Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Violet's Birth Story: part 2

Part One

I was in our bedroom getting the hospital bags out of the closet and gathering up my last minute toiletries to throw in there while my contractions continued to strengthen.  I knew I was not going to make it in time to have an epidural at this point.  I leaned over the edge of the bed, the bathroom counter, sat on the toilet, trying to get through the pain. As I leaned over the bed, trying to get those last minute items together was the moment I knew I wasn't going to make it to have an epidural.  I momentarily debated having George call an ambulance. For real.

When I stood upright again hoping to move quickly in between contractions, I shouted to George, " I think my water broke!"  Back to the toilet, I went.  I discovered I was bleeding and wasn't sure if my water had broken or I was just feeling the blood.  He yelled that we needed to hurry up and get going because we weren't having this baby at home.  I honestly do not know how long it took me to get from the bedroom to the car, but I know that every moment I tried to do something...walk, get out the front door, get in the car, I'd have another excruciating contraction and have to stop.

I am not one who is very vocal about pain.  I know I'm a wuss and tend to keep it in, deal with it and keep moving. Kind of like the day I broke my ankle at 31 weeks pregnant.  It hurt. Badly.

And I knew it was broken, but I didn't want Lily to be disappointed to not go to the park with our friends. So we went and my ankle hurt. I pushed through it.  There was no chance of that here.  I was crying, moaning, shouting, and swearing. I held nothing back.   I yelled at my husband to shut up after he told me I needed to get it together to get out to the car, but couldn't finish what I wanted to say because he had no idea that I wasn't just freezing up. The pain was debilitating and I had to wait to move until the contraction had subsided. Although I didn't have any more time except to say, "shut up!" 

In the car at 10:48am and we're off to the hospital!  Par for the course, we needed gas.  George was in list mode:  Get enough gas to get us there.  Make a plan for Lily to get picked up at noon at school. Not have a baby in the car. 

I found a position that was the most bearable and needed to lie back in the seat on my side facing the driver's seat.  Now mind you this did nothing to stop the pain or my crying, moaning, shouting and swearing.  Just was something I was able do.  When I tried lying back in the seat at first, the seatbelt was cutting into my neck.  So Ms. Always Wear Your Seatbelt No Matter What, shouted, "How do I get this fucking seatbelt off??"  Not a shining moment.

We called my good friend whose daughter goes to school with Lily and asked if she could take Lily with her after school.  George was on the phone with her, I was shouting they knew at school I was in labor and it would be ok for her to take Lily too!  That peace of mind knowing Lily was in good hands was the last piece of the puzzle I needed in place so I could to focus on nothing but this baby--  both keeping her inside until we got to the hospital and praying for a healthy delivery.

For the most part, I had my eyes closed on the way to the hospital.  When G was on the phone about Lily, I had opened my eyes to know where we were {approximately 7 minutes from home generally} and then again when we crossed the Vets Bridge through the city and once more when we had to slow down drastically for a car that cut us off merging into the one lane to take us to the hospital. 

The rest of the ride, which I learned we took at 105 mph, I was going through my cycle of crying, moaning, shouting and swearing.  Repeated theme:  "We're not going to make it!"  George was honestly the only thing that kept me from going over the edge.  Everytime I cried that we weren't going to make it, he'd reassure me that we would, we were almost there, I was doing great, and to keep breathing. 

The thing about Pittsburgh is that there is no rhyme or reason to traffic in this city.  I'm so thankful my husband used to be a police officer and was trained to drive at high rates of speed in this city. Truly.  However, nothing can be done when you turn onto the street to get into the hospital and it's backed up with 20+ cars waiting to turn into the parking lot.  I had opened my eyes again here.

So, what does any former police officer do?  Drives down the opposite side of the road.

It was clear until right before we needed to turn in when opposing traffic was there.  George honked the horn, rolled down his window, shouted that I was in labor going to have the baby in the car, "BACK UUUUUUUUPP!"   A security guard on my side of the car/street shouted he was going in to get a wheelchair and managed to get cars moved enough to get us up to the front door of the hospital.

