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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was 4.5 cm dilated 3 weeks before my due date. By time we were getting close, I was at around 5 to 5.5. So as not to get myself in a false sense of security, I referred to it as a “four with wiggle room.” We were preparing for a natural birth (no medications or interventions), with the idea that we would labor at home as long as I felt comfortable, hop in the car when things were getting going (after early labor), get in the tub at the birthing center, and then probably have a water birth with my midwife, Colleen Brezine. To help during labor, we hired a doula (labor assistant with lots of experience in helping women in labor, but not medically trained) who met with us several times before my due date to help us get prepared. I thought I was just hiring one doula, but then it turned into a small party of three doulas (the doula: Barbara, the back-up: Ana, and the back-up’s back-up: Anna K). This does become important information.<br><br>
Contractions started around 10 pm on Sunday night. When I first thought that it might be time, I was irritated that I only got one hour of sleep and now I might be facing the longest night of my life. After about four contractions, I started to think that it might really be time and woke James (husband) up. I went to take a shower and told him I’d wake him when I was sure that it was time or that the contractions had stopped. I decided not to time contractions, as it can be misleading, but I think they started at around 7-8 min. apart because it took me 40 min. to get a shower, get dressed and then yell for James to get his *&#$#(*#$ ass in the bathroom because I was in real pain and he was sleeping. By this time it was around 11 pm.<br><br>
James called Lara (friend) to come and get Cullen (our 2 year old son), called the doula who told us she would be at our house in about an hour, and left a message for the midwife to call us back. We then spent the next hour trying to get in the swing of what was occurring. James was trying to do all the things that we said he could do early on…make tea, prep hot towels, etc. The problem was that there was no “early on”. My contractions were becoming more intense and I couldn’t seem to make it through one without him pressing both hands hard on my lower back, while I leaned over the ball, a chair, hands and knees, etc. To complicate matters, I would have one contraction and before it stopped, another would begin. After two or three of these, then I would get a break. Somewhere in this time-frame, Lara showed up and I expressed to her that I just didn’t feel like I had any time in between them. While she got Cullen ready, I made my way down the hallway (2 more contractions) and began my camp-out in the dining room. I vaguely remember Cullen sitting on the floor getting his shoes on. It was now around 12.<br><br>
At this point, I wasn’t overly aware of anything during the contractions but getting through them. James was “ordered” to stay with me, and he would give me visual meditation ideas to concentrate on and remind me to breathe deeper, in addition to reminding me to relax shoulders, hands, etc. The most memorable part of this time was me telling James to just “kill me” during one of the hard contractions and him replying “um, no, we’re not gonna do that.” I spent the rest of the contraction thinking about Dumbledore in the cave drinking potion. I also remember “talking” to the baby through a few contractions, assuring him or her that it was okay, that I was opening, that it would be okay. Soon someone showed up, I asked who it was, finding out that it was Anna K. She immediately started putting cold washcloths on my shoulders and head and took over on the back pressing that I couldn’t do without. About 12:30’ish, Barbara showed up and I remember her encouraging me with very nurturing words and rubbing my back while someone else was pressing down. James was getting things together and in the car, Anna K was having me keep drinking juice in between my contractions. I was breathing very heavy during most and had begun moaning through the strongest ones. I’m thinking that there were only about 2-3 contractions during this time that made me feel like I was trying to crawl out of my skin; the rest were painful, but I was doing it. Or at least that’s what I was telling myself. When I shook through one contraction, I was told that I should go empty my bladder and see if it helps.<br><br>
It took way too long to get down there and go, but there were moments of clarity when I asked why we hadn’t heard back from Colleen. James called the hospital, she called us back, and I told him I didn’t want to talk to her. So he told her we were packing up to go. Halfway down the hallway, I decided it was time to go, like, right now. Strangely, I felt very confident in that. I didn’t want it to be any worse than this in the car. After confiding to James that I didn’t think I could make the ride alone in the backseat I soon found out that Anna K was going to ride with me to apply the counter pressure that was so crucial to me making it through. I remember being relieved that we were going, but more that I wouldn’t be alone while James was driving. It was (just a guesstimate) about quarter after 2 and once everyone had arrived, my long labor at home hadn’t even been 2 hours. Good thing I didn’t know it at the time or I might have been disappointed in myself. Eh, I was too deep in laborland to figure out the math in my head anyways.<br><br>
Unfortunately, in Ohio, it was about 22 degrees out, so we had to warm the car up, get me dressed in something warmer (which ended up just being a blanket wrapped around me), pack the last few things, and actually get me in the car. It seemed to take forever, but was about 15-20 min. I kept asking if he had the hospital paperwork, my purse, etc. etc. etc. As we were walking out, he told me, we have (rattled off some stuff), you don’t need to worry about it, we got it all. I then gave up all worries and only focused on me...which was good because I had to keep myself from kneeling down in the snow during a contraction and instead get in the car first. It’s a 35 min. drive to the hospital with clear roads, so I was pretty confident that I could get through it and get to that tub that I wanted very much at this point.<br><br>
