I’ve wrote a few drafts of this story but I can’t seem to find the words to do it justice. Everyone’s birth stories are unique and something they will never forget, but ours was something else when our little Sam decided to make a rather early arrival (8 weeks early) in the back of his daddy’s (moving) car on the way to the hospital with only his mummy as midwife!!
This is a long story, so go get yourself a cuppa and we will get started!
It Friday 10th December 2016 and I was 31 weeks pregnant. I had been signed off work from 25 weeks with SPD/Pelvic Girdle Pain and was bored out of my head! I had been nagging the boyfriend for days to take me shopping to get a Christmas tree and some decorations to give me something to do during the day when he was at work. So, after a few hours of trailing around the local shops picking our decorations…. I was in a lot of pain and the only thing to help was to go straight home for a bubble bath to help my sore back and hips.
Exhausted after a long day after my bath I just jumped straight into bed and fell asleep. I was vaguely aware of the boyfriend coming to bed around midnight, turning the lights out and switching off the TV. He had just got settled into bed when I felt an unfamiliar trickle, running down my leg. In my sleepy state, I remember thinking “oh crap I’ve wet the bed” but as I sat up the trickle turned to a gush and that’s when I really woke up!
Panicking I woke up Daryl, and after bunching up a lot of towels, perched on the end of the bed, shaking like a leaf we called maternity triage. After a few quick questions, we were told to make our way over to be assessed.
So off we went at 12.30am to the maternity unit to be checked over. Suffering from SPD for the past few months had left me a waddling, hobbling mess when walking but this morning I marched like a woman on a mission from the car to the hospital leaving Daryl running behind me trying to keep up. We were shown to a triage room where we nervously waited for a doctor to come and check me out, a midwife came in and took my details and notes and got me settled on the bed, and after what felt like forever a doctor arrived. After a quick (and rather uncomfortable) examination they confirmed my waters had broken but the good news was that I wasn’t showing any signs of preterm labour. I was given a steroid injection (to help mature babies lungs in case of a premature delivery) and antibiotics (to reduce risk of infection as baby was no longer surrounded by the protective membrane). The bad news however was I was to be admitted but there wasn’t any available beds in neonatal if I was to give birth that weekend, so off the midwife went to phone around the surrounding hospitals to find space for me…..
At about 3am we were told a bed had been located and I would be transferred over to another hospital via ambulance! Then at 4am into the room came 2 paramedics and a midwife to transfer me to the other hospital, as Daryl followed behind in his car.
I don’t know what I was expecting to happen when we arrived at the new hospital but I was swiftly shown to a ward and told to settle in, Daryl was then given his marching orders – this is when it all finally hit me smack in the face and I burst into tears!! The midwives took pity on me and let him stay a bit longer to calm me down. After the tears finally slowed and I looked over at Daryl I realised how exhausted he was (he hadn’t got a wink of sleep) I told him to go home and get a rest, and left him with strict instructions to be back as soon at the ward opened to partners with some clean jammies and my toiletries! In the panicked state, I was in earlier I hadn’t brought a thing with me to the hospital, so I had to settle into bed wearing a size too small disposable hospital pants, a massive maternity pad and slightly damp jogging trousers and mismatched pj top!
I was kept in hospital over the weekend so I could be given the remaining steroid injections and monitored to make sure I wouldn’t go in to labour. According to the doctor I was most likely to go into labour 48 hours after my waters breaking and if I made it past the 48 hours with no signs of labour I would go home and be treated as an outpatient with regular hospital visits for monitoring of baby’s vitals twice a week.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of this hospital, I was staying on a ward where other woman where either in labour or being induced. So, I would spend most nights listening to screaming crying women begging for epidurals – not exactly what your wanting to hear when there’s a threat of premature labour!! One woman in particular had me and Daryl giggling like a pair of school kids, with each contraction she would make a noise that I can only describe as cow like…. basically, a big moooo. At one point, we had to close the curtains around my bed I was giggling that much!
So, on the Monday evening more than 48 hours after the saga began I was discharged, with a bag of antibiotics and instructions to contact the consultant at my local maternity unit the next day to set up an appointment…….
I was just to glad to be home and in my own bed I didn’t really notice the dull ache in my back as I tried to get comfy and get the first proper night’s sleep in days. As I had mentioned before I had suffered from SPD majority of my pregnancy and regularly struggled to sleep or get comfortable at night so when I woke up in the early hours of the morning with a sore back and hips I just assumed it was the familiar pain I was used to……. how wrong I was!!
By 4 am I was in quite a lot of pain, and my moving around had woken up Daryl. He was concerned it might be the start of something but as I wasn’t having the typical described “tightening” labour pains I brushed it off and tried to get comfortable. Building a fort of pillows and propping myself up I tried in vain for another couple hours sleep but by 4.30 I was in agony. I took a couple paracetamol but instantly the nausea overtook and I ran (waddled) to the bathroom making it just in time as I vomited them straight back up! At this point (roughly 5am) I started to get a bit worried and shouted through to Daryl to call maternity triage.
The midwife on the phone asked me about my pain, at this point it was just a steady pain in my back and hips and with my history of SPD the midwife just advised to take painkillers in 4 hours and call back if it got any worse.
At this point I knew trying to sleep wasn’t going to work so we went downstairs to try get comfy on the recliner, but as I lay on the recliner the pain started to fade then come back each time stronger than before. I was starting to get a bit worried then Daryl said, “are you sure this isn’t labour, your moo-ing like that woman at the hospital” he had also been secretly timing the pains since we sat down – every 2 minutes lasting 40 seconds!! Aaah cue panic stations!!!
