Julia is my third VBAC and I knew I had fast labors, but I still didn't expect anything like this. For months I'd been having prodromal labor/painful contractions just randomly. In the week leading up to her birth, I had several bouts that I got excited about that ended up tapering off to nothing.
I was 40 weeks and a day and starting to think about eviction plans. While our oldest, Catherine was a scheduled c-section at 40 and 3 days, I had assumed that was because she was stubbornly breech. Our Becca had come early at 38 and one day and John at 39 and one day, so I just figured I would have Julia by 40 weeks. When my due date rolled around, I was pretty surprised and starting to get a little worn down with all the prodromal labor.
40 and one day rolled around - a Sunday and all day I had painful contractions, but they were all pretty much an hour or more apart. I was whining about how unfair it was to have these painful contractions messing with my head, but no labor or baby.
By 9 (bedtime), my contractions were pretty well gone and I decided to get some sleep. I was awoken at 10:10 by a strong contraction, but this was nothing new or exciting. I used the restroom and fell back asleep. Again at 10:40, another one I had to moan through, but again, nothing new. At 11:10, I was ROCKED to the core by a hard contraction. I started to wonder if something might be up, but knowing how my prodromal had been going, I wanted to have a few contractions to be sure this was real. The next one slammed me at 11:20. Then 11:27, then 11:34, then 11:39 and that one was HARD.
Chris said that was it and up we got. He was right. We got ourselves together as quick as we could and got out the door. I had several more contractions very close together, called the doula, called the midwife, and we were out the door. I told Chris this baby was coming fast, but I had no idea HOW fast!!
Down the road we went and I had some pretty strong contractions. The hospital is only about 20 minutes away, but less than 10 minutes into the drive, I had a contraction and felt a little pushy. The next contraction came and I was suddenly bearing down HARD. By the end of that one, I told Chris she was crowning. I think I had 1-2 minutes of break while I sat in the ring of fire and suddenly I was pushing her head out. Again, I think I got a minute's break and out she slid, in the caul, water breaking as she finished coming out. 12:10 AM! I couldn't believe it. Chris asked me a few times if we should pull over, but I just kept telling him to keep going - I wanted to get to the hospital ASAP!
I sat there holding her, just in shock! I thought to take a picture, so I pulled out my cell phone and snapped the best one I could. She was pretty quiet and just snuggled in to me. I called my mom who was home with the other kids and told her we already had the baby and were still in the car! Then I had to hang up to help Chris figure out where to go at the hospital.
I had him drop me by the door and park and I waited for him just inside. I had to duck behind a wall because some folks were coming in and I didn't want to freak them out. :)
On the way in, we freaked out the guy at the security desk. The midwife met us as we got to the elevator. I managed to avoid the heplock, but I did end up with IM pit because the placenta wasn't coming quite quick enough. Very mild second degree tears and baby girl needed a little suctioning since she didn't get the fluid squeezed out well.
She weighed in at 8lb 14.8oz and measured 20.5" long. We couldn't be more pleased, though we would've preferred to deliver IN the hospital. :)
First pic - in the car:
My John meeting his little sis for the first time (held by grandma, Catherine looking on):
My Catherine meeting her newest little sis (held by daddy, John looking on):