A Third Baby Birth Story; That Wild Car{d} Birth

Up until now I have yet to share the kids birth stories. While each one has had a unique entrance to the world there hasn’t been anything all to exciting to share. This all being said until Ryerson was born. Having spoken to many friends with three plus babies prior to his birth, it became apparent that no matter how your previous labors go that third one is going to be a wild card. Well in true third baby form he followed suit and made a wild car{d} entrance to the world, a birth story most definitely worth sharing.

To give you a little background on my previous labors, Hazel was 10 hours start to finish after my water started leaking at night.  Everett followed the second baby rule and was exactly half that time at 5 hours start to finish and out within minutes of my water being broken in the hospital. Now before we go any further I will forewarn you I will be going into a tad bit of detail, I will talk about my gina as Hazel calls it and there might be a few F-bombs dropped. Alright now that we have that information out of the way on to my birth story.

Ryerson’s Birth Story

His birth story starts the afternoon of my 39 week doctors appointment.  I was 39 weeks on the dot and hoping that when my doctor checked me and gave me a good sweep I would be well on my way to dilating and labor would be imitate. HA! Now to my excitement I was already 2-3 centimetres dilated but we all know we can linger there for weeeeeks, so that wasn’t overly exciting. Add in that my cervix was still posterior it didn’t sound like we were ready to go anywhere that day. But in true fashion my doctor said “Maybe I’ll see you tonight.” A line that worked with Hazel but didn’t work the 2 times he said it with Everett. We both laughed and joked that maybe we would end up 2/3 and things would progress. Feeling slightly hopefull I grabbed some drive thru donuts with the kids and headed home.

Ev got home from work mid afternoon that day which also had me hoping that labor would start early. One of my biggest fears was that he wouldn’t be home when my labor started and I would have to drive and meet him part way to the hospital or wait until he got home. Now any given day he could be working about 3 hours away from home so that was not going to be ideal if it should happen. It was like intuition was riding high that day because not only was Ev home from work early but his mom decided to give us a call before dinner to check in. You see she had been traveling around with her packed suitcase for the last few weeks and was eagerly awaiting that phone call that said we need you out here stat. At the time of the phone call I was feeling a bit off and thought I was feeling the rumblings of contractions but you know what they say with those third babies and false labor. We didn’t want to risk her driving out to see us to just go home again so we said we would call her after dinner if anything picked up.

Well, I got to making dinner and things started to pick up but was not at the point of any worry and I was so focused on cooking that I said I would start timing my contractions after dinner. We sat down to eat and I kept thinking to myself this could be it, this really could be our last meal as a family of four. Well after dinner Ev took the kids upstairs to get ready for bed and I cleaned up the kitchen and then made my way upstairs to our room to start timing my contractions. After a few minutes it was apparent they were consistent, 3-5 minutes apart and 40 seconds long, so still in the early stages and nothing terribly uncomfortable. Well Ev called his mom back and told her to start heading out our way.  We wanted to be sure we had plenty of time when it was go time as we had a bit of a drive ahead of us.

As most of you know we moved in late 2016, out to Chilliwack. When we moved I decided it would be best to keep our family doctor who practises in Langley. Given that we don’t go to the doctor very often and doctors are nearly impossible to find this made the most sense to me. So when things did get moving we had about a 45 minute drive ahead of us which is why we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to make it to the hospital. Also another fear of mine….not making it to the hospital.

Well just about two hours later Ev’s mom showed up and we started packing up to go. My contractions had become slightly stronger but were still the same 3-5 minutes apart and 40 seconds long. I peeked into the kids room one last time, thinking there was a good chance they were going to have a little brother in the morning and then off we went. Once we started driving towards the hospital I made the call to let them know we were on our way and that we would be there in about 40 minutes. I gave them a quick run down on my last labors and then hung up the phone. Well a few minutes later I received a call back from a slightly worried triage nurse. She was worried that with the bad road conditions, it had snowed a bit in Langley, and my previous labor we should probably go to Chilliwack or Abbotsford if labor was imitate. I laughed and said no I’m still good, we will definitely make it.

