I know lots of people don’t have their baby’s birth go according to plan; babies have a habit of doing things their own way. But Austin’s birth really didn’t go according to plan. At all.
The day Austin was born was like any other day. I was 38 weeks and 5 days pregnant, feeling super sore and uncomfortable, but who doesn’t at this point in pregnancy. A girlfriend and I took our kids to an indoor play place in the morning and then came back to my house for a couple hours. When they left, I put Colton down for his nap and laid down on the couch myself; still no inkling I was about to go into labour. Right after I got Colton up from his nap, I had my first contraction. It came fast and hard, no warm up or grace period here. I grabbed my phone to start timing them and the second one came just 30 seconds later, and they were already lasting for over a minute. I called Justin on the second contraction, not wanting to waste any time. I figured this would be a fast birth. Colton only took about 6 hours from first contraction to being born, I assumed this time around would be similar, maybe a bit faster.
After I called Justin, I went downstairs to wait for him to get home from work. As soon as I had that first contraction though I was basically already in full-blown labour. My contractions were butting right up against each other, coming fast and furiously. I was leaning over the counter trying to breathe and cry though them. Colton was still so young, only 22 months and standing by my side crying, not sure what was going on. I remember feeling so sad that I couldn’t help him more, the best I could muster was holding his hand while I rode though the waves of pain.
As soon as Justin got home, he scooped up Colton to calm him down and started grabbing our bags and running them out to the truck. I’m not sure how I managed it, but somehow, I got myself out to the truck and crawled into the front seat, not even capable of sitting, rather on the ground hunched over the seat, facing the back of the truck in a ‘preacher’ position. There was zero chance of me sitting at this point. Looking back, without really realizing it I must have been going though transition while I was at home, going from 9 to 10 cm. Explains the pain, I guess! Somewhere in the back of my head, I knew my body was already telling me to push, but I had such a one-track mind at this point. All I could think was get to the hospital, get to the hospital.
Everything after this point is a bit of a blur. Justin sped away driving god knows how fast trying to get us to the hospital. My parents were going to meet us there to take Colton. We’re about a 20-minute drive from the hospital but we barely made it half-way there. As Justin sped down the Anthony Henday freeway I was screaming, the pain was beyond overwhelming. I had an epidural with Colton once I hit 7 cm, so this was a whole new experience for me. Somehow my body must have taken over to help logic prevail. I realized that the baby was coming. We weren’t making it to the hospital. I was going to have this baby in the truck, on the freeway, in rush hour traffic, with my Colton in the backseat having to listen to the whole thing. Somehow, I was able to shimmy my pants down, all I remember was screaming to Justin, “Oh my god, his head is out!” At this point Justin pulled off of the Henday into the muddy median at full-speed, moved us as far away from the fast lane as he could to keep us safe, came to a stop and bolted over to my side of the truck. As he was doing this my water broke and Austin was out in one push, Justin catching him basically in the nick of time.
It’s a good thing that Justin had actually watched Colton being born. He said that having done that at least prepared him for everything that was happening. He knew what to expect to a certain extent. Seeing the conical shape to the head didn’t phase him, he had seen that before. Seeing the blue-ish tinge to Austin’s skin colour didn’t bother him, as he’d seen that with Colton too. As soon as Austin came out Justin inspected him closely and realized that the baby was trying to take his first breath, but his whole mouth and nose were completely full of fluid and he wasn’t able to get any oxygen. Justin had to clear Austin’s airways out to help him start breathing, but the umbilical cord was wrapped around Austin’s leg and there wasn’t enough ‘slack’ to upright the baby. I remember crying out “he’s still attached to me,” it was painful having the umbilical cord being pulled on, but Justin had to help the baby. Justin carefully unwrapped the cord from around Austin’s thigh, sat him upright in his arms and as he did so noticed that the fluid was dribbling out of Austin’s nose and mouth – then came the biggest relief, a deep first breath immediately followed by that newborn baby cry! It was an unusually cold April and I remember being so cold. I think the shivering was partially due to the shock to my body, partially to the fact that I was half-naked, covered in birthing fluid with the cold April wind whipping though the truck. I could feel my whole body just shaking. The baby was cold too. Luckily, we had a blanket in the back seat and we were able to wrap him up. Justin threw his jacket over me and turned the heat up to full blast while we waited for help to arrive. It took somewhere between 10 to 15 minutes before emergency crews were able to get to us. It was rush hour on the Henday, not an ideal time to give birth. Sorry to anyone reading this who may have been stuck for my traffic jam for an hour haha.
All at once a whole crew of emergency vehicles showed up—police, fire, ambulance. That was a highlight for Colton, he’s always been obsessed with emergency vehicles. From where I was, it felt like there was a bit of confusion over what had to happen next. I suppose it’s not every day someone has a baby on the side of the road. Eventually the umbilical cord got cut, they actually had a scalpel on hand and let Justin do it (right in the truck!), which is nice, because now he got to do it for both boys. I was barely able to get out of the vehicle; my body was in such shock. We were eventually able to get me up and onto a stretcher and into the ambulance with Austin.
Once I was in the ambulance, I finally got a chance to hold my baby for the first time. They helped me to start skin-to-skin and I’m happy I was able to ride with him against me on the way to the hospital. If I think too hard about it, I feel sad I lost out on that first hour of bonding with my baby. But it is what is, I’m just so grateful that we were both safe and healthy. Once we got to the hospital, the doctor had to give Austin some glucose, as he had gotten a bit too cold while we were outside. Other than that though he was perfectly healthy at 7lbs 7oz. Of course, my “au natural” baby would be my big baby haha.
It wasn’t until I got to the hospital that I got to deliver my placenta. Let me tell you, having that inside of me for more than an hour post-birth was not fun. Literally the second I delivered it I felt a wave of relief wash over my body. After all of that, everything else went pretty seamlessly. We went to our room and had some one-on-one time with our new baby. Colton and my parents got to meet him right away. Faster then they would have normally, because they were all at the hospital already. Its pretty cool looking back now thinking that Colton was there for the birth of his brother. I consider it a blessing that his car seat was still rear-facing. Being there is one thing, having to see it is another haha.
And there you have it, the story of my little drama queen making his much talked about entrance into the world. He came fast and furious, just like his personality these days. When he’s decided he’s going to do something, he does it. I can’t believe it’s already been a year, man does time fly the second time around.
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions. Did anyone else have a dramatic birth? I’d love to hear about it!