Category Archives: Birth Stories

The Miracle of Birth (Baby #7)

You remember when I shared our fifth baby’s exciting arrival through a little mini-series of stories (first post of series) about four years ago? It was in honor of her first birthday (code for procrastination…totally). Well, we have had two babies since then….another sweet girl and last year, an awesome baby boy. He turned 14 months old last week and is a precious addition to our family. We all just love him to pieces.

However he also had a birth story that needs to be shared. Life has been pretty chaotic with seven kiddos and we moved (locally) last May. We bought a huge historical home in a neighboring town and have been overwhelmed with fixing it up ourselves. However, my favorite DIY project of 2017 was the discovery of baby #8 on its way.  (Clearly life was not just about nasty demo and painting last year. Haha.) So I’m just gonna keep this post short and sweet and let the video do the talking for me. Enjoy.

OB I85 from Stephen Stockton on Vimeo.

 

                               Thank you so much for reading.

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S5, E7: News Baby {The Birth Story of Baby #5}

Welcome to the last episode of the Delivery Drama series in season five. Unbelievable. I’m still shaking from last week’s nail-biter, but then again I typically have the shakes after labor is over. Hormones and nerves hit me big time.

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed writing this series. This was such a good mental exercise of my mind and heart to try to put into words the vast array of thoughts and emotions from the nine months prior to that dreary Wednesday morning. It turned out to be a precious challenge and one that I will be forever grateful that I recorded here.

If you missed any of the series, please take a moment to check out these previous posts.

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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

Season 5, Episode 6: Wild Ride -The 45 minute attempt

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And here’s the final one

Season 5, Episode 7: News Baby -The drama of television

news baby

This little clip from our local evening news pretty much tells today’s story. 😉

For the record, the police officer was a former EMT and was a tremendous blessing to check over both me and the baby. (He did not deliver the baby though.) Obviously, as indicated by the clip of the 9-1-1 call from the police officer, paramedics were also brought to the scene.

However, after assessing the well-being of both myself and Baby Five, both emergency response teams gave clearance for our little morning drive to continue on to the birthing center.

I was thrilled.

Our babysitter met us at the birthing center as planned and Hubs and I spent the entire day resting in our little suite of rooms. It was difficult to take our eyes off of our new, little bundle sleeping sweetly by our full-size bed (Hubs LOVED being able to rest along with me. Hospitals should totally follow suit and put full-size beds in their mother/baby units. New fathers get tired too.)

I just couldn’t believe she was here.

We were discharged from the birthing center early in the evening. I may have given the whirlpool tub used for water births in my suite a hateful kick as I exited. I totally may have done that.

Next time…perhaps.

We arrived home. It was still October 23, 2013 and the clock on my nightstand now read 8:30 pm. (The clock and I had smoothed issues out. We were now friends again.) I eased back into my own bed, snuggling my newborn in my arms.

All in a day’s work, my friends, all in a day’s work.  😉

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Like my other children, Baby #5 was also given a screen name. Her name is Van. Fitting, don’t you think?

Thanks for reading,

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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. 🙂 )

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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

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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.

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Here is the final link to the last episode in this little mini-series. 🙂

Season 5, Episode 7: News Baby -The drama of television

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Thanks so much for reading.

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S5, E5: Flip Flop {The Birth Story of Baby #5}

Woo-hoo. It is Wednesday and we are about to have a baby any day now in our Delivery Drama series. A baby, people!! If you are new to the blog or perhaps just this series, please take a moment to catch up on the previous posts in this mini-series. Each episode builds on the others, and reading the entire series will help today’s post make more sense. It’s completely up to you though. Here are the prior postings.

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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

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flip flop

The alarm went off.

It was Wednesday, October 23, 2013, and I was still pregnant. To say that I was a bit discouraged over this fact would be putting it mildly. The dawning of my due date was 48 hours away and this thought alone heaped on tremendous anxiety. I needed to have this baby.

Yesterday’s adventure clearly did nothing for me. The thought of my failed attempt made me grumpy in spite of enjoying such a good night’s rest. The silver lining in this cloud would become clearer at a later time. For now, I was undeniably wallowing in self pity.

