The Chronicle Continues…..Part 3 – The Precipitous Delivery

My midwife told me your first labor is unknown, your second is faster and your third is unpredictable; I concur. Erin’s was brutally tough, Eliza’s was fast (if you missed that whole saga, click here) and Isaac’s, well frankly was non-existent; under 90 minutes and far from textbook (yes every laboring woman in America wants to shoot me). However, just because it’s fast does not mean that the process is any different. It’s like walking up to the starting line of a full marathon and as the gun goes off realizing you accidentally joined the 8K race, or in my case the 800m dash.

Isaac was due on Tuesday June 30. I question why they give you an exact due date, it amazed me the emotional strain and boredom that came with each passing day. I was sick of people calling and asking. I about strangled the random lady in the grocery store that kept referring to it as the “4th trimester” and I was ready to pummel the next person that stated things like, “Wow I bet he is going to be like 10 pounds” or my favorite, “You’ll be induced at 42 weeks, just like you could have been at 38 weeks”. He was only five days overdue but it felt like an eternity. By the weekend I thought the kid would come out with tennis shoes, a mustache and would still be living with us when he turned thirty.

I had an appointment the day before my due date, I was dilated to a 3 and took the midwife up on some interventions, and everyone was confident that labor would start in the next day or two…so this is how we spent the week.

Day 1 overdue - No sweat, Eliza was a day late. My mom flew in on Wednesday. I drove up to IAH with the girls (against my father’s wishes) and we spent the afternoon trekking around IKEA.

Day 2 overdue - We did a ton of shopping, took the girls swimming, and went out for dinner.

Day 3 overdue – cleaned the house, Jared and I went grocery shopping, and what few contractions or signs I had that labor would soon be approaching completely stopped.

Day 4 overdue – Happy freaken 4th of July. We went to our wards pancake breakfast, came home mowed my lawn (Wanonie’s suggestion) in the 100 heat, weeded the flower beds, took the kids to the 4th of July festival, cooked dinner and went out to fireworks…and still NOTHING! ( I apologize to anyone who spoke to me that day, I was just plain pissed off).

Day 5 overdue - Sunday morning I woke up at 6:15 am with one solid contraction. I thought to myself, yikes, I forgot how uncomfortable the process is and geared up for a long morning of labor. And then all was silent for about 20 minutes. I got up and walked around and had a few more contractions, not nearly as strong as the first and I debated if it was labor or I really should have passed on the brats the night before.

I told Jared that I thought labor MIGHT be starting, this time he didn’t roll over and go back to sleep. He frantically got out of bed. As he half-hazardly ran around the house getting things together, he kept repeating “Go ~ we got to go”. It was like a broken record. Typically you leave for the hospital when your contractions are 5 minutes apart and last 60 seconds. With my record my midwife recommended 7-8 minutes apart, but she was pretty firm on the 60 second rule. Mine had no pattern yet, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 4 minutes, 12 minutes. Finally about 7:15 something inside told me it was about time to hit the road, but Jared was already dragging me out the door. I told him to knock it off, they probably would not even admit me since nothing was consistent. But he would not take no for an answer. I called the midwife on call, Deb (which lives just up in Clear Lake and we had a good plan) as we headed out the door and said I am kind of having contractions, lasting about 30 – 45 seconds. And she said “you sound great, but if you think its time I am out the door and right behind you on I-45”. I didn’t think it was time, but Jared did, so to make him chill out we went.

This little guy had good timing; Sunday morning is the only time that traffic is dead on I-45. We left and on the course of the 30 mile drive to the hospital in downtown Houston. I had four contractions, not horrible, but mighty uncomfortable being strapped in a seat belt. With each contraction I watched the color drain from Jared’s face and the speedometer on our Buick’s dashboard climb. My water broke about 5 minutes from the hospital. I thought from past experience we have about 30 minutes, we are good to go, no sweat. Jared went from pale to white and started to run stop lights and broke out his mad Nascar skills (which probably did more to speed labor than inhibit it). We pulled up to valet and ran inside and of course there was not a wheelchair in site.

