The True Tale of My Unintended, Unexpected Home Birth

9:30 pm, six years ago to the day. Lying on my bed, hollering for my husband at the top of my lungs. Totally unconcerned about my three kids (1, 3, and 5), sleeping in neighbouring bedrooms. Concerned only about the fourth kid who’s suddenly – and so forcefully – trying to push her way out of my body. Thinking, “if he doesn’t get here soon, I am going to have to birth this child myself. Like those strong farm women used to do, out in the rice fields…”

Exact thought. Am I going to have to do this myself?  Because suddenly I knew that my baby girl was coming, and she was coming fast. And I couldn’t get off the bed.

But my husband did come, bless him. He’d been out in the car, securing the new infant carseat…  because he knew we were headed to the hospital that night. I was in labor after all; we knew the drill. I’d called the labor & delivery ward to tell them we’d soon be there. I’d called the babysitter and the doula. Everything was in motion. I was just waiting till things were further along before we headed into the hospital.

But our sweet baby girl jumped the gun and at least two stages of labor and suddenly was just My husband called 911, and the woman – after taking our name and address and dispatching an ambulance was on its way – started walking him through how to deliver a baby.

I was apologising. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” I said, over and over. How had we come to be in this situation? My poor husband – a man for whom labor and delivery are an agonising process. A man who intentionally “stayed up near the head” during the labor and delivery of his three prior children. A man who lamented the loss of the old-school birthing protocol- back when the man was expected, even asked, to stay in the waiting room.

But now. “Stop apologising; FOCUS!” he said. He was in charge. He’s amazing in an emergency, and this certainly qualified as that. He was in his element. He was quick and competent, and between his capability, her insistence on being rapidly born, and my doing the work… the whole thing was over in less than 3 minutes. I know for sure, because I got the 911 recording (a public record, so easily obtainable). It was lightning fast. She was out, she was perfect, and it was over. Within minutes the ambulance and the doula and the babysitter were knocking at the front door in quick succession.

Susan Arico
Susan Arico
Susan Arico is writer, strategy consultant, wife, and mom to four. She’s a fast-talking Yankee who recently returned to her native New England after living in Crete, Greece for the past four years. Susan writes about living adventure, wrestling the soul, and figuring out what it means to do both well. Visit her at

Related Posts


Recent Stories