I thought I had a good idea of how Johnny would enter the world. This type A planner had it all planned out in advance... foolishly. Based on last time, I should have enough time for my mom to come up and babysit, get a nice epidural, and even take a nap. Boy was I wrong...
Starting on Thursday I had my 39 week appointment and was 2-3cm, had my membranes stripped, and mentally thought any morning I will wake up in labor. In fact, I was convinced Thursday night would be the night, but nothing happened. So Friday I went back in and got checked. My friend Jen was my provider and was so kind, so she fit me in again on Friday. At that point I was 4-5cm and the baby was looking good, but no contraction pattern, no signs of early labor, nothing going on. Just in case, I had my mom come up with high hopes... and we woke up Saturday morning to nothing, again.
Then came all of the "get you in to labor" tricks. I had mint tea, pesto pasta, almost a whole pineapple, a non-alcoholic champagne concoction, did squats and lunges, we walked and walked and walked. That afternoon we were talking to my mom about whether she would go home and that we would let her know of the first sign of labor so she could spend at least some time at home, as she had just gotten back from an extended stay in Iowa with her dad. We decided she would stay one more night and we would just see how things went.
That evening I started feeling crampy and started timing them. At 7:15pm I checked in with my provider and told her, "So just feeling crampy/achy still. Nothing big. Maybe 1-2 out of 10 on a pain scale sometimes." No other signs of labor. I checked in with a few friends and decided to just try and sleep through the cramps and if I wasn't in labor by the morning my mom was going to head home. Both Brian and my Mom tried to convince me to go check in to the hospital just in case, but I knew that it didn't even feel like early labor so I didn't want to head to the hospital only to get sent home. L&D nurse pride be damned if I went to the hospital only to be sent home.
At 10:30pm I had a horrible cramp on my left hip that I thought was a muscle spasm from having my leg propped up on pillows to help the baby rotate (in hindsight this maybe was the baby rotating into position as we think he maybe was sunny side up for a while possibly). I had Brian come up after the Blazer game with a hot pack and we got ready for bed and headed to sleep. I was unable to sleep through the next contraction so Brian got the birth ball and I sat on it for a few minutes. Probably around 10:45pm I had one more contraction, felt a small pop, and thought my water broke so I headed to the bathroom and prepped Brian for some nice encouraging words to say like, "you can do this, you're doing great" etc and hoped for active labor to start.
At 10:59pm I had Brian touch base with Jen to say, "I think my water broke. Way more painful. Headed to the hospital." We told my mom we were leaving and put a few final things in our bag. I even had time to tell Brian to change his shirt and maybe swap out of his Carhartt jeans. Then I asked my mom to take out Billy's car seat so we had more room in the Jeep. At that point, a little after 11pm things escalated quickly.
I had one contraction in the hallway and thought to myself, "there's no way I can survive the car ride to the hospital" which is just over a 30 minute drive, and so I headed to the bathroom. Just about a minute later I told Brian the baby was coming and he needed to call 911. At this point I was sitting on the toilet in our bigger bathroom (which is still not very big) and The baby was "Right There" as we say in the hospital. Brian called 911 and ran down to get my mom from the garage.
The next contraction happened a few minutes later and I couldn't not push. There was nothing I could do to stop myself.
By this time my mom called Jen and talked to her while Brian was on the phone with 911. We don't get very good cell service at our house so she was in the driveway in some torrential rain. She came back upstairs to help while Brian was relaying the 911 operator's instructions which were not at all helpful to me or my mom. "Take deep breaths, stay calm" and more words of wisdom like that. I'm pretty sure when she told me to get on my back I said "F you!" because at that point I was on the bathroom floor on my hands and knees. Brian did say that other than some out of character angry words, I wasn't yelling or screaming, just grunting. About that time my mom said his head was out and the ambulance hadn't shown up yet. We were on our own. It seemed like forever but might have been just a minute where his shoulder felt like it was stuck. It took everything I had to stand in to a squat and push the hardest I had ever pushed through all the crazy intense pain that felt like it was breaking my butt bones. My mom was right there to help catch him on his way out. Side note, I'm pretty prude and under normal circumstances wouldn't have had my mom in the delivery room, let alone up in my business. I was very glad to have her there at that moment so she could channel her past L&D experience.
