Please don't have your baby in my van!

This is the story of my fastest birth I’ve attended as a doula.  (Not the fastest from me arriving to baby being born, but the fastest birthing time for mom from first pressure wave to birth of baby)

Midnight:  J. wakes up to use the bathroom.  She notices she is having pressure waves.  They get more intense and she alerts D. around 12:30.

12:45 D. calls me.  He said she was having pressure waves every 3 minutes lasting 45 seconds.

I asked “Do you want me to meet you at the hospital or have me come to your house.”  As they had also just let the babysitter know and it would take awhile for her to get there, he replied, “Come to our house.”

(J’s first birth was over 30 hours, so he felt they had plenty of time.)

1:20 I got to their house.  J was in bed, her water broke as I got there and she was having intense pressure waves.

We helped her get to the bathroom around 1:45 and she stayed there for awhile.

2:00 she was still on the toilet and she felt pushy during a pressure wave.   I let D know it was time to head out!  It took us about 10 minutes to get J downstairs.

2:10 We were still waiting for the babysitter, so I told D he and J could head out and I would meet them there after the babysitter came.

He headed out to put the last bag in the car and ran back in and said,

“The car has been stolen!”

He had pulled his car up to their condo earlier and loaded it while I was helping J on the toilet.  Now it was GONE!

I focused on J as D called 911.  She was very calm and just working through her pressure waves.  The intense pushy feeling had faded.  So I wasn’t too concerned.

2:20 In the midst of this, the babysitter arrived.  D discovered the car had been towed, not stolen.  He went to get my van and pull it up.

2:25 We helped get J into my van.  On the walk out the intense pushiness returned.   She lives only 5 minutes from the hospital, they didn’t want an ambulance, so I figured lets go for it.

I ask D if he has called the OB, he hasn’t yet and can’t find his number.  I say, call the hospital.  Tell them we have a pushy mom.

2:30 We pull up to the ER.  We grab a wheel chair and run in.

I am ready to run her straight up stairs (via the elevator of course), but they said we HAD to go to the ER to make sure the baby wasn’t going to fall out in the elevator.

I said, “We have time to run upstairs.”

Staff asks the mom, “Are you pushing?”


So they wheeled her into the ER and got her onto this skinny gurney.  They wanted to put an IV in.

I said, “If you have time to put an IV in, we have time to get her upstairs.”   “Good point.” the nurse says as she puts in the saline lock.

There were bright lights and about 10 people.  A random doctor checked J and said, “The baby is right there.”

She didn’t have a pressure wave for awhile.  I said, “I think she wants to be in a different environment.”

The doctor says, “It does look like things are slowing down.  Let’s wait for the OB to get down here and he can decide.”

The OB shows up and ALSO checks J.  He says, “The baby is right there, but if she wants to go upstairs, we can.”

J nods “YES!”

So we go upstairs.   D asks me as we are rushing through the hall if she has time to get an epidural.

I said, “She is doing great and no there is no time!”

2:37 We got upstairs and J onto the bed.

The nurse starts setting up the stirrups and I say she doesn’t want them. (something we talked about in prenatal appointments)

J pushes side lying gets baby almost out, but she doesn’t open wide enough to let the baby crown.  (Part of this is, no one is helping her hold her leg up, I try to move to the other side so I can hold her leg up and I can’t get through.)

The nurse tries to force her into stirrups.  I keep suggesting hands and knees, because J is saying she has a leg cramp and can’t open her legs.  It is nearly impossible for her to open her leg like that.  But they insist on the stupid stirrups and after a few minutes they get her in them.

She then pushes the baby to crowning.

2:50 The next push the baby is born.

Baby is put onto J and they get to know each other.   There is no camera as it is in the towed car.  I pull my iPhone out and take a few pictures.

The excitement level drops down and baby is doing well, J is bleeding a bit and the OB orders a shot of pitocin.

The nurse goes to do give the shot without any explanation, I say, “Can you explain to J what you are going to do?”  The nurse looks surprised and then takes 10 seconds to explain it.  J says, “Ok, that is fine and please don’t do anything without telling me first!”

(This was one thing we had talked about a lot during prenatals.  She felt at her first birth so many things were done TO her without any explanation, so I knew that it was important for her to know what they were doing.)

So this birth was less than 1/10th of her first birth.  Under 3 hours. The staff seemed a little bugged we came in so late.  Once they heard the story of the car being towed and that her pressure waves had started only at midnight, then they were more amazed then upset.

I also think had they let us go straight up to L&D and let her push on her hands and knees the baby probably would have been born about 10 minutes sooner.    Or if she had a homebirth maybe even 20 minutes sooner.

It was pretty intense and not quite what J had been expecting, but it was a positive experience overall.  I am just glad she didn’t have the baby in MY van.

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7 thoughts on “Please don't have your baby in my van!”

  1. Whoa! All of that is amazing! And the part about the car being towed…oh my gosh. If the tow-truck driver only knew!

  2. The tow truck driver wasn’t sympathetic when they called after to get the car. Said he hears that excuse all the time. We brought papers to prove it when I dropped Dad off on my way home. He still didn’t care.

  3. Isn’t is funny how the staff at the hospital is so stuck on their routines?! A similar thing happened to me with my first- we are also only 5 minutes from the hospital and I was pushing when we got there (felt the contractions about 4 hours before but they were so mild that According to the Books I wasn’t really in labor…hahahaha) and although they didn’t try to get an iv in, they did try to weigh me! I mean, seriously. they rolled me up to the scale in front of the room and I said, “I can’t get up there! I have to push!” Cue them hurriedly calling the doctor, although I didn’t let him catch 🙂
    It’s awesome that she had such a fast birth after a long one the first time!

  4. Wow, what a story!

    The very first birth I attended as a doula was *two hours* from the first contraction to the birth of the baby. Obviously, it was intense for the mama, but it was pretty intense for a newbie doula as well! 🙂

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