As we arrived late in the night the regular desk was closed at the hospital and we had to enter through the emergency. We quickly “checked in” and then headed upstairs to the maternity ward. We stepped off the elevator laughing and were quickly greeted by a nurse who was awaiting our arrival. She took us to a room, collected my paper work and told me to strip down so she could check me and see how far I had progressed. I was still contracting at the same intervals at this time and all the while we kept telling jokes and laughing. To my disappointment I was still only 2-3 centimetres dilated and my cervix was still posterior. The nurse left to give my doctor a call. Again the fear of wasting a whole bunch of peoples time waved over me and that this really could be false labor, even though the consistency was saying it wasn’t. The nurse came back and laid out the plan to us. They wanted us to stay until 2am (it was midnight) at that point they would check me again and see how I was progressing. If I was progressing we would start to prepare for delivery if I wasn’t we had two options.

Option #1. Spend the night because the roads were bad but we wouldn’t be looked after and in the morning we had to leave.

Option #2. We could go home.

The nurse left and I put my clothes back on and went and curled up with Ev on the couch they have for significant others. Yes, I could have started walking the halls to get labor going but it was late and I was tired and wanted to save my energy for the big show. With Hazel I laboured overnight and when it came time to push I was so tired, I just didn’t want that to happen again.

Well 2 am rolled around and another nurse came in to check on me. Again I struggled to pull off my jeans, eventually succeeding and hopped up onto the bed and let my legs flop. And once again to my disappointment I was still only 3cms dilated. I wanted to start crying. Having felt that I wasted everyones time, we opted for option number 2, to go home as I just wanted to curl up in the comfort of my bed and hope that in the morning things would pick up.

As we made our way home I kept timing my contractions. They felt a little stronger but at the same time were still 3-5 minutes and 40 seconds long. Everytime we came near an off ramp Ev would look over and say “should we keep going? or we are at the half way mark now. Ok this is the last one, if we go past we are going home.” And that we did, we continued on home.

Once home we got ready to set up camp in the basement as my mother in law was upstairs in our room. I snuck upstairs to grab some fresh pjs as I didn’t want to disturb my hospital bag. Little did I know that my mother in law and I would both collide in the hallway and scare the sh!t out of each other. Or perhaps even kick my labor into high gear?!

At this point I was too uncomfortable to lie down, as I find it makes my contractions 100x stronger. So I told Ev to get some rest and made my way into the living room with a glass of ice water. That wasn’t doing the trick for me so I headed into the powder room with my glass of water and used our window ledge to lean on. Leaning over something while labouring has been something I’ve found comforting all three times and oddly enough I generally spend 90% of my labouring in a washroom, go figure. I also like it to be absolutely frigid and I do not like anyone touching me. You know that labouring class where they tell your partner to take a tennis ball to your back? Yea, don’t even bother coming near me. Anyways at this point things are really picking up and my body decide that now is the time to rid itself of everythaaang. Sorry if its TMI but I forewarned you. As soon as I can pull myself together I stumble out of the powder room to the stairs and yell down for Ev. “We need to go, and we need to go now.”He comes up stairs in a hurry and we both fumble to get dressed. After watching me fumble with my jeans for what seems like forever he says “I think sweat pants might be a better option at this point.” I agree and he helps me into them and we make our way out the door.

We are now headed down the road to the highway and the contractions are ripping through my body. I am doing my best to sit comfortably in the car and also trying not to grunt too loudly. As we go over the over pass and start merging onto the highway, Ev looks over at me and says “are we doing this? Are we going to Langley?”  Just then a massive contraction rips through my body, causing me to grab onto the oh shit handles as my husband calls them and all I can do is nod. He looks back at me, nods as if to say challenge accepted and puts his foot down. As we start making our way down the highway my contractions are continuing to rip through my body. This time with such great force that I am trying to comprehend what it is actually happening. As I do this  we pass another exit to Chilliwack and then another exit to Chilliwack. As we are nearing the third and final exit for Chilliwack before we head into Abbotsford I realize that my contractions are so painful because my body is actually starting to push and I shout out “GET OFF THE HIGHWAY NOW. GO TO CHILLIWACK.” With out skipping a beat Ev hits the off ramp and this is where the fun begins….

Ryerson’s Birth Story. The Day I delivered my baby in my car.

As we come down off the overpass Ev says that he will just turn around and get back onto the highway to head to the hospital. I told him no need as this road will take us straight there. The only problem being its dark, the roads are icy and I am not 100% with it as I am contracting hard. We continue on and I tell him to turn down the road that I thought led to the hospital, turns out I was one street ahead of myself, oops, but thankfully it loops back to the road we were on so Ev continues on. As we come around the corner and start heading back another contraction rips through my body, simultaneously my water literally explodes in my pants. Now having had my water leak and my water broken for me this was next level. I look over at Ev and say “My water just exploded in my pants.” He has that look of holy sh!t on his face and knowing that Everett came within in minutes we both know our time is numbered. Again without skipping a beat he says “call 911”. Once again I fumble, my body is so out of joint I struggle to unlock my phone and dial 911, completely forgetting to swipe right.