Right at that moment two firemen came in the front door and started running in to the kitchen. Brian ran out to direct them upstairs and hung up with 911.
Once Johnny was out his face was very blue and he wasn't crying, but the rest of his body was pink. He was taking breaths but was very stunned so my inner L&D nurse instructed Brian to get my stethoscope from my work bag and asked him what time it was and he announced Johnny was born at 11:17pm. We were drying and stimulating Johnny to try to get him to cry as he lay on a pile of pottery barn towels on our bathroom floor. At another point I asked Brian to get more towels but didn't like his selection and asked him to get some of the nice ones. Only the best for our little guy. Hindsight- maybe not the best decision.
We aren't sure who, but somebody told Brian to get something to tie off the umbilical cord. He ran to get some twine and his knife, but I again I told him to try again and get something nicer. My mom came back with a ribbon from the craft room that said "Hip Hip Hooray!" and was about 2 feet long. Again, only the best for our little guy! We used that to tie off the cord, but the firemen ended up having a clip we used next to Johnny's belly button and one of them gave Brian a sterile scalpel to cut the cord. Not too long after that the ambulance showed up.
They checked his oxygen which was in the high 90's but his poor little face was bruised and swollen from his quick entry. The next step was to load in to the ambulance and head to the hospital. No shoes, no pants, 6 large men in our tiny bathroom and against their advice I walked down the stairs (the thought of sitting on a chair was totally not worth it). Now what was on my mind was that, "all of you have seen my vagina and now I have to see you at the pancake breakfast!" Of course they were reassuring and asked that we bring Johnny by the station once everybody is settled in. I was also still in shock and pretty surprised that this actually just happened and I kept thinking that this is not how I planned it at all. I didn't want to have my baby at home. Not ever in a million years.
We sat in the ambulance for a minute and Brian started to get frustrated that we weren't leaving. At this point Johnny's face was still very blue and we wanted to hurry and get to the hospital just in case he needed help. His numbers all looked good but we didn't want to take any chances. Brian told one of the guys in the ambulance we needed to go. He said the firemen just wanted to shoot the breeze so they were talking outside. My easy going hubby was NOT very happy about that.
The ambulance guy said they came from Southwest Medical center which isn't close to us at all, but they made it in under 20 minutes despite some of the worst rain we had seen in a very long time. They said there was 4 inches of water on Glory Rd coming in to our house and they had to stop for a minute because they couldn't see. The weather caused a few car wrecks and it being Saturday meant there were drunk people tying up the ambulances so the 2 that are usually stationed just down the hill from us were busy.
We made it to the hospital after the MOST uncomfortable ride and some awkward skin to skin and breastfeeding, and rolled in to the ER but thankfully they sent us straight up to L&D where Jen was waiting for us. The nurses were so very sweet and supportive and Jen was amazing... but she had expected us to meet her there to deliver our baby. We just skipped that part.
We both got checked out (stitches and placenta with said "Hip Hip Hooray" ribbon attached to the cord included on my part) and everything looked good so we were tucked in for the night around 2am. At that point we knew we needed to sleep, but we both lay there in our postpartum room and kind of were in shock thinking, "Holy crap did that just happen?"
The next morning family visited and Billy got to meet his new little brother. Billy and Johnny exchanging gifts... "Thanks Baby Johnny" :)
Billy slept through the whole delivery, chaos and everything, and I know he would have liked to meet the firemen. Maybe next time ;) I am forever grateful to my sweet mom for all that she did to help, and then even after helping deliver my baby, she did loads and loads of laundry (and double washed all the towels and bat mats), and even had house cleaners come before we got home. Bless her heart. However, we likely will be getting new bath towels and mats.
It might sound far fetched, but that's how we started our adventure as a family of four!