Sunday, September 14, 2008

6 Births, 1 Epidural Part VI

*I thought a fun way to celebrate my little ones’ birthdays would be to tell the stories of their birth days. Amazingly each was unique and a little funny. Since I thought of this idea just this week, you will get part 6 first*


After giving birth 5 times, I was prepared for this last labor. And by prepared, I mean I had absolutely nothing ready. As I sat thinking one afternoon, one whole week before the due date, I realized I had yet to find somewhere to safely stow the rest of my children while I was busy “welcoming” their youngest sibling. Keep in mind, 3 of my 5 children had been born a week or more early. Like I said, prepared. Very, very prepared. So I looked up some friends and asked if they would be willing to add some kids into their schedules at anytime of day for any amount of time. Amazingly enough, 2 agreed. Even though they had met my children before. Gotta love good friends.

We decided to split the kids into 3 groups: the 2 boys needed to stay in our small town so they could go to school (or get picked up depending on the timing), I wanted the 2 preschoolers to go to a place near the hospital (about 20 minutes away) and Elise was coming with us. Everything was working out great! I think I even pulled out the infant car seat and washed it out. Although I have no recollection of washing baby clothes, blankets, or any other superfluous baby items.

That very evening I was getting ready for bed. As I climbed into bed (no small feat for a 9 months pregnant woman), I wet my pants. That’s right, I said it. I wasn’t even embarrassed or flustered when it happened. If you’re shocked, I am jealous of your non-6 child bladder. Even now, I can barely hold it when I sneeze, not a chance with a 10 pound load stealing my innards’ limited space. Anyway, I got up, changed, cleaned and got back in bed. Only to wet again. Strangely enough, I wasn’t having the normal warnings so I could practice my kegels. I rolled my eyes, changed again, added a towel to my bed (in case I lost all control of my bladder in the night), and climbed into bed again. You can guess what happened. Oh, how jaded I had become not to suspect what you all must realize by now. I just thought my body was finally giving up.

It was just after this 3rd moment that my dear mother, come to hold the baby help out, walked by the door to wish me good night. I rolled my eyes (she has 6 kids and was bound to understand) as I told her about my poor, overworked, squished bladder. Always a wise woman, she suggested my water had broken. My water, break? Not a chance. I had 5 kids and had never had my water break without "help". Yeah, long crochet hooks are great. No really. Nevertheless, the smell test verified it. I was not losing control of my bladder, just my expectations on what labor is like. And it was just at this point that my water REALLY broke. Everywhere.

First, I called Peter, thankfully already on his way home from work. “Call the doctor,” I could practically hear him pressing the accelerator to the floor as we talked. So I called the doctor,

“Have you had any contractions?”

“Why no, it has been 15 minutes since it broke and, hmm . . .
ohhh . . .hmmm. Yeah, I just had a contraction.”

“You better head on in.”
(As I reread this post, I thought I should note that Peter worked at a different hospital from where I delivered. I know that shows real loyalty, but this one had a NICU and Peter always likes to be safe, having seen too many “situations” to risk it).

So my mother and I (and soon Peter) began gathering what we needed to take (like I said, prepared). We called our friend who had agreed to take the boys. By the time I found the number of my 2nd friend, I realized this was going to be FAST. “Call back Susan and tell her she’ll have all four. We won’t have time to stop twice.” 15 minutes had passed from that 1st contraction, and they were progressively becoming quicker and stronger.

We practically dumped the kids at the doorstep as we sped to the hospital. Dropping off the kids plus the 20 minute drive took barely 15, Peter trying to convince me not to have the baby in our car the whole time. I don’t think the nurse believed how close I was until she checked me. I was in a monitoring room (definition: no drop away exam table). After she checked me, she was more convinced of the urgency.
“We aren’t going to have time to switch rooms; you’re ready to
go now.”

“Does this mean no epidural?” I know, silly question, especially
when I heard the reply,

Epidural? The doctor isn’t even going to make it.”
Thankfully, the doctor walked in just as that statement was made. Apparently when a 6 time mother calls with first time broken water and has a contraction while on the phone, the doctor doesn’t wait to be called again. He walked in, I pushed (never knew how nice that drop down birth table is until I went without), Elise almost fainted (I will never forget her face), and Matthew made his rushed debut- all in about 10 minutes from walking in the hospital door. In no time at all I was in a recovery room and Peter was swinging by to take the kids home (“Done all ready?” my friend asked). It was all so quick, I felt in total shock. I can’t be done all ready! Not that I was complaining, mind you, just surprised.

And that is part six of how I had six births but only one epidural. Reason: Too Fast (expect 5 different reasons over the next year of birthdays)


  1. I love reading other people's bith experiences.

    I was never luck enough to go into labor on my own...mine all had to be coaxed out! LOL!

  2. Surprisingly, it doesn't completely terrify me to have my own kids someday. You would think it would. Ok, maybe a little... :)

  3. when people ask me if it hurts to have a baby I tell them the honest truth. It hurts me so bad that I honestly think I would die without an epidoral. That being said all births are different but I really don't think I could do it. I think I have scared a few people away from ever trying.

  4. I like this idea of recording your birth experiences!

  5. I've just found out that my baby is not old enough for me to read birthing stories without having a panic attack. Great idea, I'm looking forward to hearing the other 5!!
    I didn't know Matthew had come so quickly, I've always heard that after a couple babies they just slide right out, but I never knew it was actually true!

  6. Good old Matthew, he is still sliding under the radar (mostly to the neighbors house) Fun story, so far my stories are gearing up to be just the opposite of yours, 3 eipidurals and one "natural".

  7. Great story, glad my bladder will never get squished like that

  8. I hope to never know birth without an epidural. I am so glad for modern technology. I'll have to see when you post the other stories, but it seems I recall Kirsti being a quick and easy birth.

  9. I could tell you all six stories. It is nice that they all came fast but the nurses still never believe that you know what you are talking about. Lucky for Charlotte one nurse saw her have a contraction and new she was close (while the other nurses argued about prosedure not being followed). Matthew would have come in the hallway.
    I had all six of mine natural.

  10. Wow, that's even faster than mine and I thought my second was fast! I don't ever want to experience not having an epidural again though, I don't know how you managed it five times! I respect you even more now.

  11. I love reading and hearing other people's birth stories also. Something about being allowed to hear the circumstances surrounding a spirit coming to his or her 2nd estate is amazing and I never get tired of the stories.

  12. I do hear that each kid you have comes quicker then the one before. That has been truth so far for me I just hope with this last one I don't come as quick as you did without an epidural (though Sarah was without an epidural but I did fall in love with Stadal(sp).

    I love the story and look forward to the others.

  13. Remember how you were thinking of me driving down to watch your kids when you went into labor? Man would that have been crazy for you.

  14. I don't know how I missed this post earlier. What an adventurous birth, especially since it diverted from the norm! Thanks for sharing it.

  15. I just read all of your birth stories. They were all so different, but yet, they were all hilarious! Maybe you are just a good story teller, but I laughed through all 6. What a great idea to do for your children.