Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

Remember that post I wrote a few weeks ago asking about what I should put in my doula bag for my sisters upcoming birth? Well, it turns out that I didn't need all the labour aides that I had stocked up on because my sister ended up having her baby on her bathroom floor at home after a fairly quiet and speedy first labour. In the 7+ years as a labour and delivery RN I've never had a first time mama have such a fast labour that ended up with a surprise unattended home birth. Of course, a second or third time mama has had this experience but first time mamas usually take a bit of time to push their babies out and give a bit of warning that things are progressing towards birth. Apparently my sisters new baby girl likes to follow the beat of her own drum because there she was, delivered by her daddy on the floor of their en suite after only a couple of pushes. 911 dispatch coaching the dad to be through delivering his baby daughter.

The day baby Alice was born I was working and had been texting with my sister all morning about some cramping she had been having since 5:30 AM. We did the whole, 'it could be could be false' debate for awhile and made a plan to give it time to see what happened. She even went to work and finished her school year off as a teacher. I was never totally convinced that she heading into true labour but did waffle back and forth and thought that after my 12 hour shift I'd go and see her and at least suss things out. At 2 PM I talked to her on the phone to get more of an idea what was happening and listen to her during a contraction. She was talking through them which told me that things were still early. It was then that I thought that she was going towards labour but it still sounded very early and it was her first baby. The maternity RN in me even said to her, '...and don't worry sis. You won't have the baby on the bathroom floor!'. Little did I know...

I was incredibly shocked when I got a text message photo around 4 PM of my sister laying on the bathroom floor holding a newborn and looking a bit shocked. At first I thought her and her husband were trying to play a joke on me, which would be sort of fitting as they were both drama majors, but then I looked a bit closer and saw a blood pressure cuff on her arm and realized that the baby she was holding was not a doll but a real pink newborn. At that moment I was all, 'OH MY GOD! SHE HAD THE BABY!!' and called a coworker over to view the photo to further validate my conclusion.

The great part of working in maternity is that we live and breathe birth and babies and we love it. The coworkers that viewed the photo got all misty eyed and even did their own, 'are you serious?!'. I was totally distracted at work and even blubbered to my induction patient that my sister had just had a surprise home birth. Luckily, my patient and her husband absolutely loved the story and kept asking me for updates on my sister and wanted to see photos of the baby.

Let's all give a big welcome to the newest baby in my life, my sweet baby niece Alice! She came into this world on her own terms with a very fantastic birth story and of course a big congratulations to my sister and brother in law for having the coolest delivery story!


Congrats on your new niece and what a shock it must have been. Working in LDR myself, nothing surprises me. I wish mine would have been that quick. What a crazy and wonderful experience for your brother in law. Hope he got over the shock ok. Glad everything went well.


July 2, 2013 at 8:33 AM  
Solomama said...

OH MY GOD! WOW!!!! What an amazing birth story! Congrats Aunty!

July 2, 2013 at 11:22 AM  
Anonymous said...

AH! This happened to me in spring of 2012 ... my (quasi-traumatized) husband swears our girl will never hear the end of it :)

July 3, 2013 at 1:18 AM  
mazoola said...

yay!! great birth story!

July 3, 2013 at 9:25 PM  
emily said...

Wow, what an amazing and very surprising birth story! Congratulations Auntie. Thanks for sharing this story with us!

July 5, 2013 at 11:20 PM  
chante said...

:) I love this story. I just had my second daughter a month ago and my midwife didn't think I was in active labour. When she showed up at our hotel room I gave birth squatting on the bathroom floor. Midwife just barely made it in time.

July 7, 2013 at 7:24 AM  
chante said...

My sister was my doula also, she didn't make it either :)

July 7, 2013 at 7:25 AM  

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