My birth story.
Hi Girls….the dust has settled, I’m out of the newborn fog and am so excited to share my birth story with you all.
Miss Elliette Mae dramatically entered the world at 10:37PM on 1/3/13. She weighed 8pounds, 8.5 ounces and was 20 inches long.
The morning of the 3rd I woke up and had an intense urge to reorganize my bathroom. Good thing I was in the bathroom, because by 11:00AM, I had been to the potty 4 times (in hindsight, two very strong indicators that labor had started; nesting and multiple potty visits) The rest of the day was spent running errands. I went to the post office, Target, gas station, grocery store, vacuum repair shop and frankly felt quite productive. I was 38+2 and had been pretty uncomfortable the past three days.
My husband arrived home early from work. I began to prepare dinner, had a contraction, and wondered if I should watch the clock, but quickly got wrapped up in dinner and didn’t notice any other contractions. After cleaning up dinner, my DH and I watched some TV. At 8PM, I looked at DH and said, “Something is different. I have a feeling she’ll be here sometime in the next 24 hours.” The feeling that things were different would not go away….at 9 my DH suggested we go to bed. He instantly fell asleep and I laid there trying to get comfortable. Suddenly I had a strong urge to go to the bathroom, but when I sat on the pot, I couldn’t go. I headed back to bed feeling like I was going to wet myself, so I again headed to the toilet, but still couldn’t go.
I went back to bed, lay down, and had a contraction that took my breath away. I thought, “Wow, better watch the clock.” I did and exactly seven minutes later, I had another strong contraction. I got up, headed back to the bathroom where I pushed to finally relieve my bladder. When I wiped, I was spotting. I immediately woke up my husband saying, “I’m in labor. We need to go.”
Well, DH asked how many contractions I had had. I told him two. He then proceeded to turn on the shower. He was convinced that the baby wouldn’t be here until at least the next day, so he thought he could take his sweet time. It was 9:37 and I called my doula. “I’m pretty sure we’re having a baby.” She said she’d be to our house within ten minutes. She made it in eight minutes and at 9:45ish walked in while I was having a string contraction. She took one look at me and said, “I think you’re in transition.”
At this point my DH was out of the shower, bags were in the car and my contractions were roughly 2-3 minutes apart and very intense. Our doula offered steady encouragement during four contractions before she said we needed to get in the car NOW. She told my DH to put towels down since my water would likely break in the car.
My contractions were coming one on top of the other and it was frankly the scariest car ride of my life. I vaguely remember crying, praying to God to slow it down, gripping the hand rail, and seeing the speedometer at 90mph only to tell DH to go faster. UCSD is roughly 25 minutes away from our house, and in hindsight, way too far away.
We exited the freeway, my water broke, DH took a wrong turn, and our baby was coming….after stopping to tell our doula that he was lost, she headed in the right direction and the hospital was in sight. DH asked where he should go and I said to pull in to the ER. He pulled in behind the paramedics, I stepped out of the car and DH ran in to get a wheelchair. When he made it back outside, he said get in…I said she is coming NOW. I lifted up my skirt and reveled her head, as she was crowning.
I remember keeping my hand on her head and thinking, “I am not going to drop my baby on the concrete.” The rest is blurry, but there were lots of people standing around; random ER patients, homeless folk, passer-bys, and hospital staff. I remember hearing someone say, “Lay down.” And then another voice said, “I’m going to catch your baby.” The next thing I remember hearing was, “I’ve got a shoulder…baby’s out.”
And there she was; just like that; born on the concrete in the driveway of the ER on her terms. My husband had the thought to snap one picture, and that’s all we have to commemorate what is likely one of the fastest labors in history.
Needless to say, I did some damage to my lady parts. But I’d do it all again and again if need be. My rainbow girl is perfect in every way, and my heart is full.
My doula gifted Elliette with her birth story, and in it she wrote, “to be a rainbow baby does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears in the sky, it does not mean that the storm never happened, or that the family is not still dealing with its sadness aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds…..and that light is you. Storm clouds may still hover but a “rainbow baby” provides a counterbalance of color, energy, and hope.
What a journey this has been. Love and light to all, Jen.