Will's Birth Story

William Ray
Born on July 7th at 7:20 A.M.
6 pounds 5 ounces
19 inches long
(Original due date was July 13th)

Tuesday, July 7th

I woke up around 6 A.M. and took a shower. I was getting ready to go to my weekly Doctor's appointment at 8:30. I asked Mike if he could drop the boys off at daycare.

At 6:30 I started to feel some slight cramping but didn't think much of it because I had felt similar cramping during the week.

Around 6:45 I started having contractions that I thought were Braxton hicks and I mentioned to Mike that I should probably pack a bag for the hospital just in case I ended up being sent there after my doctor's appointment. A few minutes later I had another contraction and mentioned to Mike that he should probably just drop the kids off at daycare and go to the appointment with me. At this point I decided to start timing the contractions...well, it turns out that they were a minute apart. I realized we needed to leave NOW! While Mike woke up the boys and got them dressed. I proceeded to call the after hours hotline for my Doctor's office and left my call back number. The whole family headed down stairs and out to the van.

It was probably around 7:00 by now and I told Mike we didn't have time to drop the boys off at daycare and we needed to go straight to the hospital. The contractions are right on top of each other and I am in serious pain. I'm sitting in the front seat with my hands on the front windshield telling Mike that the baby is going to come soon.

During this time Charlie and James are in the backseat trying to make the best of the situation and talking to each other. I am yelling in pain and the boys are actually not freaking out...

Mike was extremely calm while he was dodging in and out of traffic. (Mike has not uttered a word this whole time and is extremely focused on getting us to where we need to be) I tell him that we're not going to make it to Fairfax Hospital. He goes through several red lights. He sees the exit for Reston hospital but is in the far left lane and doesn't have time to get over. He gets off at an exit and drives until he sees signs for Inova Emergency Care Center in Reston. He pulls up to the doors and runs inside. He proceeds to tell the receptionist that his wife is having a baby and someone needs to help. She tells him that he needs to go to the hospital. He explains to her that his wife is having the baby NOW! Fortunately, the R.N. in charge overhears him and tells him to pull around to the side emergency doors.

In the meantime, while Mike's inside the building I notice intense pressure and can tell that the baby is ready to come out. I take off my pants and swing my legs over to the driver's seat so that my butt's over the console and the top half of me is in the passenger seat. Then Mike comes back outside and the Doctor opens the driver’s side door just in time to see the baby's head...Mike is standing behind me, then the R.N. guy in charge comes up and is holding my hand while asking Mike to take the boys out of the car and sit on the bench outside. Then the Doctor delivers the baby. This all happens within maybe 3 or 4 minutes. The baby is born at 7:20 A.M.

If you didn't catch that, let me point it out: I woke up at 6, started having contractions at 6:30, we left the house around 7 and the baby was born in the minivan at 7:20!!!

After the baby is born they show him to me but I can't touch him because it's not a very sterile environment. They come out with a stretcher and put me on it and take me and the baby inside. I am in the room for a about an hour and a half while they check me and the baby. They really aren't equipped to deliver babies in this clinic and so when they weigh him they tell me he he's around 8 pounds...but I can tell he is tiny and much smaller than Charlie and James who were both 7 pounds and some ounces.

They get me ready to be transported to the Fairfax hospital via ambulance. At this point Charlie and James are both in the room with me and Mike is holding the baby. James goes over to the baby and is petting him and saying, "Baby". Mike decided it's probably a good idea to clean out the van now rather than later (it's July and it's hot :) so he asks for some soap and water and puts the kids in the back seat to watch a DVD while he cleans the van out. The doctor and nurses start to get things ready to transport us to Fairfax hospital. They decided to take me and the baby in separate ambulances. Because they aren't equiped to deliver babies or transport them, for that matter, we end up giving them the car seat and they put the baby in the car seat on top of the stretcher. A little while later Mike comes back in with the boys and I say goodbye to him and the kids and tell him that I'll meet him at the hospital.

While we're being transported to the hospital Mike gets a call from Julie, my sister-in-law saying that she can meet him somewhere and pick up the kids for him. Mike meets Julie at a little restaurant and when he gets there James throws up in the van...I guess the stressful morning had gotten to him. Mike decides to take the boys out and sit in the restaurant with Julie while everyone calms down. After that he leaves the boys with Julie and meets me at the hospital.

While I'm waiting for Mike to meet me at the hospital they have me and the baby in a room together. They weigh the baby and I find out that he is 6 pounds 5 ounces and 19 inches long. The nurses ask who my doctor is, they call him and he later shows up. When he shows up I mention to him that I had called the after hours hotline that morning and left my call back number. He tells me that he never recieved it, he checks and confirms that he didn't get it. I told him that it wouldn't have made a difference anyway. The doctor pretty much showed up around 9:00, delivered the placenta then gave me stitches.