The rest is a bit redundant-feeling to tell. There was lots of moaning, back-pressing, with the addition of only really having two positions to choose from: leaning on the back of the seat on my knees (what the hell was James thinking putting us in the Sunfire???) or hands and knees on the seat. What I do remember standing out was passing Bagley Road and thinking that we were 1/3 of the way there, realizing how damn tired I was in between contractions (as well as how “out of it” in body I was in between them, yet these were the only times that I was thinking logical “normal” thoughts). I also remember Anna K helping me bring my moaning down in pitch and finally realizing that my contractions were “piggybacking” (as I’ve decided to call it). I would have one really, really intense one that I would have to moan, sway, concentrate and fight through, then I would come down slightly, then have one that I would have to breathe really, really heavy through and maybe moan some, and one that I would breathe through and concentrate on something like opening for baby, the sound of the tires on the road, something, anything, whatever worked. Now, in retrospect, that’s 5-7 min. of contractions before getting my one minute respite where I’d collapse like a wet noodle and wonder how much longer before we got there. Time at this point is irrelevant because we’re in a car doing 65…for me, it was about landmarks.<br><br>
It was after the Steelyard that things were really getting intense, painful, holy s*** this hurts bad and I was moaning louder and gripping the car-seat safety restraint clasp as hard as I could. Then I’d have a moment of collapse and look out the window, reminding myself that at the end of this, I would be holding my baby. When we got near the 90 split, I knew we were almost there. It’s really only 7 or 8 exits down.<br><br>
Then I felt the urge to push.<br><br>
I told Anna K, but then told her that it wasn’t “time” yet. I wasn’t referring to not being at the hospital. I meant that with Cullen, I had amazing downward pressure. I didn’t feel that; I felt during the hardest contractions that I just had to bear down, had to “get it out.” She asked if I wanted to check my cervix. I had to wait because another contraction started and it was literal agony to try not to push. I told her again, but that it wasn’t “time.” We moved my sweatpants halfway down and I checked my cervix. The bag of water was bulging out, about half the size of a large orange. Then she asked if I could feel the baby’s head…or maybe I just decided to try…I don’t remember. But I poked up into the bag and felt a hard, bony head sitting there at my cervix. Another contraction. I was afraid of ripping my cervix or something. Don’t push, don’t push, don’t push. I checked my cervix during the next rest, and all I can say is it was like a paper plate or pie pan with a hole in the center. Flat, thin, and I couldn’t find, um, anything to identify the usual thickness. That gave me the go ahead to push. Come hell or high water, I don’t think I could have kept myself from pushing again if I wanted to. I told Anna K and she said something like “if you think you need to, then go ahead.” It wasn’t a commitment either way. I made up my mind as soon as that freakin’ hard pain started again. We got my pants down as far as we could before the next contraction.<br><br>
First push, intense sing/moaning. Damn my voice teachers would have been proud of that resonance. All I could think was break the water bag, it will feel better if I can break it, push harder, make it break.<br><br>
Second push, contraction just as intense, water bag breaks (poor car), ring of fire, head emerging.<br><br>
Third push, amazing contraction pain…get that head out!!! Sure enough, there it goes.<br><br>
Now for life’s irony. Baby’s head is hanging out. I’m ready to finish what I started, let’s do this!, pause. Waiting for a contraction. Waiting. Waiting.<br><br>
Holy s***, here it comes. Ow, ow, ow, push!!!! Baby comes out in a big whoosh. I flop down, exhausted. Anna K announces “it’s a girl!” Apparently, I’m the only one that hears it, because James doesn’t seem to notice.<br><br>
Hey, everyone, it’s time for Backseat Twister! I had to find a way to sit down, get baby on my stomach, cord still attached, Anna K telling me how she’s going to pass the baby to me, through the pants, under here, over there. We get baby on my stomach and I’m stunned. It just occurred to me what happened. I gave birth, no drugs, no interventions, pushed her out, here she is……………………………..in the car. Grin. Goofy grin. Damn if that ain’t a Suthern ******* thought if I ever had one. And it was the funniest thing ever.<br><br>
I guess Anna K decided James still didn’t know because she leaned forward and told him. Later he told me all he thought/said was “well, damn.”<br><br>
When she gave her first cry, all I could think was what now? Oh, she might be cold. I’m cold. I’m freezing cold. Anna K started covering us with just about everything in the backseat. I kept wrapping my hands and arms on her, keeping her warm. More crying. Oh, it’s okay, baby, we’re okay. You’re okay. It’s all okay. Then she lay fairly content. With some whimpering here and there, a little cry. It then hit me how calm I was. How okay I really did feel. Minus the shaking and cold, I could have just had a damn good dose of valium.<br><br>
As he made calls to the midwife (James, very calm: she just had the baby in the car. Colleen: you’re kidding! No, you’re kidding me. James: Um, no, she just had the baby… ) and Barbara (who was still following behind us. James, still very calm: she just had the baby in the car…is this where we turn?), I realized that we had made it right to about the Warren Exit when I pushed her out and we were now just a few blocks away.<br><br>
Ayla Danae, born January 28th, 3:03 am, HWY 90W, Lakewood Ohio, 8 lb 1 oz, 20.5 in<br><br>
I want to end the birth story right here. This is where my heart is with it. Unfortunately, we’re still on the way to the hospital. I joked to Anna K in the parking lot that we should just pack up, turn around, and go home now. I think she might have thought I meant it. Partially, I think I did.<br><br>
We get to the hospital and the doors that we were told to go to were locked, so we drive up to the ER and I start feeling mild contractions again. Anna K gets out and a doctor gets in. I tell him we’re fine, still connected, and I need to push the placenta out. Then I realize there’s like 8 people standing around in scrubs and this air of chaotic energy. I tell the doctor that I’m very cold. Um…yeah, did I mention the door of the car is wide open and it’s still 22 degrees out there? I guess they’re waiting on something to clip and cut the cord with. I don’t know. The doctor then clips and cuts the cord, and put the baby on a warm blanket (notice that I said on, not wrapped up in), then they take her away somewhere. Now I’m not happy. Get me out of this car and give her back. Contractions are building again. I need to get the placenta out. I tell the doctor this and I’m told to lay down and put my head down. Um, no. I grudgingly lay, but I’m still looking around for someone familiar. Where is everyone?????<br><br><br>
