|The Laughing Mom: humorous tales of motherhood|
|Written by Susan Pfaltzgraff|
Good things happen in the hallway
If you were in downtown Holyoke at the right time of the right day, you may have witnessed a few police cars escort a little Honda Civic through town at high speed. Let’s just call that the welcome wagon for the newest Pfaltzgraff.
I had a plan for this birth. I wanted to labor at home and go to the hospital just in time to push my baby out. I hired a doula, a woman to provide support throughout the labor and guide me in a natural birth. I had the loving support of my husband, the guidance of my doula and the medical oversight of my doctor. With all those pieces, I had faith it would be a natural and safe birth.
I woke up that morning at 8 a.m. and went about my normal routine. Roy was home from work because he was going to a prenatal appointment with me. (How serendipitous!) But I started feeling some regular contractions. I canceled the prenatal appointment so I could labor at home. But then I sat watching the clock, strongly doubting that it was real.
The contractions became slightly more intense by 11 a.m. I was almost convinced I was in labor. I called my doula and asked her to start driving my direction. Since she lives in the front range she needed early notice, which I honestly thought I was giving her.
I got up and cleaned the house to distract myself. As I became less able, Roy took over the job of chasing the toddler. I have a few pictures of them dancing together—Melise in a pink tutu and Roy in the matching princess hat.
At 2 p.m, I heard a “POP”—no, I felt it. And the water whooshed down my legs.
Roy said, “Honey, I think this is really labor!” I couldn’t appreciate his humor because I was being slammed with a very strong contraction.
Less than an hour later, I felt the first pushing contraction—but I was still at home! The doula had just made it to our house and was saying softly next to me, “It’s time to go to the hospital.”
In the car, I sat in a not-so-legal position for comfort. Roy called 911 to tell them that we didn’t think we’d make it to the hospital. About halfway there, we met the police escort. We breezed into Holyoke at speeds that I didn’t think my little Honda could do.
At the emergency entrance, we were met by nurses with a gurney. If I didn’t think I could sit in a car, I was sure that laying down on a gurney was not going to be comfortable. Much to their dismay, I told them I would walk.
Leaning on the gurney, they led me down the hallway at a shuffle, but we didn’t make it far before another contraction hit. I asked the doctor to examine the situation.
“I can see her head,” said the doctor, “You can push her out whenever you’re ready!” And I was. One contraction and one very hard push later, Alina Rene’e Pfaltzgraff entered this world.
And we were still standing in the hallway!
The doctor caught Alina behind me. With Alina attached to the umbilical cord and the cord attached to me, there was some confusion as to how to pass her to me. I felt like laughing as they passed her between my legs and into my arms!
It was a serendipitous birth. A beautiful, natural, everything-I-wanted birth...and a darn good story, too!