After all of that, I remember being on my side in the bed, clenching Jon’s shirt through each contraction, and thinking, “I don’t know how much longer I can do this.”
Candace did another check to see where things were at. She said basically the same thing as Ashley had before… 90% and about 3 cm dilated. Now I really wasn’t sure if I could keep doing this. I was supposed to get to 100% and 10 cm… how on earth could I do that if I felt like I could barely do it now??
At this point we had a few options… basically we could wait around for a little longer and then leave or leave sooner and hopefully end up resting sooner in our home environment. It was already past 10 pm so we opted to head home then.
I was offered a sleep aid, Vistaril, which was like a strong Benadryl in hopes of helping me rest. I took half of the dose there before leaving and half once we got home.
So… we left the birth center and headed home! Another uncomfortable ride… but a little different. I was feeling like a had to go to the bathroom (red flag!) and couldn’t. I never even thought to tell Candace, Grace, or Alicia this. On the way home I was telling Jonathan how miserable I felt because I felt like I had to go to the bathroom and couldn’t at all. Since we were going home, I figured I could just try until something happened and then I would be more comfortable.
Around 11 pm...
My husband started getting concerned with the way I was complaining combined with the way I couldn't get comfortable. Sitting, laying, standing, nothing helped. I felt like a restless animal.
Jonathan had me try to lay down on the couch, but I was SO uncomfortable feeling like I had to go to the bathroom that I could barely sit down (still did not occur to us that this could be my body trying to push). I laid down and about 30 seconds later popped right back up and said, “this isn’t going to work.”
At this point Jonathan is getting pretty uneasy.
He called the midwife and tried to explain how I was feeling.
She said that it sounded like normal feelings people have and that it was probably just the baby progressing/moving downward (after all, I had JUST left the center less than an hour before and I had only been at 3 cm – it wasn’t likely time for the baby to come out yet).
Jon hung up.
I said, “I feel like I’m hurting myself!” – We called back within 5 minutes.
After a few more descriptions of my discomfort Candace said, "Okay, well just reach down and tell me what you feel." To which I responded, "Uhh, that's baby's head!"
And thus begins the rush to the birth center. Mind you, it’s about 20 minutes away.
My husband to the midwife: "Stay on the phone, we're coming! We're on our way!"
My internal (and quickly fleeting) thoughts: "We're doing this?! Why aren't we calling 911?"
The midwife is on speaker-phone, my husband is driving, and I'm in the passenger seat.
Real talk: I'm wearing a tank top, disposable underwear, and a large blanket. When we left the house in a hurry, my husband said, "No time for shoes, no time for pants!"
The midwife is trying to get me to take short little breaths in an effort NOT to push.
I'm trying. It's really not working. My husband is trying to help model the breathing - I'm terrified he is going to pass out. (I also refuse to look at the speedometer!)
Every time my breathing pauses, my husband, says, "No, no, no, Kelsie." We both know that my body is taking over at this point and I can't help or prevent what is happening.
At some point, I mutter, "The head is coming out." This cues the midwife to start coaching me through instead of against it.
Baby’s head comes out, (for some reason I remember to check for the cord before anyone could even ask,) the shoulders are out, the legs. The baby is on my chest and crying. My husband is teary. I'm remarkably calm. And we're still driving down the road! Our baby was born about 5 minutes from our destination,… so naturally, we kept going.
We still don’t even know if it’s a boy or a girl – it was too dark to see!
The midwives met us at the door, wheel chair waiting. Lucky for us, the placenta was delivered at the birth center, and our car was spared from any evidence of a birth. They asked Jon if he wanted to cut the cord - far too full of adrenaline, he said, "I'd love to, but I can't" so I said, "I'll do it." And I did.