Their Bad Mother

Their Bad Mother

The Fast And The Furious: A Birth Story

This post is part of the online celebration of Baby Week, hosted by Discovery TV. Because what better way to celebrate babies than to relive the terror miraculous experience of giving birth to them?

It was the most awesome experience of my life. It was the most terrifying experience of my life, and it all started while I was eating a fajita.

The first contraction hit at 7:46 pm. I know this, because I checked
the time. I was pretty sure that it was just more false labor, but
still. One always hopes. So I checked the time, and then went back to
eating my fajita.

Ten minutes later another contraction hit. Ow, I said to no one in particular. That hurt.


Was that one different? my husband asked. Is it time?

Probably not. I’ll just wait and see.

Eight minutes later I was doubled over. Emilia pulled out her doctor’s kit and held the stethoscope to my belly. Baby brother wants to come out now?

I don’t know sweetie.

Husband: Should we go in?

I don’t know. It might be another false alarm.

Husband: I think we should go in.

I don’t know. (*doubles over*)

Husband: Seriously.


minutes later we were in the car, no thanks to me. I dawdled, even as
the contractions sped up, reluctant to go in to the hospital and face another round of eye-rolling
if these were, as I thought, just another bout of bad false
contractions. My husband prodded and pushed until I relented and buckled into
the passenger seat. We drove away at 8:26pm, just as another bad
contraction hit.

And then another.

And another.

were barely fifteen minutes from home – and still probably some thirty
minutes from our downtown hospital – when it became apparent that
whatever was happening was happening quickly. Very quickly. Since we’d left home, the contractions had gone from eight minutes or so apart to barely a minute apart to not apart at all. Kyle called 911; 911 patched him through to an ambulance; the ambulance advised that we pull off the highway and wait for them.


Husband: Pull off and wait?



Husband: I really don’t think we have time to stop and wait.

Ambulance Dispatch: We can’t chase you down, sir.

Husband: Then I’ll just keep driving.

vehicular dashes to hospitals with women in labor are usually played
for laughs on film and television. Let me tell you: there is nothing
funny about racing toward a hospital that seems to recede ever further
into the horizon as you speed forward in excruciating pain, your body
completely out of your control, medical disaster ever more imminent
with every passing second. Even when the toddler in the back seat
starts shouting MOMMY YOU NEED MEDICINE YOU NEED MY TOADSTOOL? it’s not funny. It’s stone-cold terrifying.


when your body just starts bearing down and pushing and you cannot stop
it and then you’re still like ten minutes away from the hospital and
the baby starts shoving its way out of your parts and OMG YOU CAN FEEL IT COMING OUT? Then? Your mind kind of snaps.

does the mind of your husband, who at this point is simultaneously
driving a speeding vehicle with one hand on the horn and the other
trying to feel for baby’s head between your legs while shouting into
his phone-headpiece to someone at the ER that the baby’s coming the baby’s coming you need to be ready when we get there!)*


arrived at the hospital at about 9:05pm. At the wrong entrance. Which
was locked. Sufficient banging and the luck of some random guy
wandering through the lobby got us in, and much shouting from my husband
brought the medical team that had been waiting for us running. I was
already mid-delivery: the bag of waters was being involuntarily pushed
out – intact – and the baby was crowning. Eleven minutes later, at
9:16pm – after much horror-movie-worthy screaming – Jasper was out.

minutes from start to finish of active labor. Barely eleven minutes after
stepping out of the vehicle. Fourth degree tearing (borderline)
requiring on-the-spot surgery which, you know, without epidural or
spinal anaesthesia or anything more significant than local anaesthetic
and an extra-strength Tylenol? Almost as hair-raising as the near
in-vehicle delivery. Almost.


It was terrifying. The most terrifying experience of my life, bar nothing.

But still, still… after all that – there’s him. Big and hale and hearty and a joy – an infinite joy – to behold. Worth any measure of terror, worth any measure of pain.

And the best birthday present ever.

Revised and adapted from an original post at Her Bad Mother, 2008.

Comments read comments(8)
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Lisa Stone

posted June 12, 2009 at 12:10 am

HBM, every time I read this story I still CANNOT BELIEVE IT! I’m always torn between latent anger at laugh lines in flicks — oh ha ha — and riveted with anticipation over what happens next even though I’ve held Jasper with my own two hands. What a cliffhanger.
Does Emilia remember it, think?

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Lady M

posted June 12, 2009 at 1:05 am

So scary – thank god both of you came through ok, even if the um, putting-back-together was somewhat less than optimal. Jasper’s such a cutie – hope to see him again at BlogHer!

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Their Bad Mother

posted June 12, 2009 at 9:36 am

Lisa – Emilia does remember it, although she doesn’t remember that it was scary. I think because it wasn’t, for her – I was making every effort to not scream – tho’ I was yelling – and Kyle was making every effort to keep calm, and the nurses rushed her off to ‘help’ the second she spilled out of the car. So she remembers it as an adventure. Whether that memory will stick, who knows, but we’ll certainly always be talking about it 😉

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posted June 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm

I bet when he’s older, Jasper will love hearing this story told, and hearing his sister’s memories. Thanks so much for sharing!

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posted June 12, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Wow, finally a birth story that has some parallels to my very own.
I found your story through another link. Thanks for sharing. I’ve often thought I was a little crazy not realizing sooner “true” labor. My daughter came 4 weeks early and I had been on the phone during the evening with a triage nurse. However, after two “real” contractions my water broke and the baby started coming. 12 minutes to the hospital she was already coming out – feet first. I won’t go further but we were told later by medical staff that our situation was a worst case nightmare scenario. I’m so glad your’s turned out well!
I know the feeling of the body pushing baby out against all your strength and desire not to push. Definitely the worst situation to be in.

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posted June 12, 2009 at 8:08 pm

You know, it’s funny. Not your almost delivering along side the road, of course. But because we were concerned about such a thing with our last son. My husband, a Paramedic!, refused to deliver if such a thing should happen. Men.
Glad everything turned out okay in the end!

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posted April 24, 2010 at 5:38 am

Undoubtfully interesting article you have here. It would be nice to read more about this matter. Thnx for sharing this material.
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brunette girls

posted August 4, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Pretty cool blog you’ve got here. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read more soon.
Kate Benedict

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