AIyeee!! wow! what a birth! Congratulations! Welcome James!!
James Robert is here!!! (Updated with Birth Story and Newborn Photos) - Page 2
I started having contractions about 9:30 pm, but they were only up front and not lasting very long, (With Amelie, my contractions started in my front and worked around to my back and were in pretty clear wave-like patterns. These were 4-7 minutes apart and 20-40 seconds) so DH and I stayed up for about an hour timing them. They weren't in a very regular pattern, and it seemed dumb to be up wasting a bunch of energy when this might not be the real thing (This wasn't even at 39 weeks yet, and i was induced with DD 2 days shy of 42. I was still thinking I'd go long) and even if it was, we probably had many, many hours to go. We were both able to go to sleep, and I could sleep between contractions with a heating pad. (DD got up at some point, and she got into bed with DH and I moved out on the couch.) A little after midnight, I couldn't sleep any more, so I decided to get in the tub to see if that helped, and the contractions spaced way out again (about 15 minutes apart). When I got out of the tub around 1am, I woke DH up (I told him to start blowing up the birth pool -- we were just planning on using it to labor in as long as possible) Anyway, DH couldn't get it figured out and ended up messing with it from the time I woke him up until the time I told him to call 911. I felt a little foolish (compared with my labor with Amelie, I still thought we had a long way to go), but I called my doula at 1:28am and told her not to speed over, saying "nothing is imminent."
I was talking to her on our back deck and had some contractions outside in the dark, which was nice.
Well, things got imminent really, really soon after that. I went to the bathroom because it felt like I had to poop -- and I did poop, and it was painful. Then I kept feeling like I had to poop more and it wouldn't come. Finally I thought maybe I could just poop more easily in the (now cold) leftover water from my bath before -- maybe this should have been a sign that I was not quite thinking rationally) At 1:45 I realized that this feeling was NOT poop -- it was a BABY coming down and told DH to call 911. My mom was up visiting for the shower we were supposed to have on Saturday, and she and DD slept up til this point. The ambulance and fire truck arrived with lights flashing, and four big EMTs crowded into the bathroom and somehow got me up onto the gurney and halfway strapped in ("Ma'am -- we need to secure you in order to transport you safely. Ma'am, can you please lie down."). (The 911 dispatcher was really freaked out that I was in the tub & had DH drain the water -- I really did not want to give birth in our cold, cramped, not very clean tub, but again, I'm afraid that's not what it looked like. My water broke with a pop into the tub while he was on the phone. I was naked & the EMTs were very concerned with me getting on a robe -- which got disgusting and the nurse asked what I wanted to do with it, and I was like "throw it away." and they also acted a little bit like I was being stubborn/noncompliant with getting on the gurney and turning over, which I just couldn't physically do, so they half-assedly strapped me in hanging over the back on my hands and knees) DH couldn't ride with us in the ambulance (he wouldn't have fit -- there was an EMT for me and one for the baby and it was crowded). We got out about 3 blocks from our house and I said the baby was coming. They stopped the ambulance so James could be born. (They had to lift up that stupid robe to see that I was right and one of the EMTs totally freaked out. I was still on hands & knees and up til this point had just been trying to breathe -- I had some involuntary pushes. They couldn't figure out what his apgars were. I could see him drop onto the gurney beneath me and he was bluish. It felt like he didn't cry for a really long time and I started crying. They only told me when we got to the hospital that it was the first delivery for both of the EMTs in the back with me -- this was the first baby for one after 19 years on the job and he bragged about it to everyone in the elevator and L&D room. (Also in the elevator, the ambulance driver said I yelled "less than usual") His exuberance was pretty understandable -- I felt fantastic and was also pretty proud of myself!
They admitted James through the ER & me through L&D so we were separated for an hour and a half, which was really disappointing, but at least I did get to see/touch him for the rest of the ambulance ride. They said if he had been born in the hospital, that we wouldn't be separated :/
Also, they gave me an IV -- and I'm like "DO I NEED THIS?" and they are like "YES YOU DO." (which I doubt) and wouldn't let me sit up to deliver the placenta and one of the OB residents ended up using cord traction to pull it out, which I did not want at all.and had expressly talked about with my OB (who does not have priviledges at the hospital they took us to) I really wanted a drink of water, and they wouldn't give it to me, "in case I retained a piece of placenta and needed a D&C and would aspirate" which is ridiculous and then as part of my intake questioning, asked "So are you getting your tubes tied while you're here?" BEFORE I HAD EVEN SEEN THE BABY, which I thought was insensitive to say the least.
The doula arrived at our house after we'd already left in the ambulance and came in -- she found my mom & DD in the nursery and was like "Where are they?" Mom told her the story, and she also went to the hospital where we'd planned to deliver and as like "What's going on?" She showed up at the right hospital and waited with me while DH was with the baby, which was good.
