For those of you who would like to know some more details than “Rob caught the baby in the lobby of the ER” here it is!
I suppose it was wrong to assume labor would happen the same way it did before…
Unlike with my first, for weeks I had been having minor contractions and my doctor had been saying “any day now.” Still, nothing. Excited, Tuesday morning I woke up with some regular contractions and asked Rob to stay home from work, sure that we would be going to the hospital by mid-morning.
We waited. We waited. We watched a movie. At 2:30, we picked up Titus from Mother’s Day Out. Waited some more. IN RETROSPECT, there were some obvious signs that we now know should have spurred our trip to the hospital… but hindsight.
About 4pm, I retreated to the bedroom for quiet. I emerged from the bedroom to quite articulately (sarcasm) tell Rob “TV bad!” in an effort to illicit more quiet in the house.
About 5:30 (she was born at 6:37pm), Rob started timing my contractions and they were not quite a minute long, about 5 min apart. The book tells you to go to the hospital when they are 1 min long, less than 5 min apart, and have been that way for an hour… or your water breaks. So we waited.
Gradually contractions got more intense and closer together (more like 3 min – YES, we should have gone then) and we both realized I was transitioning quickly when I tried to move from the chair and my body said, “Oh no. We are not going anywhere!” Rob’s face changed quickly and he asked, “Does one’s water always break before the baby comes?” Me: “It’s very rare that it doesn’t.” Rob took me to the truck.
As soon as we left the neighborhood, I said, “Whoa! That feels like pushing.” Rob drove faster while trying not to hit bumps. Unfortunately, the hospital is about 20 min away. Rob did the math in his mind, “20 min divided by 3 is about 6-7 contractions” and remembered that when I last started pushing until my first baby was delivered was about 15 min… so he was concerned. At one point he asked, “Do I need to stop?” I shouted, “No! Keep driving!”
Rob was driving toward the outline of what he thought was the hospital until he made a turn that took us the wrong way and shouted “Where is the hospital??” Me: “It’s behind us.” This is the part of the story I imagine would make a hilarious scene in a movie.
One block out of the way, Rob quickly righted his wrong turn and within seconds we were at the emergency room awning. Rob exited the vehicle with the speed and agility of a man whose wife is in labor and I sat wondering how I was going to get out of the truck without delivering a baby on the pavement. Adrenaline pumping through his veins Rob arrived at my door with a wheelchair which he had just grabbed and violently dragged out of the ER. I stepped down and sat in the chair, “Aaahhh.” The baby’s head was out entirely. Stretchy yoga pants, for those of you wondering. At this point I was feeling much better, relieved for the time being of the contractions pushing a baby out of my body. Rob speedy Gonzales-style wheeled me through the ER, past the check-in, past the waiting room, homing in on a nurse or doctor.
The waiting room residents looked a little bewildered but I only saw them for a second as we whizzed past!
The first person Rob sees with a badge he tells, “We’re having a baby! Look!” She looks and says, “I’ll get some help.” Rob’s thinking “WHAT? You’re a nurse! You ARE help!” We found out later she was the chaplain. Also a funny movie scene in my mind…
Well, the baby’s head may have been out and I was given a brief respite, but the rest of the baby still had to be born and I felt the next push coming. I simply said, “Rob catch the baby.” And he leaned down and stood up holding our daughter!
Now, we believe the ER is properly prepared for head trauma or heart attacks, compound fractures, and the like. But we figure most of the people who enter the ER saying, “I’m having a baby” will actually deliver said baby in a few hours. So the staff was on the phone with L&D asking them to send someone to get us when Rob stood up with the baby. The looks on their faces were priceless.
At this point, the ER staff started to move quicker. They wheeled me around the corner to the triage area where the Dr. took a relaxed look at us, saw the baby was breathing and we were fine, said “get me a clamp for the umbilical thingy” (paraphrased), and then sent us up to L&D.
Labor and Delivery is about a 300 yard jog from the ER and the nurse pushing me really did jog! But we missed the L&D team in transit so when we arrived, the team wasn’t there! So her and Rob helped me into the bed. The other nurses arrived, cleaned up the baby, finalized my delivery, and applauded my amazing husband. Job well done, Love. In all, it was an awesome experience and we certainly have a fun story to tell our daughter about her birth!
Questions I get:
“Were you screaming in the ER?” Oh there was screaming, but it was all in the truck on the way there.
“Did people in the waiting room see everything?” No, Rob pointed me at the wall, my back to the lobby and I was wearing pants for most of it. Then they covered me with a blanket. I don’t think we inflicted eye trauma on anyone who wasn’t qualified medical personnel.
“What about the…?” Yes, they had to call a janitor because my water broke all over the floor of the ER as the baby was born.
“What about the interior of Rob’s truck?” Yes, I was worried about that too, but it was fine. Baby’s head stopped anything messy.
“How was…?” The chaplain came to visit us later… and told us it was the most exciting thing that’s happened to her since she worked at the hospital!
“Do you…?” No, you don’t get tax benefits for being born on tax day.