I was due with my first baby on December 12th 1998, but I knew I would not make it that long. On Wednesday, December 2nd, I went to work just like every other day. All day, I had been noticing contractions. They were not painful but stronger than the Braxton Hicks contractions that I had been having for several weeks.
I called my mother when I got home to wish her a happy birthday. By that time I was pretty sure that something was going to happen soon, but I didn't want to get my own or anyone else's hopes up so I didn't say much about it. I said to my mom something like, "Wouldn't it
be cool if I had the baby on your birthday?" She said that I should wait until the next day because the baby should have her own birthday. Half-way joking I said, "I probably will have it tomorrow because it is a full moon."
By the time my husband, Lance got home from work I pretty much knew in the back of my mind that this was it. The contractions were becoming stronger and more regular. But I was in denial, so I told him not to get too excited and we went about our night as usual. We went to bed around 10:00. I awoke at 11:04 with a painful contraction. I woke Lance up because I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep through these. We got up and did things like walking around, taking baths and showers to try to get things to progress. The contractions were about 7 to 10 minutes apart all night long. Around 6 a.m. they were finally 5 minutes apart and extremely painful. We called the hospital, they told us to come on in.
When the nurse checked me, I was 3 cm. dilated. She sent us to out to walk for an hour. When she checked me again I was only 3 1/2 cm., so she stuck me in the shower for 45 minutes. After that, I was still at only 3 1/2 cm. At 11 a.m. she told us that I was in very, very early labor, that it was going to be a long day, to go home and come back when my contractions were no more than 3 minutes apart for over an hour or if my water broke. I was not happy with this diagnosis. I was in extreme pain and couldn't imagine it getting any worse.
At home we made some phone calls and again, I walked around, bathed, showered, etc. The contractions became so powerful that I couldn't walk or talk or anything through them. I would just double over in pain. Lance, bless his heart was trying so hard to help me, but he kept asking me questions and making suggestions during the contractions, which I found very annoying. I don't know how many times I told him to shut up.
At 2:15 p.m. I was curled up in a ball moaning on the bed. Lance dug his feet into my lower back to try and ease the back pain. Right then I thought I heard a pop and I felt the baby's head slam down into my pelvis with incredible force. My water had broken. I freaked out big time. I started crying hysterically saying "my water broke" over and over. Lance looked really worried. He couldn't understand why I was so crazed, and truthfully I couldn't either. When I finally got a grip, I asked if we could go to the hospital.
The hospital is about 15 miles from our house. On the way there, just when I thought the pain could get no worse, it did! I lost all control, screaming through contractions. About seven miles from the hospital, I felt the baby's head slip way down into the birth canal. I thought, oh no! the baby is coming now! I started yelling "the baby is coming out of my butt" (I knew it
wasn't coming out of my butt, but that is what it felt like), as Lance is driving faster and faster telling me not to push. But my body was not doing what my mind was telling it too. I was pushing. Through each contraction I could feel the baby's head bulging out into the car
We finally made it to the hospital. Lance started to pull into a parking space, stopped a second then started backing out. I asked what he was doing. He said, "I don't know if I can park here, it says emergency parking only." I couldn't believe it! All I could do was yell, "I don't care!"
I knew I couldn't walk, I couldn't even get out of the Jeep. Lance yelled at a lady in the parking lot to go get someone from the ER. A man came out with a wheelchair and helped me into it. I am usually a very shy, quiet person, but as he wheeled me down the halls, I was screaming all the way. Heads were turning and I didn't care in the least. We made it to L&D. The midwife introduced herself as I was hunched over moaning. Everyone was looking at me like I was nuts. They didn't understand that the baby really was coming right then. As the midwife was undressing me, she said to lay down and she would check to see how far I was dilated. She asked me if I would like an epidural. I yelled, "yes, epidural!" Everyone kind of chuckled. As soon as my legs popped up, her eyes popped wide open. Suddenly the room became very chaotic. People were rushing in and out with equipment. The midwife said very calmly, "Mindi, Mindi, there is no time for drugs." My heart sank. She made a circle with her fingers and said, "The good news is, I can see this much of the baby's head, it will be out in about 20 minutes, start pushing."
I felt like saying I told you so, but I couldn't speak. They threw on oxygen mask on me (no time for an IV or monitor) and I started pushing with Lance at my side encouraging me to breathe and push. I started getting upset because every time I pushed, I could feel the head coming out, but when I stopped to breathe, it felt like it was slipping back in. I felt some major burning, then the head was out. This renewed my motivation to push, then the shoulders were out. Quite large shoulders, I might add.
I did it!!! At 3:28 p.m., only 11 minutes after we arrived at the hospital, Sydney Janelle was born. Right after she was out, one of the nurses said, "It's a boy." We both said, "What?" (we were expecting a girl). She looked again and said, "Oops, I'm sorry, it's a girl."
All I could do was stretch my arms out towards the baby. I wanted to hold her so badly. Her head was perfectly round, her face smooshed, skin purple, and body very scrawny. But she was beautiful. Lance went with a nurse to clean Sydney up and weigh her and everything, while I got stitched up (I tore in 3 places). I have to say that even though I had never met the midwife that delivered my baby before that day, I wouldn't have wanted anybody else. She did a wonderful job acting calm and keeping me calm in a room full of chaos.
We were the talk of the hospital. Everyone that came to check on me would say something like, "So you're the one that just spit that baby out." When we arrived at the hospital the second time, I was pretty angry that they had sent me home and that I couldn't have any drugs. But after she was born, I was just so happy that it was over with and I had a beautiful, healthy baby to hold. By the way, the contractions were never down to 3 minutes apart.
It is true what everyone says. It is totally worth it in the end!