Hhayner: Miles' Speedy Delivery
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 10:53 AM
"It finally occurred to me that maybe this was labor -- not what I expected since it was still more than two weeks before my due date..."
“Fast and Furious”
I've been told that I'm the woman every other pregnant woman hates. I got extremely lucky through my entire pregnancy because I never got sick, went hiking and camping at 7 months, and felt pretty great the entire time. My birth story is pretty similar, albeit fast and furious.
I woke up Wednesday morning at 6:43 am, about 10 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off, because I had to go to the bathroom. After doing my business, I still felt like I had to go number 2 again. I started to get ready to go to work, but that feeling kept coming back, even though nothing was happening. It finally occurred to me that maybe this is labor, though this is definitely not what I expected since I was about 2.5 weeks before my due date, and since this is my first baby, I thought that I would deliver late. We also had one more shower the next day and no car seat, so we definitely were not prepared. I woke my husband and asked him to get the baby books because I thought that I could be in labor. He ran downstairs while I paced the bedroom getting very anxious.
None of my symptoms matched early labor signs in any of the books, so I called my mother. She was getting ready for work and I talked to her for about 15 minutes before she said, “I'll get your dad ready and we'll leave as soon as we can.” My husband and I both called out of work, and we began timing my contractions while packing our bags for the hospital. I continued to pace the floor, not able to think a single coherent thought. I called my mom again to tell her about my contractions, and she advised that should call my midwife to alert her that I might be having contractions. I called and left a message since it was before office hours, and she called back about 5 minutes later. When I was talking to her she asked me the timing between my last 5 contractions. It had been 10 minutes, 8 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, and 2 minutes. She sounded surprised, and clarified, “These are your last five contractions?” When I confirmed that they were, she told me to come in to the office to be examined.
Off to the hospital
The five-minute drive to the hospital felt like an eternity -- the cramping was getting to the point where it felt like it was constant. Sitting was awful and the only time I felt OK was when I was walking. We parked, and I immediately got out of the car, leaving my husband to carry everything. The only thing I could think about was moving and getting into that hospital. We walked into the office and only had to wait about two minutes before they called me back. I almost didn’t recognize my midwife in the hall and passed by her because I was so out of it. On the examining table, she barely even touched me, but it hurt more than anything I had experienced so far. Immediately she said, “Well, you're 8 to 9 centimeters dilated and 80 percent effaced. Let's go upstairs and have a baby.” This was at 8:20 am.
We went up to Labor & Delivery, having to stop only once to breathe through a contraction. They got me into a room immediately and my husband helped me get my clothes off and into a gown. I got on the bed and they hooked me up to a fetal heart rate monitor to make sure our baby was doing well. They had trouble getting a reading, so I had to lie on my side while they put in an internal monitor (not part of my birthing plan), but they got a strong reading then. My water still hadn't broken, but everything else in my body was ready to go, so my midwife suggested that she break my water. This was not part of my birth plan either, and I was disappointed that my mother couldn’t be there since she lived an hour and a half away, but I trusted my midwife and agreed to her breaking my water.
As soon as she broke my water, I felt this unbelievable need to push. The midwife told me that I could push, but she kept me on my side so they could still monitor the baby. After pushing through the first contraction, my midwife and the nurses told me to stop yelling and start breathing. I couldn’t calm myself enough, so they finally put an oxygen mask on me so that I wouldn't pass out. Apparently this was the only time my husband got really nervous, but I barely remember it. Only two contractions and eight minutes later I felt the “ring of fire”-- pain like I've never felt before as the baby crowned. And then it was over: He was here. Miles Benjamin was born at 9:02 am, less than 2.5 hours since my first contraction. It was a good minute or two before anyone even asked if I wanted to know what it was. I never even thought to ask -- I was just thankful that it was over! Miles ended up with a large hematoma on the right side of his head while I ended up with a second degree muscular tear and the shakes for about an hour from everything happening so fast and all the adrenaline. We've both recovered beautifully, however, and I wouldn't change a thing. Medication was never really an option for me by my own choice, but I wouldn't have had time for it anyway. I wasn't even in the hospital for an hour before Miles was born.
My midwife later told me that she had me come in to the office to make me feel better; she absolutely thought that she would be sending me home. As soon she saw me walking from the parking lot, though, she figured we'd be staying because I had “the look”. Her only advice for me for next time was, “Do not move very far from the hospital!” My husband was awesome through the whole thing. Had he not been there I may have given birth at home. I couldn't think about anything but the pain. He got our bags packed and made me get in the car, staying completely and utterly calm throughout the whole thing. What an incredible, life-changing experience -- I really am looking forward to doing it all over again!
>Want to share your birth story? Send it to email@example.com.