What Kind of Mood Are You In Today?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Son Was Born in an Ambulance

Labor stories are always so much fun for women to tell. It IS one of the biggest events of our lives, you know, and people usually enjoy telling any story that involves a significant amount of pain. But I realize that men don't find them quite as interesting, however, I dare you to read on because you might relate a bit to my friend, Josh. AKA SuperJosh. Or DoulaJosh. Or We-really-owe-you-one-Josh.

My firstborn arrived after only 9 hours of labor. That's pretty good for the first one! My second child was born in 3 hours, and the first hour of that I didn't have any contractions, my water merely broke. I was only at the hospital for 45 minutes before she was lying in my arms.

When I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd, we knew we better make plans for an even quicker labor, just in case. I read up, several times, on how to deliver my baby by myself and I played it over and over in my mind, just in case.

Travis worked 45 minutes from home and the hospital was 45 minutes away in the opposite direction. Travis also worked out "in the field" at times and that could take him another 2 hours away. Do the math and you'll see that it was quite possible that there would not be enough time for Travis to take me to the hospital.

So we arranged for a friend to drive me to the hospital, if need be. Josh. SuperJosh, DoulaJosh, We-really-owe-you-one-Josh. His wife, Rachel (awesome name, don't you think?), would watch my kids and he would drive a mad woman in labor for 45 minutes to the hospital.

I was so tired that day. So tired that I hardly had the strength to put my two toddlers down for a nap. Being THE brightest and most talented kids on the planet, they knew how I loved to have my hair brushed, saw how tired I was, sensed it was nap time, and decided it was the perfect time to brush my hair. I think I would have fallen asleep, except toddlers aren't the most gentle hair dressers on the planet.

Eventually, I put them down for a nap and then decided that I really needed one myself. So, I laid down and went right out. 15 minutes later I half-woke up with a terrible backache. But I was so groggy that I fell back asleep. Another 15 minutes later, I half-woke up with a terrible backache, then fell back asleep. After an hour, I thought to myself, "Hmmm....every 15 minutes. Could I be in labor?" But it was only a backache and I'd slept through most of it. I'd had two other children and never had ONLY a backache and certainly never slept through labor!

I got up and suddenly I was getting this terrible backache every 3-5 minutes.

But it was only a backache. Can't really be labor, can it?

After half an hour of this, I thought I should call the advice nurse. She asked the usual questions and with some degree of urgency said, "Do you have someone who can drive you to the hospital?" I replied that my husband was 45 minutes away and we were another 45 minutes from the hospital. With a bit more urgency in her voice, the advice nurse said, "Is there someone closer who can drive you?"


This is really happening.

I am really going to have to call Josh.

I called his wife.

Now, neither Josh nor his wife, Rachel, had ever had any children, so you can imagine the courage it took to agree to this arrangement in the first place and you can only imagine the level of "freak out" that must have been going on when I called!

To make a long story a little less long, both my neighbor and Rachel arrived at my house to take care of the kids, Travis was driving like a mad man and talking to me on his cell phone, Josh was probably praying like he had never prayed before, and I thought it would be a good time to clean out the car.

Travis talked me out of it.

He talked me out of doing laundry, too.

I was loopy.

I think he regrets it now.

SuperJosh arrived and away we went in his car. Poor SuperJosh. "Just tell me what you want me to do," he said. I told him to just not talk.

Josh traveled the highway, probably doing 80mph, quiet as a mouse. I'm trying to breathe correctly every 2 minutes or so, when suddenly...

"Call 911!"

I felt the urge to push.

In true 21st century gunslinger fashion, SuperJosh whipped out his cell phone in less time than it takes to say, "pregnant!" In mere seconds, perhaps milliseconds, SuperJosh was talking to a dispatcher and pulling over. He pulled into a used car parking lot and parked right out front where the ambulance couldn't miss us. I jumped out, grabbed the towels, and started arranging them in the back seat.

Josh is talking to the dispatcher when all of the sudden I hear a voice say...

"Josh, you need to undress her from the waist down..."

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