(*please note that anytime an actual curse word is abbreviated in this post, you are safe to assume the actual curse word was spoken)
We’ve all heard those stories of women who deliver their babies on the side of the road, their husbands on the phone to emergency services, or worse- wearing a GoPro camera. I’ve always been a bit smug about these stories, especially after having my first baby in a very civilized manner. Thinking, “surely these women can get their s#&@ together enough to get to the hospital before their baby is born in the backseat of a car, or on the bathroom floor”.
I am smug no more.
Two days before my due date with baby number two, at about two in the morning, I woke up with the sensation that my water had broken. A quick waddle into the bathroom confirmed that finally this baby was going to make its grand debut and I would be pregnant no more. Hallelujah! Knowing it would be a long process, per my previous experience of bringing forth new life, I went back to bed, hoping to get a few more hours rest before the real fun began. The contractions were quite manageble, mild even at times and around twenty minutes apart. Somehow, I was able to calm my excited nerves and fall asleep between them. Charlie woke up around 6 that morning and like usual she crawled into bed with us until I sent Lucas downstairs to make a carb loaded breakfast of pancakes before we headed off to the hospital. All in a very calm and purposeful manner.
I wanted to wait until 7am to call my midwife, trying to be a “good patient” I didn’t want to interrupt her sleep with an early phone call when things weren’t desperate. At ten to 7, I hopped in the shower, washed my hair, shaved my legs, and hollered “Ow!” about 436 times. Why, my brain at this point didn’t say, “um lady? You’re totally going to have your baby really freaking soon! , I have no idea. I got out of the shower, more “ows” coming out of my mouth and called my midwife. I told her I was coming to the hospital as I couldn’t take it anymore and she assured me she would be there to meet us. Little did I know, how many that “us” would be made up of.
With pains so intense I couldn’t walk, or stand upright, I was reduced to crawling around on my closet and bathroom floor, feeling like I was going to lose the breakfast I’d yet to enjoy that morning. Recognizing the need to upchuck feeling as a sign of transition I knew it was quite serious and had to get out of the house immediately. Especially since my “ows” were turning in to F bombs.
My cries of pain grew much louder by this point but still no one came to check on me. What the hell were they doing downstairs?! I’m IN LABOR UP HERE!!!! So desperate to get to the hospital, I threw back on my pyjama top, and some leggings, slipped on my Havianas and grabbed my toiletry bag. My wet, uncombed hair soaking the back of my shirt. Half hunched over, I made it down the stairs, hearing music playing and my family having a good little chat.
“We need to go to the hospital now!” I bellowed. I made my way toward the door, as my pyjama clad mother and husband tried to assess the situation, not believing I was truly that far advanced to need to leave that very moment. Then came the first of many F-bombs, when I repeated much more forcefully that we needed to go to the hospital. Everyone spun into action, my mom trying to get me into the car. Lucas scooping Charlie upstairs, and apparently finding time to throw on jeans and a t-shirt. In his favor, he did remember to grab our hospital bags and throw both iPads in Charlie’s general direction as a distraction tool.
When I tried to get in the car, I couldn’t sit down, the only way I was getting anywhere was by laying down. But I most certainly wasn’t going to lay on the floor of my house, knowing that would be the last place I ever laid down because oh.my.gosh this pain was going to kill me. With both car seats fitted in the backseat, the only place I could fathom laying down was the trunk of the Touareg which is not the safest place to ride during peak traffic hour, although it is roomy. Turning to go back into the house, I told my mom I needed to pee, and she just kept telling me, “don’t push!”. As if that were an option my body would listen to.
Once back inside, the dinosaur noises really kicked into high gear. I demanded an ambulance, to which my dear husband argued against.
“We can get to the hospital before they even get here.”
I’m 900% sure I told him to “F off” and call the ambulance. I would like to take this opportunity to formally and publicly apologize to him for that comment. T-Rex CJ was in control and every person was fair prey. My mother was on the phone to my midwife, and between dinosaur calls, I was yelling for drugs. “Did she hear me?! I want an epidural and I want one now!!!” I was shouting at my poor mother. Who I know now was trying her hardest not to have a complete freak out, and was scrambling for her nurse hat to exchange for her mom hat.
On all fours, between my kitchen and garage, to which the doors were all hanging wide open. I was gracing our neighborhood with my expletive laden rants every thirty seconds or so. I recall thinking, we should close those so the neighbors don’t hear, but I was in desperate need of the cool morning air breezing in. Little Charlie’s sweet voice popped out of nowhere and she was asking what Mommy was doing on the floor.
“Just looking at the carpet Charlie!” My mom reassured her before Lucas swept her back up the stairs and tucked her back in our bed. Safely away from the animalistic noises coming from her mother.
Soon, some black boots appeared below my face, through the mane of hair around me, and an angel named Phil came to my rescue. Again my cries for drugs came out and I was quickly informed they couldn’t give me anything, but would get me to the hospital ASAP. He and another paramedic helped me to my feet, out of my amniotic puddle (sorry, gross, I know) and onto a gurney. As Phil was pulling my leggings off in the middle of my driveway, his partner handed me a green whistle looking thingy and told me to inhale off of it. Sweet. Baby. Jesus.
Lucas piled our bags into the ambulance, and away we went. Between primitive grunts and groans, I sucked on that magic pain whistle which seemed to separate my brain from the atrocity that was happening to my entire body at that moment. Bearing down was the only thing I could possibly do, and Phil kept looking under the blanket, assuring Lucas that all was ok and no baby was coming quite yet. Until we rounded the corner to the hospital.
Lucas will tell you in that instant Phil’s “annoyingly calm” face dropped and he said, “we are delivering this baby NOW!” I proceeded to deliver my baby in the parking lot of the women and children’s hospital. Lucas was able to help Phil catch our baby as the midwives opened the back of the ambulance. I flung the magic green whistle away and grabbed my baby as Lucas proclaimed, “It’s Deacon!”
“Happy Birthday Deacon!” I cried with sheer joy and relief, and then I’m pretty sure I blacked out for a few minutes as I can’t recall being wheeled out of the ambulance or into the elevator or into the delivery room.
All said and done, I actively labored for about an hour, pushing for only about ten minutes until my family became complete with the birth of our son. I certainly didn’t plan it that way and I absolutely wouldn’t want to do it again. But now that it’s over and I have been overcome by those glorious postpartum hormones I can say it wasn’t all that bad. Yeah right, it was freaking crazy and painful and mind blowing. While recovering, my mom tried to tell me she thought what I had just done was very Wonder Woman-esque. I quickly corrected her, it’s a very One Hot Mess thing, delivering my baby in such a fashion.