My frowny face is merely a result of nine months of accumulating hormones. I was thinking of a multitude of reasons and excuses for my blue mood as I lay there in the bed a few more moments.

I hefted myself into a sitting position and stood beside the bed a moment, just enjoying the darkness and quiet of our home.

My abdomen contracted. I rested a hand gently on my tummy as I waited for the tightening to pass.

Hmmm.

Oh well, another day, another Braxton Hicks. I was markedly determined to continue my morning disheartened -which was wrong, I know. (Ever been that pessimistic? If so, then you know exactly how I felt.) I shrugged off the pain, certain that I’d be overdue with this little one. There’s a first for everything, I thought glumly.

I walked down the hall and woke Bunny and Fuzz for school. It was 6:52 am.

I turned on the overhead lights to their room, called their names and called their names again. I was was not in a coddling mood. Forgive me.

Breakfast needed to be set out and lunches needed to be packed, so I walked back down the hall to the kitchen.

I’m still shuffling around in my pajamas at this point. If I would have had a bathrobe that actually fit my swollen state, I would have wrapped myself in it. The temperatures had dropped during the night and it was now freezing.

My hand was on the kitchen light switch when the next contraction hit. Again I took a moment to breath through it and then shook off this second “Braxton Hicks” to set out cereal bowls. I didn’t even note the time.

It’s nothing, I told myself.

The girls sleepily walked into the kitchen and after a brief prayer of blessing on the food and the day before us, they both began scarfing down their bowls. I shook my head. Cereal is probably the one of the top meals at our house, if you could call it that. Nothing like some carbs and dairy to start your day. 😉

Now was time for the task that I sort of dislike and was clearly avoiding -packing lunches. Although admittedly, I didn’t mind it as much as I used to since we now had an organized lunch drawer.

I began assembling their lunches at the kitchen counter. The girls were laughing, and conversing somewhat loudly for seven o’clock in the morning. Food had obviously lifted their spirits and chased away any lingering sleepiness. I smiled.

However, my smile turned more to a grimace as another strong contraction took over me. I was so, so glad that my back was to the table. I looked at the clock. 7:01.

My breath caught. Is this it? Am I really in labor?

With contractions already at approximately five minutes apart, it was not a good sign. As a precaution, I scooped up everything necessary for the stuffing of their lunch boxes and joined the girls at the kitchen table.

I never, ever sit to pack lunches, but I was hoping for two things.

First, that sitting down would reveal whether or not this was true labor. I have found that Braxton Hicks will disappear if I move around a bit, a combined effort of walking and resting. Was this labor? I really needed to know. Pronto.

Second, if this was real labor pains, sitting would hopefully stave off any rapid progression in my labor. It was, at the very least, worth my feeble attempt to try. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.

I continued to mask my pain as I worked my way through packing the lunch boxes. This normal morning distraction was both annoying and comforting. I couldn’t focus. Bunny had to tell me three times what she wanted for her morning snack. Gah.

Poor girls. Who knows what actually ended up in their lunch boxes that morning! I’d certainly not trust a woman in active labor to pack my lunch. But they didn’t know and it evidently didn’t hurt them either. Bless their hearts.

Thankfully, no one seemingly noticed or questioned my sitting in a chair. I said nothing about my contractions -not even to my husband when he entered the kitchen. No sense in scaring him until I was certain. I mean, really. I’d been having the occasional, yet strong Braxton Hicks for days. I wanted to be sure.

But what if I’m wrong though -and they’re not Braxton Hicks? What if the baby really is coming? Time alone would tell. And just to be sure, I kept a close eyeball on the clock and a mental list running in my mind.  7:06. 7:11. 7:15. 7:21. 7:26. You get the idea.

Trying to get two girls out the door for school, feeding two toddlers and attempting to sit as much as possible was not working out very well. I would gather and sign papers and then quickly sit back down. I stood back up to fix Fuzz’ hair, only to seek out my chair again as soon as I could. I’m not sure how I was even able to fix Bunny’s hair. In hindsight, headbands would have been so much faster. I could barely keep a straight face in front of my kids anymore. The pain and frequency was escalating faster than I thought possible.

the natural mama

I should have known at this point. And I probably should have told my husband. I have a lot of “probably should haves” from that morning.