“911, Police, Fire, or Ambulance?”

“Ambulance, we are in the car, I’m in labor and my water just broke.” And so the conversation starts as to where our location is all while Ev is still continuing to drive. We make a left back onto the original street, Ev’s plan is to hit the highway and continue to make our way to the hospital, he is determined to get us there before the baby comes. No sooner do we make our left turn than we hear the all to familiar sounds of “Ding, ding, ding” and look ahead to see the rail arms coming down on the tracks in front of us. In front of the highway. I look over at Ev as he’s casually driving the car towards the centre of the road and say “don’t even think about it.” Now here we are stopped in the middle of the road, stuck behind a train, with 911 on the phone and I am in the middle of labouring!! All signs have pointed to us going nowhere and we admit defeat and turn and pull into the gas station parking lot behind us.

I repeat THE GAS STATION PARKING LOT.

Ryerson’s Birth Story. The Day I delivered my baby in my car.

At this point the dispatch operator says to us:

“Alright, I need you to prepare to deliver the baby in your car.” 

You remember one of my fears? Not making it to the hospital? Yea that one. We weren’t making it to the hospital. Instead we were listening to a dispatch operator instruct us on how to deliver our baby in our car, in the middle of February in minus 2 degree weather. Thankfully this wasn’t our first rodeo and we were both running on adrenaline and just thinking we had a job to do and to get it done.

And so he goes on to say “I’m going to need you to gather a few things for the delivery. A blanket, a towel, a shoe lace and a safety pin.”

And I think we both replied “Are you kidding me? We are in our f*cking car!!”

Now we all know that this dispatch operator (who I’m sure is an awesome person) is just reading off a checklist probably labeled, How to Deliver a Baby in a Car, goes on to say “Ma’am, I need you to take off your pants and reach down and see if you can feel the head.”

And again I fumble. I can’t get my pants off. Thankfully my husband is an expert at this 😉 and reaches over and rips them off. Without hesitation I reach down and “Oh my, that’s a head all right.” It is literally right there. This baby is practically hanging out of my vagina!! And did I mention I am in the passenger seat of my car?!

Now he instructs me to tilt my seat back to ease with the delivery. Again I fumble. Ev comes around and opens my door and leans me back a bit. Before he goes anywhere I ask him to remove all my personal belonging out of the front of the car. My purse, jacket and shoes are all right there and heaven forbid any of them get bodily fluids on them. It’s funny what your priorities are right? I then instruct him to close the door and not come near it again as its freezing out there and I have no pants on. He then goes about his scavenger hunt and starts digging through his bags for a towel, blanket and anything that resembles a safety pin before retreating to the front seat. Once back in the seat he starts throwing random towels at me which I put under my butt to absorb some of the bodily fluids that might make their way onto the seat.

And then the dispatcher says “I need you to reach down and put pressure on your vagina so you don’t tear as the baby comes out.”

Say What?!?!

Did I mention that I am in my car? Clearly tearing is not at the top of my priority list right now. And then it hits me and I say “Here comes the sting.”  The babies head is crowning.

And then he says it again “Reach down and put pressure on your vagina so you don’t tear as the baby comes out.” Clearly this guy has never delivered a baby, let alone delivered a baby in the front seat of a compact car! Tearing is not my worry right now, all I can think about is how I am getting this baby out on my own while leaning back. In the past I’ve always had a nurse and Ev on either side, a doctor to guide the baby out and a bed to hold on to. This time I have none of that. How on earth am I supposed to do the work of four people is all I can think of. Then the light bulb comes on, I need to be on my feet. I somehow manage to get myself up onto my feet in almost a squatting position on the seat with my back parallel to the roof of the car. Within in seconds I proclaim

“I have the head. I have the head”

I look over at Ev in the driver seat as he is still pulling the shoelace out of his shoe and once again he has that holy sh!t look on his face. And now the next challenge “how am I getting the shoulders out?” I say. But before the dispatcher can even answer that I slightly turn the baby and gently guide him out and instantly collapse back into the seat. The dispatcher quickly tells us to check the umbilical cord and I give him a quick once over and say we are good and at the same moment he lets out a loud and healthy cry. All three of us let out a huge sigh of relief and Ev quickly passed me a blanket, a throw blanket from our couch that he intended to use to sleep with so we can wrap the baby up and keep him warm.

