going into this birth, i had every intention of it being different than Sydney’s birth – Sydney was induced at 41 weeks and while i was (and still am) very happy with the way she came into the world, it wasn’t at all how i had planned it to be – but then neither was this one – i guess what they say about the best laid plans is true!
Monday morning i had an appointment with my OB, Dr. Flowers – i was 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant and READY for this baby to be born – while i had been ready in my head for a couple of weeks, Friday morning i hit that “GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME!” wall and was really starting to get impatient – especially since my body had been making progress for a couple of weeks – we did another ultrasound, where the sonographer told me she was estimating the baby to be a 9 pounder and then the Non Stress Test, which the baby responded to with no problems – and while my cervix had thinned out a little more, i was still only dilated to 2 cm – are you joking me? GET OUT!! i promise my arms are comfier than my uterus!!! anyway, knowing that i did NOT want to be induced again, Dr. Flowers promised she wouldn’t bring up the dreaded “I-word” until at least the next week and sent me home with all of the normal old wives tale induction recommendations – walk, blah-blah-blah, sex, blah-blah-blah – pretty much just hurry up and wait
since Monday was a holiday, Kelley was with us so we all headed home to enjoy the rest of the afternoon – i was still trying to finish up some last minute wedding details for a few brides and then decided to head out to finish some errands, but around 2pm i started having contractions – i waited til i’d had a few regular ones before i even mentioned them to Kelley because i didn’t want to cry wolf – the problem was they never really became “regular” – and isn’t that the way they do it on tv? “call me when your contractiuons are 5 minutes apart!” – i had downloaded the Contraction Master app to my iPhone so that i could time them – but they never had a “set” pattern – they were generally about a minute long and were coming sporadically – every 3 minutes, every 7 minutes, every 10 minutes, every 5 minutes – there was no set pattern and they weren’t very painful – more like uncomfortable – my doula, Cindy, had told me to call her when the contractions were so intense that i couldn’t walk or talk through them – well, they were FAR from that so i decided to head to Walmart – because that’s how i roll!
i wandered aimlessly through Walmart half hoping that would kick-start something but no such luck – so i picked up a few things (including Easter candy – YAY!) and headed home – i had already called everyone (my mom, BFF Angie, my sister aka Evilina, ReJana aka the best photographer EVA’! and Cindy to be on standby – since i was induced with Sydney, going into labor naturally was going to be a new experience for me and i wasn’t exactly sure what to expect – when i got home, i ran around the house trying to do some last minute things (like packing – good looking out!) and suddenly the contractions seemed to get a little stronger – not strong enough that i couldn’t walk or talk through them, but stronger – i called Cindy, who suggested i eat something and then take a nap because i would need the strength later – originally i had planned on cooking but standing in the kitchen suddenly didn’t seem so appealing – so i ordered a pizza and sent Kelley to pick it up and because i could feel myself getting agitated, i told him to take Sydney with him
after they left, i continued with my “to-do” list and thought i should call my mom and Angie and tell them to head over – the contractions were still manageable but i didn’t know when they would change – Angie was going to stay with Sydney while we went to the hospital and since i planned to labor at home til things got close, i wanted my mom there (cause when things get rough, don’t you always want your Mommy?) – Kelley came home soon after that with the pizza and i quickly downed 3 slices – then everyone started showing up and it started to feel like a party – my intention was to eat and then lay down, but as is usually the case with me, i kept needing to do “one more thing” – the last thing i planned on doing was putting Sydney down for the night and figured i would fall asleep in the process like i usually do – but Sydney had other plans – i think she sensed that things were about to change and ever the busybody, she wasn’t about to miss out – we headed to her room and nursed and rocked for a while then she announced she was finished and headed for the door – i knew she was tired and figured she would crash soon so i didn’t stop her
the party continued for a little longer but around 11pm Sydney started to get ornery and i was starting to get tired so we decided to shut the party down and head for bed – i was starting to get irritated with my body because i didn’t feel like i was making any progress and at 11:30pm, i decided to call Cindy one last time and see if there was anything else i should be doing – she suggested sleep (of course) to allow my body to rest and get ready for labor – so for the last time Kelley, Sydney and i climbed into bed together and i tried to get Sydney to go to sleep – of course Sydney wasn’t having it and all she wanted to do was play which turned out to be poor timing because that’s when my contractions started to get stronger – Kelley tried to take her out to Angie but i wanted her to stay with me even though she was a little on the bothersome side – i’m not sure what Sydney was doing, but out of nowhere Angie came and asked Sydney if she wanted to watch a DVD and in an instant, my kid ditched me for Barney!