However, my mind was totally zoned in on getting the older two settled safely at school. I would tell him later. Stupid plan, to be sure, but I was not thinking rationally at this point.

My mind was scrolling through a list of things that I needed to get done, things I needed to grab, and people I needed to call. Making sure our four older kids were where they needed to be was obviously at the top of our “we’re having the baby today” list. Sending Bunny and Fuzz off to school meant two down and only two more to go.

Relieved, I finally kissed the girls goodbye, planted a quick one on Hubs and closed the front door after them. It was 7:32 am.

My resolve to tell Hubs later went flying out the window, however, as the next contraction took over me. He needed to be told. Now. My fingers were shaking as I dialed his cell phone number.

“Hello.” (I love hearing his voice on the phone.)

“Hey,” I casually responded. “I just wanted to let you know that I think that I might be in labor. I wanted to let you know while you were out in case you wanted to swing by the church for any work that you might need later on today.”

I’m not sure why I felt like a disclaimer was warranted at this point. For crying out loud, the contractions were nearly bringing me to my knees. I guess that I didn’t want to shock him, after all this was news to him. Me, on the other hand, well, I’d already had over a half hour to adjust to the idea. Today really was the day.

Seriously, “I think I might be having a baby”?? That was the best you had?

Surely this little phone call was my “the time has come” moment if ever there was one -only I couldn’t quite muster the same theatrics as Desi Arnaz. My fumbling attempt came sputtering out much more in line with Lucille Ball’s – “Ricky, this is it” proclamation. (brownie points to everyone who has seen that episode of I Love Lucy)

“I might be in labor” was clearly the best that I could do at the moment. Sorry, Babe.

I had no sooner hung up the phone when I knew. There was no if, no maybe and no possibly. Strike that term “might” from the record-all doubt was gone.

Even though I didn’t call him back, I am so thankful for a husband who knows me better than I know myself. He wisely knew that stopping by the church would be a terrible mistake and instead raced back home to assess my labor for himself.

And let me tell you, it was not pretty sight.

I was vaguely aware when Hubs entered the house and walked into our bedroom. Zip and Pop were wandering around the house, fed but still in their jammies. I , however, was sitting like a statue on the side of our bed, afraid to move, afraid to sit still, afraid for the next contraction to sweep over me.

And I was still in my pjs myself…bed hair completed my look. I told you it wasn’t pretty.

During a lull, I tilted my head back and glanced up at my husband. The look on Hubs face said it all. His eyes were mirroring what my body was telling me. We were running out of time.

Hubs began dressing the little ones and changing diapers like a mad man.

“How far apart?” he called tersely.

I knew exactly what he meant. And my mental list was still going strong. I checked the time once more.

“Ummmm….like three – four minutes.” 

Pure panic was what I was reading in Hubs’ eyes now.

“Babe, you’ve got to get dressed. I know that you don’t want to move nor do you feel like moving….but you have to. Now!”

A cattle prod may have been helpful.

But the desperation in his voice was enough to cajole me out of my stupor. I clumsily dressed at a snail’s pace. I just couldn’t move. The pressure from the baby was through the roof. It felt like my water could break at any moment and I certainly did not want that to happen, not here, not now.

I wanted greatly to be free to focus and manage my way through this natural pain called childbirth, but instead I was enduring the irritation of attempting to put clothes on and hunting down a hairbrush. Boy, was it slow going.

Every three to four minutes I was overwhelmed with agonizing contractions and during those delicious moments of relief between the waves of pain, I wanted to do nothing but to sit and bask in the reprieve, to steady myself for the next round. But time was not allowing me that luxury, the clock was not my friend.

Hubs, on the other hand, was working circles around me. He was hastily grabbing all of our last minute items from around the house and keeping an eye on the kiddos while making a few important phone calls.

I could hear Hubs’ voice calmly explaining my situation to our babysitter and telling him to just meet us at the exit off of I-85. I straightened my top and denim skirt and sat back down on the bed, dragging a brush through my hair. Make-up was a mere pipe dream at this point. Styled hair -well, that was downright laughable. (How I managed both with Zip’s birth I’ll never know.)

