Nine months ago, I took four pregnancy tests that all came back negative and had to push my doctor to do a blood test because she didn’t believe I was pregnant. Little did I know that was just the beginning of a pregnancy that would end in a crazy and amazing way.
My HCG levels were incredibly low – they showed I was one week pregnant when I was really at least six. My follow-up ultrasound showed two masses – one in my tubes and an empty one in my uterus. There was concern that this was either a tubular pregnancy with a pseudosac inside my uterus or an anembryonic pregnancy, meaning there was a gestational sac but no fetal development and I would eventually miscarry. Turns out the mass in my tubes was a cyst which they removed via laparoscopy, but my HCG levels were still low. Subsequent ultrasounds and prenatal checkups showed that my levels quickly increased and everything was on par to be a low-risk pregnancy.
Thank God!!! I was terrified and worry stayed in the back of my mind the entire pregnancy, although I tried not to focus on it.
Fast forward through nine months of morning sickness, pelvic pain, upper respiratory viruses and stomach flus and Braxton Hicks contractions. I couldn’t fall asleep on the night of April 29, 2013. Finally at about 1:30 a.m. on April 30, my eyes closed, but I spent the next two and a half hours tossing and turning trying to get comfortable. Then I felt it. The first contraction. It was more intense than the already intense Braxton Hicks contractions I had been feeling for the past three months. It subsided. I fell asleep. Then another one. I could feel the rise, peak and fall of each contraction.
Oh sh!t!! This might be the real deal. I should probably start tracking these.
I grabbed my phone and for the next hour and a half, I tracked contractions. They were roughly 10 min apart, then 7.5 min apart. Between 6 and 6:30 a.m. I had my midwife paged and she called me back. She confirmed it was more than likely the real deal, but to wait until they were five minutes apart before we headed to the hospital. Relax, grab some food, take a bath, she suggested.
They started getting more intense and coming faster. Meanwhile, TD1 woke up and T-Daddy got her dressed. Between contractions, I tried to do her hair. One ponytail at a time. T-Daddy ran me some bath water and I hunched over on the couch, squeezing whatever was in reach while screaming OWWWWWW!!!!! and other inaudible sounds. I got in the tub which helped tremendously! Oh yeah, I can’t wait to get to the hospital and do this waterbirth thing. It’s going to be amazing! I thought as I was able to breathe through each contraction. TD1 who loves baths and playing and water joined me. For about five minutes, it was a beautiful thing. The relief didn’t last long as the contractions increased in frequency and I started feeling pressure. That’s when I told T-Daddy and he got TD1 dressed, for the second time.
I tried to track a few more contractions so that I could let my midwife know exactly how far apart they were. At this point it seemed like they were never-ending and the pressure was becoming really intense. I crawled out the tub and into the hallway, called my midwife. It wasn’t even 8 a.m. yet. My contractions were about 3.5-4 minutes apart. I told her we were heading out to the hospital and she said she would meet us there.
T-Daddy went to get the car and get TD1 strapped in. I struggled to get dressed and walk out the door. We got in the car and as we were pulling out of the parking lot, I asked T-Daddy for the towel and garbage bag in case my water broke on the way. We realized he had thrown it in the trunk in the midst of us moving. “I’m sure we’ll be fine. I doubt my water breaks in the next 20 minutes, let’s just keep going. We need to hurry up and get there.”
T-Daddy drove like a scene straight from Fast and Furious. Meanwhile, I was grabbing, squeezing and punching anything I could get my hands on. There was lots of screaming and singing “Jeeeeeeeesssssuuuuuusssssss.” Managing pain in the front seat of a Ford Focus is surreal and d@mn near impossible. I’m surprised I didn’t break the window or the door because I’m sure I punched the heck out of both. We got off 290 at the York Rd exit and I looked up just as we were passing our turn. I told T-Daddy he needed to turn around and almost immediately, I could feel the baby bearing down. At some point, I snatched my seat belt off, turned around and squatted in the front seat. TD1 started crying to get free, but calmed down after a while.
I could feel something pushing out of me, not sure what it was, I turned around and sat back down and told T-Daddy we were going to have to call 911 and he was going to have to deliver this baby. “Calm down babe. You’re fine. Just focus on breathing. We’ll be there in two minutes.” “I’m telling you my body is pushing and I don’t know how to NOT push.”
The pressure went away. Sigh. Okay we’re gonna make it. Then it came back, stronger. Yup something is definitely coming out. “[T-Daddy]!!! We need to pull over NOW!! “Babe just breathe. You are not about to have this baby. Just take a deep breath.” The pressure went away. Okay, we’re cutting it close but I can do this. Oh sh!t I can feel the baby crowning. A long slew of expletives exploded out of my mouth as I unkindly directed T-Daddy to pull over RIGHT NOW! He kept driving. I pulled down my pants and there was the top of my baby’s head. T-Daddy looked over. Pulled the car to the side of the road and the rest of the baby came out in our hands. It was 8:40 a.m.
She was really dark and covered in something. There was no sound. I turned her over and her face was covered. I broke the sac and I heard a little cry and saw her breathing. I immediately lifted my shirt to get her to nurse. She wouldn’t but I continued to hold her close and kept trying. T-Daddy called 911 and hopped out the car, grabbed a towel from the trunk and we wrapped her up.
For about 15 seconds, T-Daddy lost it and started punching the steering wheel and screaming. This then sent TD1 into an uncontrollable fit that apparently lasted for the next two hours. T-Daddy composed himself and finished talking to the 911 operator and while simultaneously trying to navigate to the hospital. GPS said we were five minutes from the hospital so T-Daddy set out for our destination. Unfortunately, we were five minutes from the old hospital. We got there and realized we were in the wrong place. T-Daddy pulled to the stop sign, looked up and there was a police car to our right. We both flagged him down. He pulled up on side of us.
“Yeah, I just delivered my baby in my car and I’m trying to get to the hospital but the GPS just sent us to the wrong place.” The police officer looked in the car, pulled out his radio and less than five minutes later, we were surrounded. The paramedics cut the umbilical cord, took the baby, then lifted me out of the car. Baby and I rode in the ambulance to the hospital and T-Daddy and TD1 followed.
The paramedics ran tests on me and baby, who’s APGAR scores were 8 and 9 and we arrived to a welcoming party at the Family Birthing Center at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.
“I just knew you were going to have that baby in the car when I got here and you weren’t here. I’ve been pacing back and forth waiting for you guys to get here,” my midwife said.
She delivered the placenta, they cleaned off baby and the rest was easy peasy.
God is good!! So that’s what we named TD2. Her first and middle names mean God is good, pure. And He most definitely is. From conception to delivery, He has watched over and blessed my child. And she now has an awesome birth story to share. And we’re local celebrities!