Ryerson’s Birth Story. The Day I delivered my baby in my car.

Seconds later we see the glow of the ambulance lights and Ev hops out of the car to guide them towards us as we parked in the far corner of the gas station lot, far, far away from any prying eyes. Hearing that help has arrived the dispatcher says good bye and we hang up. I now have my phone in my hand and I am not sure what came over me but something told me that this would be an excellent time to take a selfie. I know right? Who does that. Well apparently I did and just as I was mid selfie there was a knock on my window. The attending paramedic opens my door and I look up and say “sorry was just taking a selfie.” The look of relief and the chuckle from the paramedic was priceless. Probably not what he was expecting and not the last time I was going to do something he wasn’t prepared for over the next couple of minutes.

I quickly unwrap the baby from the blanket and pass him over to the paramedic so he can wrap him up in warm towels. As he takes the baby from me I say to him not to go very far because we are still very much attached, as my placenta hadn’t been delivered yet. As I say that I look down and say “Oh never mind” and I reach down picking up my placenta with my bear hands and place it in a towel and hand it over to him. Once again the look on the paramedics face was priceless. In hindsight now I probably should have let him pick it up because it took me two days to get all the blood out from my nails.

Ryerson’s Birth Story. The Day I delivered my baby in my car.

Now that baby is warmly bundled up in the back of the ambulance I have to make my way there as well. Having just given birth in the front seat of my car, in a gas station parking lot of all places, all decency has been thrown out the window. I climb out of the car, bare ass in -2 degree weather (so thankful we don’t live back east) and walk across a carpet of towels that was laid out over the gravel (thank you paramedics) and hop onto an awaiting stretcher where I am quickly bundled up and loaded into the ambulance as well. From there we are taken to our local hospital, while Ev follows behind in the car.  As baby and I are wheeled into the hospital through the emergency room doors Ev walks through the doors as well and the first thing out of my mouth is “Have you cleaned the car yet?”  Priorities people, priorities!!

We are then wheeled upstairs into the last delivery room available for your normal post delivery care. Once again I have to leave all decency behind and hop from the stretcher to the bed.  As we settled in and the doctor was busy looking me over I pushed Ev to go clean his car. There wasn’t much for him to do but stand there so it was the perfect time. Also I had to ride home on that seat, I didn’t want anything left on it, haha.

Ryerson’s Birth Story. The Day I delivered my baby in my car.

While we might have had a slightly unusual delivery and aside from needing  a little warming up everything else was normal. It took a bit for Ryerson to settle when they were trying to warm him up and I pushed for them to bring him to me and layer him with warm blankets instead of using the warmer. Sometimes a mothers instinct, smell and heartbeat are the best as he settled right away and his temperature came up to normal quite quickly with a little skin to skin.

At the end of the day both us were happy and healthy and that’s all that really mattered. We were so in the moment when everything happened, that we never had a chance to pause and think about any number of the things that could have gone wrong. We are just beyond grateful that aside from the car it was a textbook delivery. As well as the amazing support and help we received from the dispatch operator, attending paramedics and staff at Chilliwack General Hospital. Not to mention that Apple geotags every picture so the location of my selfie, Ryerson’s first picture, will never ever be forgotten.

Ryerson’s Birth Story. The Day I delivered my baby in my car.

Xo. Andria

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32 thoughts on “A Third Baby Birth Story; That Wild Car{d} Birth

    • April 16, 2018 at 6:42 am
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      Pretty much the best way to sum it up, lol! <3

      Reply
  • April 15, 2018 at 9:14 pm
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    Wow, what an amazing story!! So thankful you both were fine!!! Ryerson had a spectacular entrance into the world and will surely make his mark!! I’m curious what the older two thought about the baby arriving on the way to the hospital. I’m sure this experience must have really bonded you and your hubby in a special way. God bless your family!!

    Reply
    • April 16, 2018 at 6:42 am
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      Thankyou! Thankfully they were fast asleep at home with gramma, but once they found out I had a ride in an ambulance they were pretty excited 🙂

      Reply
  • April 15, 2018 at 9:47 pm
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    You. Are. Amazing!!! This is incredible!!! Well done!!

