The Birth of Avila Grace - from Rocky's Perspective
It was a long night, Gemma kept waking up, 11pm, 1am, 3am -fine, you win Gem! I decided it would be easier if I just brought my pillow in and slept with her to get a wink of sleep. Sometime before 6am, I hear the door crack open and my beautiful wife’s head is poking in sharing “I’m awake, you can go sleep in our bed” – “aww, thanks hunny” I think as I stumble into the comfortable normal-sized bed. I hear CA moving around and think to myself – something is not right and now I am awake. “How are you doing CA?” she looks at me and says “I'm pretty sure I'm in labor, been having contractions since 2am” – OH… Great! Thanks for the heads up… actually, thanks for the sleep – doesn’t seem like I missed much! Then I see her bend over and breathing really hard. She says “we should head down stairs and begin timing the contractions." Cool, I’ll make a pot of coffee – it’s going to be a LOOOONG day! She called Bettie, one of the midwives, after seeing a lot of blood during her latest trip to the bathroom. She comes downstairs, and has few painful contractions and then together we decide we should call Bettie back! CA tells Bettie the contractions are happening faster – Bettie says, “time a few and call me back.” We time a few as CA runs to the bathroom she is yelling “Start – Stop – Start – Stop” and I can not tell what she is saying as she is starting to moan in pain and groan under her breath. CA comes out and says, CALL BETTIE! I call our lovely midwife who says “Hi, CA, how is it -" “Ya, Hi Bettie, it's Rocky, ummm, Contractions are going 1 min, 30 sec, 1 min, 30 sec” The whole time CA is moaning and being loud! Betty says "that is good and normal, can I talk to her?” I look at CA and say “NO, you should probably come” – She agrees and we hang up…
The next contraction was different – it was LOUD and I could feel the pain and CA yells “CALL LAURA” (the other midwife). Well I am terrified and say “Hi Laura, when are you coming?” she replies “I’m leaving now, be there in 20 minutes” …it is about 6:45am.
Now this whole time, I have had another thing going on in my mind – the time bomb that CA is not caring about and shouldn’t have to – our lovely 2 year old GEMMA. I texted one friend at 6:15 asking if she could be on standby – no response. Then at 6:30 I contacted our neighbor and friend Katelynn, who did not realize what an integral part she would be playing in today’s event! At 6:50 I tell Katelynn to be ready to run over as soon as Gemma wakes up and pondered if I should wake Gemma up, but after every loud contraction I realized I could not leave CA’s side.
7am - CA is loud and starting to cry saying “I don't think I can do this. I cannot handle this if it goes on much longer” and I am thinking – me neither, where are our trusty midwives? CA goes from leaning on the couch down to her hands and knees, primitive style and yells, “WHERE IS LAURA?” and I grab her phone and think “YEAH. What the hell!?” but say “she will be here any minute, I will call her – you’re doing great hun!” Laura says “I will be there in about 20 minutes, there is an accident” and I think “What the heck, seriously, you said 20 min like 20 min ago… you little slacker, you got coffee or something huh!” but told her I would call her back and keep her updated if something happened. CA SCREAMS one more time 7:05am “Rocky, I think the baby's coming” – Oh sh-t! I think or say aloud and grab CA’s phone because I don’t have their numbers and say “Laura – I think the baby is coming – I am going to keep you on speaker phone.” She agrees and says to make sure CA breathes like a horse – What the!? - Whatever man – “Hey baby, can you breathe like a horse?” – her look almost made me laugh as I was thinking the same thing and for the life of me could not tell you what sound a horse makes at this point. I can’t get CA’s phone on speaker and begin frantically trying to type the number into my phone – did I mention there is blood everywhere because stuff is happening down there and I have no doubt we will be having a baby soon. My hands are shaking as I mess up the number like 3 times and finally call her back. “there, you’re on speaker – now what do we do!?”
