Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nearly gave birth in the car, by a tree, in a lobby....

Birthday Week at Flexible Parenting

Brought to you by Alex Elliot of Formula Fed and Flexible Parenting, I'm writing one more birthing story in honor of her son's birthday. Tuesday's story was my sons' birth. Yesterday was the story of my birth in 1968. This final story is my daughter's.


At 32 weeks pregnant with my third child, there was a flu bug going around our town and my older children's school. One evening the baby inside of me wasn't moving as much. I called the hospital and found myself late in the night having an amniocentesis and getting a pep talk that I may need an emergency c-section. I kept apologizing to my husband that I was incapable of keeping a baby inside of me since our then three-year-old twins had been born at 30 weeks.

But the crisis passed and the baby stayed inside of me. I was sent home on bed rest, just like the first pregnancy, but could work from home which meant I could sit up for extended periods. Eventually, by week 37 I could go out of the house.

I took the boys to family friends' house for a pizza dinner. Early in the evening I felt lousy and the husband offered to drive me to the hospital. We tracked down my brother to get the boys and my husband to meet me at the hospital.

I got there and was told nothing was happening. I was sent home.

I went to bed around 11pm. I woke up several hours later in a pain I had never felt. It came in waves so I paced around for some time. At one point I felt like I had to use the toilet so I went to the bathroom and pushed. Then I got up and walked around some more. After 40 minutes, I called the hospital only to find that my obstetrician - a woman younger than me who I adored - was actually on call that night.

"I'm not calling an ambulance" she said "but you are in labor. How fast can you get here?"

I explained that I needed to wait for my dad to get to the house to stay with the boys so it would be a while.

"I won't call [state child protection services] if you leave the kids alone sleeping in the house. Get to the hospital NOW!" she yelled.

I waited for my dad to get to the house.

As Amazing Guy and I got into the van an amazing amount of fluid gushed out of me right onto the front passenger seat. I jumped out of the car in shock and he laid out golf towels for me to sit on for the ride to the hospital.

Then the drive began. I had the windows down and my head out of the window as I panted through contractions. We drove past trees that I seriously considered yelling for him to pull over so I could just squat and get it over with.

It was nearly 3:00 am and we ran every red light. It didn't pose a risk for us or other drivers, since there were none.

We were told to go to the Emergency Department. Amazing Guy dropped me off at the entrance and I hobbled in pain to the desk as he went to leave the van with a parking attendant. I got to the clerk and even though I was told they would be ready for me I was directed to the special (and very slow) office just for pregnant women.

"But I'm about to deliver NOW!" I wailed.

"You all are honey" the unsympathetic clerk as she smacked her gum.

I stumbled into the huge lobby atrium to see my husband run through the front door and smack into my obstetrician who was trying to meet us. We were separated by a cleaning crew who had blocked off a large area of the lobby so they could apply a new coat of wax on the floor.

I stumbled panting from the pain into the special office for pregnant women and started the admittance process only to have my obstetrician come charging into the office pushing a wheelchair with my husband right behind her.

"We need to take her NOW!" she yelled.

The processing clerk fussed that I wasn't in the system.

"We'll get her into the system!" yelled my obstetrician.

I got into the birthing room with my obstetrician, my husband and two nurses. In no time I was in a hospital gown and the doctor was telling my husband to push on my right leg while she pushed the left. I asked if I could have an epidural.

"You are too far along" said a nurse near my head. "You're about to have this baby".

I experienced pain I never thought possible. I pushed and pushed. Mind you I had never taken a birthing class because my first pregnancy ended at 30 weeks and we could never get our acts together to attend one for this one.

At one point I yelled "Get this f---ing kid out of me!!!" Which led my doctor to get close to my ear and whisper "If you put as much energy into pushing as you do into yelling, you will get this baby out faster."

So I pushed really hard while gritting my teeth.

And my healthy, full-term baby girl came out ten minutes after I got into the birthing room.


Heather said...

Wow. That, too is awesome. My stories are pretty tame in comparison.

Jami said...

So THAT's the secret: I need to put my swearing energy into everything else!

Again, I think I faintly hear Sinatra singing "My Way" in the background. Wicked cool story! Thanks for sharing these!

Jenn in Holland said...

oh, ouch, oh, my, ooh, eek... the pain!!!
Great pacing telling the story of a frantic set of events.
Whew! So glad you made it, but you never did say, did they get you in the system??

Whirlwind said...

Wow I can't believe they were unsympathetic at the clerk's desk. At the hospital I delivered at, we bypassed the ER and were allowed to go right to the L&D entrance. It makes things much easier!

painted maypole said...

wow. another great birthing story!

Alex Elliot said...

I'm impressed with how quickly she was delivered! I too may have uttered a word or two starting with the letter "f".