Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Best Birth Story Ever

Three years ago today I was in labor with my beautiful baby girl. If you weren't around to hear my birth story you will not want to miss this.


I've given birth 6 times. Only one of which wasn't induced and that was the most exciting one. I must warn you though, do not drink or eat anything while reading this. I cannot be held responsible if you choke on an apple or spit coke all over your keyboard.

December 10th 2006:
It's two days before my due date and I have been having some minor contractions all day. I had originally been told I would not go past December 8th. As you can see, that was not the case. This is what happens when you see 3 different people for your ob visits.

I began timing my contractions around dinner time. Seven minutes apart. I knew that once they were 5 minutes apart then I should get to the hospital. How I was getting there was another story. My husband was "in the field" and had been for a couple weeks already. If you aren't a military wife you probably have no idea what "in the field" means. Basically he is training out in a field somewhere close but it takes 6 hours and 12 guys to get in contact with him. Okay, so I may be exaggerating on that but it does seem to take FOREVER.

I had never gone into labor on my own before so you could say I was new to this. After three 7 minute apart contractions my uterus gave up. That was that. No baby today.

December 11th 2006:
Ahhh, one more day until my due date. How was I going to go past my due date. I HAD to go into labor tonight, or tomorrow. I have never even seen my due date without holding a baby in my arms. Misery set in weeks ago and I was saying the whole pregnancy that this little girl would be coming early. She just HAD to prove me wrong.

I have an appointment in the morning and I am demanding that I be induced NO LATER THAN Friday. I am not giving in, no way, no how. I just couldn't see why they weren't as concerned with my child's health as I was. {Background: my first pregnancy ended in a stillbirth at 26wks. One of the causes of death was a placental insufficiency - the placenta wasn't doing it's job - this being the reason I was induced every other time.}

The day came and went faster than I could even believe. I had a few contractions but nothing worth writing home about. Still no sign of baby.

December 12th 2006:
D-Day, as I like to refer to it. I was quite looking forward to my appointment at 1030am. I also had playgroup immediately following and had no intentions of missing it. I dropped my two oldest off at school and, shortly after, I headed to my appointment.

I was curious to see if I had dilated any since my last appointment. After all the contractions I had been having I was hoping to hear, "Wow! You are already at a 3. It won't be much longer before you are holding your baby." Not sure it actually would have accounted to much seeing as the last visit she said, "I wouldn't be surprised if this was the last time we saw you before you have this baby." Surprise, I'm back and NO baby yet.

Needless to say that was not the news I received when she checked my cervix. Imagine how disappointed I was when I heard, "You are a good 1, stretchable to a 2." She HAD to be kidding. That's what I was last time and the time before that. What was the point of the pain I've been through the last few weeks? Still not entirely sure.

She offered to strip my membranes "to get things going" just like she had the week before. The last time I surprised myself by turning her down. With my husband in the field I decided I better just try and wait it out. Now he would be out of the field in two days so I didn't see the harm in trying. Of course it wouldn't help anyways, it never does. I was doomed to be pregnant until they induced. I would never get to experience natural childbirth.

I "demanded" I be induced on Friday. She checked the schedule and wouldn't you know it, there were no openings. They were booked solid but they would schedule for Monday and if anything changed before then they would put me in on Friday. Yay, wonderful, at least I have a date now.

It didn't seem to calm my nerves at all. I was still worried about the baby. How could I go SIX days past my due date. I would go crazy for sure. And my baby? How would she do being inside me for SIX MORE DAYS!? I suppose the good part is daddy would be able to be there. He missed his last son being born; at least he wouldn't miss his last daughter's birth.

I left feeling let down and a bit crampy. I wasn't concerned with the cramps as they were normal after an exam. I just went about my day as I had already planned. I still had time to make it to playgroup; it was just about noon and we were meeting them at the mall at 1.

I arrived at the mall to meet playgroup and I was hoping they had actually shown up. I would hate to have already been let down once and show up to find no one had actually come. I was not let down a second time. They were there and excited to see me.

I told them about my appointment and how I wouldn't be induced until the following week. They knew how much I had wanted to have this baby already so I jokingly said, "I could still have her today if these cramps keep up."

For the next hour I had dull cramps and they didn't really bother me. I continued to converse with the other moms and take pictures of the kids playing. Some of the moms kept asking if I was okay. I seemed okay, or so I thought. I told them I was fine, the cramps weren't even regular. I knew as long as I could go about my day, talk, walk, etc that I was fine.

