For those of you who like birth stories…

THIS one is a doozy.

For some background: Ezra, my firstborn, came after about 15 hours of steadily progressive labor, and three (you read that right: THREE) hours of pushing. He was born two days after his due date, on September 28th, in our dining room (on purpose) in a tub, like a hippie earth mother baby. Baby sister’s due date was the day after Ezra’s birthday, and this time we planned to have her at a hospital near my clinic, where our midwife practices.

K. Here we go. Sunday September 27th was a normal Sunday. We went to church like usual, I don’t even remember what we did during the day, but there was certainly no inkling of impending labor that evening as we went to sleep. Felt totally normal.

I woke up to mildly painful, fairly frequent contractions around 12:45am on the 28th. No way this is the real thing, I thought, but I had better keep track of these just in case. I started timing contractions, which were pretty variable in frequency, less than a minute long, and comfortable enough to be laying in bed through. I kept expecting them to stop, but they kept coming. After an hour I thought, Well there’s no use waking Jeremy up just yet. It’s only been an hour. I’m still pretty sure these are going to stop, and not be actual labor. So I kept timing. I think I had something like 8 contractions in an hour, but sometimes they were 2 1/2 minutes apart, sometimes 7 1/2 minutes apart. They were all just baaarely a minute, but by the end of the second hour I could tell they had been getting more painful, and I started to think Oh crap. This might be actual labor. I woke Jeremy and told him I thought we might be having this baby today.

Over the next hour or so, we debated on what to do. “Do you think I should call the midwife?” “I don’t know… maybe you should try and go back to sleep?” With Ezra, I had labored through the night, and in the wee hours of the morning two years prior I remember thinking “YIKES I AM IN SERIOUS LABOR” only to call the midwives and be told, “nah, sounds like you’re still pretty early… Just try and get some rest, and call us back in a few hours.” As we chatted and debated, my contractions were getting stronger, and I could no longer stay in bed through them. We finally landed on texting my midwife around 3:30am. She responded right away, “That sounds promising. You feeling like you need to head in yet?” I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t feel super confident. I mean my contractions were paaaaiiiiinful and intense, but holy wow I had only been laboring for a total of almost 3 hours! And some of my contractions were still 5+ minutes apart, and a little less than a minute long. By 3:45ish, my midwife offered to come to my house and check me OR meet her at the hospital in about an hour. I couldn’t imagine going to the hospital in only an hour made sense (I mean we had at least like four more hours to go, right?!), so I asked her to come check me, which she was happy to do.

My midwife got to our house around 4:30am, and by that time I was thinking heading to the hospital was not such a bad idea. Things had gotten way more intense, and seemed to be moving way faster than they did with Ez (still a steady progression, just quicker). I remember thinking Oh man, these contractions can’t get any worse because HOW WOULD I SURVIVE THEM. And also this does not seem like an ideal time for a 20 minute car ride.

My midwife barely checked me, and pretty much instantly said, “OK yup you’re 8cm, it’s time to go now, we need to get in the car.” Jeremy had already called the neighbs (for Ezra) and texted Ez’s daycare to let them know he’d be coming last minute. Before we left, my midwife asked me, “Do you feel like you have to push?” It wasn’t super obvious to me at first, but after she asked I was like OH CRAP THIS IS HAPPENING because YEAH I DID. “Ok, that’s going to get worse when you’re sitting in the car so just make sure you’re really cognizant about breathing through your mouth,” she said soooo calmly. “Are we going to make it???” I asked. “Yes, totally we’re going to make it,” she said (also very calmly and confidently). And just as cool-as-a-cucumber she added “If you need to stop and pull over on the way, just give me a call, I’ll be right behind you guys.”

