. .:: This is the story of the birth of my nephew. I imagine one day, he'll be sitting at home, watching The Business of Being Born alongside his pregnant wife. She'll say, "I wonder how long my labor will be. My mom's labor was 36 hours. How long was yours?" And then he'll laugh a little and read her this story, written by his momma:
**Note: All images are reviewed and approved by my clients prior to being made public**
At about 1:30am on the night Jude was born I woke up unable to sleep, with what I thought was Braxton Hicks. I woke David when I went to the restroom and he asked if I was alright. I told him that I was uncomfortable and unable to sleep, but didn’t think I was in labor. I told him to go back to sleep and that I would let him know if they became stronger or closer together. I tried to distract myself with my phone and timed the contractions. They were between 7 and 9 minutes apart and definitely not consistent. I struggled to find a comfortable position in bed, which of course woke David up. He recommended that I try taking a warm bath to help me relax and hopefully I could go back to sleep. So he drew me a bath and brought in my laptop so I could watch The Office. At this point it was about 2:30am and the contractions were progressing to be about 5 minutes apart. However, they were still sporadic with random contractions being about 7, 8 (or more) minutes apart so I figured this couldn’t be the “real deal”. With my previous pregnancy, the week before my due date I had a very similar experience where I eventually got in the tub allowing the contractions to let up and I went back to sleep. I also had been having very strong Braxton Hicks for several weeks.
However, we remembered Michelle telling us to text her as soon as we started having contractions just to be safe (she knows how births go, ha!). So David texted Michelle to tell her that we weren’t sure if this was the real deal but to give her a heads up. She responded immediately saying, “I am on my way”. (Good thing she took me seriously even though I wasn’t doing the same!)
As I was watching The Office I remember asking David if he thought I was in labor and he said the contractions seemed a lot stronger with Micah’s labor so he wasn’t sure. I agreed, so I just kept watching The Office and enjoyed the tub. They were still sporadic but a few of the contractions were as short as 4 minutes apart. I told David to call his parents and ask them to come over. It was somewhere around 3:30am at this point. I still wasn’t convinced that this was true labor and felt I had a long way to go even if it was. But, I didn’t want to wait too long since Micah was asleep and we would need David’s parents to come stay with him before heading to the hospital. I remember telling David to relay my apologies to his mom if this was false labor. (Ha!) As soon as David’s parents said they were on their way, things took a dramatic turn. I found myself to be extremely focused during contractions, which were becoming much stronger with little to no time in between. I could no longer focus on conversation with David and finally felt this was it. David’s parents arrived around 4am at our house. David answered the door and his dad said, “Why aren’t you already in the car?!” He was so right! The problem was I had been trying to get dressed for several minutes at this point but was struggling to move. I had only a few seconds between contractions and only found relief leaning on my yoga ball during the contractions. David had to help me get clothes on so we could get to the car and go. Of course, as soon as I was finally dressed and ready to go, my water broke! At home. In my bedroom. I certainly did not expect this. With Micah, my water did not break until the pushing stage. I remember David saying over and over at this point, “We HAVE to get to the car.” I couldn’t agree more. But I also couldn’t respond. Nor could I move to change my clothes. I finally managed to change into dry clothing with David’s help and somehow barely managed to get to the car. It was about 4:20am.
I got in the front seat but quickly realized that I absolutely could not sit down let alone sit still. After the fact, David told me that he drove 100mph attempting to get to the hospital. I knew we were going fast, but 100mph- I had no idea! Thank God no one else was on the road. We made it about 5 minutes down the road and I very distinctly remember feeling Jude’s head drop into position to push. A few seconds after that I felt an urge that I honestly never even felt with Micah. I’d heard of this urge before but did not understand it until this very moment. I HAD to push. I could not stop. I think I was able to say something like, “I’m pushing!” to David but I am sure he knew this without me saying so. David quickly pulled the car over to the side of the road and came over to the passenger’s seat. Within 60 seconds Jude was born. I will never forget that moment. Thankfully, Jude quickly began crying that sweet cry that we so desperately wanted to hear. David handed him to me in a pillowcase that he had somehow quickly found and we sat there in absolute shock.
With an ironic twist, we delivered less than 2 miles away from the closest emergency room. So that is where we went. We pulled up to the hospital and David ran in while I held Jude in the car. I will never forget the look on the faces of the staff that came to assist. They helped me out of the car, took us to our room, and very quickly a team of unfamiliar medical staff (OB, pediatrician, nurses, etc.) was surrounding me making sure we were doing alright. Michelle walked in shortly after we got to the room. I was so thankful to see her face. Something about her being there made it feel less like an emergency and more like a birth. Jude was doing beautifully, so they kindly let us do skin to skin for as long as we wanted before checking weight, etc. (shameless plug for baby friendly practices- woo hoo!). So we spent the next few hours bonding, breastfeeding, calling our families and recounting how crazy the previous few hours were.
I will never forget this night. It was so fast and not at all according to plan. We birthed our baby. In the front seat of our car. In the middle of the night. On the side of the road. Looking back, I knew I was in actual labor for a total of about 30 minutes. I should remember this as stressful, chaotic, and terrifying. But I don’t. I remember seeing a side of David that I had never seen before. He was so strong, so together, and so steady. And I remember feeling stronger and more empowered than ever before. Though I would never choose to deliver a baby in the car again, this night was incredible, unforgettable, and simply quite miraculous. We are beyond blessed. - Kailin
I received the text at 3:16am. Contractions have been 5 minutes apart for the last hour and a half and are strong. "We are in the tub at home right now."
I texted, "I'll plan to meet you at home, unless you tell me you're headed to the hospital."
"3 mins apart. We will probably head to the hospital shortly."
As I approached the exit, I texted again, "I'm exiting to the hospital, unless you need me at home..."
No reply. Ten minutes. No reply.
As I was sitting in the hospital parking lot, I thought, They still haven't texted me back. They're totally having a baby at home right now. I started typing, "Are you having a baby right now?" I thought better of it and deleted the message. Because, if you're having a baby, the last thing you need is someone on your case about it.
Finally a text chime!
"Delivered in car"
So they were having a baby. On the side of the road. I raced to meet them at another ER, and that's where we pick this story up in pictures.
If you're interested in seeing more of Jude's story, be sure to check back soon for his Afterglow session!
The Birth of Jude :: Denver Birth Photography