A local woman is warning pregnant moms everywhere that if they feel something isn’t right, it isn’t their imagination. Here she shares her story of precipitous labor, an extremely rapid labor and delivery, that she experienced not once, but twice.
“I met my husband in high school in March 2002. We were only 15, but even then felt an instant bond. We dated for a very long time and were married in June of 2010. We decided we wanted a family, and in January of 2012 we were expecting our first born. Due to my small build and weight gain I was in alot of back and hip pain, so I was scheduled to be induced a day before my due date. So, we went in on a Monday night and did the usual prep for pitocin induction and then the next morning around 8 a.m. they examined me and said it will still be another 8-12 before anything should really start to happen, so they start more of the induction medicine and saline (I can’t remember how much of each because it was so long ago). Well, around 11 a.m. they look at my monitors and ask if I am in pain because the monitors were showing contractions. I felt no pain, however, the entire morning I felt slightly sick. I just thought it was an uneasy stomach from nerves (I was about to give birth for the first time and had no idea what to expect). So, they say the contractions may pick up and if I was planning on an epidural they should do it now so it will be in effect later on. They do the epidural around 11:50, they lay me back down and say they will be back in a little while to check on me. I kid you not…as soon as the door closed behind the nurse and anethesologist, my water broke.
Frantically I am pushing the call button because at this point I can feel the baby is not waiting. A very annoyed nurse finally sauntered in and refused to believe me. I heard ‘there is no way your water broke already’ and when I insisted she look, I hear ‘great, now I have to change the sheets again.’ When all this is happening, my husband called my sister who was working downtown to let her know my water broke. Long story short, the nurse got my doctor to check on me and before my sister could even make it from downtown to Mercy Hospital, our first born, Ryder Daniel, was born at 12:15. That day I remember the hospital staff almost in disbelief or like they couldn’t believe they were wrong and didnt see this coming. They had told me that generally your first labor is your longest so if I had another one I would need to be monitored to prevent a very rapid second birth. My OBGYN was there and agreed. She said I did ‘fantastic’ and congratulated me on the fast birth. Which in hindsight was a strange thing to say because I had no choice in the matter.
Being it was my first child, I thought maybe the pitocin had sped everything up. Flash forward to March of 2015…throughout my entire pregnancy I remind my OBGYN about what the hospital staff had said. I was more or less told I probably just ‘got lucky’ and the chances of that happening again were extremely rare. Even though in the back of my mind I am feeling hesitant to even travel to Target because what if this baby decides to come 15 minutes after my water breaks, too? I again mention my concerns and kind of just get a ‘everything is fine, you arent even dialated or near having to worry about that happening.’
I end up going a few days past my due date. I remember walking in for my check on that Monday morning and being told there was still no progress, so they would most likely have to induce. They schedule it for the next morning, but then notice something isnt right. My baby’s rate was all over the charts. I was hooked up to a heart rate reading machine that printed out a paper read-out of his heartbeat and they were going to call an ambulance for a emergency C-section. However, after 15-20 minutes it seemed to settle out, so they let me go and said they would meet me at the hospital the next day. So I went to work, worked my usual shift, and came home. I got my older son all packed up and ready to stay at my parents house for the night, so we could have less to do in the morning. I drop him off, and started finalizing everything making sure my bags are perfectly packed .I even posted a picture at around 11:30 p.m. on Instagram saying ‘last day ever of pregancy…I officially retire after tomorrow.’ I even did my hair and makeup for the picture, which sounds dumb but hey, I knew after the baby was here I wouldn’t have much spare time to do fun things for myself like that for awhile. Almost right after I posted it, I start feeling sick- almost flu like symptoms. Extremely hot and nauseous. Of course my dad calls right then and says that Ryder is scared and wants to come home. They live close, so I told him to bring him home and I can drop him off in the morning. My husband works overnights in East Aurora, so I called him just to let him know what was going on. He can tell something isnt right and says he is going to leave and come home, but I just think I am sick and figure I am going to the hospital in the morning and my doctor said today theres no way this baby is coming on his own. Here’s when it gets interesting…
So, the Instagram post and phone call from my dad were around 11:30, my dad drops Ryder back off like 15 mins laters, like five mins later and this is kind of graphic or gross, but I can feel gravity pulling the baby out. So, home alone with my 3-year-old son I am contemplating what to do. An at home birth seemed like the only outcome. Instead I called my dad back to watch Ryder. He gets there and I waddle run to my Jeep, drive as safely and as fast as I could to the hospital (from where I lived, a six minute drive normally). I remember being overly cautious even with everything going on and thinking, ‘make sure you stop long enough at the stop signs because if you get pulled over it will just take longer to get to the hospital.’ It’s funny how we still have bits of logic during chaos.