I remember checking my watch at about 220pm and by this time my "cramps" were becoming regular. They were 7 minutes apart and I hadn't told anyone. I wasn't worried as I could still handle them. I was very nonchalant about the whole thing. Some of the girls had to leave so we all decided to walk out together.

On the way out of the mall we stopped at Target. A couple of the girls were shopping and one asked if I was alright. I really thought I was fine so I assured her I was.

"Yah, they are about 7 minutes apart now." This seemed to shock them.
"Are you ok or do we need to take you to the hospital?" they asked.
"Oh no, I'm fine. I had some contractions like this on Sunday as well." This satisfied them for the time being.

We went about our shopping for another half an hour or so. We left the mall shortly before 3 because I had to get my older two from school. As we were leaving I mentioned my contractions now were about 5 minutes apart. My friends grew more concerned and thought they should follow me home. In hindsight, I wish they had. I told them I would be fine and I would talk to them later.

Before even leaving the parking lot of the mall my contractions were back to being 7-8 minutes apart. I was under the impression that if they were not regular then they were not "real" contractions. Boy, would I ever be proven wrong!

I headed to the kids' school. I made a number of phone calls on my way (the last of which was to my husband). I called my aunt; I suggested I may be in labor and she said to keep her posted. I called my friend Kristen; she accused me of lying. She didn't believe I was in labor but then again, neither did I. I called my friend Callie; she is the one that convinced me to get in touch with my husband. She could tell I was in labor. I tried calling my husband numerous times on his cellphone to let him know that I "might" be in labor. I didn't get an answer so I stopped trying.

I finally got the kids from school and headed home around 330pm. By this time it started to sink in that I really could be in labor. The contractions were fairly close together but I had stopped timing them. Really, how do you time contractions while unloading 4 kids out of the car?!

I realized I had to get in touch with my husband so I finally got on the phone to staff duty.

"Staff Duty this is Sgt C."
"Hi, I'm trying to get in touch with Lieutenant John. This is his wife and I am in labor."

And of all the stupid things someone could say, this is what I get...

"Lieutenant John is in the field. Can I take a message?"

Now, did I not just say why I was calling? And would I be calling staff duty if he wasn't in the field?"

As calmly as possible I replied, "Yah, this is his wife and I'm in labor. THAT is the message."
He seemed flustered at this point. "Oh, ok, I'll get that message to him right away."

I later found out he never actually got the message. The connection was fuzzy and all he heard was wife. He immediately left knowing I must be in labor.

I hadn't even considered who I was getting to take me to the hospital. I called the only friend I could get in touch with but she was still 45 minutes away. It was now 340pm. I then called my husband's cousin to come watch the kids as he had agreed to. He said he would be right over.

Scott (John's cousin) showed up not 10 minutes later and I was sitting on the couch while my kids ran amok. I was too immersed in the contractions to even think straight at this point.

"Are you ok?" he asks.

Seriously, who in their own right mind asks a woman in labor this?

The only thing I could muster was, "I don't know." I knew that was not a good sign.

I didn't know what I should do. Thinking unclearly I called my friend back. I told her I was loading the kids into the car and Scott was taking me to the hospital. She could meet me there. I knew there was no way she would make it to the house in time.

We were finally pulling out of the driveway about 4ish. As Scott drove, I frantically tried getting in touch with the doctor's office. Not having done this before I wasn't sure what to do. Do I go to the office or the ER or straight to Labor & Delivery? I couldn't get in touch with anyone at the office so I decided to try John back again. Still no answer on his phone. I probably called 20 times already.

About 3 miles from my house we got stopped by the second red light in less than a minute. I remember telling him I wouldn't care if he ran the red light (he was driving my car) and as soon as it was clear, he did. I can only imagine what the other drivers were thinking. What would you be thinking?

Scott was driving like a maniac and I didn't care. I knew my kids were in the car but I was so scared of having that baby in the car. Every story I had ever heard about someone delivering in the car was going through my head.

We were nearing the hospital when we got stuck in traffic. It was a two lane road with tons of traffic coming towards us and trees on the left. That was when my water broke, about 415pm. I began to freak. My last baby was born just 10 minutes after my water broke. I knew it, I was going to have this baby in the car. I went into panic mode.

