As I sit here sipping my morning coffee reflecting on the last 24 hours I am in awe of My God. I am in awe of his provision and protection for our family and am excited to share the story of Cash’s birth…
So I wish I could say that I have some grand explanation or excuse for why or how this happened. Unfortunately, I do not! I have analyzed things over and over and my mind. Robin and I have looked at each other about 100 times in the last 24 hours and said, “Did that really happen?”
Let me begin by telling you where I started the week. I had my last Dr’s appointment last Thursday where my doctor told me I was dilated to a “2″ and mostly effaced. He said that I could go into labor at any point but we went ahead and scheduled an induction for 12/12/12 which was my actual due date because my past two babies have been big babies and we didn’t want him to be too big! We were very excited at the thought of having Cash on 12/12/12- what a cool Birthday!
On Monday morning 12/10/12 after getting Emma ready for school and Foster ready for the day, I began having some mild contractions. Please note, I have never actually “gone into labor” before. I knew what strong contractions felt like from being induced, but I had never gone into labor on my own where things start out gradual and progress over time. I knew that this was the potential start of early labor.
So Monday morning after putting Emma on the bus I began timing things. I had very irregular contractions, 15-20 minutes apart, nothing too severe. By the way- did you know there is an iphone App for timing contractions? I bought and used it… but don’t recommend it! Obviously it did not help me determine when to appropriately go to the hospital! :)
I laid low most of the day while taking care of Foster. At lunchtime I asked Robin to come home from work and take care of Foster because I wasn’t feeling great. I napped for most of the afternoon. Monday evening we had Mazzio’s pizza for dinner, I hung out with the kids for a bit, then laid in bed while watching the American Country Awards. I had contractions off and on during the evening but again nothing regular, nothing too severe. Before bed Robin and I kind of went over the game plan. Ok, so I’m in early labor, having some contractions. We knew that the rule of thumb was that once contractions are about 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long, for 1 hour, it’s time to head to the hospital. I probably would have headed to the hospital even if contractions were 7 or 8 minutes apart regularly since this is my third baby and things tend to progress more quickly with subsequent babies, but again, contractions were not severe or consistent. We decided to try to get some sleep and call my Mom during the night if needed to head to the hospital. And so we slept. I woke up periodically during the night in pain but nothing major. I got up twice to go to the bathroom.
At 6am I shot out of bed with a very very painful contraction. I could hardly talk, breathe, move. I went to run a bath thinking that was the only thing that might help! I got in the bath for about a minute and then decided, “I think we need to head to the hospital- this contraction is not letting up!!!” I told Robin to call my Mom and start throwing things in the car. We had been packed for the hospital for weeks but had not yet packed the car. Robin called my Mom and told her we needed her immediately- she said she’d be right over. I got out of the bath and started to put my hospital clothes on and I just became extremely panicked. I remember my thought process shifting from “Oh darn, Cash isn’t going to be born on 12/12/12 to oh my, I’m not sure we can make it to the hospital!!!”
What occured in my body over the course of the next 5 minutes can not be really described or explained in words other than to say I shifted into full blown active labor in a matter of seconds. I will never forget the extreme fear and panic that swept over me. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t talk, I didn’t know how I got to this point? My sweet Robin continued to pack the car when I began yelling at him, “Robin, I can’t do this, I can’t even walk to the car.” I was trying to crawl to the car when I made a pit-stop in the guest bathroom. I said, “Robin, please call 911, he’s coming now” Robin yelled at me, “GET IN THE CAR, WE ARE NOT DOING THIS HERE! NO, NO, NO, NO, STOP! GET IN THE CAR, WE ARE GOING TO THE HOSPITAL.” He continued to pack the car. :) I will spare the gory details but suffice it to say that when Robin rounded the corner the 20th time in the guest hallway, he realized that the baby’s head had already been delivered. I laid down on the floor in our guest hallway and Robin quickly called 911.
Now, in tv & movies, they make calling 911 seem like a quick process – “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” and then they immediately help you with your EMERGENCY! But, in real life it’s a bit different APPARENTLY.
“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” Uh, MY WIFE IS HAVING OUR BABY!!!…IN OUR HOUSE!!! “Ok, sir, what is your name?” Robincurry! “Can you spell that?” r-o-b-i-n-c-u-r-ry!!!!!! “And your address?” 11122southjoplin! “Can you repeat that?” 1122SOUTHJOPLINOMG! “And the telephone number you are calling from?” MESAYINGABUNCHOFNUMBERSREALLYFAST!!! (Meanwhile, baby’s head has entered the world) … “Ok, sir, I’m getting ready to give you instructions on how to deliver a baby…” (Meanwhile, I just delivered the baby) Uh, yeah, let’s go ahead and skip to step 2! The baby is out and laying on the foor! What’s next?!
