We all have our birth plans – a homebirth with a midwife, hospital, epidural, natural, water, or C-section. Whatever the plan is, we all want it to be perfect and safe. However, Mother Nature sometimes has her own plan for us. She definitely did for me. This is the birth story of Lula.
My plan was to go to the hospital, which was only 15 minutes from our home, and have an easy labor with an epidural. My friend James, who lived a few blocks away, would come over to watch my 15 month old daughter. My friend Sherena would pick up my mother (who refuses to drive on the highway) to come and relieve James. Everyone would sleep with their cell phones by their heads for the last couple of weeks preceding my due date. It was perfect and well thought out. What could go wrong?
We all know the Halloween drill for non-parents – drinking and partying in sparse pieces of material, called costumes and, more than likely, going to sleep in the wee hours of the night. James warned me in advance that he would not be close by on this night and our back up person told us she was going to a huge party, but to try to call her anyway. My husband looked at me and said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if you went into labor?”
Famous last words.
I woke with a jolt. My belly twitched and I felt an immense pain. I looked at my cell phone. 2:53am, uh oh, on Halloween night. I squeezed my husband’s hand and he looked at me, his eyes sleepily saying, “Now?” I relaxed a bit and started to close my eyes, so he relaxed a bit and started to close his eyes.
Moments later, my eyes flew open; another jolt of pain. “It’s happening,” I said. We both jumped into action. My husband went to get the hospital bag and some other necessities into the car. I rushed to contact someone to come watch our 15 month old. I went to the bathroom and sat on the toilet (because sitting eases the pain of the contractions) and texted my backup person. Nothing. I called my backup person. No answer. Oh Jesus. I called my backup person’s boyfriend, nada.
Then I screamed in pain.
My husband came running in and asked if I was ok and should we wake our daughter and bring her with us? I said no. I didn’t want her to be disturbed. I imagined her sleepy little cherub face wearing a look of horror, as she watches me scream in pain. No way.
I looked at my phone; only 9 minutes since I had woken up and I’d had a lot of contractions. Oh. My. God. I thought, am I going to make it to the hospital at all, as I tried to think of who to call?
More pain and I screamed so loudly the roof shook. I listened for my daughter but she didn’t wake. Good.
Again, I tried to think of who to call. Then I remembered my co-worker, Carol, saying I could call her if there was any emergency. Alright! I texted her and she responded, saying she would come over as fast as she could. Yes!
I got up to brush my teeth and a HUGE contraction almost knocked me off my feet. It felt like something was trying to fall out of my vagina. What’s that? It can’t be. Oh shit. She’s coming.
I went back to my room and got into bed. My husband ran into the room, in time for another of my screams, and told me he got a call from Carol. She was only 5 minutes away. Let’s go.
I told him I didn’t think we were going to make it and to call for an ambulance. He was not picking up what I was putting down. He insisted I get up and walk to the car. With each contraction, I felt the pressure between my legs. She’s coming. “Let’s go,” he said and helped me up.
At the front door I screamed in pain and if I hadn’t been wearing underwear, I swear that baby would have fallen out onto the floor. At the car door I screamed in pain again and then my water broke. “Call an ambulance!” “No, we are going to make it to the hospital,” he promised. He was so focused on getting us to the safest place.
I sat in the front passenger seat, my underwear was bulging with each contraction. I was dazed and functioning on pure instinct, at that point. I sat in the birthing position on the seat and eased it back. I had one leg outside the door and the other inside. I saw Carol pull up and run inside our apartment to watch our older daughter.
My husband tried closing the car door on my leg, once, twice. “Stop closing the fucking door!” I yelled, as the poor guy tried his best. “Call an ambulance!” I pulled off my underwear and the baby’s head came out with the next contraction. My husband finally called for an ambulance. I heard him sob, “I see my daughters head, please tell me what to do!” He was afraid and I’d never seen him afraid.
Carol ran outside to us after she saw out the window we hadn’t left. My husband, being guided by the dispatcher, went inside to get towels. Carol came to me, saw my daughter’s tiny head and yelled, “Push, you have to push Mindi!” and I pushed. She yelled, “push again!” and this time my baby girl flew out of me. That was the sensation I felt;
she just flew out!
The rest was a blur. We made sure she was breathing, cleared out the mucus from her nose and mouth and wrapped her in a towel. My husband was in turmoil. Seeing our girl blue and not crying broke his heart (he told me later that he thought she didn’t make it). I was repeatedly asking Carol, “Is she breathing? Is she breathing?!” The baby finally let out a small cry and took a breath. Carol put her on my chest and kept her hand by my little girl’s heart. She looked me in the eyes and said, “I feel her heart Mindi, don’t worry, she’s good.”
The time was roughly 3:30 am. My labor was less than 45 minutes long. The paramedics came about 3 minutes after my girl was born and one of them cut the umbilical cord. I was relieved when he told me she was breathing and doing fine. I rode to the hospital with her in my embrace and all I could think was, “I love her so much.
Did this really just happen?”
I look back now, and I can’t believe she was born in my husband’s car. Now we are both doing fine and she is lighting up our lives with all of her firsts and baby smiles. I owe so much to my co-worker Carol, who held it together for me, and to my loving husband who watched over our tiny girl in the hospital, while I was being treated.
That’s my birth story. My unplanned, natural homebirth, wait no, car birth.
This is the second in our new Punky Moms birth story series and we are grateful to be sharing these stories with readers like you. Care to share your birth story? We would be honored if you would consider sharing yours with us. Send us an email and say hello.
In her youth, Mindi was a goth girl from the hard streets of Plantation Florida. Now living the mommy life in Miami Beach, her inner goth only comes out for cold weather and concerts. She is currently the Technical Manager for Nespresso B2B machines, managing technicians in Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts. She likes to do arts and crafts in her free time and of course spending time with her beautiful family.