S5, E6: Wild Ride {The Birth Story of Baby #5}

Whew. Ready for the ride of your life today? Buckle up and hang on as we race down I-85 together. It’s Baby Day in our Wednesday Delivery Drama series. For those of you who are just tuning in to this series, please feel free to enjoy the previous episodes provided below.

All set? Then grab a cup of coffee, a bar of chocolate and a car horn. You’ll need all three, believe me.

(The pictures below are actually of our Honda mini van. A fleeing deer later killed our Ford Windstar. I saved the headrest of my chair for posterity. :) )

____________________

Season 5, Episode 1; (Pilot)   Baby Five  -The history behind it all

Season 5, Episode 2; Life Line  -The famed purple box

Season 5, Episode 3: Big Mama -The nine month growth spurt

Season 5, Episode 4: Fair Plan -The pizza that failed

Season 5, Episode 5: Flip Flop – The speed of a turtle

____________________

wild ride

My heart was in my throat.

I don’t, -I don’t want to do this…..Maybe we should just stay here…..But if we stay here, we’re on our own….. What if something goes wrong? My mind was whirling with a million and one thoughts and scenarios, most of them disjointed and completely ridiculous options.

Meanwhile Hubs was peeling out of our driveway, beginning our, ahem, forty-five minute expedition. This was not your typical, new-parent joyride to the hospital. From the outside, we may have looked like an innocent Ford Windstar whizzing by, but in reality, we were two insane people trying to attempt the impossible. It was gutsy, I’ll give us that much.

giving birth in a car

Fifteen seconds after my water breaking, we were turning out of our housing development.

I should have packed a brown paper bag. I was already hyper-ventilating.

“What do you want me to do? Should I call 9-1-1?” Hubs said excitedly, grabbing for his phone.

Now you have to realize, I am an extremely indecisive person. I need moral support just to order an entree at Olive Garden, and even then I second guess my choice and end up parroting the order before me. Pathetic, right?

Faced with a dire situation like this, my mind couldn’t even begin to compute what would be best. The thought of staying at home was tempting but terrifying, and waiting for 9-1-1 professionals would be utterly horrid. At the very least, driving in the right direction would bring a teensy bit of reassurance and feeling of normality.

“I don’t know, I don’t know.” I moaned. Why did we have to live out in the sticks anyhow? The nearest hospital was thirty minutes from us, unless, of course, you want to count the psychiatric hospital that was a mere seven minutes from our house.

I glanced over to my husband driving like a man being pursued, then down to my swollen stomach and the puddle pooling at my feet, to the clock -which by now I hated. Hmmmm. On second thought, perhaps we should go to that hospital. Without a doubt, I’m sure that this venture certainly qualified us a bed. Whose hairbrained idea was it to traipse off to a birth center? Three towns over?

Oh yeah. That would be me.

“Just get me there,” I begged. I knew that my Hubs would do his utmost to deliver me safely there (pun intended). He really is Superman, you know.

All of this dialogue and thought process transpired at the speed of light. We were literally just down the block from our house. Aaugh.

Hubs began punching buttons on his phone. He very coolly explained the turn of events to our babysitter and instead asked him to meet us at the birthing center. We were stopping for nothing on this trip, only to observe the necessary traffic laws.

natural birth story inspiration

In the passenger seat, I’m still trying to get comfortable and settle in for a very uncomfortable trip. Not happening. Attempting to find a good position was futile. Clearly I was hallucinating. How did I possibly think that I could find any measure of comfort in the front car seat? In active labor?

Yes, go ahead. Take me to the nearby mental facility.

As we were leaving our little town and nearing the interstate, I was beginning to be a little hopeful. Sure, the contractions were bad, but I was managing.

However, we were approaching my nemesis. Whoever invented traffic lights is officially off of my friend list. The yellow metal box was clearly illuminated against the dreary October morning skyline, a flashing neon sign, saying, Watch this, Lady, just watch. Look what I can do.

 We were zooming up the road, when I saw it change to yellow and then blink over to red. I’m pretty sure it was instantaneous.

What can I say? Traffic lights hate me.

Hubs began braking for the red light and I closed my eyes, waiting for the inevitable, waiting for the monumental pressure to mount, waiting for -whatever. I wasn’t sure what result the halting of our vehicle would bring. My knuckles went white as I gripped the little handle bar above my head, bracing myself.

natural delivery

The traffic light stop was everything I thought it would be and more. The pain was inevitable, the pressure brought me to tears and the “whatever”, well, it was the last thing that I wanted.

