When Jessica Farley found out she was pregnant with her third baby, she knew she wanted a home birth. What she did not expect was to have some kind of unexpected “free birth”, giving birth to her son in the shower with her midwife at the top.
But rather than panic when it began to crown with just her and her partner Tom at home, Jess, from Queensland, embraced the moment, saying it was an amazing moment to have just the two of them present for the birth of their son.
Having read extensively and listened to podcasts about childbirth, particularly with third parties, during her pregnancy, Jess was expecting a long labor. And after spending six days with the first one, she figured she would ‘ol’ happen. So when she started having contractions at 39.5 weeks, she dismissed them as Braxton Hicks. “I heard that third party ƄeƄés are really different. People told me that the third was a wild card. I had read stories of women who had three days of labor. So I let my contractions continue, but I’m clearly in labor!”
Having first felt pangs around midnight, she was excited that it was getting closer, but when she discovered that they had no consistency, she went to sleep. Especially with her first two, the contractions had been “so strong and fast” that she was in no doubt that she was in labor. When she could ‘ol’ fall asleep easily, she thought it couldn’t be a real labor. After waking up at 5 am, she kept her discomfort to herself so as not to raise Tom’s hopes prematurely.
While he takes the older son to a skating lesson, Jess rested before heading to a midwife’s appointment in the afternoon. “We went to the midwife, who was an hour away, and I looked at the clock and she had had three contractions in an hour, so she wasn’t conscious. They felt like painful menstrual contractions.”
They got home and, feeling a little under the weather, Jess didn’t feel like doing the bedtime routine, so they called Tom’s mom to help them out. “They started to get a little closer and more painful. He was starting to close his eyes, but he wasn’t fighting. And I stubbed my toe and I thought it was the worst pain in the world, so in order not to hurt, I thought I should be on the first day of a three-day labor.”
Alone in her room, around 4:45 p.m. m., Jess said her body relaxed instantly. She tried using a TENS machine but she “couldn’t take it”. At this point, her contractions had accelerated rapidly from 10 to 5 minutes apart. At 5 pm, she learned that she was in labor, but she thought that she had a long way to go. She asked Tom to set up the baby pool and asked her parents to bring the children, whom she had planned to keep present, to her house until she was older.
When the midwife was called again at 5:20 p.m. m., Jess shared that she felt the need to “push” and that her contractions were very intense, and the midwife told her to moan through them. Jess, at that moment, was in the shower trying to take a deep breath. Her husband called the midwife and put her on hold. In a matter of minutes, her son was born. “I was thrilled because the labor was so quick and easy,” she said, adding that her midwife walked them through the entire labor and arrived within minutes of the baby being born. The photographer too!
Fortunately, everything went well, and both the mom and the ƄeƄé are Ƅien!