Ready or not, here she comes!

The aftermath

February 5th, 2015

DISCLAIMER: This is my super long version. For a shorter one, click here to gain my husband’s point of view.

Let’s start by giving you background on my pregnancy pre delivery… I had a very healthy and uneventful pregnancy.  Since I was in school (taking 5 classes), a stay at home mom to a rambunctious little boy, and help meet for my husband and his new business ventures I didn’t have much time to focus on my pregnancy.  Until the end. The last month seemed like it would never end.  At my 37 week check up I was told that I was 1 centimeter dilated and 70 % effaced. This didn’t surprise me as I’ve been told that labor and delivery would happen much faster with my 2nd child as opposed to my 1st.  The next week (38 weeks) I was told that I had progressed to 3-4 centimeters and was 80% effaced.  The last appointment (39 weeks) yielded the same results as the previous.  So while I was excited about my body’s ability to progress naturally, I was anxious to get the show on the road. 

I prayed about my impending delivery and asked God to bless us with a healthy baby and safe delivery.  Apparently I should have been a little more specific with my requests.  Like, Dear Lord, please bless us with the wisdom to know when I’m actually in labor. More on that part to come…

So back to waiting.  Physically I was ready to deliver my baby, but mentally I was toiling back and forth with being prepared and sudden moments of anxiety.  After-all, I was induced with my son and had no experience with the sudden onset of labor.  I read other family’s birth stories, watched videos, and spoke with friends about their experiences.  My anxiety quickly turned into impatience and with the help of my mother in law, I started researching natural ways to induce labor.

The results were interesting… Here’s a video that I watched:

So just days before my daughter was due I tried a few of the more traditional options: bouncing on the yoga ball, walking, dancing, and the part my husband enjoyed (we’ll leave that to your imaginations).

Reader discretion advised… Here’s the good part!

Low and behold on February 5th, 2015 (my daughter’s due date) I woke up at 2:00am with cramps (similar to those associated with your monthly cycle).  Since I couldn’t track the beginning and ending like actual contractions, I didn’t think too much of it, got my heating pad, and went back to bed.  At approx. 4:00am I woke up feeling the same as before but I decided to share it with my husband just in case it was the beginning of what we’d waited months for.  After reassuring him that they weren’t ‘real’ contractions, he quickly turned over and went back to sleep and so did I.

At 7:00am, I woke up startled by what felt and sounded like a thump.  Initially I thought my husband tapped me or that I was dreaming.  No he didn’t touch me and no I wasn’t dreaming.  ‘It’ was happening! My water broke! It wasn’t a big gush of water as I anticipated; my bed wasn’t even wet.  Startled, I hopped out of the bed and headed to the bathroom where I discovered more water dripping despite me trying to control it.  I quickly called my doctor’s office and patiently waited for a return phone call.  The nurse advised me to come into the hospital and actually made no mention of me having contractions or not.  That phone call ended at 7:09am.  As I stood up to get into the shower, I felt my first ‘real’ contraction and there was no doubt that it was the start of something serious.  The pain was nothing that I had ever felt.  My husband told me to let him know when the next one started and before I could even begin to bathe myself, the next one hit me, approximately 4-5 minutes after the first.

My plans of flat ironing my hair, cleaning up the house, and taking last minute pictures with my son and husband were quickly dismissed and we were frantically preparing to leave the house.  My father in law picked our two-year old son up at approximately 7:30am and we left the house at 7:39am.  Our journey to the hospital would have been 20 minutes on a normal day with moderate traffic.  However, it was 8:00 in the morning and folks were hurrying to school and work and were totally impeding on our mad dash to the hospital.  By now, my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and hurt like _ _ _ _ ! I’ve never been the person to scream while in pain or even vocalize my discomfort but all of the exceptions were made that day.  As my husband whipped around every corner and even passed a few cars, I held my eyes closed and prayed that we would make it to the hospital.  Minutes later I realized that prayer was a little too late for what was already taking place inside of me.  My daughter was determined to come out and by any means necessary.  By now I don’t even think I had an accurate timing of my contractions because I didn’t get a break in between.  That’s when I knew she was coming and we had to do something quickly!

After watching a labor and delivery DVD, I learned that if you get the urge to push before it’s time to, you should ‘blow it away’.  Well there was NO blowing for me and A WHOLE LOT of pushing! It was if I couldn’t control it and had to just go with the flow of gravity.  We were halfway to the hospital and I repeated over and over that we weren’t going to make it.  Of course, the supportive part of my husband tried to comfort me by saying yes we would.  But I had to make an executive decision and asked him to pull into the closest fire station (I’ll discuss the thinking behind this choice later).  He quickly listened and pulled into Fire Station 12.  There was a car in the parking lot and after-all it was the fire station so someone should be there all the time, right? WRONG! No one was there.  He banged and banged with no success.  He managed to look back at me with the saddest yet frightened face that I’d ever seen.  Me and him both knew that coming back empty handed wasn’t a possibility and that he had to work some type of miracle.

He proceeded to call 911 and advised them of our situation.  Seconds later the fire truck pulled up and 3 people came to our aide (1 woman and 2 men).  After asking what seemed to be silly questions at the time, they soon realized the seriousness of the situation and that I would be delivering in the parking lot.  Apparently fire stations are not equipped with the tools to deliver a baby so we had to wait on the ambulance.  At this time, my pain was a 20 on a scale of 1-10, I was sweating profusely as if I ran a marathon, and I didn’t care who was around to see any and all parts of my body smh.  In the middle of answering one of those silly questions, I told them that I was pushing and that she was coming!

My recollection of the next moments are a little blurry but I recall them screaming PUSH a few times and her head popped out!  Of course you expect to hear your baby scream but she didn’t.  It wasn’t until a couple of pushes later that she began to cry.  Apparently that is completely normal and is part of the process.  What isn’t as normal is the baby being detached from the mother by force and the umbilical cord snapping.  Imagine what the beige interior of our car looked like after that!!!  It was 8:15am then and the ambulance had just arrived.  They were equipped with an OB kit which contained a few of the essential tools needed when delivering a baby.  They quickly took my daughter, wrapped her in towels and/or blankets and placed her into the ambulance.  As for me, I sat their in relief that the hard part was over but in disbelief at what had just happened.  My body was shaking uncontrollably and I looked a HOT MESS lol!

Thankfully, we were able to bypass a lot of that morning traffic and arrived at the hospital just 10 minutes later.  Due to the situation my daughter was not assigned an Apgar score nor was her mouth or nose suctioned properly.  Other than that, both of us were safe and healthy just as I had prayed.

Lessons learned:

  1. Be specific with your prayers.
  2. Whole-heartedly trust that God will answer those prayers.
  3. Listen to your body and heed any warning signs, especially on your child’s due date lol.
  4. Be prepared for the unexpected.
  5. Go with the flow to reduce anxiety, after-all a woman’s body is made for childbirth.
  6. Be thankful… always!

I guess I got that natural birth that I hoped for with my 1st pregnancy… IF there is a next time, we’ll just camp out in the hospital parking lot! <—- Clearly, this part is old now and there is a next time and it’s happening SOON! With just 3 days until baby #3’s expected arrival, I’m preparing myself to do it all over again, just in the comfort of a building; not sure if our white, car interior can take much more. 🙂

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