Speed Racer: The Birth Story

May 22, 2008

The first contraction hit at 7:46 pm. I know this, because I checked the time. I was pretty sure that it was just more false labor, but still. One always hopes. So I checked the time, and then went back to eating my fajita.

Ten minutes later another contraction hit. Ow, I said to no one in particular. That hurt.

Was that one different? HBF asked. Is it time?

Probably not. I’ll just wait and see.

Eight minutes later I was doubled over. Emilia pulled out her doctor’s kit and held the stethoscope to my belly. Baby brother wants to come out now?

I don’t know sweetie.

HBF: Should we go in?

I don’t know. It might be another false alarm.

HBF: I think we should go in.

I don’t know. (*doubles over*)

HBF: Seriously.

Fifteen minutes later we were in the car, no thanks to me. I dawdled, even as the contractions sped up, reluctant to go in to the hospital and face another round of eye-rolling if these were, as I thought, just another bout of bad false contractions. HBF prodded and pushed until I relented and buckled into the passenger seat. We drove away at 8:26pm, just as another bad contraction hit.

And then another.

And another.

We were barely fifteen minutes from home – and still probably some thirty minutes from our downtown hospital – when it became apparent that whatever was happening was happening quickly. Very quickly. Since we’d left home, the contractions had gone from eight minutes or so apart to barely a minute apart to not apart at all. HBF called 911; 911 patched him through to an ambulance; the ambulance advised that we pull off the highway and wait for them.

HBF: Pull off and wait?

(Me: GAAAAAR-OHMYGOD-GAAAAAR-NOTGOINGTOMAKEIT-GAAAAAR!!!)

(Emilia: WHAT’S MOMMY YELLING ‘BOUT DADDY?!)

HBF: I really don’t think we have time to stop and wait.

Ambulance Dispatch: We can’t chase you down, sir.

HBF: Then I’ll just keep driving.

Mad vehicular dashes to hospitals with women in labor are usually played for laughs on film and television. Let me tell you: there is nothing funny about racing toward a hospital that seems to recede ever further into the horizon as you speed forward in excruciating pain, your body completely out of your control, medical disaster ever more imminent with every passing second. Even when the toddler in the back seat starts shouting MOMMY YOU NEED MEDICINE YOU NEED MY TOADSTOOL? it’s not funny. It’s stone-cold terrifying.

And when your body just starts bearing down and pushing and you cannot stop it and then you’re still like ten minutes away from the hospital and the baby starts shoving its way out of your parts and OMG YOU CAN FEEL IT COMING OUT? Then? Your mind kind of snaps.

(So does the mind of your husband, who at this point is simultaneously driving a speeding vehicle with one hand on the horn and the other trying to feel for baby’s head between your legs while shouting into his phone-headpiece to someone at the ER that the baby’s coming the baby’s coming you need to be ready when we get there!)*

We arrived at the hospital at about 9:05pm. At the wrong entrance. Which was locked. Sufficient banging and the luck of some random guy wandering through the lobby got us in, and much shouting from HBF brought the medical team that had been waiting for us running. I was already mid-delivery: the bag of waters was being involuntarily pushed out – intact – and the baby was crowning. Eleven minutes later, at 9:16pm – after much horror-movie-worthy screaming – Jasper was out.

90 minutes from start to finish of active labor. Eleven minutes after stepping out of the vehicle. Fourth degree tearing (borderline) requiring on-the-spot surgery which, you know, without epidural or spinal anaesthesia or anything more significant than local anaesthetic and an extra-strength Tylenol? Almost as hair-raising as the near in-vehicle delivery. Almost.

It was terrifying. The most terrifying experience of my life, bar nothing.

But still, still… after all that – there’s him. Big and hale and hearty and a joy – an infinite joy – to behold. Worth any measure of terror, worth any measure of pain.

And the best birthday present ever.

*****

HBF broke, like, a zillion traffic laws, but he was a hero, he really was, getting us to the hospital in the nick of time. We found out immediately after the birth that we couldn’t have delivered Jasper safely without help – the cord was wrapped around his neck. There was, quite literally, not a second to spare. My mind snaps a little bit more every time I think about this. Which is why I’m going to try to not think about it anymore.

I bitch about the gods a lot, but someone or something was looking out for us. And for that – for everything – I am deeply, deeply grateful.

Now, am going to rest. Really.

*******


Because you asked: he weighed 9 lbs 2 oz – just a hair under what the ultrasound indicated. Around 20 inches long with a VERY big head (and chubby cheeks with one dimple).

And Emilia was right there until the gory parts, at which point she was enlisted by nurses to help supervise the nursing desk until it was slightly less terrifying for her to enter the room. When she did rejoin us, she was all smiles – huge smiles – and bursting with pride for having helped bring her baby brother into the world.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share!
  • email
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon

    { 180 comments }

    Design Mom May 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    What an amazing story! You are my hero. Congratulations!!!

