His very literal male response was 'well you either are or you're not?!'
About half an hour later, after doubting whether I was actually going to go in to labour as I was still just feeling Braxton hicks (which I've had consistently throughout both my pregnancies) I started having proper strong contractions and we knew this was definitely it... it was baby time!
We started timing the contractions but, based on the fact my first born took 3 days of pre labour and 20+ hours of active labour to arrive, we were in no rush to go anywhere.
However, within 15minutes I was in the shower hoping the water would help me relax, and within 30minutes I was doubled over in pain and I didn't know what to do anymore... I wanted and needed to go to the hospital. I didn’t care that I had only lasted half an hour when I had really wanted a drug free birth this time around... I had had an epidural with my first and I wanted that bloody epidural again... and I wanted it NOW!
My partner called my midwife (who unfortunately was not on call that night and so spoke to a fill in midwife) who wanted us to stay home until we had had an hour of contractions 5minutes apart... her words were 'regular and consistent'.
The problem was that my contractions were not ‘regular or consisitent’ because they were increasing too bloody fast!
Six minutes (and three contractions later!) we called back saying we were going to get in the car and come to the hospital. I couldn't do it anymore. Give the lady the drugs!!
The thing was... I didn't realise that at this point I was already 10cms dilated and was more than ready to have the baby!
So at 3.30am we called my Mum and Dad, who live 15 minutes away... and no one answered the phone.
Thankfully my Dad called back straight away and we asked him to hurry over and look after our toddler so we could go to the hospital.
More than once we have said how lucky we were that my Mum decided to come with my Dad and they arrived at our house at about 3.50am.
Later that day they would tell me that they could hear my screams from across the street where they parked their car.
My partner then quickly chucked the bags into the car (which he had packed while I was in the shower because I hadn’t quite got around to it yet!). He yelled out saying the car was ready and I got out of the shower, threw a dress on over my head, and managed to walk to the lounge room which was about 10 steps away from our ensuite.
Suddenly I felt something drop.
And an enormous pressure started building.
I could barely keep my legs together.
I grabbed my partners arm screaming 'something is wrong' before I turned and quickly waddled back to our ensuite. I had spent the last hour there... it was my safe place.
My partner chased after me asking 'what's wrong... should I call the ambulance?'
I screamed 'YES' and I grabbed his arm and told him 'you have to look...you have to look... something is wrong!'
I had had an epidural with my first and it had taken an hour to push her out while I was laying on my back so I wasn't sure what the hell was going on. I just knew something wasn't right!
After a quick glance down below I insisted he get down on the floor and have a proper LOOK at what the hell was happening...
His face told me the answer before he screamed...
'THERE'S A HEAD! I CAN SEE A HEAD!'
He then turned and backed out of the ensuite leaving me standing alone in our ensuite which was literally the size of a closet.
I'm talking a 800mm x 1500mm wide ensuite with a shower, toilet and small wash basin all squished in there. Needless to say there was no room to actually comfortably have a baby!
I started screaming for my Mum while my partner was frantically trying to call 000 in our bedroom. He was clearly in a little bit of shock though because he kept giving the wrong details to the operator... like the wrong house number when he was asked for our address!
I was still standing up in our ensuite with no room to move and was also in total shock about what was going on... the pressure was getting worse and there was no stopping this baby!
I braced myself with one hand on the doorframe and one hand on the tiny wash basin on the opposite wall.
Mum finally poked her head in the door to see what I wanted... and thankfully listened to me when I screamed at her...
'CATCH HER MUM!.... YOU HAVE TO CATCH HER!'
And literally, as my Mum bent down on to her knees bracing her arms like a footballer... out flew my 7pound 7ounce daughter straight into her arms!
And then straight out again... as she slipped across the bathroom floor... under my feet... where I then picked her up off the floor. She was so slippery. And we hadn't even had time to grab a towel.
The rest of the 000 call pretty much sounded like "My partner is having a baby. You don't understand my partner is having the baby right now. The baby is here."
Panic set in again when the operator asked if the baby was crying. Which she wasn't.
We were then told how to clear her mouth, rub her back and try to make her cry because she wasn’t making a sound and was very blue. There was just this awful silence and a panicked look on everyone’s face. Somehow my Mum managed to make her cry and she took her first breath. It really was the best sound.
I then sat down with her cradled in my arms and we all just looked at each other and then at the baby, not saying much, just waiting for the ambulance and thinking what a hectic few minutes it had been.
We called my Dad in to have a look at his new granddaughter and he patted me on the shoulder saying 'well done' before disappearing back to the comfort of the kitchen (and as we found out later he was comforting my toddler and trying to convince her to go back to sleep as she had woken up with all the commotion asking 'where's Mummy').
Two paramedics arrived about 8minutes later. After catching up on the details of what had just happened they wanted me to lay on our bed to check me out, but I bluntly refused telling the paramedic that our very expensive 'King Size Sealy Posturepedic Ultra Pillowtop Mattress' was brand new and I'd lost the mattress protector so there was no way I was getting on it and ruining the bed.
Eventually, after lots of towels were placed on the bed I hopped up and was quickly checked out before a second ambulance was called. I had started to haemorrhage and our baby girl wasn’t as responsive as they would have liked.
After my partner cut the cord, I had my blood pressure checked and bub and I were both assessed by the paramedics again. Then the three of us went for a ride in the ambulance to the hospital and by the time we arrived we were all happy healthy and doing more than ok!
It was so surreal being wheeled into the hospital maternity ward with my baby in my arms... rather than arriving to have my baby!!
All the midwives were lined up and congratulated us as we went past to our room. We were quite the talking point around the maternity ward that morning.
Actually we were quite the talking point for the next few days as we shared the news of our daughters arrival with family and friends. There were lots of jokes where we all laughed about how it had all unfolded and we all shared our own version of events with people.
After the excitement settled down it did take me a few months to stop laying awake at night staring at the ensuite and replaying the birth over and over in my head. It was quite a shock that she had arrived so fast and we were so unprepared. I felt a lot of guilt and inadequacy at not realising what was going on.
My poor Mum took a few weeks to recover as well. I think her hands would shake every time she had to tell someone what had happened and I know she felt horrible that her little granddaughter went for a bit of a slide across the bathroom floor. One of the midwives who came to visit me later that week joked that they often put buckets at the bottom of beds when women are giving birth 'just in case they're too slippery'!
I had asked the paramedics and the midwives to tell me about other women who didn't make it to hospital (there are some other great stories out there too) which all made me feel better about it all as well. After all, 4 in every 1000 births are accidental home births. Sometimes babies just surprise you!
We also have a copy of the 000 call and I've only been able to listen to it once. The urgency and worry in my partners voice, mixed in with my screams in the background, is really hard to listen to. I do often wonder what my daughter will think when she hears it one day though... maybe for her 21st!
We have joked that if we ever go for baby number 3 that my partner will just book me a room at the hospital from about 8months... it will certainly save a big clean up at home!
Oh... and on the clean up 'after the accidental home birth' note... Thanks for that too Mum! You're a legend!