Dylan's birth can be summarized as: "Well, that was unexpected!". It was a romantic-comedy-style, crazy-women-in-labor barely making it to the hospital scenario.
We wouldn't quite believe the sequence of events ourselves if we didn't have the phone call logs to show exactly how fast things happened.
4:00 am: I wake up with my normal middle-of-the-night pre-labor, I don't think anything of it.
4:30 am: My water breaks movie-scene style, huge gush of water all over my kitchen floor. This almost never happens to people in 'real life'. Never say never. I clean the floor and then shower.
5:00 am: I wake Alex up and fill him in; tell him he better shower and get dressed. I time a few contractions, which are getting stronger, and realize we may need to start hurrying.
Lindsey: It's baby day =)
5:15 am: We call the midwife, doula, and our friends who will be watching the girls and let them all know that it's baby time and we'll be needing them soon.
*** Contractions hit the 'oh sh!t' level of intensity and frequency, completely unexpectedly. ***
5:20 am: We call everyone back and let them know that by 'needing them soon' we really meant 'immediately'. By 'we', I mean 'Alex', because I can only get a few sentences out between contractions.
5:20 am - 5:50 am: We get the girls up, semi-dressed, and in the car. I do my best not to panic them.
5:50 am: Our doula arrives. I get in the back of her car (seats folded down) on all fours to try and keep baby up & in. Alex drives the girls and the doula & I follow (we're leaving our car w/ our friends so they have enough car seats).
6:05 am: Alex more or less throws the girls into our friends' arms, who graciously come out to the street to meet us. Alex gets in the car and we proceed directly to the hospital.
Doula: Sounds like you might be 50% done by the time we get there.
Lindsey: I'm delivering this baby as soon as I get out of the car.
6:15 am: We make it to the hospital. More accurately, we make it to the emergency room where I land on the floor, on all fours, and proceed to put on a wonderful show for the group in the waiting room.
Lindsey: Sorry, folks! (to the half dozen people in the emergency waiting room, trying desperately to not look shocked or stare at me).
Alex: (pretty calmly) My wife is in labor. We called ahead and the midwife knows we're coming. We need to get her up to the maternity ward immediately.
Bored ER Receptionist: Oh, okay. Well, where's your wife?
Alex steps to the side so she could see me behind him.
She panics - hits a button. People come flying in from every direction. I didn't know ER receptionist have a panic button. It makes sense. Of course, this wasn't actually an emergency. So, people started to 'freak out' for no reason.
OB: You don't want to give birth on this floor, it's dirty.
Lindsey: Worse things have happened.
OB: Really, it's not very clean.
Lindsey: Seriously, worse things have happened.
The OB and some nurses try to get me to sit in a wheel chair - not happening. I compromise with agreeing to kneel in the chair, facing backwards, while they navigate me to the maternity ward. One or two innocent bystanders may have been injured in this process =)
Nurse: The maternity ward never seemed so far away before! (as they're rushing me down the hall)
6:20 am: We make it to the room, somehow, and I make it onto the bed, still kneeling.
The OB and nurses are a bit hysterical, trying to get me to change position, not 'push', etc... I basically tell them to back off, I'm having a baby.
6:25 am: The midwife gets there, yay!, clears out the room and calms the remaining nurses down so we can get the job done.
6:30 am: Dylan arrives!
So, that was interesting. Thank goodness this happened on my third birth and not my first or even second. If I had been less 'experienced' I'm sure I would have been panicking. Fortunately, I knew that while what I was going through was crazy-intense, it was going normally and nothing was wrong. More then once I thought to myself, "Well, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if I delivered him here" (home/car/hospital hallway) instead of in the delivery room.
THANK YOU to our support people: We're very fortunate to have had a great team of support people in place who made it possible for us to get to the hospital! We cannot say THANK YOU enough to our doula and friends for keeping this crazy scenario as low stress as possible.
Our friends received the girls with little-to-no warning and kept them wonderfully entertained and happy all day long.
The doula was calm and collected. She didn't show any signs of alarm that someone she hardly knew was very likely about to give birth in the back of her car.
Our midwife was amazing also. She instantly lowered the emotional temperature of the room so Dylan could arrive in as calm a manner as possible, given the scenario.
An Added Note on Luck: We're fortunate twice over in the friend and doula departments. Murphy's Law seemed to be in play, since that was the one night we were on 'back-ups' for both our doula and friends to watch the girls. Our planned doula was recovering from a long birth she attended the previous day and the friends who planned to watch the girls had the flu.
Our planned doula and friends are about 10-15min further away then their respective back-ups. If either of these things hadn't happened and we were 'on plan' we wouldn't have made it to the hospital. How is that for luck?