Jesse got home from work at around 5:15 p.m. I was feeling incredibly tired, so I asked if I could go lie down. He agreed to feed and get the girls to bed. I fell asleep at around 6 o’clock. I woke up at 10:30 feeling much better, and joined him in the living room. At about 10:45, I felt a strong contraction. Not anything terribly abnormal, but strong enough for me to take notice. I decided to text my doula to give them the heads up at 11 p.m. At this point, my contractions were completely bearable and irregular, but I decided it was best to call my mother-in-law, who lives an hour away, to come spend the night—just in case; my previous labors had been quick.
My mother-in-law arrived a little after midnight. Contractions were still bearable and not incredibly regular. By 12:30 a.m., I was certain this was the real deal. At 1 o’clock, we called our doulas to head our way. Between 12:45 and 1:15, my labor went from 0 to 60. As soon as the doulas walked in the door, it was time to go. Amber helped keep me calm for the last few contractions out the door. She knew I was beginning to panic. Michelle jumped in with Jesse and me, and Amber followed in her car.
The car ride got intense quickly. I was terrified we were about to have a car baby. Thank God I had Michelle with me, otherwise I’m not sure I would have stayed as calm. She called L&D to let them know we were on our way and that things were progressing quickly. None of us knew just how quick it was about to be.
We pull in to the ER and there was a wheelchair waiting. I got in, and whoever was pushing it didn’t move! I jumped out and exclaimed that I had to pee. Michelle followed me to the restroom. I got into a stall (with the door open), reached down, and there was a head, about an inch out. Michelle ran out to get a doctor. Jesse and Amber rushed in, followed closely by a gaggle of nurses and a doctor. The doctor looked at me and said, “Hi, ma’am. I am Dr. McMahon. I need you to come sit in this wheelchair.” I said, “No! This baby is coming now!” With one big contraction, Miss Caroline comes out, caught by the ungloved hands of myself and Dr. McMahon as Jesse held my other.
It was a little (okay, a lot) chaotic, but Caroline cried and was a beautiful pink color. The doctor helped me waddle over to the wheelchair, where we discovered she was a girl (Team Green for the pregnancy). The emotions were intense. We cut the cord and Jesse followed the nurse and Caroline up to L&D, followed shortly by myself, Amber and Michelle.
In L&D, the nurses and on-call OB joked with us as I delivered the placenta and got a few stitches. No one got a time of birth so we guesstimated it at 2:08am. Caroline was 6lbs 14oz and 19.25″ long.
The whole experience was, and still is, so surreal. I am forever grateful for my husband, our doula team and the medical staff.
We are now 3 days postpartum and still riding the hormonal high. I’m doing well recovery-wise, and Caroline is perfect. Postpartum, I am in a much better place than my last birth. Her birth is the perfect description of our new life: beautiful chaotic. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Photographs by M. Scarpello Photography
I love this story so much. What a great way to have a mother and baby led birth! <3