They take me down the hall to elevators, disagree on which elevator, meanwhile, contractions are getting harder. Painful harder. Pushing harder. I’m breathing through them again, getting back in labor mode. Really hard when I feel like the guys in scrubs around me are ignoring that I need to do this…now. We get up to the third floor, wheel around some more and finally I’m put in a room. I start having an awful contraction; I’m breathing heavy, hard, hurting, still laying down when I hear a familiar, unctuous, confident voice telling me to slow down my breathing. I do and start to settle into the contraction when the @(*&@(*#$&^ dude in scrubs starts bouncing the gurney down. Kim: STOP THAT NOW!!! Colleen: STOP THAT! Just wait a minute!!! They get me near enough to the bed, throw down a chucks pad, I flip back onto my knees and push! and out it comes. Then one of the funniest, goofiest moments in life happens. Colleen comes over beside me and says (in a tone that reminds me of Dory from Finding Nemo) “Well, hi!” and I’m like “Well, hey!”. And I flip over and flop down on the bed.<br><br>
I finally see James, and I’m angrily asking “where is she???” He points over to a warmer on the wall and I see her with a nurse nearby. James, as he knows I would want, stayed with her the whole time.<br><br>
Colleen cleaned me up, announced no tears, rips, skid marks, nothing. Then she checked the placenta, and we laughed about how she, um, well, that was an easy job for her tonight.<br><br>
And finally, baby and mom are reunited. She is an *awesome* nursling. I took the time to let her sniff, lick, move about, and then she swings her head side to side, then back and then wham! forward to latch on in just about the most perfect first attempt latch ever. And what a powerful nurser she is.<br><br>
Of course, then the hospital had to screw up again and messed up her blood sample and we had to stay 4 and ¾ days. Like I said, we should have just turned around in the driveway and went back home<br><br>
REFLECTION:<br><br>
I won’t say much about the post-birth part. I’m sure anyone can imagine how pissed I was by being separated from my baby, particularly after the intensity of the labor and birth. I’m still appalled that the ER people can be calm when people come in with gunshot wounds, yet they freak out when a woman has a baby in the car, even when it’s obvious everyone is okay. I mean, come on…women have been giving birth (and not always in the best of circumstances) since um…yeah. Then to go on and make such a huge mistake with her blood sample as to have to have IV’s, antibiotics, the possibility of a spinal tap on a 3 day old baby (yeah, I was pitching a fit) and keeping us stuck in a room for way too long. Luckily for us, we had some wonderful friends who kept Cullen and helped the transition to be as easy as possible, even with things being so out-of-whack for so long. But I’ve decided to let this bitterness go when I’ve finished with this expression of it. It is over and, although it sucked, it’s not nearly worth hanging on to.<br><br>
Now for the birth part…Certain family members and friends have asked me if I was upset that Ayla was born in the car, if I was scared, if it sucked, etc. They kinda assume that it was an awful thing to happen and that if there were any possible way to change it, I would. This isn’t exactly true. Of course, I didn’t plan on giving birth in the car. Sure, I wanted the water birth in the birthing center. But you know what? Location was fairly irrelevant. Let’s put it this way: I can’t think of any birth that would be better. I was in “control” of all of it, without being in control of any of it. My body told me what to do and I did it. In what some would consider the “worst” situation, I had the best of experiences. Not just “best of possible given the circumstances,” no. In fact, hell no. It was a fantastic experience for any possible situation. I didn’t want drugs. I didn’t need them. I didn’t want interventions. I had none. I wanted to communicate with my baby during the labor and birth. We did. I wanted to be surrounded by people that supported me and my decision to have a natural birth. I had the best support in the world. I wanted a fast, furious, intense, powerful birth. I got it. Perhaps about 30 minutes faster than I intended, but I don’t care. It was wonderful. I realized that thinking it is a bad thing, or a Suthern ******* birth, etc, is only me worrying about what other people would think of it. Screw that. It was a thrilling experience, totally being alive and primal, painful and powerful, being in contact with parts of my subconscious/psyche/body/soul/love/life in a way that you can’t get in regular, mundane, everyday life. Giving birth in the back seat of a car going 65 mph on the highway--That’s rock and roll, baby!<br><br>
Going even further, I did it. No one told me to go to the hospital. No one told me to get on my hands and knees. No one suggested that I push. No one told me how to do it except my own body and my own spirit. Talk about getting in touch with your inner self and listening to “the quiet, still voice” within, ha ha. You get into birth and it becomes a screaming, amplified voice of pure intent. And I listened. That’s transformation at the core. I will *never* be the same after this experience. How could I be? I also know that the bond between Ayla and I is much stronger for the experience. My connection to the divinity, both in myself and the collective birth energy is much stronger. Add to that, my appreciation to Lara for allowing me to let go of my precious son with no worry so I could focus on the task at hand. Also, to my wonderful husband for not only helping me through it and bringing me to the “crossroads”, but also for staying calm and not shouting back asking what’s going on, but just trusting us in the back to do our jobs while he did his. To Barbara for reminding me that once that contraction is gone, I’ll never see it again. And of course to Anna K, for allowing me to do what I needed to do, without any chaos, panic, or fear. If she felt it, she didn’t show it and I was better off. Talk about stepping up and delivering (pun intended) . She was the back-up for the back-up and ended up being my primary support and catching my daughter. I am forever blessed.<br><br>
I could go on and on, but some things are better left unsaid. Some were too sacred to share. And others just can’t possibly be put into words. That becomes the blending of rock and roll with Beethoven.<br><br>
Happy Birthday Ayla Danae.
 