Next, the nice lady – despite the process being slow, the dispatcher really was very nice and I’m forever grateful to her – walked me through tying off the umbilical cord with a shoestring (cue me, in panic mode, running through the house trying to find a shoe, grabbing the first one I could find – I think it was my MOWING shoes – and cutting out the shoestring with scissors), and then walking me through cleaning/warming the baby up with towels (cue me, in panic mode, running through the house trying to find towels, grabbing the first ones I could find – our NICEST hand towels of course), and that’s about the moment the paramedics arrived. I’ve never been so relieved!
[End Robin's words] [Back to Jill]
I remember laying on the ground wishing we had installed the upgraded carpet in our house. Goodness, if I had known I was going to give birth to my 3rd child on the floor, I would have made sure we both had a comfortable landing spot. Nothing about that hallway was comfortable.
I will never forget how relieved I was to see the paramedics and firemen arrive. I can say for sure that God hand-picked each and every one of those professionals to arrive at our house yesterday morning. We learned later that they had all just gotten on duty and this was their first call of the day- and that we made THEIR day. Katheryn was the lead paramedic. She knelt down beside me and said, “Hey there Momma, you did great. Let’s get you guys all fixed up.” Those words were so comforting, so calming. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
She took care of Cash first. He came out fairly pink, but not crying. She gave him Apgar scores of 7 and 8, not too shabby for being born at home on the carpet, delivered by your Daddy.
She stimulated him vigorously, suctioned him with a bulb syringe, cut the umbilical cord, and then passed him to a fireman to hold. I will never be able to get the image of that sweet fireman holding my new baby boy, all wrapped up in an aluminum blanket. I have always had a deep admiration for firemen, now they are truly my heroes.
Next she worked on me, checked my vital signs- all were very good.
The next thing I remember is my sweet Mom walking in the door. Bless her heart. She thought she was on her way over to sit with the kids while we went to the hospital, and when she arrived at our house she saw two firetrucks and an ambulance. She walked in our front door and found her daughter lying in the hallway and her 2nd grandson being held by a fireman. She looked at Robin and said, “Did you deliver?” He said, “Yes, I think I did.” Mom broke down bawling. I don’t blame her.
The next several minutes are quite a blur. The team stabilized Cash and me and then worked to cover both of us with warm blankets before transporting us in the 19 degree weather to the ambulance.
I got to hold Cash in the ambulance which was very comforting for me. I kept saying to him over and over again, “Cash, I’m so sorry your entrance to this world was so rough, Mommy promises to make it up to you forever and ever.” I kept staring at him, amazed that he was healthy, amazed that he was looking back at me.
The ambulance ride wasn’t exactly fun. I just delivered a baby without pain meds, now I was on HWY 75 in the back of an ambulance going 75 miles an hour! OUCHHH! Sweet Katheryn talked to me and comforted me the entire way there. I was also very grateful to have Robin riding right next to me.
When we arrived to L&D at St. John’s we were greeted by the best Labor and Delivery staff ever! They said, “We’ve been waiting for you!” About 3 nurses worked to assess Cash under the warmer and 3 nurses worked to get me comfortable. I work at St. John’s in the NICU so I knew some of the nurses. I was especially happy to see that the nurse taking care of Cash for the day was Katie, a previous NICU nurse, now newborn nursery nurse. She couldn’t believe that I was the person that “had the baby at home and was being brought in by ambulance!”
We were shocked to find out that Cash was 9 lbs, 2 ozs. Yowzers, how did I do that???
My OBGYN arrived shortly after we got there. First he gave me a hug. Then he made a joke… “Jill, I should have told you at your first appointment, home deliveries are for pizzas only, not for babies.” Ha ha ha. Then he turned to Robin and told him he did a great job with the delivery and he’d be happy for him to take over his practice for the week so he could go on vacation. :)
Everything from that point on was pretty routine… I was able to recover in Labor and Delivery and Cash was able to stay with us the entire time.
My thoughts on the entire experience? God is continuing to teach me about control. I am a Type A planner, I have everything lined out, everything organized, and think I know how everything should go. God is continuing to teach me to “Let go and Let God!” In the moment where I was lying on the carpet in the hallway staring at my newborn son, I kept replaying over and over in my head, “I will NEVER leave you, I will NEVER forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5. In the moments right before I delivered I remember crying out to God, “God, I can’t do this, please be with me.” He WAS with me, he never left my side.
Would I do things differently if I had it to do over again? ABSOLUTELY! I would have gone to the hospital during the night and had my baby in hospital- where babies should be born. I’m a NICU nurse… I know how many things can go wrong with deliveries. Cash’s umbillical cord could have been wrapped around his neck, he could have aspirated meconium, he could have required bag and mask ventilation which we did not have, he could have gotten stuck in the birth canal. None of this happened. And for that we praise God- not because we got “lucky” but because God was with us, protecting us.
Mommy and Daddy thought it would have been SOOO cool for Cash’s Birthday to be 12/12/12… Cash had a different idea about what he wanted his story would be… “Hey guess what? I was born at home! My Daddy delivered me!” Something tells me this little guy is gonna keep us on our toes and bless this World. Something else tells me that Cash and his Daddy will always share a pretty special bond.
If you have time, please refer back to my blog post about Cash’s gender reveal.