“Oooooooowww. Oh, no. Oh, no.” I was halfway standing as the contraction swept over me. My water was gushing out as this new little one was pushing down, making a determined effort to arrive in this awkward and unconventional setting.

“B-Babe, my w-water just broke the rest of the waaay.” I was gasping through the pain now. With my water gone, the intensity of the baby descending had doubled. As the contraction subsided, we rolled through the green light, turning to get on I-85.

I cast one last dirty look at the swinging stop light. Trouble maker.

Hubs was now dialing my midwife on call. He was doing his best to relay to her where I was in my progress. I, on the other hand, was doing my part by filling in any missing pieces to his story with background noises. {blush} Just so you know, throughout the rest of the dialogue below, she was listening in. Wonderful.

Yeah, I found that out later.

Blissfully unaware of the new set of ears in our van, I was doggedly fighting to stay upright on my seat, The drenched plastic trash bags now seemed more of a hassle than a help.

I felt like curling up in a ball and crying for my mommy, neither of which was remotely possible. I was currently about as flexible as a steel rod and my mom was over five hours away, unaware of our situation. Midwives and babysitters were the number one phone calls, and obviously the only ones we had time for. (Apologies to all family members, specifically our mothers. You understand.)

The birth plan that I had submitted to my midwives was slipping through my fingers. And it was insanely simple -so much so that my midwife chuckled over it.

                     My Birth Plan

water birth perhaps?

Evidently they were used to seeing a more elaborate plan with minute details clearly laid out. Having had four prior deliveries, I knew that labor is rarely ever the way you planned. And I was undeniably being reminded of this very truth.

But c’mon…a water birth.  Just one request. How hard was that, people?? And no, sitting in my own fluids with a puddle forming on the floorboard totally did not count.

However, one dream WAS coming to fruition. It was morning rush hour on I-85, and it was more like a nightmare than a dream.

No one, no one, would get out of our way. Even if my husband had wanted to go over the speed limit, he couldn’t.

He wanted to honk the car horn but was afraid that it would irritate the other drivers and that they might begin to slow down/block us on purpose. You know, it’s called road rage. All Hubs could do was flash his lights at people and hope and pray that they would respond by getting over for us.

No. such. luck.

So instead, our tumultuous trek was a delightful mixture of speeding up and slowing down, the wonderful ebb and flow of work traffic. Great day, people. We’re having a baby here. Move it.

natural birth

I sat there slipping around and realized that I had better prepare myself for a possible birth. With shaking hands, I grabbed the towels and blankets stored behind the driver’s seat as well as another trash bag to catch the placenta.

Is this really happening?? Having a baby in the car was only supposed to be a family joke. My mind was struggling to come to terms with reality. It truly felt like an out of body experience.

I washed my trembling hands with hand sanitizer and sat there waiting for the next contraction. They were roughly a minute apart at this point. Not good, not good at all.

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh. Ah,….ah….ah….” I groaned. I threw back my seat to recline as far as my two year old son’s toes would allow and literally began panting and heaving my way through the sixty-ninety second constrictions.

I had officially entered the stage of the dying cow sound. Did you know there was one? There totally is.

My subdued moaning and thrashing about stilled for about a minute.

I collapsed against my car door, drained. I was in a daze as I gazed out the window. (I’ve often wondered what people in the other cars thought as we were weaving through the traffic, if they noticed our flashing lights, if they noted my crazed expression. Probably not.)

It was during these breathers, these moments of downtime, that I actually was foolish enough to hope that I could hang in there for ..oh, another thirty minutes.

Hang in there, Heather. Stay calm, Breathe in, breathe out. Only a little further.

Absurd and irrational, right? My state of mind was apparently teetering between reality and fantasy. At any rate, I was grateful for any reprieve, no matter how small.

Hubs was doing his best to aide me in my birth preparations, and to coach me through each contraction and breather. He’s the best ever. He kept casting furtive glances my way, attempting to slyly estimate how much time I had left.

“I….just..want…it o-over.” I blubbered. At this point, I didn’t care where. Or how.

Hubs reached over and sympathetically patted my arm. (Deja vu here.)