I arrive at the hospital and park in the valet area because it’s close, run the the door so relieved I made it before he was born. Then boom! The doors were all locked near where I was. So I basically start knocking and calling for help. I dont see anyone and at this point I am starting to get nervous. Then I see some people going into the door I just tried and I call out ‘wait! wait!’ So I get in make it through the door and just drop to my knees screaming for help (which is something I never do, I am the type that usually refuses help because I know I am generally strong enough to handle what life gives me), so me literally screaming for help says a lot. This poor man runs to me, he is a security guard, I yell, ‘the baby is like…coming out!’ He looks terrified and says ‘please mam, no! Not here!’ Another guard comes up with a wheelchair and I am brought upstairs to the maternity area admissions desk. I’m like ‘please my information should be easy to fine, I was supposed to be here at 6 a.m.’
I keep wiggling in the wheelchair trying to keep the baby in as I am explaining they need to hurry, so they ask a nurse to ‘take a look at me.’ Within seconds I hear ‘she isn’t kidding, turn on a warming table.’ The nurses had that same shocked look they did when Ryder was born. It was in the middle of the night, so staff wasn’t full and I remember the phone ringing and one staff member tending to that while the other ran to get what she called ‘a kit.’ During this time again I am alone and panicking as this baby is just coming on his own… again I am screaming help! help! because honestly I have no clue what to do or how to self birth. A women runs back in right as my water breaks and my beautiful boy rides out with the water at 12:02. It all happened too fast and even now it feels surreal or like a dream. I remember the nurse or should I say angel who came to my calls and rescued me. She sang him ‘Happy Birthday’ and to this day I still tear up thinking about her voice singing to him…the calm after the storm.
His birth story wasn’t glamorous. I was wearing a tank top and hoodie. We had no matching hospital bracelets, but we made it, we were safe. My precious baby was not born in my bathroom or the hospital parking lot. We had been saved, we made it. As I was being officially admitted to the hospital at 12:20 I was told I was crazy to drive myself, but smart because the ambulance wouldn’t have made it on time, and there are commonly serious complications with rapid births that require the NICU. We had gotten lucky, but my son and I seemed to be OK. From the rapid delivery, my body went into shock and tensed up, so the muscles and my left leg have never been the same since and I am Ok with that. Looking back at both the births though I wonder if I had been admitted earlier, or closely watched throughout the pregnancy, if things would have gone smoother. I am sure glad I listened to my instincts because if he had decided to come during the day and I was at Target….it would of been ‘clean up in aisle 5.’ In all seriousness though, I started doing research after all this and discovered it is an actual condition called precipitous labor.
There is very little known about what causes it or how to predict it. I am in a support group for it on Facebook where we can share our stories and offer support to one another because it really is traumatic, emotionally and physically, to endure that. I have noticed a few mothers report similarities with the heartbeat of the unborn child being erratic the day of delivery. Also, it is common with this type of labor to not feel typical pain. Both times I just felt really nauseous. So please listen to eveything your body is telling you, even if you may not have the typical signs of something, trust your instincts and run to get help. And yes, my husband did end up leaving work early and when he got home and saw I was gone he drove to the hospital and got there about 10 minutes after our son was born. So quickly after 11:30 p.m., after getting all pretty for Instagram, a little over half an hour later I was holding my baby. It’s still crazy to me and he turned 3 yesterday. The nurse who delivered him, advised if I have a third I need to be admitted two weeks before my due date to prevent any serious complications if this happens again. As crazy as it was too… Roman started this world in a whirlwind almost like a battle him and I were in together and we made it. The bond we have is incredible.”
— Brittany Rose