Eden's Unplanned Unassisted Precipitous Car Birth - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 01-18-2010, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Background: I was due January 25. Assisted homebirth is illegal in my state (Alabama), so the plan was to deliver at a birth center in Tennessee. The birth center is about two hours away and the plan was to stay in a hotel across the street from Jan. 15th until the birth.

We did something similar with my son. He was born in TN, at The Farm. It was a long, stalled, hard labor lasting 36 hours. He was 2 weeks late. I arrived at The Farm 10 days before my due date, so we ended up staying at The Farm for almost a month.

Birth Story: Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling a bit panic-y about the baby coming soon. We had just put in new flooring in what was going to be our new bedroom, and had bought so much new furniture for the whole house and boxes and new and old pieces were sitting everwhere. The dishes and living areas were all a mess while we were busy working on these other areas. The car seat hadn't been washed, her clothes hadn't been washed, her diaper covers hadn't been washed or lanolized, and we still didn't have a bed for all of us to sleep on since our queen wouldn't easily sleep a family of 4.

I spent the day doing some of those crucial things. I washed the car seat, and her clothes. I made some important phone calls I had been putting off. I tracked down some alfalfa tea and a black sports nursing bra to labor in the tub in. I met Chris on his lunch break and we picked out a king mattress set. I got some of the dishes done. I bought a king mattress pad and sheets. *

In the evening, my brother and Chris's brother helped Chris get our mattress in and set up while I got Elijah to bed. I then put all the bedding on the new bed while Chris took the uhaul back. When Chris got home, I told him I was no longer stressed, that I had a sudden overwhelming calm... our new bed was, uh, broken in.

Then, Chris and I put up the new headboard. I wasn't working frantically like I was all day, I was just peacefully setting it up with Chris.

We finished that around 1, and I went to sleep. Chris stayed up to build another piece of furniture.

Around 2, I woke up to pee and as I stood up, a little fluid came out. I told Chris I thought I just peed myself, laughed it off, changed underwear and went back to bed.

A few minutes later, I got up to pee again and it happened again. At this point, I thought it might have been my water breaking. So I called the midwife. We weren't sure if it was my water and I had only had really mild contractions, so she wanted me to wait an hour, time any contractions and call her back.

I started timing and they were about 40 seconds long and less than two minutes apart. They felt pretty darn mild, and were not very long so I figured I wasn't really in labor.

By 2:15 I was questioning wether or not I was in labor enough that we decided Chris would go get some depends underwear in case we had to make a 2 hour trip soon. Since, clearly I was leaking something, and also there would be very little on the way of bathrooms on the trip to the birth center.

At 2:30, I called Chris and told him I *thought* I was in fact in labor and that we should call his mom to come sleep with Elijah.

Chris came home and his mom came over and we were packing bags. We left around 3 AM. My contractions were very manageable still and I was mostly hoping I wouldn't be embarrassed and inconvienced by traveling 2 hours in the middle of the night with piddly contractions and incontinence.

I called my mom to let her know everything and to ask her to check with Chris's mom in the morning about helping with Elijah. *My mom was freaking out about the weather conditions and making sure it was snowing yet near the birth center. There had been predictions of a few inches of snow in our area for the next morning...which in Alabama can close everything down.

Chris begins driving, pretty fast. I put 30 Rock on my iPhone on just so we had a little light comedy distraction. We chatted between contractions and giggled at Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan.

Around 3:15, I preferred Chris to stop talking during contractions so I could breathe through them. We worked out the code that I would tap him on the hand at the beginning of a contraction and then break the silence at the end. My conractions seemed lopsided, but short. Like, the peak was only a few seconds in. This seemed really manageable and I imagined breathing the contraction down and out. I guessed that I still had a long long time.

Around 3:20, the contractions felt a little stronger still, but comparing to Elijah's labor, I guessed I was around 3-4 centimeters. In between contractions Chris and I discussed our optimism that we were going to make it there and how nice the water would feel.

Around 3:30, I had two contractions back to back. Still not more intense, but closer. Sort of reminded me of transition and I began to wonder.

By 3:35, I had another set of back to back contractions. Again, no more intense, but enough to make me tell Chris to turn around and head back to a hospital. We had just driven out of the city limits, and he made a sharp turn and headed back.

Chris picked up his phone and called my parents to tell them we had decided to head to the hospital just in case baby was coming too fast. Then, he called his mom.

When he was on the phone with his mom I began to wonder if I was pushing. I remember thinking, it doesn't hurt at all if I bear down a little with the contraction. I'll keep doing that. I also decided I really wanted some orange juice. I fished around for the simply orange bottle Chris bought when he got the depends and poured myself a cup and took a couple swigs. Then, realized I lost the cap to the big bottle. Chris said he would just hold the bottle so I handed it to him. *

By 3:40, I decided I was pushing and told Chris to call for an ambulance. He got patched through to the actual ambulance driver and gave an address for us to meet that was about a mile or so away. He knew the address because it was where he works, so that seemed really smart.

At 3:42, I heard the ambulance driver ask Chris if there was any part of baby visible. So, I decided to check and at as I reached my hand down it did, indeed feel like she was crowning. I unhooked my seatbelt and tried to take my underwear off, but a baby showed up in it.

I fished her out of my underwear, and pulled her up by under her arms. Chris realized there was a baby in the car, he chucked the oj out of the car and pulled over. Her cord was loosely wrapped around her neck and I got it off. Then she let out a little cry. Chris came to the door with a blanket to wrap around her and help check her, with his phone between his shoulder and ear with the ambulance telling them where to meet us.