The next contraction was beyond my ability to control. The end was near and I knew it. I was now helpless to fight it.

a natural birth story

“I just,…I just…need to p-push.” I wailed, lifting myself off of my seat. The pressure to allow nature to have its way was pulling at me. And I was caving in.

“No, no. Not yet, Babe. C’mon…….hang in there.” Hubs encouraged. My midwife-on-call agreed. (Yes she was still there.)

But it was too late. As the contraction peaked, my body took over.

“I’m pushing, I’m pushing.”

I stoutly endeavored to pause the birth, but to no avail. I felt that familiar burning sensation and surrendered myself. I wanted it over. Surely the world would not come to an end if I gave birth in a car.

So I did what felt good, what felt completely natural -in spite of my surroundings, in spite of the lack of medical personnel. I just pushed.

While in the car. While driving 70 mph. While my six foot frame was squashed in the front passenger seat. While two toddlers sat deathly quiet behind me…bug-eyed, I’m sure. While the whole world seemingly whizzed by. While my dear Hubs courageously drove. And not to be left out, while the midwife listened in. {insert eye roll here}

“Wait, I see a patrol car up ahead on the side of the road. Do you want me to stop?” Without waiting for my answer-which wasn’t coming. by the way- Hubs turned his hazard lights on and hastily pulled to a stop behind the emergency vehicle.

As Hubs stopped the car, flung open the car door and jumped out -again practically simultaneously- he flashed me a quick glance and what he saw spurred him on.

Clearly I had not waited. (“Wait??!”  It’s okay to chuckle, ladies. I’m laughing my head off here.)

My eyes were closed. As I heard him slam the door shut, my second contraction hit and again, I pushed. There was no doctor, no husband present to catch my fifth child as it entered the world. Just my bare hands and worn, wet upholstery covered by a clean towel greeted my little one.

The stillness was palpable, only broken by the sound of my labored breathing. I looked down at my seat in disbelief.

By now, Hubs had rushed back to the car and was attempting to open my car door. The van, however, had locked all of the doors but his when he parked. He could see through the window that the baby was already here. I tried to reach the unlock button but couldn’t. Hubs quickly ran around the van and unlocked my door. Then he gently reached down and picked up our newborn child.

I loved that look in his eye -a father, many times over, yet still in awe over the miracle of birth.

At Hubs’ touch, Baby Five began to cry. “Hello there,Sweetheart” he crooned. I think my heart melted pretty much melted on the spot, the pain and agony already fading to a distant memory.

“It’s a girl, Mama” he whispered to me, placing her on my chest.

I look down into her sweet face, completely captivated by this small, sweet life. Watching those tiny eyes flutter as they adjusted to her new world, feeling the weight and warmth of human life nestled on top of me (it’s a completely different sensation than carrying a baby in the womb), hearing her quiet, but strong cry above the din of truckers and cars rushing by.

tiny toes

It was pure joy. Running over.

She was worth every minute of my uncomfortable morning- a mere two hours of labor, and she was certainly worth every mile of this wild ride.

As a I placed my first gentle kiss on her downy skin, she truly made me forget it all. Truly.

——————–

Thanks so much for reading.

signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tissue Trouble {31 Days of Life. Contained.}

Life Contained 2014 button

This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.

____________________

the tissue trouble

Forgive me.

I’m designating an entire post in this series to toilet tissue.

Let’s conduct this like a Scott’s extra soft toilet paper commercial and just whisper. Allow me for the next, oh…thirty seconds or so to murmur in your ear about an irksome mom problem.

Is that better? Can you still hear me? 

For years, we have had issues with empty rolls, disappearing half used tubes and fresh new rolls dancing like balls of yarn across the bathroom floor. 

bathroom organizer

It all started when I began potty training my children. I think that little people may be the root of this issue….but that’s just between you and me.

I solved one of our issues in our hall bathroom with yet another basket. It’s the same large, deep basket that settled my cleaning cloth dilemma.

I keep the rolls ready to go under the bathroom counter. After several towers of tp rolls stacked and knocked down like building blocks, well, I guess that you could say that I’ve finally learned my lesson.

organizing the bathroom

Perhaps one day, when my kids are raised, an attractive and open display will be a possibility. For now though, clean tissue is my goal.

Ok ….at this time you can resume your normal speaking voice.