7:10 - WAAHHH, DADDY? Where are you? – Really!? Now, RIGHT NOW GEMMA!? I grab CA’s phone and call Katelynn and say, "get here now!" as I am running upstairs like a rocket. I sweep her up gently and say “Baby Avila is coming today and you need pants – do you want chocolate milk – Great – anything else – TV – no problem – Katelynn wants to watch with you" – Unlock the door – Katelynn smiles her joyful smile – “Hi Rocky, is CA -?" Ugghh “Here you go, bye” hurl Gemma into Katelynn’s arms, no shoes, no bag, chocolate milk and pants – SLAM!
7:11am - Where were we – “AHHHHHHH” oh yes – “Hi Laura, I'm back .. I see something weird back here… It looks like a foot or something” I think some of these things, but only say the appropriate part (you do NOT say foot to anyone when birth is happening- I knew this because of the amount of time CA spent trying to turn the baby so the head was facing correctly). It is growing- and it is not a foot, my wife’s area I cherish is now growing hair – lots of it and I yell with full knowledge of what this phrase means in pride, joy, fear and nausea “Laura, we’re having a BABY!” She says “You can do it” and as I want to black out and fall to the ground I think – if not me, then who? And snap into SUPER ROCKY – HERO OF THE WORLD and Doctor Rocky, MD of Birthing. “You’re doing great baby, push – Horse lips, horse noise, NAAAYYY – PPPBBBBSSSSHHHH!” Yep, it’s a head (Do not yell push unless you want to see something wild happen). That hairy thing shot out some more and now I see a forehead coming out. “I see the Head! push PUSH!!!” Now I see the nose, “PUSH!!!” There is now a head hanging out of my wife in something not far off from Ace Ventura and the Rhino Scene! The baby is not breathing and I get scared but don't say anything (I never learned about any of this in any special class, but I assume we will be okay, maybe the baby is holding its breath like a fish out of water, right!?) Laura says “Rocky, get the shoulders out” I try to pull but do not want to pull the baby’s head off so I yell “PUSH!!!” Blood shoots out as the shoulders come and I have my hands ready to grab and move. Shoulders pop out and CA lets out the primal “AHHHHHH” and just like the Ace Ventura Rhino/ City Slickers Calf/ every movie ever- The baby shoots out and into my arms and I say “It’s a BABY!!! We have a BABY” I am in absolute shock and think – “Oh crap, now what!?” as I look around and see blood everywhere (on pads, not the carpet…mostly) Looks like the scene after a 300 battle. I start to smile as I hold our new baby and want to do the Lion King Presentation- “I need to hold her!!!” Oh ya, my wife. I go to hand Avila to CA and the baby is stuck to a cord – Doing! -kind of funny as CA stands and tries to jump rope over the umbilical chord to hold our new child (and succeeds)… Mission accomplished, CA's laying on the floor with her joy and I go to sit back and think – what do doctors do at a time like this? – they check the time – I run in to look at the clock on the stove – 7:18am – Awesome. I check my pajamas to see the damage on my white shirt and shorts – NOT A DROP! Laura walks in at 7:25 and smiles, congratulates us and says “Rocky did you change?” – Nope –The miracle of birth – I’m still wearing the same clothes as I write this story – actually – had to change my shirt because I wiped my iphone screen to clean off all the blood that got on it. Mission Accomplished – Rocky Rhoades - Hero of the World – Call me if you need any pointers!
All joking aside, this was one of the greatest experiences of my life. It challenged me which always makes a man come out stronger and proud. I could not believe that by 11am all 4 of us (Gem, Avi, CA and myself) were snuggled up at our own home, healthy, happy and not in a hospital bed waiting for CA to go pee or Avi to go poo before someone would "let" us leave. I can not imagine anything else but a home birth for any future babies and can not wait to use the exact midwives. I know home births sometimes get a bad rap and people worry that it could be dangerous, but if you heard my side of Gemma's birth you would understand exactly why I am so thankful for this. The greatest part of the home birth was that it let me be involved in the experience instead of sitting to the side as a spectator (not that I knew I was going to be THAT involved!). I would never say yes to anything that would put my family in danger and never once did I feel danger near us. I felt God with us. Looking back, this was the most natural thing ever, women have been birthing since forever. It was amazing and incredible and I am beyond proud of my wife. We are so blessed and I just can't stop thanking God. Life is good.