Everyone is asking where my husband is and I'm not really sure because I don't have my cell phone and didn't know that Julie had called Mike and he was meeting her. The Doctor is calling the baby "Speedy"... Around 11:00 Mike comes to meet me and they send me off to my own room with the baby.

When we get to our room I am just sitting there thinking back on all of the events that had just happened trying to piece it all together because everything happened so fast! They are keeping an eye on the baby's heart rate because it had dropped a couple of times to 92 or 93 and they wanted it to be more like 110. By that afternoon the heart rate looked better.

In the meantime, Mike decided to go and have the van professionally cleaned because of everything that had happened then he went home to check on the boys. Nana and Grandad had picked up the boys at Julie's house and took them to our house to spend the night. After having the van cleaned and running home for some stuff Mike came back to the hospital and spent the night. I decided to ask the nurse to keep the baby in the nursery for the night so we could get a good night's rest.

The next morning Mike went home to be with the boys. The Doctor came by to check the baby and everything looked good. My Doctor came by to check me and to fill out the discharge papers. By 1:00 on Wednesday, July 8th Mike came to pick us up and we all went home! (We got there on the morning of the 7th and left the next day.)

The baby had his first checkup at 2 days old and the doctor was very pleased with his heart, his color and his weight which turned out to be on ounce more than his birth weight.

Since everything happened so quickly I didn't have to any pushing really and there was practically no pain afterwards and no grogginess from drugs. Looking back I have to laugh at how many times people would ask how my pregnancy was going and I'd say, "non-eventful" I guess I made up for that at the end! I'm just glad it all happened so fast! This little guy couldn't wait to be born!  If I had to do any of my deliveries over again I would choose to have a home deliveries with a midwife as there would be less stress on baby, mom and the rest of the family.

Mike and I were joking that the next time someone rides in the minivan and says, "So, where did you have the baby?" we can say, "Right there, where you're sitting!"

I thank God that everything went as smoothly as it did and that I am healthy and so is baby.

I must add that Mike was awesome during this whole incident and knew exactly what to do, from the moment that we left the house he knew he had to get me to the closest place and he found it! Looking back on it now I realize that there were 3 different places that we could have gone to: Reston Hospital, Loudon County Hospital and the Inova Emergency Care Center in Reston. **Interestingly, when I looked them up online they are all within 9-11 miles from our house and all take approximately 18 minutes to get to.

Lessons learned: Everything happens for a reason. (Mike was supposed to go for a run that morning but the alarm never went off) You can't plan for everything in your life. Control is just an illusion. I ended up in the right place at the right time and in good hands. God was looking out for me and my family. I have a wonderful husband that is good under pressure!

About a month after the baby was born we were sitting at the table eating dinner and Charlie asked, "Mama, were James and I born in the hospital or in the minivan?


Tricia said...

What a neat birth story!

Jessica (one happy runner) said...

oh my goodness! this is an amazing story! i am pregnant with baby #3 right now (just about 13 weeks) and live in reston but am supposed to deliver at Fairfax INOVA. hope we make it in time!!

Rae said...

WOW! That is some birth story! You go girl!

Amanda said...

Thanks for the follow. I'm new to blog land so it is exciting and encouraging to see that I'm starting to get followers to connect with. What a beautiful and amazing story! I love birth stories...such a HUGE part of a woman's life! Definitely the biggest part of my life. I'm reading this with three little ones at my feet so will come back to read in more detail. I'm so glad you wrote in color in the middle of the blog and made sure the skimmers with kids at their feet (me) caught that you had the baby in your van!!! what? crazy wonderful story to tell! :) Hope to get to know you through blogging.

Emily said...

Hi, I just came across your birth story via babycenter.com What an amazing, crazy experience!! I was just as surprised when you mentioned Reston and Fairfax Hospitals. My husband (also named Mike =)) and our two boys live in Leesburg. Even though we only live about 5 minutes from INOVA Loudoun, my doctor (Dr. James Kacedan) is in Fairfax and only delivers there. I delivered my two boys at Fairfax Hospital. I am now expecting my 3rd baby boy in May and have always been worried about actually making it to Fairfax Hospital and not delivering in the car, etc. I think my husband has been even more worried about it than I have been! =) My first labor was less than 2 hours but thankfully I went into labor in the middle of the night and we didn't have to fight northern VA traffic. With my second pregnancy, I was already at Fairfax hospital having my cerclage removed (due to an incompetent cervix) and my second son was born just a couple of hours later. I am definitely a little worried that things could go really quickly based on my history and this being my 3rd baby. I was just surprised how familiar your story sounded to my situation but I must say that I am definitely hoping that I will make it to the hospital in time for my 3rd son! You have beautiful boys so it was obviously well worth it! Thanks for sharing your story!! =)