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Name: Lauren         Location: Middle Tennessee, USA

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The Birth of My Best Girl
This is the birth story of my daughter, my second child. You may not believe it. Sometimes I don't believe it, and I was there! I do hope you enjoy it.

As background information, let me tell you that my first birth was a breeze. Although I had not felt any contractions, I was already 5 centimeters dilated at 39 weeks. My doctor was concerned that I might not make it to the hospital when my labor started; so she sent me over to Labor and Delivery, started an epidural and pitocin, and my son entered the world 7 hours later. While I realize many women would not have preferred this type of birth, it suited me just fine. I like things to be planned, and I am also an epidural kind of girl. I guess I figure that the baby goes home with me no matter what, so why not skip as much pain as possible (for those of you who feel differently, that is just fine with me - this was just my preference).

Fast forward two years and nine months. I am nine months pregnant with my second child, and the doctor has scheduled me for an induction on October 27th. In the week leading up to the 27th, I had many contractions. They were very regular, but they always stopped. On the night of the 25th, they were coming at five minute intervals, but they stopped after about 30 minutes and were not painful. I went to bed.

At about 3:50 A.M., I woke up in pain. The contractions were much stronger, and I knew I was in labor. All the materials I had read stated that contractions should be every five minutes for one hour before going to the hospital. I waited about 10 minutes, but the contractions were strong enough that I told my husband we needed to go. He called his mother to come stay with our son, and I attempted to get dressed.

Unfortunately, my dressing was hindered by intense contractions about every three minutes. I also kept having to make trips to the bathroom. At one point I thought about the hours that would be ahead of me, and I prayed "God, I don't know if I can do this. Please let this be over quickly."

A few minutes after 5 (only a little over an hour later), we headed into the garage. As I walked down the steps, I had the sudden sensation that an accident had occurred. I realized that my pants were wet, and I felt a strong desire to go back to the bathroom. My husband was urging me to get in the car, but I told him "I have to go to the bathroom, and then I have to change my pants!"

Almost immediately, I realized that I did not need to use the bathroom, but instead, a baby was coming! I told my husband to call 911. My husband handed the phone to my mother-in-law, who had arrived to care for our son; he then directed his attention to me. He asked me to lie down (on the garage floor), but I couldn't. I couldn't move. I put my hands onto the side of the car, and I delivered a baby right there. Thankfully, my husband caught her (all his years of playing baseball payed off).

I heard her cry, which made me feel relieved, but I really felt like I was in another world. The only words I remember speaking after the instructions to call 911 were "She's attached to me!" (this was to my husband when he started to walk off with her). I could hear my mother-in-law talking hysterically to the 911 operator, and I knew that my husband tied off the umbilical cord with a shoestring and wrapped my best girl in a towel. However, when the ambulance arrived ten minutes after she was born, I was still leaning against the car having contractions.

We were transported to the hospital where my best girl was treated for low blood sugar (minor problem), and I finished the rest of the birthing experience. This part was probably the worst because I was so aware of the pain and the adrenaline was no longer pumping. I had to be stitched up without the benefit of pain medicine, and I almost jumped off the table. I apologized to the nurse for being a wimp and she gracefully replied, "Honey, you just had your baby in your garage. We don't think you are a wimp."

I will try to wrap this up with a few more things that were very memorable to me about this experience. First of all, I am a very private person. No one would have been in the delivery room with me except my husband and necessary medical personnel. The fact is, however, that my mother-in-law was standing behind me for my entire performance. Later, I said, "Oh! We don't have any pictures from my best girl's birth!" My mother-in-law laughed and said, "I do! It is permanently etched in my brain!" My mother-in-law also gets the award for cleaning the garage. Amazingly, in my trance-like state, I never even noticed all the loveliness that must have been there, but she cleaned it all before we came home.

I also remember all the phone calls. When you deliver your baby in the garage, word gets around (I got calls from as far away as Hawaii and Italy). Everyone I have ever known, and even people I didn't know, heard my story. Some of my close friends thought I was joking, but I had the 911 tape to prove it!

The final thing I remember most is the prayer I made in my bathroom. Be careful what you pray for! I asked for the birth to be over quickly, and God granted my request. Perhaps I should have specified that I wanted it to be over as soon as I was in the presence of anyone with some kind of medical training!

We enjoy this story now, and we are so thankful that everything worked out fine. My daughter is still not old enough to understand the circumstances of her birth, but for several months my son asked all my pregnant friends if they were going to have their babies in their garages. I think my husband, who was very calm during the entire process, is over the trauma as well (but I did get a very nice Christmas present that year).

Through it all, I learned three important lessons: I could have gone to the hospital in my pajamas; I will live with my OB during my ninth month if I ever have another baby; and I don't get to plan everything in my life!


  posted at 2:12 PM  

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