Maxton Nicholas was born 1/11/13 at 4:27 am in the passenger's seat of our car. It was certainly not the way I envisioned his birth, but I wouldn't change a thing about his fast and furious arrival.
Let me just contrast Maxton's birth with that of his older sister's. My first birth was at a fabulous free-standing birth center. I labored for about 30 hours and pushed for 2.5 hours before DD made her arrival. The labor was long and tiring, but manageable. The birth center where I delivered was an hour and 30 minutes from where we lived at the time, but since her labor was so protracted, we got to the birth center with hours to spare and labored at the house of family who lived in town, before going to the birth center for the final few hours. I absolutely loved my experience at the birth center and couldn't wait to give birth again!
Fast forward 2 years and we had moved house and were now about 2 hours from the birth center. After 2 weeks of prodromal labor (which I had none of in my first pregnancy) I woke up around 1:30 am on 1/11/13. I was 40 weeks and 1 day. I had been waking up around that time for 3-4 nights in a row, so I didn't really think anything of it. I got up, used the bathroom and went to talk to my husband who was in the living room working on his computer. While we were talking, I had a couple of pretty good contractions, so I sat on my exercise ball for awhile. Eventually, I felt like I needed to have a bowel movement, so I went to the bathroom around 2:30. I still didn't think I was in labor at this point, but while I was in there my contractions really picked up. This is probably TMI, but I just could not get off the toilet! Every time I thought I was done, I'd get the urge to move my bowels all over again. After about 30-45 minutes of this I was finally done. I went back to the living room and told DH I thought I was in labor and we should probably get ready to head to the birth center since we had a 2 hour drive. I went to take a shower and we left the house around 3:30.
After we were on the road, I called the on-call midwife and let her know that I was in labor and we were heading to the birth center. Honestly, I tried to minimize the urgency because I knew she'd tell me to go to the nearest hospital if I didn't feel we could make it to the birth center. I made a couple of other phone calls to my job to let people know that I would not be there that day and to my mom to let her know we were headed to the birth center. I finished my phone calls around 4am. Little did I know I would be holding my LO in less than 30 minutes! About 15 minutes later, my contractions really intensified. I was having more difficulty talking through contractions and they were coming about 90 seconds apart. Again, I had an overwhelming urge to defecate. I thought about asking DH to pull over so I could use the restroom, but there was no where to stop and I didn't really want to waste time trying to find a bathroom. After the next contraction, I told DH we weren't going to make it to the birth center and I took off my pants. The "is she really serious" look on his face was priceless. This is the point when DH put on his blinkers and started going 100 mph, which I was not aware of until several minutes later. I put my feet on the dashboard and felt for a head, which was right there. With the next contraction, I gave a big push and said "head's out." Then with another push, the shoulders delivered, and I pulled my amazing LO up to my chest. He gave out a cry and I wrapped him in a blanket and just gazed into his eyes. Even though I'm saying "he," at this point we didn't know what gender we had. DH asked what "it" was and I said I hadn't even looked, but if I had to guess by looking at the face, I thought we had a son. I waited a few more minutes before finding out the gender. I just enjoyed gazing at my perfect newborn baby and putting him to the breast for the first time.
After a few minutes of swooning over my new baby and discovering that he was indeed a boy, I called the birth center to let them know I delivered and we'd be there in about 30 minutes. I convinced DH to slow down and turn his blinkers off, reassuring him that the baby was fine and I felt great and had very little bleeding. After we arrived at the birth center, I delivered the placenta, they examined baby and me, and we settled in for a short nap before family arrived to greet our new addition. After resting up, we headed home a few hours later.
It's funny; DH keeps talking about how I pushed a baby out of my vagina. I remind him that I did the same thing with DD, but then he says, yeah, but not in a car going 100 mph. Maybe it's a man thing, but he thinks that giving birth in a car is about as cool as it gets. It was a little messy though, and we did have to get the car detailed the next day. Depending on where we are living relative to the birth center for the next birth, we may just opt for a homebirth!