So the birth part was actually pretty great, even though it was in the back of the ambulance and not what I had planned or expected at all, but they were definitely not great at the hospital for afterward I'm not sure how much of this was that it was not at the hospital where we planned on being/I already had a birth plan on file & how much of it had to do with having the baby before we got there..I should have tried to push the placenta out in the ambulance (which I thought about, but didn't because I didn't want the EMTs to freak out)
DH's version of the story:
I remember Crystal starting to get something like cramps at about 9:30 on Friday night. Her back hurt around the same time on Thursday night, and that turned out to be nothing. I remember Crystal leaning towards the conclusion that she was not in fact having contractions, but what she was saying seemed to match the descriptions given at WebMD and the Mayo Clinic website. We used the "contraction master" tool on-line for about an hour, and theFb contractions did not seem to be getting any closer together or longer, so we decided that we should try to get some sleep. We did pack a preliminary bag, and I figured I could easily pack everything else in under a minute before we left for the hospital (this sounds a little like foreshadowing, I guess). I slept until Crystal woke me up, telling me that she wasn't sure what I could do, but that she wanted me up with her. She told me that her contractions weren't any closer together, and in fact, she wasn't sure if she should even call the doula.
After what seems like a very short period of time, Crystal yelled "HELP" from the bathtub. She told me that she thought the baby was coming, and that I should call 9-1-1. I called, hoping that our cheap cell phones were actually capable of calling it. The dispatcher seemed a little doubtful that Crystal was in fact about to have the baby. The conversation seemed to mostly be about what part of the baby I could see coming (I couldn't see anything). It seemed like the EMTs took a long time to come inside the house once they arrived on our street. This might be because I didn't turn the porch light on until after they were already here. They had a very difficult time putting Crystal on the gurney, and I remember thinking that they probably had a requirement to use the straps even though it was clear the straps were doing absolutely no good the way Crystal was positioned. The EMTs told me that I couldn't ride in the ambulance, and I had forgotten that MIL's (borrowed) car was behind mine, so I had to quickly get her keys. I luckily remembered to grab my wife's phone and the bag which we had only roughly packed before leaving.
I pulled behind the emergency vehicles, and was surprised when we stopped at West Blvd., which was just around the corner from our house. I remember getting out of my car to ask what was going on. I also remember thinking that they wouldn't like that I was out of my car, so I made sure to stay on the passenger side of the vehicles. The driver of the ambulance said "Sir, I need for you to return to your vehicle." I asked her if she could tell me what was going on, but she just repeated that I needed to get back into my vehicle. I kept my windshield rolled down, but I couldn't hear anything. After what seemed like just a couple of minutes, the ambulance and an emergency vehicle behind it left with their lights on. The firetruck behind them also left, but it didn't have its lights on. The ambulance quickly sped far ahead of us. The firetruck was going under the speed limit, and it didn't have its lights on, so I assumed it was no longer traveling with us, and I passed it on Stadium. I turned on College to go to XX hospital (where we had planned to deliver the baby, and where we told the EMTs to take us). I knew that there was a shortcut to the emergency room, so I traveled down University to Williams, which led to the hospital. Unfortunately, I saw the firetruck following behind me on what are very narrow, cobblestone streets. I didn't see an ambulance at the emergency room, and the driver of the firetruck told me that they had gone to YY hospital on the other side of town. They told me to follow them there, and as soon as we pulled onto Broadway, I saw flashing lights. I took off my seat belt, assuming it was Crystal, but it turned out to be a sobriety checkpoint. I also realized right before rolling down the window that I didn't have my wallet, was in a borrowed car (which has a radar detector), and was wearing a pair of swim trunks. Luckily, they believed me that my wife was on the way to the emergency room to deliver our baby and let me go without performing the field sobriety tests,
I finally arrived at the hospital, and they asked at the emergency room if I was the father. I told them "maybe" (meaning I didn't know if James had been born or if they were even talking about Crystal), and I asked what had happened. They told me that Crystal had given birth in the ambulance and that James was being examined in the emergency room, and that I could go see him. It took Amelie several minutes after being born to cry and to look healthy and pink, so I didn't want to get in the doctors' way. They told me that James was doing great, though, and that I could accompany him to the nursery. I was sad to have missed his birth, but relieved that he was doing so well.
Three funny thoughts: 1) I remember that several people asked me what the time of birth was, and seemed to be taken aback that no one could tell them; 2) no one asked for either of our IDs or insurance information the entire time we were at the hospital, even though we had pre-registered at the other hospital, and 3) [edited: his brother, a doctor] told me that he has no idea how they're going to bill us for the delivery.
Because we left so quickly, the only pictures we have right after James was born came from our doula's phone.
Edited by crystal_buffaloe - 9/18/12 at 10:19pm
I'm sorry about the hospital thing, their attitudes and such. BUT... I'm SO happy that you got to birth him w/o too many interventions. Why they'd send unseasoned/experienced emts to a BIRTH i don't know.
Anyway, I LOVE the photo you have. The looks on your faces are glowing, extatic! I LOVE It!
oh what a ride! I spent 6 yrs in your town, so I have a good feel for the route (and the nuttiness of the emts there as my hubby was a volunteer fireman there). that is crazy..your poor hubby, missing the birth and having to reroute THRU a sobriety check! ugh.
and that you had to be kept away from baby for so long! thats the pits.
but still..what story this little bit has to tell in life. Congrats.
Our photographer came Saturday night:
It's hard to believe he's only 16 hours old at this point[
DD is (so far, fingers crossed) pretty excited about baby brother. She REALLY does not like it if he cries, though.
Waiting to be discharged from the hospital Sunday morning:
It's gone now, but he had an incredible bruise on his head. Maybe from the rapid descent? Or the pressure because I was trying not to push?
2 days old: