While I'm basking in the sweetness of my new baby, I've asked some friends to share their birth stories at This Heavenly Life. Today, Dwija of House Unseen writes about her crazy-wild speed race of a delivery. After reading this, you HAVE to stop by her place and get to know her better; she's a wonderful writer with a heart of gold.
If you’ve never been in labor in the front seat of a mini-van that’s dodging traffic, then you haven’t lived.
Paul Anthony Borobia arrived on Friday, August 24th at 8:27 am, weighing 7lbs, 6oz and measuring 19 inches long. I had not planned on an unmedicated delivery, but plans have a tendency to go awry when we’re bringing an actual human into the world.
But the whole thing starts with an email, so let's start there, with a paste of an actual email I sent at the beginning of that fateful day...
"As you may notice, it is, like 3:30 am. I got up around 2:30 just to go potty (and was thankful I had slept all night until then), smashed into the foot board, tripped over a pillow, stubbed my toe on the stupid baby bathtub in the bathroom, said bad words, woke up Tommy, and proceeded to start having contractions....again. Dangit! So I got back in bed hoping to go back to sleep, but I can't sleep through them, so I drink some water, start choking on it, get mad at the water, purposely exclaim loudly about how evil the water is so as to wake Tommy from his peaceful slumber (hey, if I'm not sleeping, neither is he!), then grumble grouchily when he is able to immediately go back to sleep. So I don't bother timing the stupid, evil contractions (can you tell I'm totally over this whole thing?) and decide that I need to eat some toast. But then they got stronger while I'm getting out the jelly and I decided that fine, I might as well at least note the time-
Hmmmmm, looks promising ( but that's pretty normal these days!) so we'll see what happens from here... "
So I wrote the rest of the email, and while writing, inserted contraction times: 3:51, 3:58, 4:05...
At that point I was pretty confident that it was the real thing, but I didn't want to have Tommy call in to work, have his brother/sister/mom/whomever get up and drive to our house, just to have them stop, or to arrive at the hospital only to have them tell me to walk around. Or worse- sit and wait.
But by the time Tommy's alarm went off at 5 am, I had decided he was staying home. I wasn't quite at an urgent place psychologically, though (although apparently I should have been!), so we waited and chatted. Finally, at 6:30, he called his sister and his brother, so that at least one of them would be ready to come and watch the girls. Please keep in mind that we just moved the previous Saturday, so instead of being 2 blocks from the hospital, we are several exits down the highway. This small difference ends up almost being a big, huge problem...
Tommy's brother John lived the closest at the time, so he decided to come first. But "Oh, there's no rush" we say and "Take your time" we say. So he believes us and takes a shower and gets ready at a leisurely pace.
Uh oh- now it's 7 and I am beyond discomfort. The girls are up and starting to get nervous- my sweet Katie is 6 and little Lizzy just 5. They're excited and trying to comfort me. If you've ever had a baby, you'll know that "comfort" is not really the first word that comes to your mind when a five year-old climbs on top of you while you're laying on the couch trying to find some small moment of peace.
At this point, Tommy is preparing an elaborate and delicious breakfast for all of us and asks calmly "Honey, are you even going to want any of this?"- at 7:30 am. One hour before delivering my child. "Noooooooooooo....I can't do this......we have to leave now.....I'm going to have this baby in the car.....where's John?!?!?!?".
Oh thank god, he's pulling in right now. The phone is now ringing off the hook. I'm trying to call my OB and the hospital. Yes, myself. It was not easy. John comes in, I kiss my girls and we make it into the van between contractions. Now I'm like one of those women in the movies, moaning like a fool in the front seat of her vehicle, praying for green lights and no traffic.
Tommy busts out his emergency vehicle driving techniques on the highway, a holdover from his days as an Oceanside police officer. It would have been way more awesome if we weren't in a Toyota Sienna.
Now he's weaving between cars and rolling stops through intersections.
I'm freaking out in the passenger seat.
We're stuck now behind a semi-truck on the 2 lane road leading from the highway to the hospital. The windy, long, 2-way road mocks me the entire way.
I look at the clock- 8:07. "Won't it be great if Paul thinks it's funny to be born at 8:24 on 8/24?" I ask. And by "great" I mean "totally awful", thinking of course that I have at least a little bit of time and that 8:24 really is a joke. Because they say if you can still tell jokes then the baby is not about to be born. So maybe I should tell some jokes so I don't have this baby in my vehicle. See how logical I am?
O.B. racing down the hall, scrubs clutched in her hand-
nurses scrambling to get my room ready-
"Just put this gown on..." Holy crap, a gown? You have GOT to be kidding me...
Doctor checks me, for the very first time in my labor and I hear this: "She's complete, at plus 2 station. I need a tray please. Okay Dwija, on the next contraction, just wait, but then after that, we're gonna start pushing."
Pushing!?!?!? No! I'm not ready! I want my epidural! I want some water. I want anything. I want someone to turn off QVC that's on the t.v. in the room. I want more time, that's all...just a little more time.
Sorry, no can do. And now it's time to push. 1 contraction down and I realize that the hard part's over. This pushing business is nothing compared to what I was feeling in the van. Okay, I can do this. And the fastest way for it to be over is for me to have this baby, so we're just gonna make this happen.
2nd contraction and they're counting to 10. Screw 10! I'm gonna have this baby. I have great lung capacity and strong abs for a pregnant woman and he is coming out. Tommy could tell. "C'mon honey" he whispers in my ear "he's right there. Don't stop, don't stop!".
He's here! Wait a second- unwrap the cord from his neck and here comes the rest of him. Relief.
Now I hear a voice, my voice- "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed are you amongst women, blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus..."
And just like that the panic turns to joy. The confusion to gratitude. I bask in the glory of a miracle.
We love you, Paul! Thank you for being a part of our family.