For as much trouble as I had getting IN the car at home, it was just as difficult getting OUT of the car at the hospital. For the last part of the ride, I had been squeezing my legs closed tighter than I had ever before trying to keep this baby in and not deliver her in the car.

 Finally, I was able to get out of the car, but had to wait again before I could sit in the wheelchair as I contracted that closely again.  Again, more crying, moaning, shouting...I think I had stopped swearing at this point!

Once I was in the wheelchair, George ran me through the lobby while I {now embarrassingly} was screaming out in pain hoping we'd make it to deliver this baby in a bed instead of in the car, in front of the hospital, or in a wheelchair in the lobby.   I'm pretty sure I traumatized some first timers who may have been in or around the echoing lobby of the hospital. 

Labor & Delivery is on the 2nd floor, so luckily we were off the elevator quickly. George kept running, pushing me through the hospital. It was honestly like a scene from a movie where the registration clerk shouted out questions as we flew by... "What's your name?! What's your birthdate?! Who's your doctor?!"  George replied with my name and birthday and "She's been here before!" I shouted my doctor's name as the double doors opened and a nurse took over pushing my wheelchair down the hall.  It was a sea of people in blue scrubs parting the way for me. I kept thinking, "Wow this breeze feels so good," as whoever was pushing me was running to get me into a L&D room. I was so hot and sweating bullets all the while still shouting out in pain.   It felt like a scene from a movie where the camera is the essentially the character.  The doctors and nurses standing on either side of the hallway looking down at me as I blew past them in the wheelchair, people shouting about me to find my doctor and trying to gather details about my pregnancy. Very surreal.

Somebody helped me get my undies off as I was trying to get out of the wheelchair onto the bed and I felt no relief lying down at all.  I kept screaming, "I need to push NOW!"  A doctor told me they were trying to help me, but I needed to get in the bed before I could do that. I'm so grateful I was clean after having both showered that morning and then taken a bath.

The doctor I had hoped would deliver me was on call that day I already knew, so while they were calling for her, another doctor--Dr. Cheeks introduced himself.  George asked if I could get any pain medicine as they were checking me once I was on the bed and all I heard was... "She's at a 9 1/2, there's no time." 

I shouted some more while I cried.  Some things like, "It burns so badly!" {even then I used adverbs correctly} "I need to push!" "I can't do this!"  and a lot more incoherent moaning/shouting something or other.

I had my eyes closed trying to focus on something other than how painful this was and all I could hear was George when they told him to grab my leg. I also heard my doctor say, "I came running!"  

My love was so encouraging throughout the entire process {not that the process was a long time, mind you.} telling me I could do this, her head was coming, we were almost done, I was doing great, reminding me to put my chin to my chest and push, here she comes...

And finally the relief was there!

Our baby. Our girl.

Born at 11:23am.

We had just left our house at 10:48am.

When she decided she was ready, she was ready.  On her due date. 

I had referred to her as "our grand finale" many times throughout my pregnancy. 

She definitely made it ring true.

Violet ilyanna, my littlest love, born weighing 10 pounds even and 22 inches long. 

Thank God I didn't know she was 10 pounds before because I don't think I could have overcome that mental hurdle during my labor.  It was not my plan to give birth naturally. What's that saying about telling God your plans... :)

*Part 3 will have pictures and some more details from nurses, friends that I want to always remember


  1. I maybe have some tears running down my face!

  2. I can not even imagine that drive. Wow!

  3. WOW. I can only imagine. The drive and traffic in Pittsburgh was one of my greatest fears when I was pregnant with Icie. I actually was relieved for that very reason when I went passed my due date and had to be induced.

  4. I honestly have no idea how you did this...this only story makes my lady parts hurt, you are a rockstar and so is your husband!! I am so glad that everything worked out and you and baby were healthy and IN the hospital, together. This is a story I will never forget, and pray I never have to experience because omg...the pain!!!

  5. Phew~what a story!
    Welcome to the world, Violet!
    I look forward to more stories and pics!