I went in for my 38 week check up with my Ob, Jason, and everything was good. My baby boy was nice and low, and I was 3.5 cm dilated. Even though it was great to be progressing, I was also dilated early with my first son and I did not deliver him until two days after my due date, so I wasn’t worried about or even thinking about going early. Around 8 pm that night I started having some mild contractions. I didn’t have to breathe through them, and they were really erratic, but they did keep coming. I did text with my doula Elizabeth. Both of us weren’t convinced that this was actual labor so I tried to relax and see what unfolded. The rest of the night my contractions continued, but they were still erratic with no real pattern. I would get up, breathe through them, and then I would lay back down and rest. I felt really comfortable being at home and alone (even though my husband was peacefully sleeping next to me). I was just letting my body do what it needed to.
My son Landon woke up at around 5 am and my husband asked me if he could help. I still was in this place of just wanting to be alone, so I asked him to just go play with Landon and keep him distracted. Around this time my contractions were lasting about a minute and were about 7 to 8 minutes apart. Even though I still thought I had some time, I did email my Ob at this point because I was now convinced that I was in labor. My contractions were definitely becoming more intense but with each one I just listened to my body and moved and breathed the way I needed to. Sometimes I would be standing up swaying back and forth, and other times I would be curled up in a ball on my bed praying (and I’m not religious). Around 7 am my contractions started coming faster and stronger, and I wasn’t able to time them anymore. My labor was definitely starting to pick up.
I was still convinced I had more time, and I was trying to hold on until my babysitter came at 8:30 am. Even though things were intense I was still busy, trying to pack my bags, play with my son and even help cook him breakfast. Around 8 am, I had some bloody discharge and my doula Elizabeth started heading to Cedars without me asking. She joked with me that I was in denial and that this was happening. I knew I was getting close, but I still thought I had a ways to go and I didn’t want to go to the hospital too early. I felt so calm and safe being at home.
However, as the time approached for my sitter to come I started to get ready to leave and wanted to see my doula and Ob. When our sitter walked in fifteen minutes late at 8:45am, I could no longer talk and the contractions were powerful. I quickly said goodbye to my son Landon and we left.
As soon as I got in the car I was on all fours in the front seat with the air conditioner blasting. I was really hot and in between contractions I would just lean into the air conditioner and breathe. At this point the contractions were truly consuming me and coming one after another. My husband had Elizabeth (our doula) on speaker phone for support, but I still didn’t want to hear anything from anyone or talk to anyone. Unfortunately there was a lot of traffic, and as we were still a few miles away from the hospital my water broke and I felt my baby’s head start to descend into my pelvis. Something took over my body and I couldn’t stop pushing.
I’m a pretty private person and I tend to get quiet and introverted when I go through something hard, but I was letting out some pretty intense whale-like sounds. At this point I started screaming for my husband to pull over, as I knew I wasn’t making it to the hospital. My husband asked Elizabeth what he should do, and she told him to listen to me, pull over and call 911. We pulled down a residential street, and I opened my car door but suddenly I decided I didn’t want to get out. Luckily Elizabeth was close by, and got there a few minutes later.
Elizabeth somehow convinced me to get out of the car and I literally got down on the grass so she could examine me. The fire department arrived on the scene and Elizabeth had one of the firemen jump in to help. Even though my little guy was ready to come, I suddenly decided I didn’t want to push. Elizabeth had me open my eyes and forced me to look at her which really helped pull me back into the present. I then was pulled out of this panicky state and pushed. It actually felt good when I let go and started to push. My husband held my head back off the sidewalk and with three pushes my beautiful healthy baby boy Logan came out. He was put on my chest immediately and he was so calm. The fireman cut the cord and Elizabeth delivered the placenta. I was completely consumed by love. I was loaded into the paramedic truck and started nursing my sleepy little guy immediately.
We all couldn’t believe what just happened and I just kept laughing. I was planning on a natural birth but I wasn’t planning on delivering on the side of the road. I guess one thing birth has taught me is to expect the unexpected. There is no way to plan or even anticipate how you may feel. You just have to listen to your body and trust what you need. My birth has filled me with so much more respect for my body. We are capable of doing so much if we let ourselves just surrender. My birth was the most present I’ve ever been in my life. I seriously could have delivered anywhere. I felt so completely safe and supported. I am so grateful to everyone who helped with Logan’s birth. As my Ob said everything was truly aligned for us that day.