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A family affair … the unintentional homebirth of baby ‘Lumpy’

“As I screamed “Mum! My waters broke on your couch!” my partner pulled up into the driveway.”

For almost a month, I was 3cm dilated, in what one doctor called “Pre-Labour”. I’d been having Braxton Hicks contractions all this time, and my mucus plug had come away about a week before my baby was born.

“But ‘Lumpy’ wasn’t due for another week”, I thought, so I decided on the 20th to have dinner at my mum’s while my partner was at work. I took my oldest daughter, and it ended up being a family gathering.

At 9pm, I was walking from the kitchen to the front room, when I felt this terrible tearing pain, coming from right between my hips. Along with that, the strongest contraction I’ve ever experienced!

As I yelled in agony, my mum and brother came over to me. My brother organised to get some Panadol from the supermarket, while my mum held me up. As soon as the pain came, it was gone. The time was 9:30pm.

As nothing nearly as painful as that first contraction came, I stood upright and went to continue onto what I was doing. And another contraction hit.

I yelled for mum to ring my partner just as I reached for my phone. ‘Lumpy’ was on her way, we needed to get to the hospital FAST! Neither of us could reach him. So we tried again. And again, and again, and again! I must have made nearly 150+ calls to him in the space of 30 minutes. The time was now 10pm.

Another large contraction hit, and I went on all-fours. I even hopped onto mum’s new sofa, as it was sorter. My waters broke! As I screamed “MUM! MY WATERS BROKE ON YOUR COUCH!” my partner pulled up into the driveway.

Mum must’ve gotten onto him, FINALLY. As the pain passed, I bolted for the toilet. It felt like I needed to have a bowel moment, so I ran. Sitting down, I could hear my partner on the phone to the hospital. He was asking me questions, and all I kept thinking was “Sheesh, let me poop in peace!”

A bit later, I got up. Big mistake! I made it to the lounge room, and doubled over with another contraction. “We’re not making it to the hospital” I remember saying, and my partner had the phone to his ear, speaking to Emergency Services. Can you believe they wanted to speak to me?

The time was now 10:20pm. I handed the phone back, and another contraction came on. It felt like I needed to push, or that I was and didn’t even register the thought. I whipped my pants off on the floor, and lay back onto my partner’s lap. All I remember him saying is “I think she’s pushing”, my mum “I don’t see the head”, and me yelling at anyone who’d listen “Run me a bath!”

My little sister came in to see what the commotion was! My mum had stepped away to collect towels, and my partner asks her “Check to see if there’s a head. They need to know if there’s a head there yet”. When she timidly said “No” and ran away, my daughter came into the room just as I had the urge to push. I screamed at her to go back into the other room, while I pushed again.

The baby’s head was out. I felt my way around, to make sure the cord wasn’t around her neck. Gladly it wasn’t. I saw blue and red light through the window. I heard my mum yell at my brother and his friend to stay outside. My brother-in-law (who my mum had called while trying to find towels, hoping he could come and deliver) walked in the door, asked if I needed any help. The paramedics walked in. Time: 10:30pm.

My brother-in-law walked out of the room, clearly of no use, but stayed outside to talk to my brother. The paramedics stood at the door for what seemed like ages, not really sure what to do. “We were told that you were only 20 weeks” said one. “This is my first birth”, chimed the other. When I screamed that I needed to push again, they jumped into action. One ran for towels, blankets and whatever else she could find, the other guided the shoulders out. Half a second later, ‘Lumpy’ was born. Time: 10:35pm.

My older daughter ame into the room, and I showed her her new baby sister. “I don’t like her” was all she could say. When I asked why, “Because she hurt you and you screamed at me!” My poor darling!

Thanks to mum Shea for sharing her story.

This is #11 in our series Birth 101: 101 birth stories and counting out how you can add your birth story

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