This will probably be one of the shortest birth stories in the history of birth stories. But spice it up as I may, it was a very quick experience at the end of a very LONG pregnancy.
Because we got pregnant with Atlas when August was 3 months old and I was still breastfeeding we didn’t know when exactly we conceived, so they just picked his due date based on his ever changing size resulting in a very frustrating ever changing due date.
Depending on his conception date when I finally went into labor I was somewhere between 40 1/2 and 43 weeks pregnant. Based on my initial due date – I would have been knocking on the door of 43 weeks. I was pregnant forever it seemed like. We tried every trick in every list to get him out. Nothing worked. I was 3cm dilated and 70% effaced for over 6 weeks. On Tuesday the 24th I was told I had finally had some progression and was now 4cm and 100% thinned and effaced. But still no signs of labor. Talk about discouraging. I had my membranes stripped twice to no avail. So finally my doctor scheduled an induction date – Tuesday, March 3rd at 8 pm. We just assumed that would be the day we met him.
Thursday, February 26th was a normal day aside from the fact that I woke up feeling weird. Not sick but not healthy. Not lethargic but not energetic. No cramping or contractions. I just felt BLAH. So we got a babysitter and Matt took me to dinner to spend time and talk and see if it would pull me out of my funk. When we got home we put August to bed and went right to bed ourselves.
One of the most painful contractions I have ever had woke me up a few hours later at exactly 1:32am. It was about 90 seconds long. I got out of bed and went to the bathroom (because if this was labor I was not about to poop on myself in a room of strangers…nooo way) and waited on the next one to come. 9 minutes and 50 seconds later I had my second very painful contraction…again lasting 90 seconds. I was so confused because they were still far apart but were so painful and so long that I couldn’t breath or speak so even though I only had two I decided to wake Matt up. He suggested I call the doctor and ask her opinion, so I did. While leaving a message for the doctor I had another contraction – but it had only been 4 1/2 minutes. My contractions went from nearly 10 minutes apart to nearly 4 minutes apart in an instant. Before the doctor could call back I looked at Matt and told him to call him mom to come over because we needed to go. I called my mom and told her to head to Gainesville.
After about 10 minutes she was here and I laid a towel down in my seat and (true story) asked Matt how hard it would be to clean afterbirth out of my seats to try to lighten the mood…little did we know how close we would come to that. We started the 45 minute drive to Gainesville and my contractions were still 4 1/2 minutes apart and 90 seconds long, but still I wasn’t sure if this was it. Call it denial – but we waited so long I just assumed induction would be the only way. Matt held my hand through each contraction and encouraged me in a way that only he could. By the way – the only thing harder than laboring in a hospital is laboring SEAT-BELTED in a car. Ugh. Awful. But Praise the Lord for seat warmers because they made it tolerable!
About 20 minutes into the car ride we passed the Alachua exit and I had a pushing contraction and my contractions switched to 3 minutes apart and (I thought) peed all over myself. I told Matt and he said do not push so I said he needed to go faster (In fact, I said “You need to go faster. You need to be going 100 miles an hour.” To which he replied “I am not going to go 100 miles an hour.”) because if he didn’t we were having this baby in the car. We ended up ahead of my mom on the interstate and pulled into the hospital overhang about 15 minutes later. There was no time to park.
We went up the elevator and into the labor and delivery wing – they tried getting me to sit in a wheel chair but there was no way that was happening. They let me go into a room to put on a gown even though I wasn’t checked in because I was all wet and they wanted to check my progression. About 8 minutes had passed since we got to the hospital and after throwing up I felt a little better (hello transition) the two nurses in the room checked me and let me know I was only 6cm! WHAT. SIX. NO. By the way that was my water that broke all over me – I did not pee my pants. Ha. It was at this point I think they assumed I was a dramatic girl with low pain tolerance because I was dancing around moaning with my butt hanging out of that stupid gown and I was only 6cm and then I felt it. I knew he was coming out, so I climbed up on the bed on my hands and knees (my fave birth giving position clearly) and reached down and felt his head. I told them he was coming out and I had to push and before they could say a word different I pushed one and a half times and he was out on the bed.
At 3:23 am on Friday, February 27th just 1 Hour and 51 minutes after my first contraction, Atlas Quinn Hartman (literally) erupted into this world. He waited until he was good and ready to come out, but when he was ready – HE WAS READY. 7 pounds 10 ounces 21 inches long.
Matt and one nurse with gloves who caught him and another nurse who stood beside her were all that were in there. The doctor was never called, I was never admitted, and my mom made it in just as they put him on my chest.
He came so fast he breathed in some fluid and had to have it suctioned out of his lungs with a tube – but he did great and still had high APGARs. I’m so proud of him. He was a champion baby. Had I waited for one more contraction before waking up Matt that baby would have been born in the car. God knew what he was doing and my sweet baby was perfectly healthy and well. He is good to me and his big brother loves him very much. We are blessed.