Quick & Easy Birth Story*: Herbie

*Actual results may vary.

Sunday morning while sitting in church, I started having random light contractions. I didn't really believe I was in labor, and wouldn't admit to myself that I might have Herbie soon, but before I climbed into bed that night, I packed a bag for the hospital (you know, to be prepared for the next week).

Woo and I stayed up late listening to Come Back and talking. Around 2:15AM I told Woo that I thought I was starting to have contractions, and that we should try to get some sleep. He fell asleep almost immediately.

At 2:30AM my water broke, and I woke Woo up (so much for his good nights sleep). I had painful contractions, but at least I was still able to sleep between them. Woo had to stay alert so he could rub a tennis ball on the small of my back at the flick of my finger.

At 5:30AM I had a contraction that made me cry out, and Woo said, "I think we should go to the hospital." I thought it was far too soon, but I wasn't really in the mood to argue, so I let him get everything in the car and then help me out.

In the car I suddenly had a strong urge to push, and I fought back. (I did not want to have Herbie in the car!)

I thought that I had prepared Woo for the drive to the hospital by saying, "That's the exit!" every time we drove past the hospital for months and specifically pointing out each and every turn on our way to the hospital tour a couple of weeks before B-day.

But in the heat of the moment, it turned out that Woo could drive really fast, and also had absolutely no idea of how to actually get to the hospital. So in between pushing contractions and working really hard to keep the baby in, I had to give directions and point out exits before he sped past them.

We got to triage at 5:55AM. I immediately said, "I'm pushing," to the nurses at the desk, and they ...

completely ignored me.

(Something about my monotone voice and stoicism didn't convince them that I knew what I was talking about). They looked straight to Woo to get check-in information, and I sat in an armchair, as I could see that they'd failed to see the immediacy of the situation.

Before too long, I had a contraction that was so powerful it was pushing Herbie out against my will. I was powerless to stop it. My unrestrained grunting finally got some attention, and a nurse ran over to lead me to a delivery room across the hall.

I looked at her with disbelief, "I. can't. walk."

I was positive Herbie would fall to the floor, if I stood up. She grabbed a wheel chair and wheeled me into the nearest room in seconds.

I climbed onto the bed, hiked up my dress (Sunday, remember), gave 3 roaring pushes in quick succession, and he was out.  Many women would describe feeling a "ring of fire" during that.  What I felt was more akin to a torpedo tearing it's way out of my body.

Pushing = worst part of labor. hands down. (for me).

He  was born at 5:58AM.

Woo cut the cord, and I nursed Herbie immediately.

We were the talk of the floor. A woman who no one even thought was in labor (not that they'd even tried to see) had a baby 3 minutes later.

That was the last time we went to the hospital to have a baby.

Happy Birthday, Herbie!