A Hands-Off Homebirth in Cibolo, TX
My phone rang at 3:07 am on Wednesday, April 18. I knew it was Vanessa even before I opened my eyes to look. The contractions she had been having all day had finally gone from 10 minutes apart to 2-4 minutes apart, and she struggled to tell me what I already knew - it was time for me to leave. I snuck quietly out of the room where my partner and our two youngest babes were peacefully sleeping, hauling my bags to the car and transferring Foxe's carseat over from the van, ready to head to our second birth together in his 5.5 short weeks of life. Vanessa was one of the first people to meet Foxe, when she came to document his arrival, 34 weeks pregnant herself. Now it was my turn to make the trip. I had had a very fast labor with him, and her drive was long enough that she missed the actual birth by just minutes, and I was worried I would suffer the same fate. I ran back inside and scooped up my cozy, sleeping babe, wrapped him in a blanket and carried him out into the cool, early morning air. At 3:37 am, we began our hour long drive.
Vanessa had planned a peaceful, midwife-attended home birth in Cibolo, a small town north of San Antonio where she lives. We arrived at 4:40 am, and with Foxe's sweet sleeping body slung to my chest, we quietly entered the home where I was relieved to find her in the birth pool, still laboring. With Matty lovingly at her side, she worked through her frequent and powerful surges with grace and beauty. Her two older children joined in the room to watch as she worked hard to bring their baby earthside - at the time not knowing if it would be a brother or sister. It wasn't long before Vanessa's breathing turned into the unmistakeable sound of imminent birth, a primal, low grunting sound. Just a few minutes before birth, her son excitedly approached me, saying "You know where the baby comes from?! (whispers) Out of the pajama!" I nearly died, trying desperately to contain my laughter to keep from disrupting the energy in the final moments before labor ended. Her forewater broke and she exclaimed, "the head is right here!" followed by "I can't do this" as her baby came down. Then, of course, she did do it... and quickly! From the moment that the top of the head first became visible to when baby was on her chest, was a short fourteen seconds. Vanessa guided the baby out into the water and Matty caught, the only two sets of hands to touch baby's body in the process. Just like that, it was over. There was a pause as Matty placed the baby on her chest and they embraced for the first time as two separate bodies, and then a quick check revealed - it's a BOY!
Luca Andrew, born with the caul at 5:24 am. 8 lbs, 15 oz and 22.25" long, surrounded by family, enveloped in love. Watching my sweet friend achieve the beautiful homebirth she wanted, well... there really isn't much better way to start a Wednesday.