About eight months into my third and final pregnancy, I watched a show about women who had babies in unexpected places. They showed the video of the women that gave birth in her car while her husband was driving and recording. One woman gave birth at the zoo and another at a pizzeria. The whole time, I shook my head in disbelief “How did that happen? How did they not know they were in labor?” Well, as it turns out it can happen to anyone.
It all started on a Tuesday when I went to my 38 week appointment. Thursday, June 7 would mark the longest I’d ever been pregnant at 38 weeks, 4 days. After a long third pregnancy which included extreme sickness the whole time, I was so over being pregnant. But after finding out I was barely 2 cm dilated, I was feeling deflated and depressed. Would I be pregnant forever?!?!
I woke up the next morning feeling more resolved. I can do this.
That night I went to sleep and felt nothing. At midnight I woke up to use the bathroom and still felt nothing. At 3 am I was woken up by strong contractions every 4-5 minutes. I woke up my husband Chad, but I waited to call my doctor because my water had not broken (like my second baby) and I wasn’t sure the contractions were strong enough yet. I thought today might be the day, but in like 8 hours (like both my other labors).
At 4 am we called my mother-in-law to watch the kids, my mom to meet us at the hospital, and then my doctor. The doctor asked when we would arrive at the hospital and I said probably about an hour. I remember her exact words “Even better, that will give your body time to dilate.” So I jumped in the shower and my husband started to get his things ready to go. I still didn’t even have my bag packed.
It was in the shower, things started to get intense. I wasn’t timing anymore, but I could tell the contractions were speeding up and getting stronger. I got out of the shower and could barely stand. I was beginning to feel anxious and started vomiting (this happens in all my labors).
I told my husband we need to go. He starts throwing my stuff in a bag. At this point, I’m leaning on my bed in incredible pain and my water breaks. Within minutes the contractions were in top of each other. My mother-in-law hadn’t arrived yet and I was starting to worry I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time to get an epidural.
Chad kept trying to get me in the car. He was thinking we’ll be in the car and when his mom arrives we’ll do the hand-off like a relay race. I’m thinking there’s no point in waiting outside because she won’t be here for awhile. But I’m pacing the house in pain, so it’s probably a better idea to pace outside and not wake up my older kids. The pain is so bad—I can’t talk, I cant think.
Chad helps me outside and into the car and then steps away to see where his mom was. She was still 15 minutes away, so he went to bang on the neighbors door to ask them to stay with our kids.
Meanwhile, the pain. Whew! I’ve never had an unmedicated birth before so I’ve never felt anything like it. The contractions are no longer decipherable as they are just constant. try to assess the situation and felt his head! For a split second, I wonder if we can drive with his head partially exposed but the next second I get the urge to stand. I got out of the car and boom! He came right out. Thankfully I caught him!
I swept the goop from his face and nose and he let out those sweet newborn wails. I screamed “Chad, call 911!” He came running around the corner to find me holding our newest baby boy, Lincoln. Chad called the ambulance and we waited for the paramedics to arrive. I was no longer in pain and we just sat there adoring this beautiful new life!
The ambulance came and they brought two cop cars and a fire truck. Fireman were slapping my husband on the back in congratulations and my whole street was lit up like Christmas. My mother-in-law arrived to find the armada. She was so apologetic, but I’m thankful it worked out the way it did and we didn’t deliver him on the side of the road. We woke up a few neighbors, but thankfully my older boys slept through the whole thing. Lincoln was healthy and he has the BEST birthday story!
When we arrived at the hospital, every nurse, doctor, lactation consultant, and housekeeper wanted to hear the story. Many people assume the paramedics actually delivered Lincoln, so I love to watch jaws drop as I get to that part of the story. As shocked as others are to hear it, it’s still a shock to my husband and me—we had a baby in the driveway!
My first natural birth. My fastest labor (by a lot). I still cannot believe I delivered my own baby in my driveway. Our family is complete!