Written by: Martin & Danielle Miranda
First I’d like to start by sharing a little background information that will hopefully help you understand the full story. About halfway through my pregnancy, I made the decision to switch from an OB/hospital birth to a midwife/birthing center birth. I could go into detail as to why but that’s a story I’ll save for another day.
People often told me that each baby you have are likely to come earlier and earlier. Since I had my son, Eleazar, at 37.5 weeks I was preparing myself to possibly have baby before that while still keeping in mind that anything could happen. I was just praying I’d make it to 36.5 weeks otherwise I would have had to have a hospital birth. To my surprise, week 37, 38, and even 39 passed by and I was quickly approaching week 40.
During those last weeks I had braxton hicks contractions basically every day, but I figured that when it was real I would just know. On Sunday, September 19th, I called my Mom to wish her a happy birthday and I told her that I hope I have baby that day so he can share a birthday with her. I also wanted her to be FaceTimed in during the birth, so I told her to wait for the call. That same day I told my sister, Gabby, that I was more likely to give birth in a car than to call my midwife a million times because I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time with a false alarm.
Sunday evening had come and even though I had contractions basically all day, they still weren’t super intense or even close enough to be actual labor. Or so I thought…
I went to bed that night and usually when I’d lay down the contractions would stop. Well this time they didn’t. But they were still only 8-9 minutes apart and although they were getting more intense, I was still convinced that they weren’t close enough yet. Suddenly one by one they got closer together. 7, 6, 5 minutes…
I quickly told my husband to call my midwife (12:20a.m. 9/20), so he did and I expressed to her that it’s baby time. Keep in mind, my midwife lives about an hour away but she had another midwife that was going to meet us at the birthing center that could get there sooner just in case.
Martín asked his mom to come stay with our other kids and we grabbed a few things (my bags were already in the car) and we quickly started heading to the car. The contractions were so intense and painful that I could barely walk and by the time I got to the car I literally felt the baby coming out of me. Yes, I probably woke up the neighbors. Martín called my midwife and she could hear me screaming and she knew there wasn’t time so she told us to go back into the house. Both my midwife and the other midwife started heading to our house instead of the birthing center.
The next part is a bit of a blur since everything happened very fast and I kind of went into shock so I asked Martin to share his perspective to help explain in more detail.
Start of Martin’s section:
“Chris I cannot hear you so I’m going to hang up…” I tell the midwife as Danielle screams so loudly that I cannot hear a word Chris is saying. Once I hung up I picked Danielle up and started carrying her back into the house. At this point my mom had come out after hearing my poor wife scream from the intense pain, so I frantically asked her to open the door for us which I had to repeat twice as she was half asleep.
She finally gets the door open and I rush Danielle into the house. Danielle says “just drop me off on the floor — this baby is coming out of me!!” I decided the bathtub was a much better place to have a baby, so after I put Danielle down I got it started. As it filled up I helped Danielle slowly down when all of the sudden I noticed baby was crowning. At this point I call our midwife back and give her the news. She then proceeds to say “well, you’re going to deliver your own baby!”
After she said that, I felt as calm as ever and proceeded to take as much control of the situation as I possibly could. I step foot into the tub, curl up my shorts, and position myself to receive a baby. Only a few minutes had gone by when I see the head is almost out. I then tell Danielle to give me one more push and that it’s almost over. As she pushed all I could think of was “his head is almost out”. It is at this point my very chest felt heavy as I heard my wife scream loudly in pain. I continued to watch the head come out when I finally feel a baby’s cheek. At this point I expose as much of the baby’s head as possible in order to reduce pressure on Danielle which given her feedback it seemed to help.
After that part was over I told her that the hardest part was over and that it’s all downhill from here. I told her to wait for the next contraction and told her to push yet one more time when it comes. It is at this very moment when I begin to feel our son’s head move around and I proceed to ask our midwife “his head is out, how hard do I pull now?” She reminds me that he is fine and to pull hard. I was confused as to what “hard” meant so I only pulled a little less hard than my wet slippery hands allowed me to.
While still pushing through the same contraction, I begin to feel baby’s making progress so I pull and all of the sudden the rest of his body is out. I decide then to pull on the umbilical cord to give me some “slack” as I place him over Danielle for proper skin-to-skin time. I run downstairs as fast as I can to grab a space heater and turn off the AC all while we continue to wait for our midwives. Chris tells me to “rub the baby’s back” and as soon as we start doing that my mom storms into the bathroom in absolute shock. I have never seen my mom so speechless before. She continues to cry her eyes out as she says “o mi niño!” Which translates to “o my son” which is an expression in Spanish in reference to our baby boy.
15 minutes later Ashley, the first midwife shows up and gets Danielle ready to deliver the placenta and have me cut off the umbilical cord.
From the time I carried Danielle into the house to the time that we were holding our son, only about 12 minutes had passed. The curious thing to us is that we had been diligently tracking contractions and as recommended had waited to the point of contractions being under 5 minutes in frequency. Apparently our son couldn’t wait.
End of Martin’s section.
Afterward, Martín kept telling me how impressed and proud of me he was to which I responded “Me?! You just delivered our baby!!”
Martín also called my mom to tell her the news (she thought she was getting the “baby time” call) and to let her know there wasn’t even time to FaceTime her in. Unfortunately, baby boy doesn’t share a birthday with my mom but he does share a birthday with my best friend, Taylor, which is still so exciting! My mother-in-law was in our living room the whole time, unsure of what was happening until she heard baby boy’s first cry. She was shocked but we are so happy she was there with us. In case anyone is wondering about Eleazar and Alannah during this time – they were sound asleep downstairs the whole time!
To sum it all up, I was supposed to have a birthing center birth with midwives (which I’m confident would have been amazing) but by God’s grace I ended up having a safe home water birth with baby being delivered by my husband and even though in the moment I was scared, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Hezekiah Calvin Miranda
20 1/2 inches long
Soli Deo Gloria