of waking them and all heading off to Crowborough felt extreme.
Rebecca spoke to the midwife who reassured her that she was in very early stages. So we decided to go to sleep. Then at about 4.30 a.m. Rebecca woke me and said she felt something was happening. We called the midwife a Crowborough and she again said that Rebecca was still quite way off and advised us to stay at home and call her again later once Rebecca was more dilated.
The birth pool had been blown up that day before and the play room had been transformed into a lovely space for giving birth, spotlessly clean and aired, with candles and crystals as well us the necessary plastic sheeting precautions around the pool. But at this point, having heard the midwife, I thought it was probably a bit early to start filling it with warm water.
So we went to the living room and very soon after that Rebecca suddenly got up and told me she thought that her waters were breaking….! We quickly went to the downstairs toilet and indeed it was very apparent that Rebecca was quite right. I called Crowborough again and updated them and then Rebecca is saying, still in the toilet, standing over the bowl… ‘Jules the baby is COMING’. Some part of me could not quite take that in – 5 minutes ago we were happily in early stage labour as far as I had been aware – so I think for a moment I though ‘ok., we’re definitely moving on now’…and the next thing I knew I was throwing the phone into the sink mid conversation with Crowborough and Rebecca was standing up with her hand between her legs saying ‘I can feel his head’ and ‘Jules this baby is coming RIGHT NOW!…
…and he did! With four hands catching him, Emmanuel was born. A tiny, slimy and wriggling baby. AMAZING….AMAZING! There he was, so quick! Rebecca had with woman’s intuition realised the cord was wrapped around his neck, and she hooked her little finger under it and released him.
Rebecca sat back down on the toilet…with our baby in her arms, wrapped in a towel. I picked the phone out of the sink, the midwife was still on the line, I told her Emmanuel had come and she said she had heard it all! She told me to wrap him and Rebecca up and get them onto the sofa and that she had to call 999 because there had been no midwife present.
Very soon after that Emmanuel’s big sister, 8 years old, appeared at the door to see her new brother.
We took Emmanuel to the living room and soon his big brother woke up and came down to welcome him to the world. We enjoyed our first 20 minutes free of medical input. Then the ambulance arrived with 2 medics and soon after that the midwife arrived.
We waited until Emmanuel’s cord had stopped throbbing, which felt very right, and then Rebecca cut the cord.
It was a beautiful experience and certainly one I will never forget.