Three and a half weeks early with my oldest, 10 days late with my second, I had no idea when my third baby would arrive. And I really had no idea that she’d arrive in 14 minutes.
I woke up in pain around 4:00 in the morning a few days before my baby girl was due. However, you’re always in pain at the end of pregnancy, and why should this morning be any different. I woke up in pain again at 5:00am. This time something clicked; it must be labor. So I hopped (waddled?) into the shower. I didn’t want to head to the hospital if I wasn’t actually in labor, I’d made that mistake three times with my second baby. I downloaded a timing app (modern labor!) and prepared to lap the waves. The contractions were two minute apart within about 5 minutes. I got out of the shower and called my midwife, who asked me several questions (that I could barely answer) and told me to get to the hospital. I could barely speak a word. The contractions were less than a minute apart, if that. I could barely get dressed, in fact I had to have my husband help. I didn’t even have time to put in my contacts.
We rushed in the early morning light to the hospital, twenty minutes away. I shut my eyes and clutched the arm handles. There were no words at this point, just waves and waves of contractions. We pulled up to the hospital and they whisked me up to labor and delivery within a minute. The nurses tried to get me to lie back and get checked–I was having none of it. “Did you want pain medication?” A nurse asked me, wheeling me to the labor room.
“No,” I breathed out.
“Oh good,” she said, relieved, “Because you couldn’t have had any.”
I stood next to the side of the bed, the nurse showing my husband how to push on my lower back to reduce the pain–it really helped. And that’s when I remembered, “If I push…this will all be over!”
I pushed and my water broke. The midwife pulled me onto the bed. I pushed and she yelped, “STOP! Go slower!” I pushed three teeny, tiny pushes and my daughter was born. 14 minutes from the time we pulled into the hospital until I was holding her in my arms.
For the next day the midwives, doctors, and nurses would stop by my room so they could meet the 14 minute baby. I have a feeling that she’ll be rushing everywhere, full force, for the rest of her life.
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