It’s taken me a bit to write this story down (basically 2 weeks) because it’s taken me about that long to really process it all. Most of my family hasn’t even heard the full story! I needed to make sure my memory served me correctly, since my husband and I had a different version of a few events ;) So here is my version of events on the morning of November 9th!
I was winding down for the evening by watching a tv show with my husband and for some reason I decided to stay up super late (why??!!) and decided to go to sleep around midnight. It’s once I laid down that I realized I was feeling some mild cramping. Uh oh! I was hoping it was false labor, but my mind began to race. I couldn’t shut off my brain at that point, as I was just running through my list of things that would need to happen if this was actually labor. I forced myself to close my eyes and tried my best to rest. My first labor was extremely long (40 hours total) and I knew if I was going to make it, I needed to keep sleeping! So I did my best. By this point I texted my husband from the other room and let him know that I think my labor was beginning and he should try and get some sleep. Which he promptly did!
Then 1am rolled around. Still awake, still having contractions but they weren’t really painful yet. I kept having to get up and go to the bathroom, drink water, and lay back down. 2am, things were increasing in intensity but not bad yet. I began to track my contractions and they were 8 and 9 minutes apart. Not bad! “Keep sleeping” I kept telling myself! I texted my doula and updated her on my status. 3am, I was pretty awake at this part and still tracking. I texted my friend Emily “Hey I’m in labor!” She was too! Ok, this is wild! We had the same due date, and here we were 5 days early, both in labor. How neat! 4am, having some contractions still and got up to use the bathroom and laid back down to try and sleep.
5:30am, “Ouch, ok that one hurt. I need to start using some breathing techniques” I thought to myself. I decided at this point to get up, get something to eat and get myself situated on the couch. So I made myself some steal cut oats, ate a banana and kept drinking water. I texted my doula and let her know what was happening. I told her things were increasing in intensity but I was doing okay still. I would text her if I needed her. Not even 15 minutes later everything changed. It’s like I went from “I’m good, I got this!” to “OH MY GOSH HELP” haha. I lost all cool and collected contraction breathing techniques and began to doubt myself. I called my doula and she talked me through a contraction, which helped, but I was beginning to feel scared of how intense the contractions were. She told me to wake up my husband (which makes me laugh because I called her before even waking up my husband!) So I did. I woke him up after another big contraction, which was at 6am.
“Hey babe, can you wake up? I’m having some big contractions and I’m beginning to loose my cool. I could use your help.” “Okay okay, I’ll get up. Here I come.” So while he is getting up and dressed, I had my first BIG pushing contraction. Uh oh! He gets out of the room and I promptly tell him, “Babe, we need to go to the hospital, like now!” He was a bit confused considering our “plan” was to labor at home as long as possible with the doula and then head to the hospital. He appeased me and said “Ok let me call Jen (our doula) and chat with her.” So they chat, and she agrees to meet us at the hospital. He then called our midwife to let her know what was happening and she asked to speak with me. He put her on speaker phone and she asked how long I was laboring for and asked when the pushing contractions started. I gave her the info and she said, “Now listen to me very carefully. GO TO THE HOSPITAL RIGHT NOW! Do not wait! GO RIGHT NOW!” And with that I about had a panic attack. I thought “Oh no! We have to go right now!”
My husband loaded up the car and I began to walk myself out the door, wearing my pjs and flip flops and my snow jacket (mind you it was about 30 degrees outside!)! While walking down the short path to our car, I felt a contraction coming on and yelled out to my husband, “HELP ME!” in about the most dramatic fashion possible. He held me while the contraction started and right in the middle of it I was hit with another pushing contraction. UH OH! I immediately start walking to the car, but I can barely walk since the contraction is still in progress. My husband coaches me, “Just let the contraction finish. We aren’t in a hurry. I’ll get you there.” He helps me into the car, but I can’t sit down. I have to sit on my side/hip. He buckles me in and closes the door for me. I remember mostly having my eyes closed, but I took a peak and saw the GPS said “25 minutes” until our destination. “Dear Lord!” I thought! “I hope we can make it!” He called the hospital and tells them we are on our way!
Now this is when things really turned for the worst. One contraction after another, and every other one was a pushing contraction. During one of the contractions I was most certain I had just peed myself, but then I realized that my water just broke! It didn’t even occur to me that my water hadn’t broken yet. I looked up at the GPS and it read 14 minutes. The next contraction was really scary! I could feel her head coming out. I’m pretty sure I yelled “I can feel her head babe! Oh nooooooooo! Nooooo! NOOOOOOOO!” I was visualizing birthing her in my pant leg at that point, and the panic kept setting it. “We just gotta make it!” I thought to myself.
My husband said a prayer asking for help getting to the hospital on time and for our baby to be born safely. It eased my anxiety a bit, but the contractions kept coming. Over and over again I could feel her head emerging from the womb. OH MY GOSH.
Finally, we made it to the hospital and my husband jumped out of the car and ran and got a wheel chair. Our doula was right there waiting for us and they both helped me into the wheelchair. Again, I couldn’t sit down normally, so I sat on my side/hip and they rolled me in. I feel bad for the man sitting in the waiting room witnessing me practically hyperventilating and yelling “NOOOOO!” as I passed by. Poor guy. It was about as “Hollywood” as any birth I have ever witnessed! I didn’t even realize birth could be this dramatic, but I was living proof that even with lots of practice and preparation, it can be precisely this dramatic!
We go up the elevator and down the hall and into a room. “Oh thank God, we made it!” I thought. At this point I literally cannot move, afraid that any movement will basically result in birthing this child. They plop me onto the bed and try to remove my jacket. They get one arm off at least, and I am absolutely no help at all. I think they removed my pants, or at least one pant leg, I’m not sure. My midwife is in the room now and she lifts my leg to check me (since I am lying on my side), and that is what brings on a big pushing contraction. She exclaims “Oh hello baby!” Her head is out, just like that. She says “Ok now just give me one more little push.” It was completely involuntary - the contraction I was having intensifies again and my body literally pushes her whole body out. WHAT JUST HAPPENED? DID I JUST HAVE A BABY?? I was pretty much in shock for about 2 hours after this. It was so fast. She is here? What???
Her cord was a bit short, so they placed my baby on my stomach at this point. 5 minutes have passed since parking the car to this moment right now. “I’m so thankful we made it. Oh my gosh, it’s over? That’s it?” I thought! It was immediate relief! They cleaned me up and I birthed the placenta. My husband cut the cord and I could finally cuddle that warm slimy little babe on my chest that I’ve been waiting for these past 9 months.
She was born at 7:17 am. Approximately 1 hour and 17 minutes after I woke up my husband and nearly 30 minutes after we left the house (mind you, it’s a 25 minute drive to the hospital)! I’m so thankful there were no complications, we arrived just in time, and we had such a supportive and amazing staff to take care of us. It really was a dream birth, minus the stress of driving to the hospital! My doula graciously took some pictures for us, since neither of us had our phones or camera ready! And she really is the perfect little puzzle piece to our family! I’m so glad she made it safely. And the moral to this story is, DON’T WAIT! JUST GO to the hospital!
Our sweet little Adelaide. Thanks for a really great story! I’m sure I’ll be telling this for years and years to come!
I’ve added some photos we took at the hospital (below). Enjoy! And thanks for reading!