Due Date: 2/25/09
Birthing History: First Child Stella was born one week early and after a “short” labor of about 10 hours.
2/13/09 – I prayed all week not to birth my second child on Friday, February 13th. I’m not normally suspicious, but it just didn’t feel right.
2/14/09 – When those prayers were successful, I switched to praying that I wouldn’t have a Valentine’s Baby. I already have a Christmas Baby husband.
2/15/09 – Awoke feeling a bit funny after having a few contractions overnight.
6:30 AM – Got on the treadmill and walked very slowly.
6:50 – Couldn’t take the treadmill any longer.
7:30 – Got into the shower to get ready. Called doula to give update that things may or may not be happening. Called my mom to have her begin her trip soon (an hour drive at the time) just in case, but take her time.
8:50 – Doula checks in with us before walking into church.
9:10 – I suddenly feel awful. Andy calls BFF and says to get to house ASAP since she lives closer.
9:30 – BFF arrives and I am on all fours still trying to get ready after the shower. Contractions are pretty bad, but I make it down to the car. (BFF later tells me she practically shoved me out the door because she did not want to deliver a baby in my house.)
9:40 – Leaving neighborhood. I could barely sit in the seat because contractions were so powerful.
9:45 – On I-275 I put the front seat back and turn around. Hug it through the pain.
9:47 – On I-71 S near Pfeiffer exit Andy asks, “Do we need to divert to B North? This is our LAST chance. Or can you make it to down to Good Sam?” “I can make it!!”
9:49 – Pass Pfeiffer exit. Lots of stuff going on with bodily fluids in the front seat of his car. Luckily I was sitting over a sweat shirt. “Not gonna make it!!” Andy, “WHAT????” Me, “Get off at Kenwood and go to Jewish!!! NOW!!!!”
So at this point, my poor husband is flying down I-71 S, takes the next exit, runs red lights, and is on the phone with the Douala. She immediately leaves church. He pulls into the Jewish Hospital ER entrance. He and the doula both know a very critical piece of information that I am not aware of…nor was I aware of until later after the birth. Jewish Hospital does NOT deliver babies. No delivery wing. No birthing suites. No OBs.
9:50ish – Andy runs into ER screaming, “My wife is in the car and having a baby!” ER staff look at him sympathetically like he’s a crazy soon-to-be father for the FIRST time. Meanwhile I wonder “Where the F*&K is everyone????” due to SLOW response and the fact that my water just broke. Seriously, thank goodness for the sweatshirt.
9:51 – A team of people come walking outside with…a wheelchair. HA! No way I was sitting in that thing. Everyone was asking questions (and got a little more serious once they realized this was baby #2) and finally a nurse looked me right in the eye and said, “Is the baby crowning?” “YES!”
9:52 – Staff rushes back inside and now runs back to me with a gurney and many more people. Much better.
9:53 – I go screaming through the doors to an ER trauma room in the fetal position.
9:55 – Clothes are cut off. More contractions. More screaming. Everyone looks very anxious which is not helping me. At all. I think they are waiting on an OB doc to pop down from upstairs…hehehehehe.
9:57 – Young doctor arrives. Looks very nervous. Comes at me with a scalpel and asks if I had an episiotomy the first time. I’m sure my eyes were very wide as his hand seemed very shaky. My heart is racing.
9:58 – Andy gets a call from the lobby. He convinces ER staff that the doula is my “aunt” so she is allowed back and into the ER room with us.
10:00 – Doula suggests things to us which we give consent and nod yes…ER doc looks relieved and puts scalpel down.
10:10 – After two quick sets of focused pushes, out pops Charlotte!
The next bit is a blur. There was a little scare with Charlotte’s lungs so the Children’s team got called, but she was breathing well enough to be held and fed. I think the ER team was being over-cautious all things considered.
Then they wanted us out of there. Like yesterday. The ER doc asked if I wanted him to tend to me (and I swear he was shaking his head NO while asking) OR if I wanted to wait until we got down to the other hospital with my actual OB (now he’s shaking head YES).
I was fine so I opted to wait. So, they put ME in a diaper (I think that was the best option), wrapped me like a mummy on a gurney (seriously, around my head and all) and put my placenta in a bucket (with a lid) and handed it to me to hold because apparently your placenta has to go with you.
Then we caravanned down I-71 S the rest of the way. First Andy in our vehicle (he offered to ride with me, but I really didn’t want to figure out the logistics of getting our car later, and this was baby #2 so I was fine alone), then Charlotte was in the Children’s Hospital transport and then I was behind that in my own transport (again, carrying a bucket the entire way).
From the moment I arrived at Good Sam until we finally headed home I was “the lady who delivered naturally at Jewish ER.”
And once I googled the doctor from the ER and realized he was some young head trauma intern, well, I hope he had a good story to tell for many years.
Major lesson learned…a doula is priceless. And we booked her for birth #3 the moment the pregnancy test confirmed it!
Happy Birthday Charlotte!
You came out fast and furious and on your own schedule.
Your personality continues just like that today.
We love your spunk, humor, and charm!
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