Delivery on the highway: The birth of Lillian
Written by: Nicole July 10 2011 A few days shy […]
A few days shy of my due date with my third child, I agreed with my doctor to set a day for induction.
My second was a large baby (10 lbs., 9 oz.) and while I delivered him without problems, both the doctor and I didn't want to push my luck. So with that in mind, we set the date for 8 a.m. on Thursday, June 18th, the day after my due date. I went to sleep the night before feeling a little anxious. I had an induction with my first child due to preeclampsia issues and it was by far my most difficult labor. Despite that, I actually slept fairly well until I woke up around 3:15 a.m. to use the restroom.
At first I didn't think much of it—what pregnant woman isn't up half the night in the restroom?—until I sat down. In a quick movement, it felt like the baby hit my cervix. It hurt for a brief moment but nothing happened so I thought it was just one of the baby's movements. Until a contraction hit. I still didn't panic but I started moving since my second baby came fairly fast (within 3 hours of labor onset) and the hospital was 40 minutes away. I woke up my husband, who told me later that he thought I was getting him up to get ready for the induction, not because I was in labor.
I wasn't watching the time but I had had a couple more contractions by the time I made it downstairs and to the phone to call a neighbor friend to come be with my other two kids when they woke up. I still felt OK but on a hunch I called another friend and asked if she'd come with us to the hospital. They were over in short time. The contractions were stronger but not overwhelmingly so. I remembered what transition felt like with my second—well, I remembered they were so bad that I couldn't remember them! By this time, a half hour had passed from the first contraction. My husband, friend and I got in the van. It was difficult to do. I should have known right then, but honestly, the pain wasn't that bad.
We were almost out of town when I felt a sudden easing of the contractions. A little alarm went off in my head. Hadn't I read that you get a little breather before pushing? (This did not happen with my second but I remembered reading that somewhere). Sure enough, a few minutes later, I felt the urge. I was still in denial that this baby was coming and so said I had to go to the bathroom. My friend told me to go. As soon as I gave in to the pressure, I realized that it was the baby. My husband had made it to the highway on-ramp, with the hospital a mere 20 minutes away. He called 911 but quickly had to hand over the phone to my friend since he had to catch a newborn!
And suddenly, there was my baby, born at 4:07 a.m. The baby was purplish/gray, not making any noise. I panicked about the baby not breathing but the emergency squad got there and took over. I was transferred to the ambulance and taken the rest of the way. They asked if I wanted to hold my baby girl (our first!). Of course I wanted to, but I was still in pain (from not finishing labor) and shaking so much that I was afraid. At the hospital they were all in a flurry. I finally had to ask if I could deliver the placenta, which apparently they were amazed at the size of. But I could have cared less by then. I just wanted to rest and be with my baby.
By the time it was all over, I had missed much of the usual post-birth quiet time with my little girl but that didn't take away my joy of cuddling with my babe—all 10 lbs, 12 oz of her! And the headache of getting a birth certificate for her was crazy. Nobody knew what to do with our situation.