We got in the car and all I could think was “Sweet Jesus, sloooowwwwww the contractions and let us make it to the hospital!” I was literally praying between each one THAT WE WOULD JUST MAKE IT IN TIME. Jeremy did a great job keeping his cool (I think he was still thinking, “this girl pushed for THREE HOURS, we got time right?!?!”) but was driving at a clipping pace to the hospital. Thankfully there weren’t many people on the road at 4:40am, since he was flying through every stop sign we came to. It took us 19 minutes to get to the hospital, and the minute we got there I got out of the car and if they hadn’t already, our lives turned into a WOMAN ABOUT TO GIVE BIRTH IN FIVE SECONDS SITCOM EPISODE OR MOVIE SCENE. I literally stopped outside of the ER and started screaming like a crazy person, and PUUUUUSHING because THATS JUST WHAT MY BODY STARTED DOING TO ME. I think that’s the point in all of this where Jeremy realized things were moving along quicker than he’d expected and also like HOLY CRAP MY WIFE MIGHT HAVE THIS BABY ON THE STREET IF I DON’T DO SOMETHING.

Jeremy ran inside and I heard him say, “I NEED A WHEELCHAIR! I’VE GOT A PREGNANT LADY OUTSIDE!” After the whole ordeal he told me for a hospital they seemed surprisingly underprepared to handle a lady about to have a baby walking into the ER. Anyway he got the wheelchair, ran outside, and I sat right down in it (stiiiiiill puuuuuuushinggg–NOT MY FAULT).

I heard someone ask, “how far along is she?!” “9 months!” said Jeremy, and I managed to say, “my midwife is here somewhere.” Some lady grabbed the wheelchair from Jeremy and said, “I’LL BRING HER UPSTAIRS!” and we were off. When we got to the elevators, she made Jeremy take some other way to get us registered (!), so it was just me and transport chick. I don’t think she was a fan of all the pushing (and yelling!) I was still doing in the elevator on our way up, because she kept saying “STOP PUSHING!” and when we got upstairs she said, “why did you wait so long?!?!” I LITERALLY almost said, “LADY I AM GOING TO CLOCK YOU,” but even in labor my Minnesota nice blood kept my mouth shut. This poor lady was freaking out, because when we got up to L&D all the doors were locked, no one was around, she didn’t have her badge or something, and I was ABOUT TO HAVE THIS BABY AND APPARENTLY SHE WAS GOING TO BE THE ONE TO CATCH IT. She was literally banging on the doors of the L&D unit yelling, “SOMEBODY LET US IN, I’VE GOT A PREGNANT LADY OUT HERE PUSHING!!!” Finally someone must have heard her because the doors opened and she was all “I NEED A ROOM! SHE’S PUSHING!!!!”

They directed us to a room, and I basically jumped on the bed immediately and started (kept?!) pushing. A nurse and a couple other people ran in, and I remember someone saying, “are you going to wait for your midwife, or do you want Thomas to deliver you?” I remember thinking WHAT THE HECK KIND OF A QUESTION IS THAT?! I remember sort of stumbling over my words and saying something like, “Uh, I don’t know I think my midwife is here somewhere?” A couple of them (in unison!) were like “THEN DON’T PUSH.” And I remember saying, “IF MY BODY’S GONNA PUSH, I’M GONNA PUSH, I DON’T CARE IF THOMAS DELIVERS ME.” (WHO IS THOMAS ANYWAY?!) About a second later I heard my midwife get there, and I heard her say, “SOMEBODY GO GET HER HUSBAND, I DON’T CARE IF HE’S REGISTERED. AND TELL HIM TO RUN.” Jeremy got there in a few more seconds and maybe three pushes later, miss Nora was HERE. Our intake papers say we got to the hospital at 5am, and Nora was born at 5:03.

SO glad we called the midwife when we did. Cuz oooohhhhhhh MY, we JUST made it. All was well that ended well, and we could not believe things went down the way they did. We had a fine experience at Mount Sinai and were home the next afternoon. Miss Nora is healthy and sweet, and Ezra is doing a great job as big brother so far. Thank you Jesus!