the contractions were starting to get even stronger and i started to get the shakes (which i had with Sydney) so i told Kelley to call Cindy – we were at the point where i couldn’t talk through them, so Kelley told her to head over – i was freezing by then and decided a hot bath would help me warm up plus take the edge off the contractions so i sent him to get a bath going and i decided to call ReJana – i have to say that there are many benefits to having one of your best friends also be your photographer – but one of the greatest benefits is that she can finish your sentences … in the middle of a contraction – i think our conversation went something like this
ReJana – hello?
me – i think it’s tiiime (in a sing song voice)
ReJana – really? cool!
me – (contraction coming on) uhhhh …yeah … just called Cindy and …
ReJana – is she coming over?
me – uh huh – uhhhh … we, uh
ReJana – you want me to come over there now?
me – yeah
ReJana – okay – i’m headed there now
well that was easy!!
Sydney was still in the living room with Angie so Kelley got me settled in the tub and got my music started playing – what seemed like a few minutes later, Cindy showed up and and a few minutes after that ReJana showed up – and once again, the party had started! it was about 1am and the contractions were still fairly strong but i felt like they were still pretty manageable – i was still able to have conversations between contractions, and thanks to Cindy i was able to stay ahead of them for the most part – Angie popped in while Kelley attempted his Daddy Magic to get Sydney to sleep and then out of nowhere, the contractions started getting really strong – i started changing positions while Cindy applied pressure to my back and hips and that helped for a few contractions, but then they started getting bad – and it seemed to get worse with each contraction – Cindy suggested we think about heading to the hospital because i didn’t want to be in the car during those transitional contractions – i knew we needed to go soon but every time i changed positions the next contraction hurt WAY worse (which Cindy said was normal) so i was hesitant to move – but then i decided i needed to pee, so i got out of the tub and was hit with a monster contraction – i immediately leaned on Cindy and said, “Cindy, i don’t think i can do this” – “yes you can” she said, “this just means you’re getting close” – after that things got kind of fuzzy because everyone was moving in different directions trying to get me and all my stuff into the car – i was headed to the garage when i felt a really strong contraction coming on – i immediately turned off into our bedroom and laid on the bed – i had 2 really strong contractions which felt like they were back to back – i asked Cindy if she would check to see how far i was dilated (in addition to being a doula and a chiropractor, she’s studying to be a midwife) – she said that she would if i really wanted her to but said it would be really uncomfortable and thought we should just go ahead to the hospital – i said okay and headed to the car
as i climbed into the car, i realized how cold it was – Kelley had put towels in the back seat but only spread one of them out – when i climbed in the leather was FREEZING so in the midst of trying to get in the car, find a comfortable position and have another contraction, i was also trying to spread out the towels … and good thing! Cindy had asked me a few minutes earlier if i wanted her to ride with me and the answer was absolutely! i knew i couldn’t get through the contractions without her and looking back, that was the best decision i made all night!
we were finally in the car and the contractions were coming pretty quickly and as we pulled on to the highway i asked 2 things – 1. were the doors locked? because it would be my luck that i’d be reaching for something and grab the door handle and go tumbling out the door and 2. what time it was – the answer was 2:22am
as we were headed down the highway, i could feel the contractions coming faster – i was on my hands and knees with my head leaning on my pillow against the passenger window – every time a contraction would come, i would grab the pillow and bury my head into it and moan – it seemed like forever but all of a sudden i felt the need to push, i pulled away from the pillow and then what felt like a water balloon fell out of me – i remember feeling a tremendous amount of relief – like all the pressure was gone and saying, “oh my God, my water just broke!” – i was relieved because i thought i would get a few minutes of rest but i was wrong about that – it wasn’t a minute later that i felt more pressure and i had to push again – i remember trying not to push and just having to go with it and all of a sudden i felt what seemed like a ball between my legs, i reached down and could feel a head of hair – a that point i yelled “oh my God i’m gonna have this baby in the car!” – Cindy told Kelley that we needed to pull over to which he responded, “are you sure? we’re just a few minutes from the hospital …” – “PULL OVER!!!” i yelled – it was then that Cindy told me she needed to push again but since the pressure of the baby’s head was gone, i didn’t really feel the need to push – i tried to push again but wasn’t sure if i was doing it right – then Cindy said to push one more time, so i did