There was no denying it now, I was pretty sure I was in labour then another pain hit and this time it came with a lot of pressure and an urge to push!!!!
15 minutes after that first phone call to maternity we called back and said we are on our way in something is definitely happening!
Quickly (or as quickly as you can when you are having contractions every 2 minutes) we got our stuff together and made our way to the car. By now I was fighting the urge to push with each contraction and in a loooooot of pain! (Side note: to the midwife who said take 2 paracetamol…who were you kidding, paracetamol barely works on cramps never mind this type of pain!)
I crawled into the backseat of the car, struggling to even sit down I held myself up on my hands as Daryl sped off towards the hospital. We weren’t even halfway in to our journey when I was yelling at Daryl to pull over! The pain was overwhelming and I wasn’t helping matters by fighting the urge to push, trying to hold the baby in as long as I could. I was only 32 weeks pregnant, I couldn’t give birth in the car, not to a premature baby without any medical professionals. What would happen? What if he wasn’t breathing? What if he stopped breathing? All these thoughts were running through my head…..then roughly 3 miles from our destination, 8 weeks early I knew I couldn’t hold it back any longer. So in the back of a moving car, in 2 pushes baby Sam was born!
“HES HERE, THE BABY IS HERE” I screamed, still holding myself up, resting on my hands not able to sit down in case I squashed the tiny baby in my pj bottoms. “WHAT” was the only response as Daryl swerved and pulled over into a side road. He ran around and helped me untangle the tiny little baby from my pjs, I picked up the screaming baby and unwrapped the cord that was wrapped twice around him as Daryl grabbed a towel from my hospital bag. Now this is a bit off topic but did you ever watch 101 Dalmatians when you were little?? Well remember the scene where the little puppy isn’t breathing and Roger rubs its back with a towel and it starts to breathe?? – this is all that was running through my head. I needed to keep baby warm and make sure he kept breathing, so putting him down my top for skin to skin then I wrapped the towel and my jacked around us and constantly rubbed his back like Roger did to that little puppy. He was still crying so I knew he was breathing. I told Daryl to call an ambulance but being 3 miles away he knew he would get us to the hospital faster so off we sped again. Daryl franticly trying to call maternity triage on the Bluetooth while I sat in the back of the car holding onto my tiny little man, begging him to keep being the strong little man I knew he was. At this point in pretty sure Daryl grew another arm because I distinctly remember him reaching into the back seat holding my hand, driving and dialling triage all the one time……or maybe I’m getting a bit confused!
After what felt like an eternity we pulled up to the hospital, Daryl left us in the car with the heating up full as he rang the bell to the unit. We had a minute just staring at each other through the car window in total disbelief at what had just happened when the doors burst open to a rush of midwives and neonatal nurses/doctors. Who bombarded us with questions, and cut the cord. I looked down at my baby all cosy in my top and he lifted his little head and looked right at me, I knew I had to hand him over to the nurses but part of me just wanted to hold to him tighter. Reluctantly I said, “you need to take him now don’t you” nodding the midwife put out her hands and I handed over the most precious little bundle I had ever held.
From here it’s a bit of a blur, I do remember getting out of the car (rather ungracefully) and being put into a wheelchair (it’s funny the things your focus on in times like this but as soon as I seen this tiny little wheelchair I blurted out “my arse isn’t gonna fit in there” much the amusement of the midwife team who coaxed me into it and covered me with a towel – not my finest moment). As they wheeled me into the elevator (with Daryl at my tail) I heard a beeping looking over in the corner was an incubator and inside was my little baby screaming his lungs out and punching the air! He looked amazing, he was breathing and the beeping was his steady heartbeat….once the lift door opened we were both wheeled into the maternity unit but as we reached the bottom of the corridor we were separated. I was taken to delivery to be checked over and deliver the placenta and Sam to neonatal.
Then it was injections, examinations, placenta delivery, trying to work out an estimated time of birth (in all the madness we hadn’t checked the time) and calling two sets of rather emotional grandparents – who all rushed over to be with us. I’ll never forget my mum bursting through the curtains. After hearing a bit of a commotion outside the room door it flew open, to my mum flailing to get through the curtains, a blur of sticking up hair and crying eyes as she hugged me! Poor thing hadn’t even had her morning pee, after checking I was okay she proclaimed, “sorry hen I’m bursting I never got to pee, you phoned and I just drove over here like a maniac” and off she ran again to find a loo!! Gotta love your mum, she always knows how to cheer your up – even after giving birth in the back on your boyfriend’s car…
It wasn’t till we worked out Sam’s time of birth (roughly 5.50 am) that we realised from that first phone call (triage) at 5am that morning to delivery it had only been 50 minutes!!
Once I had calmed down and got changed we were taken over to neonatal to see our baby, I was so nervous I didn’t know what to expect I was still so shaky I was wheeled over in a chair and there I the corner of the ward was our Sam, all 4lbs 3oz of the most adorable baby I had ever seen! Our Super Sam was breathing on his own (with a little assistance from CPAP) and a total fighter!
And here he is, the first time we properly met after all the madness…….
The next few weeks of having a baby in neonatal was tough, leaving him there every night was heart-breaking but he was so strong that after only 17 days we got the phone call we had been hoping for! It was time to go home as a family. Just in time for New Year!
Well if you have gotten this far, thanks so much for reading out story! Sam’s now almost 4 months old and thirving!! He is the happiest chilled little man ive ever met 😊 I might do another post on our neonatal experience.
Thanks again for reading, if you have any questions please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.