Here is the second installment of the story I began about my youngest daughter’s birth. I tried to edit it but seriously how can a mother edit one of the best days of her life that is still so vivid it could have happened this morning?! So read on with the warning that this may be a serious dose of TMI!
Jump forward a week and I am now officially beyond tired of being pregnant. I was over my kidney stone and ready to give birth. On Oct. 27th there was a full Harvest moon and an eclipse so I figured the astronomy was in my favor. Steve was out with friends so I took the kids out for Taco Bell (mine covered in Fire sauce) after walking around the mall for a couple of hours. Plus a storm was moving in. I had my bases covered. It had to happen.
And it did!
Around 1:10am I woke up to a decent contraction. I called my mom and we decided to wait it out so she did not have to make the drive for another no-show. I got in the shower to see if they would stop. They were much less when I got out so I called my mom and told her to go back to sleep. At 4:30am I woke up to another good contraction. Hmmm… this might be it! I called my mom again and she hit the road. I waited until 5:00 before I woke up Steve so he could get ready. I was afraid to jinx it! I waited a while longer and then called my doula to give her the heads up.
The contractions were really smooth and consistent and I felt great. Steve was anxious to get going but I was not feeling ready to go to the hospital yet. My mom arrived right around 6:30am. The plan was for her to stay with the kids while we went to the hospital but once she got there I wanted her with me. The contractions were stronger at this time but still bearable as long as I was in a good position. We decided to go to the hospital but only after we called my cousin over so that my mom could meet us at the hospital in about a half hour.
Once in our van I realized we might have waited too long. A huge contraction hit as we were backing down the driveway. It was completely different from any I had felt to this point. I grabbed Steve and yelled “STOP!” Baby was coming and was coming now! I had to get back in the house. All I could think of what if my water broke in my new van with leather seats.
The van was too close to the car in our driveway for me to get out so Steve came and actually tilted the van enough for me to get out. It was one of those crazy, adrenaline moments I guess. I was so impressed!
Steve called 911 on his cell while my mom helped me get back into the house. All I was thinking was to get to my kitchen (off my carpet and hardwood floors), and what I needed my mom to get for the birth. I am not the neat freak in typical situations but apparently in birth I am. All my doula and midwife assistant training I suppose.
Meanwhile the 911 operator was asking Steve a bunch of questions but all I heard was
“Yes, she knows the baby is coming.”
“Yes, she is sure.”
“No they are coming really fast… maybe every 30-60 seconds or so”
“No, this in our third baby.”
“She knows what she is talking about here. She is a professional doula”
Around this time my son came downstairs. Very calmly I explained between contractions that the baby was coming really soon so the paramedics are coming to help and that he needed to stay on the couch and out of the way. He curled up on the couch, looking over the arm watching me. So cute! Another time I will go into how we prepared our kids for the births of their siblings but he knew what was going on and why.
Then my water broke. It was not clear so I became a little worried. Steve told the 911 operator who did not seem to understand what meconium is. Great.
We live a few blocks from the firehouse and could hear the sirens but my contractions were coming and I was not sure they would make it. All I wanted was their oxygen tanks – the rest I could do on my own!
The paramedics arrived and were nearly frantic about getting me off my hands-and-knees on my kitchen floor and onto the gurney. From my perspective the gurney was about 4 feet off the floor and I had a human trying to exit my body – were they serious? At this point I decided to ignore the paramedics.
Several minutes and contractions passed when the only female paramedic suggested lowering the gurney. I liked her. Until she asked me to get on my back.
Now I do not know if either of you reading this have ever given birth naturally but in most cases moving at this stage in labor, and especially getting on your back, is ridiculous if not impossible. I tried so hard to convince them to leave me alone but frankly I was a little preoccupied and they were sure they could get me to the hospital. I relented and worked my way onto their stupid gurney but on my side. In my mind’s eye I imagine I looked like Cleopatra with seatbelts… go with it.
Keep in mind by now it is about 7:00am so all of my neighbors and up, getting their morning paper, starting their day… except today when they were greeted by a fire truck and ambulance with lights blazing and a moaning neighbor being wheeled across her driveway. This was my thought as another contraction hit and I felt my baby move waaaay down.
Oh. My. Gosh.
Well I am going to leave you hanging again because this is already really long but also because I am a brat like that.