Photo: Rick Trombley
I was 7 months pregnant that April, according to my new OB/GYN who did not speak very good English. My husband had left very early for work, so I was home with our three kids, all ages 5 and under, and my brother-in-law who was there to paint for us.
I woke up around 7 a.m., and was not feeling well at all. I called my mother, who was two hundred miles away visiting my sister. I told my mom my symptoms: stomach ache (not cramps), nausea, and an all over achy feeling. My mom told me that when she was pregnant with me, she had a urinary tract infection and that my symptoms fit that. I got off of the phone with my mom and called my husband. I told him to come home right away, because I needed to go see my doctor. Then things got hairy.
I started to feel like I really needed to go to the bathroom, so I sat down on the toilet, and POP! What the heck was that? I very carefully went to put my hand down there (I know, gross!) and what do I feel? A HEAD! Holy crap! I screamed at the top of my lungs for my brother-in-law. He came running into the bathroom, sees my predicament, and luckily for me he did not faint! He's now on the phone with 911, and they tell him to very carefully get me down to the floor. Have I mentioned that we had the smallest bathroom known to mankind? Seriously, it was like 5 feet by 7 feet, super tiny. So, I am lying on the bathroom floor, and the 911 operator tells my brother-in-law that the paramedics are on their way, and to tell me not to push. Push? I haven't pushed once! Suddenly, the bathroom door is bouncing off of me. Great, my five-year-old and 3-year-old sons are awake and trying to get into the bathroom to see what is going on. I hold the door open, and I tell the boys to stay out of the bathroom, but this has broken my concentration on keeping the baby in! Ack! The baby shoots out, my brother-in-law catches him, and I about pass out from the surprise of it all. My brother-in-law is again talking to the 911 operator, I am checking out the baby that is lying on my chest, and the boys are still bouncing that darned door against my side trying to get in. Suddenly, my five year old says, "Gross, the baby is all bloody! I never looked like that." If he only knew.
My brother-in-law asks me, "Do you have any string?"
I think for a second and reply, "No, but I have a lot of sewing thread, would that work?"
He shakes his head and begins to take the brand new shoelace out of his brand new shoe. Luckily, that's when the paramedics showed up. No sacrificing shoelaces for my brother-in-law today. The paramedics climb over me into the bathroom. Suddenly, there is a paramedic in the shower stall, a paramedic standing over me with one foot on each side of my hips, a paramedic standing by the toilet and anther paramedic outside the bathroom door. This does not include the many firefighters that are all over my house, talking to my brother-in-law and my children. Why, oh why didn't I clean house this week? If it weren't for the fact that I just had a baby in my bathroom, I would be totally humiliated right now.
The paramedics clamped the umbilical cord, and then cut it. They took the baby (a boy!) from me and wrapped him in one of our bathroom towels. Then they all climb back over me to get out of the bathroom. One turns to me, hands me a towel and says, "Can you clean yourself up all right?" Well, what am I going to say? So I clean up as well as I can, thinking, "I haven't even delivered the placenta yet, is that bad?" I walk out of the house, they put me on a gurney in the driveway, then put the baby and me into the back of the ambulance.
Just then, my husband comes pealing up our hill, turns off the car, jumps out and asks the paramedic what is going on. The paramedic asks him if his wife was pregnant. My husband says, "Was?" The paramedic explains that the baby and me are fine and they will be taking us to the hospital for evaluation. My husband very shakily climbs into the ambulance, kisses me, looks at the baby and asks, "What the heck happened?" I tried to explain -- not that he heard me, he was too busy checking out the baby.
We arrive at the hospital, and find out that the baby weighs in at a whopping 8 pounds, 7 ounces, no way is that little guy 2 months early! Doctors and nurses from all over the hospital are coming to look at the little woman that didn't know she was in labor. I feel like a freak show at a carnival. I keep telling the doctors that I have not delivered the placenta yet, so they finally take me up to labor and delivery. Would you believe delivering that darned thing was way more work then actually having the baby? Seriously! It took almost an hour! During the time that I am supposed to be trying to push out the placenta, doctors kept coming to ask, "Are you sure the baby did not hit the floor? His face has a lot of bruising." Well, considering I had him in less than five minutes, heaven only knows how long he was stuck in the birth canal! But I didn't say that, I just nodded my head and said, "No, my brother-in-law caught him and laid him on my chest, he never hit the floor, or the toilet, or anything else." I must have said that about a hundred times.
Finally they get the baby and me into a hospital room. Visitors were flowing in and out of my door for hours, mostly because they heard through the hospital grapevine about me and wanted to see the baby that was born in the bathroom. You would think no one ever had their babies at home! I know mine was different, since it was not planned, but really.
Very long story short, everything turned out fine, and I learned not to trust an OB/GYN that is not fluent in English. I also learned that sewing thread is not going to work when trying to tie off an umbilical cord. Live and learn.
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