I will always remember that weekend. I was 38 weeks pregnant with our second child and my brother, sister-in-law and nephew had come to visit us for the weekend.
It was a sunny April day. We played outside, made dinner, and after dinner we decided to take a walk to the local ice cream shoppe. I had been having some slight contractions, but wasn’t sure if they were real or Braxton Hicks. With our first, I really didn’t have any contractions Braxton Hicks or otherwise up until the night before he was born.
The ice cream shop was maybe a half a mile walk, and it felt good to get out and moving. I ordered the most delicious hot fudge brownie sundae they had on the menu. It was amazing in one of those pregnant lady craving ways. We headed home, and my contractions started feeling a little more like they were something.
We hung out at our house, put the boys to bed, and all the while I thought I should probably start timing these contractions. The doctors tell you the whole 511 rule. Wait until your contractions are continuously 5 minutes apart, each 1 minute long, for an hour. We waited for a couple hours. The contractions varied. They would be 5 minutes apart but only 30 second long. They would be 7 minutes apart and 1 minute long. I just wasn’t sure.
Finally at about 11 p.m. we decided we should venture from Waukee downtown to Methodist. Lucky for us my brother and sister-in-law had already planned to stay the night and were able to stay with our son so we didn’t even have to wake him.
My contractions were getting a little worse and I knew it was the right choice. We walked into the Methodist Maternity Ward, they took our information, and set us up in the triage room to wait to be checked.
Then, the contractions started rolling in. I remember getting up from the bed, going to the bathroom, and having a contraction that was one of the worst I’d ever experienced. We hung out in triage for about 20 minutes and I had a few more major contractions. Finally a nurse came in to check me out.
She checked my dilation and had one of those, “Oh shoot,” looks in her eye.
“You’re complete. We have to go now,” she said.
“WHAT?! What does that mean?! Can I get an epidural?”
“Oh, no, hon. You’re at a 10. It’s time to deliver this baby. No epidural for you.”
“WHAT? I can’t do this!!”
All the time, Russ was standing at the top of the bed, then suddenly he wilted to the floor.
That’s right. He fainted.
“We need some help in here!” the nurse yelled.
Suddenly three or four nurses rush in the triage room. They picked Russ up off the floor, put him in a wheelchair.
They wheeled me out of the room, all the time I was freaking out saying, “I can’t do this!”
Russ was very apologetic, and I’m pretty sure I said something to the effect of, “It’s not about you right now!”
We got into our room (which was right around the corner from the triage room), they shifted me over to the bed and nurses came in to get everything set up. Then, in walked the doctor. Not just any doctor but MY doctor.
With my first pregnancy I had seen all the doctors in the practice, but with this one I decided to stick with the same one for all my visits. I couldn’t have been more happy to see her face ever! She was on the floor that night! She reassured me I could indeed deliver without any medication, and that we HAD to do this.
I pushed just four times, and our precious son was born. We arrived to the hospital at 11:30 p.m. and Wesley was born at 12:16 am. It was a whirlwind but he was healthy, I carried out an unplanned non-medicated birth, and Russ was up from his fainting spell and able to cut the cord.
Whenever I retell the story I always tell people it was like the movies. Later the nurses joked with me that with how fast everything happened, I should probably just come camp out at the hospital when I was 8 months pregnant with my next kiddo.
I’m happy to say that with our third, I made it to the hospital in time. Also, I ate that same amazing brownie sundae the night before he was born, so it will ever be known as “The Inducer” to me. When I checked into triage with him, they came right in, looked at my chart, and said, “Your last labor was super quick, so we’re just going to check you and get going.” He was born within a few hours of arriving at the hospital but not nearly as fast as his brother. Even though I experienced a non-medicated birth in the past, I still chose to get an epidural with my final birth.
Everyone’s birth stories are different and special. Wesley’s birth story may scare some first time moms sharing it because everything happened so fast, but it’s a definitely my most memorable one.
How does your story compare?