and suddenly there was a baby between my legs – he wasn’t crying and i remember saying several times, “is he okay? is he breathing?” – Cindy said “he’s perfect” just as i heard him start to scream and she slid him between my legs – that’s when i picked up my baby and looked down and yelled, “IT’S A BOY!!!!” – what happened in the next few minutes was a complete blur – i immediately tried to hold him to my chest but felt some tugging down below – oh yeah, there’s an umbilical cord there – and it’s attached to the placenta – i think someone handed me a towel which i immediately wrapped around Myles – Cindy had come around to the passenger side of the car to help me reposition – ReJana was suddenly in the front passenger seat on the phone with 911 and i could hear her spelling her name (which i thought was odd) – Myles was still crying so i decided to try and nurse him – after a minute or so, he latched on and we settled into the backseat to wait – a few minutes later, a paramedic appeared and with Cindy’s help, we delivered the placenta and cut the umbilical cord – there was a lot going on outside the car and i could hear the paramedics talking but the only thing i was concerned with was my gorgeous baby boy – i wasn’t in any pain at all and as far as i was concerned, i could’ve sat in that backseat all night long – eventually, they got me loaded onto the gurney so the ambulance could transport me to the hospital – as they were wheeling me to the ambulance, ReJana came running over to me and said “your mom’s here!” and there she suddenly appeared – i took one look at her and said “look at my baby boy!!!” – she gave me a hug and they wheeled me into the ambulance
it seemed like forever before we finally left – they were asking me tons of questions – name, rank, serial number – and they were connecting me to all kinds of stuff – an IV, oxygen, etc. i didn’t even think to ask what they were doing – i was too busy looking at my baby boy and trying to make sure he was nice and warm – they had given me some sort of foil blanket wrap that was supposed to help increase his body temperature while they asked me 20 questions and then finally we were on our way to the hospital – when we got there they took me in through the ER, but clearly since i’d already had the baby it was no longer an emergency – but that didn’t stop everyone from looking at me like i had 2 heads – as they rolled me past the intake desk i heard someone whisper, “is that her?” – yes, i am now the girl who had a baby in a car! about an hour after i delivered Myles, my OB showed up – she’s a WAY better person than me because i would not be happy if i had to get out of bed to come see a patient who had ALREADY had the baby!! i wish i could describe the look on her face when she saw me sitting there holding the baby – she’s so funny, she just looked at me and said “uh, so what happened?” – y’all know how i love Dr. Flowers, so i was kind of bummed that she didn’t get to deliver this baby – guess that means we’ll definitely have to have a 3rd, right?
random things i remember from the evening
* once we had made the decision to head to the hospital, there was a discussion of what i would wear – i had purchased a labor outfit that consisted of a purple tank top and black jersey knit skirt – i remember telling the girls that i didn’t want to wear that in the car because if my water broke in the car, i’d be pissed if it was all wet when we got to the hospital – only i would be prolonging my trip to the hospital by having to make a fashion decision 😆
* i wanted to take my pillow with the same purple pillowcase i used when i had Sydney – Kelley looked for it in the linen closet and couldn’t find it – i was just wondering how i could manage to get to the linen closet to look for it myself when Angie came in and said she’d look for it – BFF to the rescue!! she didn’t find it either but i guess it didn’t matter!
* while sitting in the ambulance, it occurred to me that i had never been in an ambulance before – then, all of a sudden i heard a siren – one of the paramedics said, “it looks like your husband is playing with the horn” – only he didn’t know that he was – Kelley was sitting in the front seat and apparently the horn is on the floor – fyi, did you know that they don’t let you ride in the back of the ambulance – Kelley had to ride in the front!!!
* i was sitting in the back seat waiting on the paramedics and we could hear the sirens – Kelley came over to the me, flashlight in hand, and said “the paramedics are on their way – do you have everything you want to have on when they get here?” – uhhhh, do i have a wardrobe choice? ReJana reminded me of this a few days later and said i had the craziest look on my face when he asked me – HI-larious!
i’m sure there will be more as i replay the night in my head over and over again – what a great night!
so there you have it – the birth of Myles Emanuel Hall – i never would have imagined i would (or could) give birth in a car – it was a totally crazy but totally amazing experience – when they say that the 2nd baby comes faster, they weren’t lying – i am so blessed and thankful that Cindy was there because i don’t know what i would have done without her – and i can’t wait to see the pictures – only ReJana could be taking pictures and talking to 911 at the same time – she ROCKS!!