Sierra’s Birth Story
Submitted by Arika
I’ll first say that it all happened pretty fast so I may have a few details missing or not exactly right. For those who were there that read, feel free to correct me or add your memories to the comment section!
I woke up about 6am on April 10, 2008 with contractions. They weren’t strong but I knew that’s what they were. My mom was with me, hubby was at work and I’d put My oldest on the bus for school. Hunterman was home, oblivious to what was going on.
Being the type of person who after three kids, dreads spending time in the hospital, I wasn’t going to go (even after the insistence of Hubby and mother/father-in-law) until I was almost there. This poses a problem when you live 20 or so minutes from the hospital and have been known to have labors that only last 4 1/2 hours.
After telling my mom I was in labor, calling hubby and the doctor (who said, “You know what you’re doing just call us when you’re ready to go to the hospital.”), and my in-laws I figured I’d finish up a few things around the house and my business and then call and tell everyone I was on my way. The contractions were to the point I couldn’t really keep myself focused on anything else I needed to do so I decided I’d call hubs and tell him I was going to his parent’s house so I’d be closer to him and the hospital. The plan was to call him when I felt like it was time to go.
I called my mother in law and asked her if she could pick my oldest up, after contemplating letting him stay at school and get off the bus that afternoon at the neighbor’s. I realized what a silly idea that was because I knew this baby would be here well before he got home and I couldn’t deprive him of being there when she decided to join us.
We gathered my middle child and my things and headed to Mom & Dad’s. When we got there, Hubby’s mom had to run some errands and asked if I thought I’d be going to the hospital before she got back. I told her it was fine she could go because I wasn’t going anytime soon. She left, Hubby came home from work and I decided I’d have a seat in the recliner while Hubby, his Dad, and the two boys ran to McDonald’s to get us all some lunch. When I sat down the contractions stopped.
So, I kept standing up to see if they would start again and they did. I had this big urge to stay standing and walk. So Mom and I went outside and I proceeded to walk up and down the sidewalk in front of the house. Thinking back, maybe I should have at least sat down until my lunch got back because when I stopped walking the contractions didn’t ease up…in fact they got closer and stronger. So much so that Mom was now telling me “Maybe we should go to the hospital Arika, we don’t want a baby being born in your van.” Up until this point she was letting me call the shots. Funny how Mama seems to know what’s right to do and when, isn’t it?
I called hubs and told him we were going and to hurry up with the food! He was in the drive-thru at McDonald’s at the time. Those 5 minutes until he got there seemed like forever and I remember telling Sierra “Just hold up a bit longer sweetie – Daddy’s coming.”
Hubby pulled up, his Dad and Hunter got out of the van and mom and I got in. Mom and my oldest in the front seat, Hubby and I in the middle row. Dad and Hunter were on their way shortly behind us and Mom was still in Williamsburg. Hubby called and told her to meet us at the hospital.
I can remember hearing (or maybe I was just reading her mind) Mom saying “God, please don’t let her go into labor in this van.” I think someone said at one point, “We should have left sooner, Arika.” Silly people…I’m NOT staying in that hospital a second more than necessary! After all I wanted a home birth but it kind of scared hubby so I opted to keep him sane and deliver in the hospital.
We get to the hospital, Mom drops Hubby and I off at the front door. We go in and head to registration at which point the woman registering me sees that I’m in VERY active labor. I tell her it’s ok I can do this and then be on my way up to maternity. She chose otherwise when I had the first contraction that made me grab her desk! She called for a wheel chair, told me to sit down and said Hubby would be registering me.
They wheeled me up to Triage. Don’t remember what I was dilated, but they knew I was in labor and took me to a room. I don’t remember much about this part, but I do know when they put the IV in they got blood all over the place and I was kinda upset because I had to take my ring off due to the fact it was covered in blood.
I remember asking if my doctor was on her way and a nurse telling me that they had a doctor there if she didn’t make it in time. I also remember they were really busy and someone saying something about some of the mommy’s-to-be were not going to be happy with me because I was moving along so fast and some of them had been there all day.
Next I remember a nurse coming in and asking if I wanted some pain meds (I think by this point I was too far for an epidural which I wouldn’t have taken anyway – if you know me you know I have a fear of needles in my spine).
Somewhere in here Hubby’s mom started to rub my leg (I think) and I said “Stop that hurts!” Later Hubby told me that he thought I hurt her feelings. I said it a little too harshly and for those who know me, you know I am not like that during labor. I am always apologizing, talkative, etc. – Yes I’m weird I know. After all was said and done, rest assured I felt so bad and I apologized to her immediately. She’s a mom of course she understood but I still felt horrible. I think it was at this point my sister-in-law went outside and told Hubby to call her if anything changed.
I told the nurse yes to the meds, but by the time she came back with the meds I was in full blown labor ready to push. They told me my doctor was on her way (she obviously didn’t remember the last child she delivered for me and how fast he came). The nurse started getting the linens and things ready and kept saying “Don’t push yet.”
Baby girl must not have heard that part and honestly I pretended I didn’t either after not pushing when I really, really wanted to a few times. Someone asked the nurse if she’d delivered a baby before and she said “Yes, lots of times.” It was obvious the doctor wasn’t going to make it in time at that point. Then my mom said the words I needed to hear (she has a way of saying these words to me as she did the same with my second child) “You know what you’re doing. If you gotta push you gotta push…go ahead!”
I was NOT waiting any longer and about the time I was ready to push, Sierra was born. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the girl birthed herself! No doctor, just a nurse sitting on the end of the bed still getting things ready for her arrival. It all happened so fast, Hubby says he remembers hearing someone say “There she is!” He thought her head was out and when he looked down it was Sierra…ALL of Sierra!
He went to the window and looked out and his sister was looking up thinking it was time to come back up because I was pushing. Did she get a surprise when he started cradling his arms to signal baby girl was HERE!
Sierra was born April 10th, at 2:42pm, 18inches long, and weighing in at 6lbs 6.7ozs (actually she was 6.6oz but my mama knows that I’m superstitious about that number and her and the nurse realized that .1oz wouldn’t change anything so they recorded her at 6.7ozs)
All the while, our 18 yo niece was standing at the foot of the bed watching everything unfold. It was planned that she would be in the room. Seeing her witness the birth of a child was amazing. She was crying, eyes as wide as anything and just in awe. The bond she has with my little girl is something that will never be broken and I just love it. You’ll never understand that bond until you’ve experienced it. The two of them will be close forever.
I must say that giving birth to Sierra was so amazing because she did everything herself. The things a baby and a mother’s body can do on their own are absolutely inspiring and I’m ever so grateful that I got to experience it not once, not twice, but 3 times.
People tell me I’m lucky and I was born to give birth and I used to laugh at them, but seriously I think I was. Of course I was! God puts us here to “be fruitful and multiply”. I’m just so glad he allowed me to be able to do so easily. Many women have very hard, difficult, long labors and I know that I am blessed to be one that adores labor. And, no I’m not saying that to brag, I honestly know just how lucky I am and I thank Him for designing me to be so.