This baby was quite in a rush to make a grand entry into the world at her parents’ home while neither the midwife nor the birth photographer was present. Soon after her birth photographer Michelle Garey arrived with her camera to capture the most memorable birthing moments. But as she entered the house, she found the family all embraced on the floor. Novalee’s seventeen-year-old half brother; Adam Jr. wasn’t at home at the time of her birth.
Novalee is a happy and healthy 5-month-old today, who’s loved on by her parents and 17-year-old half-brother.
But parents Rigel and Adam have their interesting story to tell. Read on as you scroll through the images.
Rigel explains how the journey of her pregnancy was exciting with right from the glow that being pregnant brought to her to the ultrasound sessions apart from the eagerness to see the baby.
Novalee is quite a peaceful baby. She was so even in the womb. Her movements were not so much of kicks as it was flutters. But she refused to leave her mother’s womb even after passing the 41st week because her mother had a notion that she would arrive much sooner than expected. Nine days past the due date, Rigel tried to get over the thought it was going to be the day when her daughter was arriving. As she took a long essential oil soaked bath that night, she was conditioning her mind to be patient and let her baby take her course to arrive in the world with a perfect timing of her own.
The following morning at 5.30am she was awakened by damp sheets. She was sure it was not sweating between thighs. Her waters had broken, and she knew it. It was trickling unlike gushing out, so she was certain that her baby would arrive at any point of the day.
Interestingly Rigel had no symptoms of labor except for her water breaking. It was like any other day. She didn’t feel any contractions, or cramping, or pain. There was nothing noticeably different. The only difference was that she was overjoyed that her baby was just about to arrive. In the meanwhile, Rigen notified her birth photographer and midwife. She then went drifted off to sleep to save energy for her soon-to-happen birth.
Rigen woke up at around 10 am to find her husband Adam making her breakfast. He was equally excited with anticipation. However there were no signs of labor but the for the mild cramps that were similar to Braxton Hicks contractions that she had felt for the past six weeks and could not have complained about it any more than mild menstrual cramps. That morning the sensations were exactly similar as in the past six weeks.
She felt as good and normal as on the other days that Rigel wanted to go to the essential oil training that she was going to impart to six hundred guests. But her husband talked her out attending it; else she might have delivered right on the stage. Instead, he kept her occupied by playing six rounds of Yahtzee with her that evening.
Her midwife arrived at 6 pm to get her updates despite that she had no significant contractions. With years of experience trailing behind her, her midwife suggested she rests adequately and call her once her contractions were five minutes apart.
After an hour’s nap, she woke up at 7 pm to go to the washroom. This time, her cramps were stronger with more regularity. As she timed them, Rigel noticed that they were five minutes apart. She notified her midwife after an hour at 8 pm who got ready to revisit Rigel’s home and suggested that she should notify her again if she felt the cramps three minutes apart.
At 8.15pm, she felt the contractions started intensifying and got closer together with the need to clear her bowels. She notified her midwife again.
In the meanwhile, she asked her husband to set the birth pool. As she rose up from the toilet seat, she noticed something between her legs. It was the baby’s head! It was crowning already! She went on all fours in front of the toilet. Her husband stood there in disbelief confirming that it was a head. Her midwife who lived only fifteen minutes away was just about there.
But Rigel could not have waited until the midwife arrived. She gave instinctively gave two pushes to let the head out first, then for the shoulders. Adam had no time to reach the narrow bathroom passage and with one hand manage to catch his daughter.
He ensured that skin to skin happened at once, so he placed the baby on her back until he could help her toss and he got towels to keep the mother and child warm.
The midwife arrived to see the three cuddled up and smiling on the bathroom floor. She delivered the placenta, gave the necessary care and ensured that the mother and baby were doing well.
Delivering at home was very relaxing for Rigel. There were no unknown sounds or lights that would give apprehensions.
Her previous hypno birthing lessons had helped her during the birthing process. This apart Rigel’s midwife had given them emergency birth instructions sheet which Rigel had read when she was 36 weeks pregnant. But she could not revisit the sheet. She had only recalled from the sheet that she shouldn’t be afraid, and most importantly not to cut the cord.
Rigel’s birth shows that women don’t need to be coached into how to birth. It’s an instinctive thing that comes into action. However, her police-officer husband was hesitant of a home-birth to avoid a worst case scenario. But after the event, Adam too conceded that birthing naturally at home had been the practice for millenia before we made up the medical exigency. However, he recommends that women relaxed through the process. He adds that one could predict if there might be any necessary intervention needed long before birth, and one could simply let go when the birthing progresses.
To Rigel, it is like conquering the world with birthing on the bathroom floor and her husband holding her with one hand.