Now if I can just convince my kids that the toilet paper holder previously mounted to the wall was not a handle. Spackle can truly cover a multitude of messes and damage.

____________________

tip 17

So how do you handle tissue troubles? Use a stand for extra rolls? Create a little stack on the back of the toilet? A nice arrangement in a basket? Or maybe just trust that they’ll find the plastic wrapped pack under the sink? Whatever your style, order is king and habit is queen. Obviously this theory applies to more areas than just bathrooms. Make this your household motto. Organize your space and keep it that way.

signature

The Shoe Spot {31 Days of Life. Contained.}

Life Contained 2014 button

This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.

____________________

I am your average female. I have a severe addiction to shoes. This is a normal issue, right? On second thought, maybe I’m not average.

the shoe spot

Actually don’t tell me.

As most of you know, we have four daughters and evidence of my genes are showing strong tendencies in their closets. It’s a hereditary problem, of this I am certain.

The problem with seven people -most of which having an itty-bitty shoe fettish- in a small 1500 square foot home is that they are everywhere. Shoes, that is.

The fear of tripping over them is constant, which we can’t worry about. We already live with the fear of stumbling over little ones.

shoe organizer

Everyone has specific zones in their closets for their shoes, but what about when they have a pair out? Where do their play shoes end up? Their church shoes on Sunday afternoon?

Sadly, these are the culprits for most tumbles around here.

Enter a simple boot tray. It was the answer to many a bruised toe.

organizing shoes

I love how easy it is to kick off shoes and to slip them on again. The tray is made of a very hard plastic and is incredibly straightforward to clean.

It’s called rain.

I’m laughing my head off here because I’m certain you think that I’m kidding. I’m not. ;)

And clearly it needed a good scrubbing. I draw the line on polishing designated shoe zones -even for pictures. Dirt just doesn’t seem out of place here.

shoe organization

Dirt and shoes are somewhat the normal combo here. And when it gets to be too much, there is always rain, my friend.

Rain can be wonderful.

____________________

What about you? Where do your shoes go during the day? While this is not your typical container, it works. Containing life doesn’t always necessitate a box. Creating a zone, a landing spot may be all that is required for an orderly space. In this case, a shallow tray was perfect.

tip 16

So there…..go make a dedicated shoe spot.

XO,

 signature

The Trinket Trial {31 Days of Life. Contained.}

Life Contained 2014 button

This post is part of a series called 31 Days of Life. Contained. Want to catch up on the entire series? Click here. Want to stay connected and not miss another post? Follow me on facebook.

____________________

the trinket trialYesterday’s post took care of those small baubles that can sometimes be difficult to manage. And then I hid them under my bathroom sink.

Today, however, my topic is on open storage. It’s simple really.

I’m using my bracelets as art on my bathroom counter.

bracelet storage

Accessorizing an outfit just got easier, and so did putting the bracelets away.

making a zone for bracelets

Hubs bought me this antique pewter bracelet cuff in Washington D. C. this past summer. The engraving of daffodils reminds me of my childhood. Growing up, we would take family walks down an old, dirt road behind our house. It was a lovely, wooded trek that would open up into a huge field, a field full of daffodils. It was absolutely gorgeous in the spring, almost magical. One almost felt like Dorothy in her field of poppies -minus the sleeping, of course.

Then the gas company had to come through and wreck havoc on my childhood wonderland. I would say that I hate the gas company, but it was because of them that we were able to have city water piped to our house.

So there, I just admitted in two tiny paragraphs that I grew up on a dirt road and that city water was a mere novelty until my teen years.

Yes, I am a country girl.

storage for bracelets

The cuff is also engraved with my birth month on the inside. I love it. And I love my man. <3

I picked up the sea green bowl from Anthropologie. It was surprisingly cheap and I can always use another shade of green in my house. Blue, gray and green -my favorite colors.

bracelet organizerThere you have it. My little bowl of bangles.

By the way, ever notice how things shrink with time? Remember that daffodil field that I was telling you about? In my mind, it was as big as a football field or two, but in reality, it was cracker box size. Hilarious how the mind works.

____________________

tip 15

  Have you ever tried storing things in plain sight? Do you have something pretty that could be left out, something that makes you smile? Storage can even double as art. Decorative and contained is a definite win-win.

Go ahead, try it. Leave something out on purpose. In a container, of course.

XO,

signature