Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day 73: She Came with the Couch

So, the Wee One is almost five months old. I've been reflecting on that this week a lot because one of my sister-in-laws and a really good friend both gave birth to Bouncing Baby Boys on Thursday. This brings up happy remembrances of labor and deliveries past, and a slight smug gladness that I'm not the one about to be grabbed by the ears and spun about by life with a newborn until I'm chucked on to a couch with no energy left for joy. But I digress. Because I have a great birth story, and I want to tell it as I've been reflecting on it.

My youngest daughter, you see, was born on the couch in our living room. And this experience has taught me a few things:
1. When people find out you had a baby on the couch they always ask "Did you plan it?" with a slight tilt of their eyebrow. My response is always "Oh, heavens no!" and then they laugh and we can get on with the joke. Sometimes I wonder what their response would be if I said "Yup! Only way to go!" I have a hunch they'd then shift me to "Flower Child Tree Hugger" status in their minds.
2. Always, always the next question is "Do you still have the couch?" I find this to be a bit puzzling because I wonder, honestly, if other people have some sort of disposable couch, that I don't know about? Should I have chucked it to the curb with the garbage that Thursday? Should I have received a new one, in lieu of the free diaper bag provided at the hospital? (Really, with the refund that should've been coming from my OB, I could've bought a new couch.) So, to answer this question: Yes, we still have the couch.
3. When people ask if we still have the couch, they are implying that said birth on said couch must've been a horribly nasty, bloody affair. Some even ask if there was blood everywhere. Some of the people who ask this have had more children than I have. That's why I have to scratch my head a bit. So, to answer this one: No, my whole living room didn't look like a CSI crime scene. (We did throw away a few towels.)
4. People always want to know if you freaked out, or if your husband freaked out. Honestly? I think he was too busy trying to yell into the speaker phone with the lovely 911 people, get his shoelace off his shoes, pray to all that was holy that our other kids wouldn't wake up, and catch a child to freak out. As for me? I think I was already wondering about that OB refund.
5. Best advice from 911 dispatch: "Don't drop it! It's going to be slippery!"
6. Worst advice from Labor and Delivery triage nurse Wayne: "It's probably gas cramps. Call me back when your water breaks." (Oh--time from water breakage to delivery? 8 minutes.)
7. Apparently, according to 911, when you're about to have a baby you need a shoelace and a safety pin. The shoelace is to tie off the cord. We had no safety pin, so I never got to find out what it was for. I'm still curious.
7. Here's something I'd never known before: those labor and delivery nurses are hoping for a chance to deliver a baby on their own. They were all so bummed that I'd already had her when I got there, because they'd gotten a heads-up from my lovely friend Wayne that things were going along mighty quick. They hoped they'd get to catch her, before the doctor had a chance. Sorry, nurses. Maybe next time.
8. In my mind, that tiny newborn will always be named Bonnie. Because even though we ended up going with a different name, for just a couple hours, she was named Bonnie and everyone thought it was darling.
9. Okay, last one. It's this: home birth isn't just for Flower Child Tree Huggers. I grew up knowing that "Home delivery is for pizza." (A direct quote of my parents.) I have heard many lectures on The Things That Can Go Wrong. I would never have intentionally planned a home birth. But, you know what? I loved it. I loved welcoming my daughter into my husband's and my waiting arms. I loved that she was born into a quiet, dark room with no one rushing in and out. I loved the she was mine, all mine, and no one rushed to take her away for weights or measures or eye drops. I am not, at all, knocking hospital births. I am grateful for good obstetricians who are good at what they do. But would I do it again? Absolutely.

I'm still waiting on that refund.


RaT Babies said...


Erin said...

becca, i love this post! the title is hilarious. your voice is just so funny and great here.
and i did not know that you originally named her Bonnie.

Baby Keeper said...

Great story .. and I like your blog name. You ARE a writer.

Soooo, what's with the shoe lace? Wouldn't that be one of the most dirty things to use? And, with the research showing that the medical field has been prematurely clamping and cutting cords, the best thing about a homebirth, accidental or planned, is that the baby gets her full blood volume and stays in the arms of the mother, gazing into eyes.

"The Other Side of the Glass: Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers"

InkMom said...

So, you didn't give nearly enough details in this story! Why, exactly, was your daughter born in the couch when you obviously intended to have her in a hospital?

More, more!

Eve said...

crying - again - I love your birth story!

Denise said...

What can I say? You should get the refund, she should be named Bonnie, the Spouse should get a medal, and you should get an armful of fresh, lovely flowers- white shasta daisies, pink gerbera daises, and lavender iris with lots of fresh greenery. Congratulations to you all-what a life for the little author that could (and does) to the delight of us all. Denise

Embers said...

I actually was bored once and all I had to do was read a book on different kidns of delivery and places to have baby. I think having a home birth would be preferable imo. In fact the tub-birth seems pretty interesting to me.

Sounds like an interesting experience though, wonder what that safety pen was for...