    Carmen May 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Congratulations to the entire Bad Family! You are all amazing!

    Happy, happy birthdays all around!

    Now, go get some sleep!

    Carmen

    http://www.momtothescreamingmasses.typepad.com

    Mamajama May 23, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    This helps me confirm my belief that we can never really plan for birth (it’s too unpredictable). So glad to hear that everyone is going to be fine! Sorry to hear about the fright of your life!!

    Vicki May 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I’m soooo glad that everyone is ok. You scared the crap out of me and I’m actually trying to get pregnant again…WOW!!

    YOU ARE A TOTAL SUPERHERO!!

    Congrats and best wishes to the Bad Family!!!!

    Christy May 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    De-lurking here. I’m absolutely in tears reading this. Congratulations! I’ve been anxiously awaiting your birth story. I’m due next week, have been suffering through a bit of painful false/early labor myself. This is my third, and I’m crossing my fingers for no side of the road drama. And, happy birthday (I think?).

    Mac and Cheese May 23, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Holy sh*t that’s a crazy birth story! What was up with three weeks of false labour and then no time allotted for the real thing??? Crazy!

    Listen Up, MoFos! May 23, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    WOW! What could I say that hasn’t been said yet? I am so very happy that everything turned out well. He is adorable. Yesterday I looked at pics of my daughter when she was just a day or two old and I wept like a dummy. She’s 18 months now and I never imagined life could be this good. Congratulations to you all! And what a brave little sister! She’s gonna rock! Now try to get some sleep.

    ByJane May 23, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    WOW! WOW! and then WOW! some more. What I find so stunning is not only the birth and the size (man! he’s one BIG baby), but that you are writing about it just a few days later. You are not Wonder Baby’s Bad Mother, you are Wonder Baby’s Wonder Mother.

    Leah May 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Wow. Just wow. I’m so glad you’re all healthy and okay.

    Procrastamom May 23, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Holy cow! I thought I was going to choke just reading that post…I can’t imagine. Thank goodness he’s finally here and that the whole family is healthy and happy.

    Lydia May 23, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Congratulations! That is an amazing birth story and I’m so glad you now have two beautiful children.

    And two wonderful names.

    Karen Sugarpants May 23, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Holy smokes Catherine! Thank goodness everything worked out but still, OUCH sistah.
    You are a hero. Truly, a hero.
    xo

    twelvekindsofcrazy May 23, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I. am. terrified. now.
    WOW! I have been checking back every day for the story and WHAT a story that was! So glad you and Jasper are safe and healthy! You got me all choked up.
    Best Wishes!

    Nina May 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Wow. Go you.

    Jaelithe May 23, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Oh my goodness!

    Some people do like to make an entrance, don’t they?

    So glad to hear that everyone is okay. Sounds like a whole family of heroes to me, right down to little Emilia offering you her lovey.

    Heather May 23, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Wow Catherine. Yeah, you rest!

    crunchycarpets May 23, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Same weight as Caity!
    And almost the same speed too!

    My fave part was them asking me to change into a gown while in full on contractions..THAT was funny.

    I told you!!!!

    Nic May 23, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Now THAT is a birth story! Welcome Jasper!

    chris May 23, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    That’s what I’m talking about! You guys rock.

    Congratulations.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Don Mills Diva May 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    What a story!
    Welcome to the world Jasper! I am beyond happy for all of you.

    FishyGirl May 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Ho-Lee Crap. Wow. Guess all the “pre” labor did something after all. Rock on, Catherine.

    What an amazing picture. Congratulations again.

    Kristin DeLoach, Graco May 23, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Congratulations to you all! I’m so relieved for you that you had a good ending to a pretty terrifying story. But I must say I’m now pretty panicked because I’m a week away from my second delivery and live 45 minutes from the hospital!!

    LD May 23, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    oh my goodness– what an incredible story- congrats on the new little guy- he’s perfect.

    Miscellaneous-Mum May 23, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Chubby cheeks and a dimple? Just like my little man :)

    Congratulations, what a story! Wow. I hope you’re recovering well.

    womaninawindow May 23, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Oh, why do we mom’s love love stories like this? Even when they’re scary…as long as they end well…congratulations!

    Candygirlflies May 23, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Awesome. Catherine, I’m so proud of you… and the whole Bad Gang.

    He’s beautiful.

    xo CGF

    Lotta May 23, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Oh I’ve got chills! I’m so thrilled for you all that it ended up being a safe delivery. I hope the fear part settles down for you. But if not you know you always have a story that can top anyone’s birthing gossip at the playground.

    mumma boo May 23, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Wow. Wow. WOW! I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes wondering if you know just how amazing you (and HBF) truly are. Congratulations, again! Now, rest!!

    mothergoosemouse May 23, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Jesus Christ. I think I just now took a breath.

