On Sunday, April 2, 2017 I was still a week out from my due date. It was my husband’s last shift for work; he is a pilot so he had to take off three weeks just to ensure he would be home and not in another city at the time of my baby’s birth. My contractions started that morning at 7:20am while I was taking a shower. I thought, “Perfect timing! My husband lands at 8. I will labor for a while, go pick up my husband and have the baby later today. This is perfect; he will now have three weeks off to spend time with me and the baby.
However, as I was showering and shaving my legs, I got through one leg and felt like maybe I should get out and get ready. So I got out, woke up my 4 year old and told him to get dressed. I sent a text message to my husband saying that labor had started and all was well. Then I sat down in front of my mirror to do my makeup and my water broke. I looked at the clock; it was only 7:40am.
At this point, labor progressed fast! I changed my clothes, having several contractions, and sent a text to my husband again saying he needed to get a taxi to meet to at the birth center. I called my midwife, babysitter, and doula and asked them all to meet me at the center. I couldn’t even time the contractions because I was in so much pain, so frazzled, and trying to get everything in line. My sweet little 4 year old, Aiden, was running around helping me pack, throwing in granola bars into my bag and trying to comfort me. During one contraction, he was so concerned and asked me what it felt like. By 8:00am, I was in the car, everything else thrown in with me.
At this point, my husband had finally landed so he called me to see if I was okay. I was driving at this point, through contractions and debating where to pull off if needed. My voice cracked and I just told him to meet me there. He could hear the panic in my voice and he said, “Honey, you are doing good. I will meet you there.” To be honest, the drive was a blur. My poor son had to listen to my howls and my cries. I kept saying, “I cannot have this baby right now”.
I remember thinking that I needed to breathe through the contractions but they were coming so fast, so intense and I couldn’t focus until I was at the birth center. I had to focus on driving. I arrived at the birth center at 8:16am. Being Sunday morning, no one was there. I called my midwife again and asked her how far she was. At this point, I got out of my car and stood, holding onto the car for support. I thought I might have the baby right there. The pain in my hips was so intense. I was worried about my son in the car too but he was just quiet and concerned, not making a sound. My primal instincts took over from the time my water broke and I just didn’t want to have the baby at home with my son there or in the car or in the parking lot. I remember thinking the neighbors around the birth center were probably hearing my cries and thinking there was a wild animal outside.
My midwife, Mary-Signe, arrived and ran to the building to open the doors. I walked in, sent my son to the foyer to play while I walked back to the room. At this point, I felt like I was pushing, worried I was going to poop and fluid was coming out so my clothes were soaked. Being too concerned about everything else, I stopped to have a contraction in the hallway, saying to my midwife that I couldn’t have the baby yet because my husband was on his way. She helped me calm down and get back to the room. I went to the bathroom, again, feeling like I needed to poop so I sat on the toilet. As I sat down, another contraction came and I screamed for her to come in, “The baby is coming”. Mary-Signe ran in, no gloves or anything to see my baby’s head half way out. She pulled off my pants, grabbed his head, told me to push and out came my baby’s whole body. She handed him to me and ran to grab some towels. Liam was born at 8:29am. At that point, I went from the most intense anxiety and intense pain to the calmest and most peaceful I have ever felt. He looked back at me, big beautiful eyes and not a single cry. I asked if he was okay and Mary-Signe said he was perfect. I sat there, holding him in awe. He was so perfect and so calm. Mary-Signe got the bed ready; I carried him over and laid him down on my chest as I lay down. Such a beautiful moment.
A few moments later my babysitter arrived to take my other son, the birth assistant arrived and then my husband knocked on the door. He came in, looked at me in shock to see a baby on my chest. I told him that our son, Aiden, needed to be taken care of, my bags were still in the car, and BTW, “Here is your new son.” ☺ He was in shock for a few minutes not realizing either what had just happened since we were on the phone about 10 minutes prior. Our doula also arrived a few moments later.
Liam got there before anyone else; I am just grateful that we made it to the birth center and that he waited for Mary-Signe to arrive, too. My first son was born in a hospital with a much different story and I was extremely drugged up. My birth center birth was amazing, although it was very short. I didn’t get the birth I had planned for but it was amazing nonetheless. I would highly recommend a natural birth at the Minnesota Birth Center. The staff was amazing; I felt such peace and love the whole time there. Thank you for helping me and for welcoming my sweet little Liam into this world.
~ Heidi C.
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