The Bireley family has been a big part of mine and my family's lives for several years now. Ally has been my children's nanny since early 2016, and I've done a few photo sessions for them now, with another one planned - a birth session - for the birth of their third child. Plans went awry, however, when baby Cory decided to come on his own time, with next to no warning for his parents or anyone else. Read on to hear more of this beautiful family's story, and how Ally wound up giving birth to her baby boy in her home bathroom (and subsequently making the news)!
Can you share with our readers a little about your family? Where are you from originally? How did you and your partner meet and end up living in Groton, CT?
We are from Lancaster, Ohio. We met working at Red Lobster. He was the new busboy and I was the young, crazy hostess. Over the next several months we started hanging out. Started dating 7 months after meeting and married within the year. It was a whirlwind for sure but the best decision I could have made.
Right after we got engaged Andrew decided to join the Navy and went to bootcamp 6 months later and then we moved here to Groton, Connecticut.
The sweet Bireley Family:
How did you break the news to your partner that you were expecting a baby?
He was underway when I found out so I used some fabric paint and bought Liam and Maddy shirts and wrote big bro and big sis again on them. I picked him up when he got back with Liam wearing his shirt (Maddy was in school unfortunately) and he saw it (after I had to tell him to read the shirt and not just look at it). He couldn't believe it because the guys on the boat were doing a poll on who else was pregnant since there were already 2 other wives in his division pregnant.
What was your pregnancy with baby like? Did you suffer from any morning sickness? Have any strange cravings?
I had some nausea but the biggest problem was getting dizzy anytime I would eat, and the headaches in the first trimester. No strange cravings. I did prefer sweets over spicy/salty this time around, but that's about it. I did have my mom mail me a couple bags of Conns salt and vinegar chips because they are only sold in Ohio and surrounding areas.
What was your first thought when you found out the sex of your baby?
Thank God! Lol. Everybody wanted it to be a girl but I wanted another boy.
Which part of your pregnancy did you enjoy the most? And the least?
I enjoyed seeing how my other kids already loved their baby brother and they hadn't even met him yet. And Maddy's reaction when she found out she was getting another brother... that was priceless. She was not thrilled in the least bit (almost cried).
The least enjoyable part would be how, in the second trimester, I would get really dizzy after eating anything so it was really difficult to do much with Liam during the day.
What made you decide to follow your specific birth plan?
Ha! Birth plan. That's funny. We planned to have an unmedicated birth (which did happen) because the epidural from Liam gave me serious back pain ever since and it didn't even work until after I had him. It was a terrible experience I didn't want to have again. We planned (emphasis on planned) for delayed cord clamping, immediate extended skin to skin, and Dacia to do our birth photography. I've read time and time again the delayed cord clamping can aid in their health and I haven't found any cons to it so I figured it's better to do it than not. As for the immediate skin to skin, I didn't get to do that with my first and it saddened me greatly not to have that uninterrupted time with my newborn.
What was your birth experience like?
Haha that's a very funny (and scary) story. So no matter how much you plan, things will never go the way you plan. For us, from the beginning I swore I wasn't going to make it to the hospital. I mean the hospital was a half hour away and we have 2 other kids so we'd have to drop them off at a friends before heading to the hospital. Well, we didn't even make it out of the house! I woke up at 12:30am on my due date with some mild cramps. I figured they were just Braxton hicks since they were extremely irregular, didn't hurt at all, and the week before we had gone to the hospital for contractions 2-3minutes apart that hurt but were doing absolutely nothing and at my appointment the day before my due date the midwife wouldn't even check my cervix since he still hadn't dropped. Come 3:30am I woke Andrew up because my back was hurting pretty bad and I needed some counter pressure. I still didn't think I was anywhere near active labor since they were anywhere from 7-15 minutes apart. 4:15am I hopped in the shower to relieve some of the pressure on my back for about 30 minutes. When I got out I came to the bedroom but wound up running to the bathroom around 4:50 because I had gotten all clammy and felt I was going to puke. By 4:55 I was telling Andrew that he should probably call everybody in so we could head to the hospital, not that I thought I was in active labor yet but that something wasn't right and if my back hurt this much already there's no way I could do this without an epidural. As he went to hand me the phone to talk to the secretary at the OB I puked and screamed to Andrew that I felt like I needed to push NOW! He got me on the floor in the bathroom and started to dial 911. This was 5am. 13 minutes and 3 pushes later Cory was here. Andrew had delivered our baby boy on our bathroom floor. A police officer was standing behind him observing and EMT's arrived on the scene as Andrew was getting Cory to breathe. Cory had been born in his water sack. All I could think during this whole experience of having my son in our house with no medical professionals was that I was scared (and I definitely made it known to Andrew by yelling it at him every minute.) The whole thing was a crazy experience that we will never forget for sure. This baby boy came in the only way he knew how, on his own time.
What's been the grossest thing you've experienced since becoming parents?
Even though Andrew delivered our son on our bathroom floor and had to clean up that nightmare all on his own, we both still agree that the following story was actually the grossest thing we have encountered thus far. I was only a couple weeks pregnant with Liam and we had Maddy in her pack 'n play. I woke up to a phone call from Andrew saying he was headed home from duty and I looked over at Maddy who was awake and covered in something. I couldn't tell what it was until I turned the light on... I thought it was blood before I turned the light on so I started to freak. It ended up being poop..... everywhere!!!!! All over her and the pack 'n play. We wound up cutting her clothes off of her, spraying her off in the shower, and throwing the pack 'n play away because it wasn't salvageable. (poop always wins)
What's the sweetest, most memorable moment of parenthood for you so far?
When Liam woke up to me having Cory and he was worried I was sad. Andrew had to run in and tell him I was having baby brother and instead of my little 3 year old being scared because I was screaming like a crazy person he was worried about me and excited to meet his brother. He sat there, in his room, talking to the police officer that had showed up, telling him how he missed his sister and couldn't wait to meet his baby brother. These kids really know how to pull at the heart strings.
What was the last non-baby-related book you read?
Home again by Kristin Hannah. I don't think I finished it though.
What feelings came up during your pregnancy about your baby?
I was scared. I know they say going from 1-2 kids is way worse than going from 2-3 but I didn't believe them. I mean I have 2 hands but I don't have 3! What am I supposed to do. Seeing now, it's way easier. It doesn't feel like much has changed other than having a little munchkin attached to my breast all day while I'm running around like a crazy person with the other two.
What were you most looking forward to about the arrival of your new baby?
My other two children meeting him and watching them all grow together.
As a military family, what additional struggles have you faced due to your lifestyle? (i.e. spouse deployed during pregnancy, birth, or shortly before or after, moving to a new duty station near your due date/the birth, etc.)
My husband was gone for most of the first half of the pregnancy. He got back around week 22 but that got us through a good portion of the winter so I was out shoveling feet of snow with 2 children already in tow (sometimes more due to babysitting) and massive headaches that sometimes would put me on the couch for hours on end. When he finally got back, he usually wound up being on duty the nights of any snow storms (and there were many, along with power outages, this past winter!).