    So sweet – E offering you her lovey. Major kudos to HBF for his skill behind the wheel. And you – I don’t know how you did it, but if anyone could, it’s you.

    Jasper, I think this isn’t going to be the last time you give your mommy, daddy, and big sis a run for their money.

    kittenpie May 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    He looks wonderful, HBM, and for having weathered this only a week ago, you do too.

    adriane May 23, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Oh wow, Your birth story is wonderful! I just followed the link over from Mom-O-Matic, and I’m not disappointed. You rock!

    Carolyn B. May 23, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    Big, beautiful baby with a larger-than-life birthday story. I’m so glad you made it in time and that you’re both well. CONGRATULATIONS! :o )

    Karen MEG May 23, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Now THAT is an amazing birth story!

    Wow, no epidural with a baby over 9 lbs. You are my hero.

    Stimey May 23, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Dear damn God, that is a crazy story. My heart was racing just while reading it. I cannot imagine what it must have been like. You’re a superwoman! Congratulations to your whole family!

    Mom101 May 23, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    I am sweating reading this.

    And also smiling broadly. You’re a survivor, HBM. And your little Taurus son is going to be a toughie just like you.

    Blessings. Mwa.

    Pearmama May 23, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Awesome. I can relate to the feeling of fear when the baby feels like its about to shoot out of you. My second did that. It was the most primal feeling ever…I sounded like a bear in the forest. I probably looked like one, too. Pretty horrifying. The worst part? Feeling like your ass is being turned inside out and you can’t control it at all.

    But congrats. It’s over. Whew. He’s a doll.

    Angella May 24, 2008 at 1:39 am

    I have not had Internet, so I am late to the party.

    But?

    He is perfect.

    Blessings.

    Anonymous May 24, 2008 at 1:46 am

    Congrats to your whole family, TheirBM! I’m so glad baby was safe and sound. Sorry to hear about your condition. :( Listen to the recouperation advice and follow it!! I was born in the car, in the ER bay, feet first. ER nurse held cord away from my neck during delivery. ER doc cut upholstry on front seat when cutting cord. My parents are still horrified at the memories almost 37 years later. I’m the last child of the family. Can I assume the same for Jasper?

    Alpha DogMa May 24, 2008 at 2:17 am

    Please add me to the cacophony of congratulations. And wow, that is some birth story. Thank heavens it has a happy ending.

    Welcome to the world, Jasper! You are well-named! The world is your oyster! Please don’t put your mom in an old folks home. She deserves better.

    Signed,
    An Irrelevant Irregular Perfect Stranger.

    blackbird May 24, 2008 at 7:30 am

    A warm welcome to your little one -
    congrats to the three of you.
    I love a good labor story (came in off twitter) and DAMN, that was a good one.

    OvaGirl May 24, 2008 at 8:01 am

    For fucks’ sake. Shocked on your behalf. Congratulations. All of you.

    Suburban Turmoil May 24, 2008 at 8:10 am

    WOW. Well, now you have something more for the memoir! My mouth was hanging open the entire time I read that post!! I’m SO GLAD everything turned out okay and he’s beautiful and congratulations and WOO HOO it’s OVER!! And it’s JUST BEGUN!! :D

    A Mom Two Boys May 24, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Oh MY GOD.

    That’s about all I can say.
    except for CONGRATULATIONS!

    Damselfly May 24, 2008 at 11:33 am

    You are so blessed and lucky. Congratulations!

    Melinda Zook May 24, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    OMG, a phenomenal story! Yes, someone was most definitely watching out for you. And whew, that was one quick delivery!

    Sarah O. May 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Now THAT’S a story!

    I’m also very impressed how you mangaged to be almost the Baddest Mother Ever by having your baby in the car!

    Congrats to you and yours.

    pnutsmama May 24, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    holy mother of god, that is one hell of an experience- you are an effing rockstar, woman, you and the whole bad family are the baddest mofo’s going…

    next time i hear a “traumatic birth story” that starts with “well i really wanted to use the birthing ball but they said no…” i’ll be sure to pass along what a truly hair-raising birth adventure is. you are awesome. now get some rest, lidocaine and one of those innertubes to sit on. yeouch!!

    Ruth Dynamite May 24, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Yeee-ikes!

    Now that’s what I call a blog-worthy birth tale – a tale for every occasion (including, no doubt, Jasper’s wedding reception).

    Congratulations, Catherine. So very thrilled for your family.

    Jenn @ Juggling Life May 24, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Wowza! And congratulations!

    Natalie May 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    I have tears in my eyes. Congratulations on your new baby!

    What a birth story. I’m so sorry for all the pain. You are a champ.

    Comments on this entry are closed.

    Previous post:

    Next post: