My Labor Was Just Like A Kooky Birth Scene From A Romantic Comedy — Unfortunately

went into laborI’d seen the movies. I’d heard the labor stories. You know what I’m talking about. The laboring wife calmly trying to get herself together to get to the hospital. Her husband – fumbling around unable to find her bag, tripping out the door, and in some cases leaving without her? Yeah. I always thought that was some kind of fantastic Hollywood comedic story line. Nope. It’s all true.

Men do lose their fucking minds when women give birth. But so does everyone else.

I had a very uneventful pregnancy. No sickness, no problems. I was trying to stall my mother from coming up to stay with us before the baby was born because we wanted the whole thing to be as low-stress as possible. The baby was a week late – and my mother just couldn’t wait any longer. She flew out, hoping her mere presence would make her grandchild emerge.

Since my mom was here, I decided to give my husband a break. We decided that my mom would take his place at the weekly check up. She was anxious to see the center where I would be giving birth anyway, and we wanted to time the cab ride over so we could be as prepared as possible.

The check up is going as usual. My mom is sizing up the birthing center. Everything is fine. My midwife is even joking with me about how easy my pregnancy has been. She pulls out the Doppler to listen to the baby’s heart rate because she always likes to “save the best for last.” All of a sudden, her face changes.

“You have to get to a hospital. Now. I can call an ambulance or we can just call a car service.”

What? I try not to panic, but apparently there has been an alarming drop in his heart rate. Since the hospital is so close to the birthing center, we opt for a car. Ambulances totally freak me out and I’m trying to stay calm.

The car arrives quickly and we get in. My mother is mumbling something about how much she hates my Russian midwife.

“She’s like a drill sergeant! She could be a little warmer, a little sympathetic, don’t you think?”

I snap back, “Mom, calm down. She’s being calm and professional. I like that.”

“Well, she wasn’t giving me any info-”

“Shut up, mom. Please?”

My mother has thus far distracted me from noticing that our driver is as old as God. He’s actually old enough to possibly be God, which should be comforting, I guess – but it’s not. He’s driving about 20 miles an hour. My mother forgets about the midwife she hates, and begins to yell at God. In Greek. A sto dialo! (This basically translates into ‘Go to hell’) My daughter is having a baby! Hurry up! Shit, can you hear me? Why are you driving so fucking slow? This is coming out of my 74-year old mother. God can’t hear us. He’s just driving along slowly and seeming to really be enjoying himself.

I’m trying to go to the “relaxation room” I learned about in my hypnobirthing class. I come to the conclusion that hypnobirthing is a crock of shit and God hates me. I’m also wondering if I can make it to the hospital without throwing my mother out of this cab.

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  • Véronique Houde

    OMG you should have shared this before!!! That is unfortunately hilarious… :S

  • HeatherK

    Oh no! I am glad it all worked out in the end. How did your husband eventually make it over? My husband calls my second delivery: my “TV” birth, because it was like something you would see on a sitcom. My water broke at home, making a mess everywhere. As soon as it broke my contractions started and in full force. We got stuck in traffic on the way to the hospital, and I was in so much pain that I was honking and cursing at everyone on the road. We, luckily, got to bypass triage and I was sent to my delivery room that had nurses that were older than God (in your terms). I have severe needle anxiety and passed out for a few minutes after one nurse’s 3rd attempt to put an IV in my wrist. I spent the next hour begging for my epidural, while the nurses (slowly) filled out paperwork. Luckily the next shift came in, and so did my anesthesiologist. Unfortunately, my epidural lasted all of 5 minutes before the pain returned. The nurses tried a few things, but nothing worked. Then, I insisted on getting up to use the bathroom and got in a fight with the nurses when they wouldn’t let me (for obvious reasons). My OB came in and I had gone from 3 to 10 cm in a half an hour. I was screaming at my husband who kept trying to tell me to relax and breathe (yeah right, my birth plan included one thing: epidural). I pushed my girl out in one contraction, two pushes. She came out silent as a ghost, my OB had to actually slap her bottom to get her to cry! Water break to delivery: 3 hour labor. My girl is now 2.5 and is still impatient and in a hurry for everything : )

    • Guerrilla Mom

      You were rewarded for all of that craziness with one contraction! Now I have something to aspire to for my daughter’s birth!

    • HeatherK

      Three words: “ring of fire”. I just wanted her out! I pushed so hard that I blew blood vessels in my face. I now recommend to people to learn natural laboring techniques, even if they plan on having an epidural.

    • StephKay

      Ugh, I so feel your pain. I had a really similar faster-than-planned first delivery. My epidural also failed when I had been relying so heavily on that option, and since then I’ve always maintained that if I had just KNOWN it would have been so much easier. If I were able to prepare for a natural delivery rather than spending half my labor repeatedly hitting that stupid button trying to make it work (fun fact, my epidural physically fell out of my back and I was in so much pain I didn’t notice that hitting the button was just squirting medication onto my pillow until she was finally born and I realized I was soaking wet). Unfortunately I managed to dilate super quickly with contractions that never got closer together and when they gave me pitocin to try and bring them together while pushing it ended up causing cluster contractions. So like four contractions back to back, then five solid minutes of nothing where I’d lose all my progress, so after a super quick labor I ended up pushing for an hour and a half. Yikes! I’m pregnant again, and I’m actually now on bed rest trying to stop my preterm labor (30 weeks this Saturday) so I’ve been having the opposite problem this time, long drawn out painless contractions making subtle changes over time, but I am SO conscious of the truth behind what you just said. It is super important to have coping techniques even if you plan on pain management. It’s simply horrible having your pain management fail and being stuck without the tools to make it through.

  • Ordinaryperson

    The day I went into labour with my second, I had been having mild contractions every 2 min all afternoon. My husband asks if I’d mind if he went for a run. I snapped at him: “why the fuck did you bother asking. You’re going to do whatever the fuck you want to anyway” So… he goes on his run, and comes home dying for air, lays on the floor and instantly creates a pool of sweat around him. Literally, sweat condensing into pools on my floor. I have never been so mad at anyone in my life. Afterward, he was like, I had no idea you were going into labour, and I was like, I was walking around and breathing heavily all day, what the fuck did you think was going on?

    • Oz

      Um. Did you actually tell him?

    • Ordinaryperson

      Um, no. Clearly this is a story about how fucking stupid and hormonal I was.

  • Jenna

    This is one of the best birth stories I’ve ever heard. :)

  • meteor_echo

    Holy crap. You couldn’t have picked a scarier photo if you tried. It’s like an STFU Parents overshare.

  • Arlene Ramirez

    I love This! beautiful :)

  • Lauren

    Maria, will you try the hypnobirthing again this time around? I’m 17 weeks and considering buying the hypnobabies home study kit for #2. Birth #1 was chock full of medical interventions, but vaginal in the end. Thanks for sharing the story. I would have lost it on my husband…

    • Guerrilla Mom

      I may try to pull from some of the things I learned, but frankly I just don’t think hypno-anything works for me. It won’t hurt you to try though!

  • BogusSue

    I don’t get how delivery by C-section can be called “giving birth”.