Makayla’s Birth Story:
Birth in the CAR? Water? Only 8 Minutes Left!
I stepped out of the car and both my legs started to cramp, “Peace, endorphins, anesthesia” I thought to myself. I had been travelling in the car for the last hour to get to the birth center. I nervously said to my husband, “Lance, you’re going to have to carry me in; I can’t walk.” He quickly left my grandmother and daughter in the car and picked me up. We calmly but hurriedly went into the birth room where my midwife and hypno-doula were waiting for us. Little did I know when I woke up that morning that I might have my baby in the car!
Earlier that morning I woke around 4:30 am, as I did most mornings to practice my hypnosis. This regular early hypnosis practice was due to my rambunctious little two-year-old daughter, Mariah. She would practically NEVER let me relax at any other time of the day. I had been experiencing practice pressure waves for a while now and did not think much about these particular sensations. By 5:30 am, the waves were coming quickly and consistently. My husband was still asleep and I knew our car was full of luggage and did not have enough space for all of us so I went and asked if he could clean the car out for my peace of mind. He said, “For your peace of mind? It is pretty early. Are you sure you want me to clean out the car right now?” I told him that I did, but because of the books he read and my own calmness we did not seem to think that I was as far along in my Birthing Time as I truly was. After he cleaned out the car, he asked me if there was time for him to go workout at the gym because I appeared comfortable and therefore it could be many hours before the baby would be born. Thinking that it would be alright for him to go, I told him I would call if I needed him to come home. My kind husband looked for some emotional sign posts but could not obtain a reliable assessment—I simply looked relaxed and sleepy. I soon learned that these sensation waves were, in fact, different.
Nothing in my training as a Registered Nurse or Certified Doula could have prepared me for the quick and painless birth that I was soon to experience. I kept waiting for these sensations to start feeling like they did with my first natural birth but the same intensity, work and labor never came. Our lack of timing these pleasant waves was due to the endorphins and hypnotic anesthesia being so effective.
Since my Estimated Due Date was May 16th but the ultrasound showed it could be around April 27th, I was uncertain of the Guess Date. Despite this wide, 3 week calendar gap, I was ready for my baby anytime he/she wanted to come. After listening to the Deepening CD, I remained in Center Switch and tried six different things to make sure THIS WAS THE DAY my baby was going to come: I fixed myself some eggs, drank water, tried to go back to sleep, changed my position, went for a walk and then decided to take a shower. I felt that things were going really well because I was comfortable throughout all my birth waves. The warm water of the shower on my back and muscles felt extremely relaxing. I even danced a little, my own sort of belly dancing in the shower! Nothing I did caused the waves to go away, in fact they made them come quicker. These sensations seemed as if they were coming every 3 minutes because I could not finish shaving one of my legs before I had another wave. I thought, “Bubble of Peace, Relax, Deeper and Deeper.” I also knew that things were going faster than I anticipated when I could not even dry my hair after the shower.
Time must have simultaneously paused and fast-forwarded because it seemed like a long time had gone by but I called Lance to come home from the gym only 15 minutes after he left. I laid on my left side by the front door of the house and called my hypno-doula and then my midwife. I told the hypno-doula that I did not know how long or far apart my birth waves were since there was no clock in sight. As she was talking with me over the phone she timed a few of the waves. She said that they were about 2 minutes apart and we should leave immediately. She said this with urgency because she knew we had an hour drive to the Birth Center. These birth waves started coming much faster and lasting longer but did not alarm me in any way, that is, until we got in the car!
I told my husband, “We have a slight change of plans. My grandma is going to have to come with us to the birth!” We previously prepared my two-year-old daughter to be with us at birth but I needed someone to keep her occupied at the Birth Center. My friend, who was going to watch my daughter, was out of town. We were staying at my grandmother’s house at the time so having her watch my daughter was the best option. Lance woke up Grandma and invited her. She assumed we were just going for a prenatal check-up and did not realize the urgency to leave right then. Waiting for her to be ready felt like forever, when in reality it was less than half an hour.
As we all left the house I thought, “I hope we make it.”
I entered this crazy but fascinating “labor land” or time warp while listening to the Easy First Stage CD—20 minutes really did feel like 5 minutes. After about 45 minutes of driving my grandma asked, “Lance, how fast are you driving?” He was driving barely over the speed limit. As soon as I heard this I said, “You are going to have to drive a lot faster or we are going to have the baby in the car!”
I knelt on the car floor, facing backward and leaned over the front seat as Lance simultaneously rubbed my back and drove with the other hand. About 15 minutes from the Birth Center my birth waves started to spread out and I thought, “Either my Birthing Time just stopped or I am fully dilated!” It seemed like we were only driving for a few minutes. The Hypnobabies techniques worked so well and consequently it wasn’t until I felt the downward reflex, or pushing feeling that I was convinced I was actually in my Birthing Time, and I was the one feeling everything!
After arriving and being carried into the Birth Center by Lance, I jumped into the warm Jacuzzi water so fast that I did not even take my shorts off. The midwife looked at me, smiled and said, “You know you are going to have to take those off, right?” Half laughing and half annoyed I slid them off. I exclaimed to my hypno-doula, “I need more hypno-anesthesia!”(AKA instant endorphins) She placed her hand on my shoulder and said “Peace.” Then she had me turn my Light Switch Off and then back to Center for breathing down and exhale/Ahh pushing.
I knelt down in the water and enthusiastically hollered for my grandma and daughter to come into the room. Between pleasure waves I asked Lance if he could run and get the video camera. By the time he came back the midwife expressed, “If you want to receive the baby you need to get in the water right now.” He hesitated, and I sweetly yelled, “GET IN THE WATER!” He flung his shoes aside and did not even have time to take his socks off. One push and Pop! “I think my water just broke?” A second push, “Ahhh, the head is coming.” A third push, and my baby’s body slid out. I gave birth in the water at 9:24 am, only 8 minutes after we got to the Birth Center! I can’t believe it, that was so much easier and quicker than my first birth, not to mention way more comfortable—my perineum did not even tear.
The midwife gently pored warm water over both my cute vernix covered baby and me. My husband, daughter, and grandmother observed with amazement. The hypno-doula was so kind and rubbed my sore calves as my two-year-old sang happy birthday. After I delivered the placenta, both my husband and I held the scissors and cut the cord together. Interestingly, I chose not to find out the gender of my baby during a previous ultrasound but now was the moment of truth. I excitedly shouted, “it’s a girl!” There she was, my beautiful daughter. We all gazed lovingly at this precious new gift. She was sent straight from heaven and was so pure, that I could not resist naming her Makayla which means, who is like God.
Wow—a sigh of relief—we made it to the Birth Center just in time; I almost had my baby in the car! If I knew I had only 8 minutes left of my Birthing Time, I would have jumped in the car a lot sooner—or would I? My Birthing Time was only about four hours long and the midwife lovingly smiled and said that it was like an “In-and-Out” baby delivery service. It turns out the birth I pictured, while listening to Visualize Your Birth CD, actually came true. Also, It sounds funny but having Lance pick me up and carry me into the Birth Center seemed like a fairytale where the damsel in distress is swept off her feet and they live happily ever after. However, this story is better than a fairytale because at the end of our story we took home a perfect and adorable baby—our baby, Makayla. That night we slept at my grandma’s house and as I looked at our new baby I laughed thinking about that perfect and wild day!
Hello! My name is Linda. I am a Doula CD(DONA), Hypno-Doula, Childbirth Educator, Midwife Assistant and a Registered Nurse (RN) by profession.