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congrats! That was one of the best birth stories I have ever read! You are an excellent writer, and I felt i was in the car with you! Congrats again, you did a great job! Now, have the next one at home, OK? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Congratulations!! Awesome birth story to tell your dd one day.
 

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Great story!<br><br>
And next time, I imagine you will be planning a homebirth, eh? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Awesome story! Congrats!
 

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Hey! I caught that baby!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Lovely story <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/luxlove.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="throb">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annakiss</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10761865"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hey! I caught that baby!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></div>
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That's because you're awesome!<br><br>
I wasn't sure if you were on here or not, glad to see a familiar face! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jammin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="jammin">
 

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Hi, Thalia! I love your story. So beautiful. But I do wish I could see some pictures of that pretty baby. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Congratulations!!! That's an awesome birthing story!<br><br>
Welcome baby Ayla Danea!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kittywitty</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10763542"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hi, Thalia! I love your story. So beautiful. But I do wish I could see some pictures of that pretty baby. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></div>
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I tried to figure that out for about 10 minutes and gave up. I'm sure it's something really easy with a button that I'm just missing. Then again, it took me that long to find the forums the first day. There's just a whole lot on this site...
 

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Happy Birthday, Ayla Danae! And congrats mama! What a beautifully written birth story!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>thalianeona</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10763264"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That's because you're awesome!<br><br>
I wasn't sure if you were on here or not, glad to see a familiar face! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jammin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="jammin"></div>
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Actually, you're awesome mama! You did all that work. This birth was totally self-directed. <i>You</i> did it. I just watched and rubbed your back.<br><br>
Also, hearing you talk about the transformative power of birth is amazing! This is how birth should be! Go mama!
 

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Wow! What an awesome birth! Your daughter will love to hear you tell it!<br><br>
Welcome to the world, baby girl! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/blowkiss.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Blowkiss">:
 

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Hey, Colleen was my midwife too! I just love her! Great story!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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That was a wonderful birth story. Thanks for sharing. Your writing style made me feel like I was right there with you!
 

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I had a freeway birth about five years ago. Reading your story brings back a lot of memories. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> Congratulations on your little daughter.
 
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