What were you doing last Saturday night? Maybe watching Netflix? Hanging out with friends? Out on the town? Those are all great ideas for a Saturday night. Where was I? I was in a car on the side of the turnpike, on the verge of birthing my baby right into the hands of my husband while my 2-year old daughter sat in the backseat.
Before I get into the details, let me tell you that I welcomed my baby boy, Ellis, to the world very early in the morning on Sunday, February 26, 2017. I am so lucky to have such a perfect little boy, but it was not without lots and lots of work and lots and lots of pain (still totally worth it). But before I get to the good stuff let me rewind to the very beginning, about two weeks ago.
I experienced prodromal labor pains, which basically means I experienced real contractions for days before they actually started to do something (AKA: False Labor). I went in to the hospital the Friday before he was born to see what was going on, because as a second time mother I knew I wasn’t feeling Braxton Hicks contractions. All they could tell me was that I was dilated to 4 cm but that the contractions I was having weren’t working to dilate me any further, so I went home.
The next day (Saturday), I had contractions all day long, sometimes 5 minutes apart, sometimes 12 minutes apart. All of them were painful, but since they were so inconsistent and were only about 30-45 seconds long, I figured I was still experiencing the same thing that I had been for the past week. I went about business as usual, took my daughter to the park, went to the grocery store, and my husband and I even fit in one last movie that night after putting our daughter to bed. The contractions I was experiencing by the time I went to bed at 10:30 were strong, but manageable. Still inconsistent and short. I was told the night before that I could take some Tylenol at bedtime to help me sleep, so that’s what I did!
1:35 AM rolls around and I’m awoken by a very painful contraction that instantly brings tears to my eyes and a very bad feeling. Something felt so wrong. I got up and was going to use the restroom when I experienced another excruciating contraction. At this moment I decided that it was way past time to go to the hospital and immediately told my husband to go grab our daughter, we were leaving right away. Contractions were coming a minute apart and I was dropping to my knees with every one that passed. We are on our way to the hospital and I suddenly felt the urge to push.
I was trying with everything in me to not push with my contractions but it soon didn’t matter, my body was going to do it without me. My husband called 911 and they told him to pull over and that an ambulance was already on their way. In the meantime, they were advising him on how to deliver the baby himself. We removed everything from the waist-down, and my legs were hanging out the passenger door. The ambulance arrived within 2 minutes of making the call, and they took things from there. I rode in the ambulance while my husband drove our daughter in the car right behind.
The EMT that rode in the back with me was terrified. He had no idea what to do and basically just started an IV. He kept asking me questions that I didn’t want to answer (obviously, I was pushing out a baby! Who cares how tall I am?) Luckily it didn’t take us long to get to the hospital, except now, neither of the EMT’s knew where labor and delivery was. They rushed into the ER to ask a nurse where to go, all the while I’m screaming and pretty much convulsing on the gurney.My in-laws met Nick at the hospital parking lot and took Emery so Nick could run inside and meet me without having to worry about her.
I know a lot of you don’t know what Saint Francis Hospital is like in Tulsa, but they have THE LONGEST HALLWAY leading up to labor and delivery. I mean, it’s ridiculously long. As I was rolled into the very first room in the labor and delivery ward, I could see nurses running around grabbing blankets and towels and trying to prepare the room. Within one minute of arriving in the room, at 2:28 AM, I gave one final push and out came my little 7 lb 7 oz baby right on the gurney (I hadn’t even been transferred to the hospital bed yet). Luckily there was a nurse there to catch him and a doctor who ran in immediately after to cut the cord. Ellis was born still in his amniotic sac which is called a “caul birth” and is a pretty rare thing! (1 in 80,000 births.) I’m so thankful that he was because I was positive for Group B Strep and wasn’t able to receive the antibiotics during labor, and being born in his sac kept him protected from it.
Nick ran in the room shortly after, missing the birth by about 30 seconds, but he was so relieved that it wasn’t him delivering Ellis on the side of the highway. Looking back it doesn’t even seem real. From the time I awoke in bed to the time I delivered him it was only 53 minutes! By comparison, the labor and delivery of my first child took over 14 hours.
Sometimes you don’t have the typical labor with the minute long contractions coming 3-5 minutes apart to tell you “oh, it’s time to go to the hospital!” I should have trusted my instincts but instead I waited at home because my contractions weren’t coming consistently close together.
Even though that night was pretty crazy, I wouldn’t change a thing. It brought me this amazing little boy who is so teeny and cuddly, and perfect. His big sister adores him, and hasn’t been anything but helpful. (No jealousy issues…yet.) I feel like my family is complete. And no, I’m not having anymore kids after this!