    Reply
    • April 16, 2018 at 6:43 am
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      Thankyou!

      Reply
  • April 16, 2018 at 9:00 am
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    Wow! This is an incredible story! I cannot believe you had your baby in your car! This story will be retold for years!

    Reply
  • April 16, 2018 at 7:45 pm
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    This is amazing!!!!!! I am so glad you had a safe delivery!

    Reply
  • April 16, 2018 at 8:16 pm
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    Oh My Goodness girl! I have never read anything so crazy. YOU ARE A GODDESS!!!!!!!!!! Way to go!

    Reply
  • April 17, 2018 at 9:41 am
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    Oh. my. goodness!! I was absolutely glued to my laptop screen – what an amazing birth story! Not making it to the hospital has always been my worst fear too. I’m so glad everything turned out so well!! (P.S. I was cracking up at the selfie! That is something I’d do!)

    Reply
  • April 17, 2018 at 12:38 pm
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    Wow. Just wow. You are amazing! That is an incredible story. Isn’t it amazing what us women are capable of doing?!

    Reply
  • April 17, 2018 at 6:43 pm
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    GIRL! This is such an amazing story! First of all, I LOVE birth stories (I’ve documented both of mine); but also, I’m pregnant with baby number 3 and STILL terrified of the unexpected. I’m literally crying for you right now because this story is SO amazing.

    Reply
  • April 17, 2018 at 7:46 pm
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    WHOA! What an incredible story. And what an awesome selfie! So glad everyone was healthy

    Reply
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  • April 18, 2018 at 7:57 pm
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    I know I already said holy f*ck but holy F*CK!!!! I’m so glad you got that selfie. Seriously. Amazing picture. I still haven’t picked my jaw up off the floor.
    This was so well written too.
    I just can’t even imagine.

    Reply
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  • May 1, 2018 at 9:45 am
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    O my fricken goodness Andria!!!! You are super woman! This is something straight out of a movie.

    Reply
  • May 24, 2018 at 12:43 am
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    I actually read your birth story when you first posted it and you are incredibly brave and I really hope I make it to the hospital for baby number 3 for us LOL

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  • May 24, 2018 at 1:00 pm
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    Love the selfie! So glad everyone was safe.

    Reply
  • May 24, 2018 at 7:47 pm
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    HOLY CRAPPERS GIRL!! I am pregnant with my third and not going to lie this has me a little freaked out lol. you think of ya i have done this twice before I got this…but with some time between my last daughter and this one (almost 4 years) I am actually a little freaked out and the whole “when is she going to come”? “is she gonna come early”? “will i make it to the hospital”? “will i know when its time”? so many questions and no answers till the time comes. But man what a story and memory you get to look back on and share

    Reply
  • May 24, 2018 at 8:05 pm
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    Love this story!! Thank you for sharing such a surreal and amazing time for you guys! My dad was born in the front seat of the car too! So crazy. My 4th was my wild card one.

    Reply
  • May 27, 2018 at 9:14 am
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    You are amazing! I just had my first baby March 12th via emergency csection after 3 hours of pushing! I thought that was tough; but I honestly couldn’t imagine having the strength you did when giving birth to your beautiful baby boy, Ryerson! Love your birth stories.

    Reply
  • May 27, 2018 at 4:04 pm
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    What a crazy story! Congratulations on your third! #threeisthenewtwo 🙂

    Reply
  • May 29, 2018 at 10:51 am
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    Wow thats amazing.. so well written as well. Congrats on your new one !

    Reply
  • May 29, 2018 at 8:34 pm
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    Fantastic story! I often skip reading birth stories because (as wonderful as each birth was) they all sort of sound the same but yours is too good! Now that this fear of not making it to the hospital has happened and you didn’t just get through it but rocked it, you can know that you can do anything, eh? Congratulations!!! Oh, and also, you look amazing in your selfie having laboured like that and given birth in a car! That will definitely be a treasured photo for your family and you!!

    Reply
  • May 29, 2018 at 9:29 pm
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    Crazy story! I was so scared this was going to happen with my second! She ended up taking her time though!

    Reply
  • May 30, 2018 at 1:40 am
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    I think this is everyone’s biggest fear, not making it to the hospital! With my second, she was born about 15 minutes after getting to our room. I always think what would have happened if we didn’t leave when we did or if we got stuck behind a train haha!

    Reply
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