I should have been afraid. I should have been terrified. I was giving birth on the driveway in the middle of the night! Talk about a worst case scenario!
I woke up 40 minutes earlier because I, for the fifth time that night, had to pee. As I crawled back into bed I felt like I had to go again. As all who have been there know, the shifting of these mini humans in our bellies and on our bladders frequently causes multiple trips right in a row. After this last trip I started to feel a little off and uncomfortable in a whole new way. Crap, I think I’m in labor! I woke my husband up, “Call my brother, I’m in labor, we gotta go”. He groggily sits up, “Are you sure?” Yes, I’ve done this before, I’m sure. I start frantically packing a bag since we were seven weeks early and did not anticipate this happening. In between intense contractions, my husband is calling my brother to come watch our two boys (thankfully still sleeping in the next room), calling our parents, his boss, and finally our doctor. We were packed and ready to go, in an impressive 10 minutes, and talked to our doctor while waiting (in between bathroom trips) for my brother to get to the house. I’m pretty sure she thought I was a crazy person and absolutely not in labor since I had just been to her office the day before with no pre-labor indications.
I guess I should clarify the need for all the rushing. Our first child was born approximately 20 minutes after we arrived at the hospital and we did not dilly-dally at home beforehand. All in all from my first ‘is this a contraction?’ contraction to his birth, my labor might have lasted two hours. Our second child was born within two hours of my water breaking, less than an hour after my first contraction. So, needless to say we were pretty convinced this could go quickly.
As we saw my brother parking his car we started walking out to our van while I was allegedly yelling, “Ow, ow, ow, ow” very loudly. From the house to the van my contractions got even more intense. My husband got in the van, I opened my door and stopped. I could not bend my body to get in, no matter which angle or how many times I tried. My husband was trying as calmly as possible to coax me into the van, “We’re only five minutes from the hospital honey, just get in, come on!” Un uh, that wasn’t happening. He finally asks, “Well do you want me to call 9-1-1?” I’m pretty sure I snapped at that suggestion, of course I should be able to make a five minute drive! Just then I could feel a transition happening in my body. “Yes, call 9-1-1!” I tell him. He was immediately on the phone and my brother comes out of the house wondering why in the world we haven’t left yet and “Are you okay cause you’re yelling really loudly?” As my husband relayed the situation to the operator, our first daughter decided to make her entrance. I yelled out, “She’s coming RIGHT. NOW!” I dropped my pants and start to sit down on the curb of our driveway while my husband ran around the van. He arrived there just in time and literally caught her as she hit the ground (I really should’ve thought to do that).
My husband handed her off to my brother while he searched for the phone he threw in the myrtle while playing catch with his child. Emergency crews were on their way and the operator sent my husband on a scavenger hunt to get some supplies in the house. My brother and I sat there as calmly as we could cracking jokes while we waited, because really what else can we do? After what seems like an eternity, (but was only about 10 minutes in reality) the emergency crews and ambulances show up to take over and daughter #2 made her appearance.
It’s a great story, it really is and I can’t wait to tell our girls when they are older. Our story made the front page of our local newspaper and we were interviewed by a TV station located about an hour away. The story spread like wildfire in our area. We had friends contact us that heard about it in their town three hours across the state. The internet is quite the crazy phenomenon; we often joked that we were going to make it all the way to the Ellen show! My brother, my husband, and I love telling the story to new people. Watching their jaws drop is quite amusing. But it’s only a great tale because everything had a happy ending. In the end the most damage incurred was the dirt the nurses had to clean off our daughter’s head and between her toes. We are well aware that we are so very very lucky that this is our story. So many things could have gone differently and truly by the grace of God they didn’t. Someone was looking out for us that night and we couldn’t be more thankful because of it.
Heather Hayner is a happily married, full-time working mom of four including a surprise set of identical twin girls. In her former life she was a lover of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, traveling, live music and book reading. She is now just happy to get dishes done before bedtime.
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