Only I wasn’t laughing. By now, I was softly moaning.

Hubs came hurrying back into the bedroom.

“Ok, we really need to leave, Hon. What can I do to help you? Can I get you some shoes?”

(He’s just the greatest, is he not?)

“I want my flip flops.”

Flip flops are easy to put on, it’s true. But in my heart, I was planning ahead. What if….?

What if I needed to kick my shoes off in a hurry? What if they needed to, ahem, be sanitized later? Yes, flip flops were the best choice all around.

Hubs brought me my shoes and then left to buckle our two little ones in their car seats. I awkwardly stuffed my feet in the flip flops and sat there looking at my feet. It was a surreal moment.

Nothing was going as planned. It seemed as if every fear that I’d ever dreamed possible was now playing a major role in the events of my morning. Unbelievable.

having a baby

I needed to focus on the good thoughts. I was about to give birth to my fifth child. The details were still undecided, sure, but the chances were strong that I’d have a new baby in just a few hours -definitely by lunch. While I certainly didn’t need to be pinched to believe it, I was in awe. Five kids….soon.

Reflection time ended as another contraction knocked me over like a tidal wave. I felt more than saw my husband reenter the room.

“The kids are in the car. I have everything we need. We’re just waiting for you. Come on, Babe. I’ll help you to the car. You can do this.”

Bless his heart.

With Hubs’ hand on the small of my back, supporting me, I began tottering my way out of our house, swaying like a drunken sailor and grabbing the walls as I went. The pressure was just indescribable. With each step I took, the more I felt like the baby was going to just fall out on the floor in front of me. Cute waddling was a thing of the distant past. There was and is no term for the my promenade out the front door.

And I was still moving at the rate of an expiring turtle. (No, I’ve never seen one, but that pretty much sums up my speed. Trust me. If you ever see one, you’ll think of me and this moment.)

Ever so slow.

My heart was racing and I literally felt like I was going to be sick.

I stepped outside to an extremely cloudy and overcast morning. It looked like it could rain at any minute, and the wind was whipping at my skirt and pulling back my hair. The fact that I was freezing and probably needed a coat didn’t even register.

Somehow, I managed to make my way down the front steps. Hubs reached around me to open the car door to the passenger seat. From inside the open door, I could see Pop sitting directly behind my seat and Zip silently observing me from her perch on the back row. They were as quiet as mice -highly unusual. I’m sure that they sensed that something was about to happen.

I hesitated briefly, eyeing my chair. I hated to say it, but I had to.

“Hubs, ummm,…….we’re gonna need the emergency birth kit ready. Let’s cover my seat and the floor at my feet -just as precaution.”

Wordlessly, he spread out the necessary plastic and helped settle me on it. Then he shut the door.

It was 8:30 am. Had it really only been roughly an hour and a half since that first twinge?

Let me just stop right here and say that there really are no words to adequately describe the myriad of emotions that was threatening to overthrow me. I am speechless. Fear, pain, disbelief, excitement and more pain barely even scrape the surface.

I watched as Hubs ran around the car, opened his car door and climbed in. I could feel another contraction beginning to peak. Practically simultaneously, Hubs shut his door, started the van and put the gears in reverse.

He hadn’t even touched his foot to the gas pedal when I began gasping for air.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! No, no, no. Aw, Babe, my water’s breeeaking.”  As a good southern girl, I can certainly belt out a rebel yell any ol’ day, but I was desperately trying to not scar my sweet children sitting behind me. Not that I’ve ever yelled during labor, but their presence was certainly cramping any possibilities. Instead my outburst was a somewhat of a cross between a stunned declaration and a helpless whimper.

We hadn’t even left our driveway, our DRIVEWAY, and we had a long stretch of interstate driving ahead of us. And morning work traffic.

45 minutes to be exact. Yes, that number had certainly returned to haunt us.

The van was still rolling backwards and I was already kicking off my wet shoes.

Niiice.

Forget the flip-flops. My heart was managing those just fine.

-to be continued-

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Here are the links to the following episodes. 🙂

Season 5, Episode 6: Wild Ride -The 45 minute attempt

Season 5, Episode 7: News Baby -The drama of television

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Thanks for reading.

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