The ambulance showed up, and they brought out a stretcher. It wasn't until they asked if it was a boy or a girl that we actually checked. It was our baby girl! They put a big blanket over the two of us and helped me onto the stretcher. The placenta was still unborn.

I tried to nurse in the ambulance, but it was difficult on a stretcher. I believe they were taking vitals or asking questions or something, but I can't re
remember that well. The two EMT people were calm and happy and taken with the excitent of our new baby girl with us.

We got to the hospital shortly after that (I changed which hospital at this point because I preffered a different one). My parents were there when we got out of the ambulance and wheeled into the hospital. My mom took pictures too but I don't have copies yet. *

In the labor and delivery room, they cut the cord and a nurse (who happened to know Chris's family well and we had some mutual friends, I had heard of her before) took Eden in a bassinet nearby to measure, weigh, etc. I was being hooked up to an iv. I asked if I could get up a squat so I could get the placenta out. I was told no. But, soon I did manage to push the placenta out while lying in a reclined position. And I swear, that was more difficult than the baby coming out!

An ob came and checked me out and checked for any cervical tears. I had none, whew! But did tear my perineum in the same place I tore with Elijah. He gave me 3 stitches and said I was free to go if I pleased. He seemed impressed with us and he had thought (assumed?) we were headed to The Farm and that didn't seem to bother him. He thought we should be able to go because that would be more like the birth we had planned. He was super nice and I will remember his name in the future. *
But, our peditrician doesn't have rights at this (or any) hospital, so we had to see an on-call one. And technically, we got a different one from that because that doctor refused us because we refused the vit k injection.

The new doctor decided Eden needed to stay for 48 hours because of the unsterile birth conditions she was born into.

We were told by the nurses that we weren't prisoners and that we could leave, but they warned us (nicely, not fearmongeringly) that it would be likely that our insurance wouldn't pay for any of our services if we walked out AMA (against medical advice). *I was told I could stay on as a patient if I wanted as long as she was here. Which would give us a room, and food, etc, but I'd still be monitored (basically twice a day someone comes in and takes my blood pressure and temperature and gets to meet the "lady that birthed in a moving car"). So, we opted for that to keep our family together. And Chris and Elijah were allowed to stay, too.

Thoughts about unassisted childbirth: Honestly, I hadn't looked into it before. I had preferred to have someone more knowedgable in attendance (though u have a strong preference for out of hospital births). There were some definite pros to delivering this way. With my son's birth, I often asked for tips/advice on positions etc. On my own, I had no choice but to surrender to the process and my body. I didn't even know what position I was in when she came out until I asked my husband. (Apparently, I had my right foot on the seat and was semi-squatting. ) *

Birth stats: I forgot to work it into the story, but she was 6 pounds 6 ounces and 19 inches long. We named her Eden Catherine.
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#2 of 14 Old 01-18-2010, 12:40 PM
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Holy moly! What an awesome birth story!!
Thanks for sharing and congratulations on the arrival of your daughter.

Emma - Welsh Wife to DH and Mummy to DS, Lloyd 13/08/07 and Cerys 15/07/10
Living in Russia
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#3 of 14 Old 01-18-2010, 12:42 PM
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amazing story!!!

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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#4 of 14 Old 01-18-2010, 06:40 PM
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An amazing birth story!! WOW!!

A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.

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#5 of 14 Old 01-18-2010, 06:41 PM
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Wow! Thanks for sharing your story!!!

DS 31/01/10, TTC #2
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#6 of 14 Old 01-18-2010, 07:07 PM
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Congratulations! What a great story - one she will love to hear over and over!
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#7 of 14 Old 01-18-2010, 10:22 PM
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What an awesome story! Congratulations!

Jill stillheart.gif Chris (7/96), mommy to 3 sweet redheads: jumpers.gif Matthew autismribbon.gif (12/02), Michelle (8/05) and Marissa (1/10). Nursing since 2002.
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#8 of 14 Old 01-18-2010, 11:54 PM
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Amazing! You, the baby and the story!
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#9 of 14 Old 01-19-2010, 01:48 AM
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I love your awesome story! Have been waiting to hear it after your DDC announcement. YAY!

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
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#10 of 14 Old 01-19-2010, 03:51 AM
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wow, what a story! congrats!

Berkeley mom of 3 and President of Tender Cargo Baby Gear
and The Nurture Center Store and Resource Center 3399 Mt Diablo Bl Lafayette CA 888-998-BABY
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#11 of 14 Old 01-19-2010, 05:17 AM
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Congratulations! What an amazing birth story!

Mom to:

Three big girls  twins.gif (10) + joy.gif (almost 9!); 

One little boy ROTFLMAO.gif(6) and a full on toddler diaper.gif  (8/12) born with TAPVR heartbeat.gif (repaired at 6 days old).

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#12 of 14 Old 01-19-2010, 05:43 AM
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Your birth story is similar to mine. I loved it! Such a great story, thank you so much for sharing.

PS> your treatment in the hospital was similar to mine. I was ignored while baby spent 2 days in the NICU under close observation.

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#13 of 14 Old 01-19-2010, 07:36 AM
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Congratulations! Neat story!

winner.jpg Mom to 9 ~*~ 4 babygirl.gif  4 babyboy.gif & 1rainbow1284.gif(MtF) ~*~ uc.jpg  lactivist.gif novaxnocirc.gif Rainbow.gif heartbeat.gif

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#14 of 14 Old 01-19-2010, 03:27 PM
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Jeesh! Now THAT'S a story that your daughter will probably love hearing over and over again! Congrats!

Lytorre, wife to one wonderful man. Mommy to two naturally-birthed, rough-and-tumble little men.
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