Hubby called our friend to stay with our two sleeping children, and then we called my parents and my midwife. By the time we were leaving, about ten minutes later (this is 1 hour after my first pain woke me), I could barely stand. The pain in my stomach was so intense I felt like I was being ripped apart. There were small breaks for me to breathe, but labor had contractions with minutes in between. Not seconds.
I was silent. I was in pain. I couldn't speak.
"Jodie! Do you want me to pull in?"
I whispered yes. The stabbing pains were agonizing. As we were about to pull into the parking lot, I had an ounce of relief. I thought about my midwife, whom I adored. I thought about my planned water birth. I began to shake my head, "No...no...keep driving...I can make it...."
"Are you sure?" Hubby hid his panic well.
"Yes. Get on the highway." Hubby did as I asked. The highway to the hospital only had exits every few miles, and we were in a rural area.
Only five minutes in, I felt pressure. I felt the baby's head. I began to cry.
Hubby looked at me and he knew we were in trouble. The highway was black; no one for miles. I whimpered to him, "You have to call 911. The baby is coming. You have to call 911."
This is where Hubby amazed me. There was no hesitation. I waited for an "Are you serious?" but there was none. He called 911 and kept his composure. He will never know how much gratitude I felt for his moment of composure.
As Hubby dialed 911, I sat in silence. I breathed. My water hadn't broken. I felt pressure, but we had time. I rocked in my seat, I have time...I have time... the words soothed me as I said them in my head.
Hubby told the 911 operator he was pulling off exit 12. Exit 12 was a mile away, and there was a State Police Barracks there. The operator assured us a police officer would meet us outside. For the first time since I woke up in pain, I felt like we were going to be alright.
Hubby pulled into the State Police Barracks seconds later. He threw the car in park. Three things then happened simultaneously; I heard Hubby tell the 911 Operator "There's no one here! There's no one here!” he ran around to my side of the car, and I threw my seat in recline. By the time Hubby opened my door I was pushing.
The operator talked Hubby through the mechanics of delivery. I don't remember any of it except him removing his sweatshirt to wrap our newborn in. I went from sheer panic and fear, to nothing except my desire to push. I pushed my baby into this world with such determination I remember nothing other than my focus.
After three pushes our baby was born. In the front seat of our minivan Hubby caught our baby and untangled the cord from its neck. I remember relief, just relief from the agonizing, gut wrenching intense pain. I laid back and relished that moment of relief.
I knew I was supposed to be shocked and amazed, but at that moment it could have been a puppy and I wouldn't have cared. There was so much for me to take in I couldn't absorb it. Hubby wrapped the tiny precious person in his sweatshirt and placed him in my arms. I sat in the front seat of my car, in the middle of nowhere, staring at my new baby. After a few wails to let us know he was alright, he slept quietly in my arms.
Two policemen may have caught the end of my delivery, but I couldn't have cared less about the peep show with all the pain I was in. An EMT arrived minutes after them and they stayed with us and monitored our vitals. I just sat, in shock, holding my new munchkin. My BOY munchkin.
When we were loaded into the ambulance, I was euphoric and eternally grateful as the reality of what just happened began to set in. At only 5lbs 13oz, born with the cord wrapped around his neck in the front seat of the car, my baby was healthy.
The aftermath of the birth was the front seat of our car being destroyed (ever seen red jello?) and we now had an abundance of baby girl attire to return. We also had no name for our new baby. After a night of thinking about our new son and what to name him, Hubby decided we should name him after where he was born.
Looking back, the whole experience is still very surreal. Aside from my memories and our 911 recording, we have a birth certificate that states "Parking Lot" as place of birth. We don't have any video other than a few minutes of me holding our son in the front seat of the car. We don't even have an accurate birth time. No amount of planning or preparation could have prepared me for how I delivered him, or discovering “she” was a “he.”
My birthing plan story is Chapter 2 in the MAM Blogger Real Parenting Guide. I encourage you to read other chapters and find out more about all the stuff, like the bottles, pacifiers and teethers that MAM makes to make the job of parenting easier.
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