Patricia Ghaly is one fierce mumma. Not only did she give birth to her third child on her own, standing in her bedroom, the New South Wales mum also managed to calmly send her husband a post-birth selfie sharing the news – all while one of her kids was napping.
Boss mum Patricia, who happens to have a wicked sense of humour, has shared her incredible (and hilarious) story with mum’s Grapevine.
A wild eight-minute birth
It’s a birth that Patricia describes as scary, traumatic, wild, quick and ferocious – and the second birth her husband has missed. “This was my third pregnancy, and by far my quickest!” Patricia explained. “Eight minutes from the time I called 000, to the time baby came out!
“I woke up that morning, fully aware I was in labour, as it was an intense feeling of period pain. I told hubby not to go to work, as we didn’t want him to miss it (sidenote: he missed bub number two’s birth due to how quick it was). Lo and behold, he missed number three as well.”
The labour eventually progressed to contractions were inconsistent – sometimes half an hour apart, sometimes just three minutes apart. On the advice of midwives, Patricia stayed home waiting for the contractions to hit a pattern, but it never happened. “This was the biggest mistake I made (ha!). I should have trusted my gut and just gone in.”
At 2.30pm, Patricia called the midwives to let them know she was coming in and organised for her husband to pick up their eldest child, daughter Sophia, from school and her sister to come and look after Sophia and their three-year-old Isaiah, who was napping. Knowing how quickly things were now progressing, Patricia called for an ambulance to take her to hospital.
“It was during this phone call with the paramedics that my labour went from 0- 7000! I started off my call calm, and then suddenly, like a switch, it was ON.
“I couldn’t talk to the dispatcher on the phone, she was a lovely woman, very calming and soothing and asked if I had anyone with me and I advised that I was home alone, my three-year-old son was sleeping in his room and my labour was suddenly ramping up. At this point I started to freak out, I had to close my bedroom door and I realised that I was going to deliver this baby and I had to do it quietly as I didn’t want to wake my son and potentially give him PTSD,” Patricia joked.
“It was at this point my contractions were so strong I was leaning up against my wall for support and not talking, just trying to breathe through each contraction. When each contraction was over I was asking 101 questions like, ‘where is the ambo? I need a doc, where is the ambo, I can’t possibly do this home alone!’
“Alas, there was no ambo, some bloke had a heart attack and the ambo was dispatched to him and I had to wait for a new one to come from eight suburbs away. It was then I let go, and let my body take over. The paramedic asked me to touch my vagina to feel for the head, but I didn’t want to, so I lied and said I touched, but I touched my thigh instead and almost slapped my leg.
“The motion of me doing that spurred the ferociousness of my labour up and suddenly, Niagara Falls was upon me, and out came the waters. I gasped like a 90-year-old woman would and the paramedic asked what happened and I sobbed, ‘my waters broke’. She exclaimed ‘Great! The baby should be coming soon’ and I tearfully cried out, ‘Oh no! this is not real’. The paramedic on the phone said, ‘Don’t worry darling, I’m with you’ and in my head, I said, “Is this chic normal?! I’m BY MY SELF, I’M ABOUT TO DIE!’
“Regardless, I didn’t die. And she was right, the baby’s head came out with one push. Much to my initial disgust, I put my hands down there to guide baby out, and then I pushed again and pulled her shoulders and chest out, and then slid out the hips and legs. Of course, I tore like a pregnant woman ripping the seal off a bag of M&Ms because I’m no OBGYN. I just pretended to be in that moment.
“I told the dispatcher on the phone the baby was out and she cheered and I cried like the emotional wreck I am. I then proceeded to take a selfie of me and the baby and sent it to my husband and said, ‘Look, I delivered our baby!’
“Somewhere amongst the chaos of it all, one of my sisters turned up (thankfully I had unlocked the front door, as per the advice the paramedic gave me) and she walked in as I was pulling the babies legs out. THANK GOD, I had my modesty sarong on, because I would have 100 per cent traumatized my poor sister had I been spread eagle on the bed!
“So I am standing there, in a pile of body juices under my feet, when the paramedic on the phone pipes up and says, ‘Go get a towel and wrap the baby up’. So, sister number one runs into the kitchen and grabs a TEA TOWEL I used hours before to dry chicken drumsticks and races back and hands it to me: ‘Here!!’. I politely decline the chicken-juiced tea towel and remind her where we keep our linen cupboard – adrenaline was clearly flowing for her too and she had an obvious mental blackout. Eventually, we wrap baby up in a clean towel, and I’m now standing beside my bed, with my birthing suit which comprises of a crop top, my modesty birthing sarong, and baby wrapped in a towel, with the umbilical cord still attached to the placenta inside me (imagine a really long tampon string with a baby attached at the end crying. That’s how it felt). Baby was crying and a nice pink colour and the paramedic told me to try and breastfeed, so I stood there breastfeeding.
“Eventually, sister two arrives and asks, ‘Ok, are you ready to go Pat?’ and she hasn’t quite registered that I’m holding a baby in my arms. She was in complete shock and looked at the baby and looked at me, and looked at the floor and asked, ‘What happened? Did you have the baby?’ Once sister one explained to sister two that sister three (me) had just delivered the baby at home we all went into shock.”
But that wasn’t the end of the drama. It was at this exact moment that three-year-old Isaiah decided to wake from his nap.
“We all hear his tiny footsteps approach my bedroom, both sisters scramble to clean up the mess any way they can – they throw another towel over the floor for me to stand on to hide all the blood and vag juices that might send my poor little man into trauma.
“My sisters gently tell my son that mummy has just had the baby and he walked in. He stared at me and the baby and completely fell in love. He noticed a lot of blood running down the side of my leg and I told him I cut my leg on the edge of the bed. To this day he likes to bring up how mummy cut her leg (NB again: cut on the leg was a lie, it was probably some lovely after birth stuff falling out of me).
“So now, sister one, sister two and I, with baby and my son, are all waiting for the ambos to arrive. Hanging out in my room, just chilling. Eventually, after 15 minutes or so, the ambos arrive and they load me on the stretcher with baby. They want to take me immediately to hospital but I refused, as I want to wait for hubby to come back from the school run. So we sit in the ambulance, in my driveway, waiting for my husband, while they do all the necessary heart and observation checks.”
When Patricia’s husband Mena finally arrives, the realisation that he’s missed another lightening-quick birth sinks in.
“He first saw me in the ambo, and his reaction was, ‘Not again! I can’t believe this!’ And then he congratulated me and said I’m a bit of a legend, and I said I will brag about this till the day I die. We always joked that my birth would be crazy, but we never anticipated this to happen.”
Now that’s one wild birth story! Well done Patricia, we agree – you’re a dead-set legend.
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