I started to call the doctor's office just one more time when John finally got through to me. I was crying and frantic. I told him my water broke and he said he was on his way. I can only imagine how fast he was driving.

Traffic was at a standstill and there was no where to go, except on the shoulder, through the trees. I told Scott to drive on the shoulder, my water had broke and the baby was coming NOW! My window was all the way down because it was the only thing keeping me from completely losing it. As we drove through the trees I was being smacked in the arm by random branches and the side of the van was being scratched up. I did not care.

Scott is beeping at every car that we pass. We got up about 6 or 7 cars when we couldn't go any further. The shoulder was no longer just a shoulder, there was a curb too. We couldn't exactly drive over it. I was again freaking.

Traffic started to move and Scott wedged his way into the line. I started to feel lots of pressure and knew the baby was coming. Like a scene straight from a movie, Scott maneuvered into the left turn lane and sped up in front of 3 cars to go straight through the light. I'm sure he ticked a lot of people off but I wasn't in any state of concern for them.

I was really scared this baby was coming. Traffic slowed once again. With the hospital in sight I picked up my cell phone and dialed 9-1-1. Yes, I called 9-1-1!!! I was not in my right mind and I did NOT want to have the baby in the car. The operator couldn't understand what I was saying so I tried calming down as best as I could. He assured me they would be waiting for me at the main entrance.

We pulled up the entrance and Scott, bless his heart, jumps out yelling, "She's in labor and the baby is coming NOW! We need some help." He gets a funny look from a man standing by the door but he nonchalantly gets a wheelchair. He was slower than molasses in winter time, or so it seemed to me as I was "dying" in the car. Although the pain had let up, I could still feel all that pressure.

Scott opened my door and even had to take my seatbelt off. I just couldn't get my arms and legs to cooperate. I was in a daze and soaked from my water breaking. This guy that brought the wheelchair took me into the hospital where he transferred me over to another guy in the elevator. I felt like a piece of mail. "This needs to go to the third floor. Could you run it up there for me?"

Elevator guy as I will call him walks just as slow as door guy. Even worse though, he doesn't know where to take me. He stops at every possible desk on the way to Labor & Delivery. Thank goodness I was already registered and thank goodness the nurses believed him when he told them I said "the baby is coming!"

I was rushed into a room where I threw (literally) my purse and my phone into a chair. I stripped out of my sopping wet jeans (yes, I could wear jeans at 40wks pregnant, and they weren't maternity either... how jealous are you?) but I kept my shirt on (that was maternity if you makes you feel any better).

It was about 430 when I finally got to push. I was there all by myself with a bunch of nurses and my doctor. My husband didn't make it and my friend didn't make it but the only thing I cared about was delivering this baby. I pushed maybe 10 times and let out a few loud screams and my little girl was born at 445pm. Sara Mackenzie weighed in at 7lbs 5oz.

My friend finally got to come in the room about 5pm after the doctor stitched me up and that is when I started making phone calls. I got in touch with John at 510. Since he had already missed the birth I sent him to the house to get my hospital bag. In all the excitement, and denial, I left it at home. He finally made it at 6 and got to meet his daughter when they brought her back from the nursery at 9.

It was a wild and crazy day but I am so glad I was able to experience labor on my own. I'm still not convinced I actually got a hold of the right 9-1-1 operator since no one was waiting for me at the hospital... anyone know how that works when you have an out of state cell phone? Oh well, good thing I didn't end up having her in the car. Although, that would be an interesting story to read huh?

Up until July 2009: I still got flashbacks whenever I drove through the light that Scott ran or when driving towards the hospital. As nerve wracking as that day was I'm glad that I can have those flashbacks. What fun are the flashbacks from my other births? 'Well I had my aunt drop me off at the ER. I signed in and they wheeled me up to labor and delivery where they started me with cervadil to soften my cervix.' Not very exciting is it... I hope that everyone gets to experience this at least once. Oh, and cut the cord. That is the most amazing thing outside of childbirth.

1 comment:

C. Beth said...

Bri, I haven't been on your blog in awhile and thoroughly enjoyed Adam's and Sarah's birth stories today!! I agree, the excitement is so fun to think back on! With Zoodle it wasn't nearly as stressful as it was for you with Sarah but he was born a little over 30 minutes after I got to the birthing center. So exciting! And speaking of Zoodle, he's awake from his nap. Glad I got to spend a few minutes on your blog while he was still sleeping! :)