St. Lukes is a huge complex and someone told us to go up to floor three, the problem is there are a half dozen elevators that go to different places. Finally I couldn’t walk anymore, looking back down the hallway seeing the trail on ammonic fluid behind me thinking, there goes part one of my dignity. We finally found the elevator (it’s the Red one for future reference). Some old lady wished me luck. I knew I was getting close but still was in control, the contractions were not horrible, I didn’t feel like I had gone through transition (who needs chills and to puke right)? I still had a good chunk of time and was priding myself on actually getting to the hospital. Security sign in took what seemed forever and then finally we walked onto the OB floor.

We both breathed a sigh of relief, we made it, and we signed in at 8:50am. A nurse came up and said my midwife had called and was just a few minutes behind and warned her I had fast active labors. The nurse took my weight and asked my pain medication preference and I laughed and said I don’t think it’s even an option. We walked into the room she threw me a gown and told me to change in the bathroom and that my midwife was now just a few blocks away. Perfect. The midwife practice I am with is awesome and I was really looking forward to having a labor with them since I didn’t make it downtown with Eliza. I was hoping for more time to you know, relax in the tub and use some of their stellar labor techniques, but can’t be picky, I should be glad we made it. I was changing in the bathroom thinking how much I hated hospital gowns and felt another contraction coming on. Hmm, this one was a little stronger, and then it happened….

He started to crown. Eliza crowned in the car so I thought been here done this, I got this all figured out. I got about 10 minutes left, sweet! Luckily I grabbed his head and lowered my center of gravity. It took me a second to realize what was happening. Within a few seconds of the initial crown came the rest of him. I grabbed him on the way out before he hit the tile (which is probably the only object I have successfully caught in my life). It took a second to register that I had actually delivered my own baby. Isaac came out alert and healthy at 8:54, 4 minutes after checking in.

There is a lot of junk that comes out with the kid, and as that hit the floor I heard the conversation between Jared and the nurse on the other side of the door cease and Jared say, “I don’t think that was the toiled that flushed.” The nurse rushed in completely surprised, but not hysterical like the nurse we had when Eliza was born. She called for a few residents to back her up. And there I was sitting naked on that tiny bathroom floor surrounded by strangers thinking there goes the rest of my dignity. The nurse was really cool, she let Jared cut the cord right there. My midwife ran in just a few minutes after he was born. She was impressed with my self delivery skills and finished the last few things and let me co-sign on the delivery physician line on my take home birth-certificate. The paper work took forever. You know things like; were heart tones present before delivery…sure he came out alive. In the meantime they just let Isaac hang out with us for about an hour before even doing his assessment. My midwife Deb stayed around a chatted for a while before going home. As she headed out the door she laughed and said you know, the 4th just goes faster.

I can’t speak for Jared, I assume at this point he is done having kids, the drive seems to stress him out :). This birth was not the chaotic experience the last two were; maybe we are just getting use to it. Now on two of my birth records in capital letters it reads “precipitous delivery”. Nature is an amazing thing. With all the technology and interventions we have today, sometimes I think we miss out on the physical and emotional experience that comes with birth. Although quick and unplanned, catching this little guy was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. So now I can cross of my bucket list, “ #57 deliver a baby”, I just never though it would be my own.


shannon said...

You rock little lady! http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/

Marby said...

I think if there is a #4 in the future you can safely save your $$. Heck, if I have a fourth I may just save my $$ and call you!! LOL

Jenny said...

So....since she let you sign a co-delivery, did she split the fee with you? (Yuk, yuk).

Stacie Francois said...

I've been eagerly waiting to hear the story . . . you don't disappoint! Congratulations on your new Mr. Renshaw :).

Kileen Smith said...