Birth Story! Born At Target!

People LOVE car birth stories, don't they?  They even make it on the evening news on occasion.  This is one of the most popular birth stories I have every shared.


Sunday, around 11 PM I had a couple contractions.  I didn’t think much of them because I was almost two weeks late and had been having a few contractions a day for a while and nothing had ever come of it.  So, I just went to bed.  I woke up around 2:30 to more contractions, but this time they were accompanied by back pain.  The contractions weren’t bad, but the back pain did hurt.  I dealt with it as well as I could for about an hour, and during one of the contractions DH woke up.  He started applying counter pressure on my lower back whenever I would have a contraction, which helped the back pain, and during a break he called P, my midwife, just to alert her of the situation.  I was around 3:30 AM and since I had only been laboring for an hour or so, we (DH and I, as well as P) didn’t believe I was too far along.  P advised us to try to get some more rest because we probably had a long road ahead of us.

Resting had become difficult because laying down made the back pain worse, so I tried to remain as relaxed as possible while DH continued to apply counter pressure during contractions.  They were coming pretty quickly, but weren’t lasting very long.  During a particularly intense one, my water broke (which I am so glad did not happen in public!) and DH called P again.  After a brief discussion, we decided it would be best to head to the Birth Center and she would meet us there.  DH and I had been packed for nearly a month (remember, I was already two weeks late) and so it didn’t take us much time to be ready to go.  DH hauled everything out to the car and then came back to help me out.  Once we got to the car, I started having major urges to push, and I couldn’t help but push.  Looking back now, we should have gone back inside once that started happening, but in the moment we weren’t really thinking clearly.  I had only been laboring for less than two hours and neither of us thought we were all that close to having a baby.

Anyway, even though it was 4 AM, because of all the stop lights, it still took us nearly ten minutes to go five miles, but in that five miles we realized we should have never left the apartment.  Contractions had continued, and I couldn’t NOT push.  I felt the baby crowning and told DH that it was coming.  He was on the phone with P at that moment, who was also en route, and he pulled over and told her what was going on.  I could feel the top of the baby’s head with my hand, but a couple seconds later it was gone back inside.  We decided that it would be best to head back home and have P meet us there, so DH flipped the car around and headed back.  About a mile later I felt the baby crowning again and this time it wasn’t going back inside.  P was still on the phone and told DH to get off the road.  He pulled into the parking lot of Target and stopped the car.  Like I said before, I couldn’t NOT push.  Once the baby’s head was out, one more push and the entire body came too.  I was sitting (really practically standing during contractions) in the front seat and couldn’t catch the baby because of my position, so the baby landed on the floorboard of the car (which was only a couple inches down) just as Burke got there.  He picked it up, placed it on my chest, and covered us both with a blanket.  I was amazed and in awe!  What a miracle!  I had a child!

P was still on the phone and DH went back to her for instructions.  The baby was breathing and kind of whimpering so we opted not to go to the hospital.  P was only a few miles from us, so we headed back to the apartment and waited for her there.  Everything had happened so quickly, and we were so concerned with making sure the baby was breathing and keeping the baby warm, that it wasn’t until we were nearly home that I even thought to check and see if we had a boy or a girl.  Although it didn’t matter either way to us, DH was particularly excited to learn that we had a little boy.

P and her apprentice M arrived only a couple minutes after we did.  P came to my side of the car and took charge of the whole situation.  I had delivered the placenta while we were waiting and she clamped the cord.  Because of the lack of space (DH couldn’t really get close enough without exposing the baby and me to the cold night air), I was able to cut my baby’s cord.  We then wrapped the baby up really well and DH carried him into the apartment, laid him on the bed, and came back to help get me inside. I had lost a lot of blood, and passed out twice between the car and our front door, but we eventually made it inside.

I don’t really remember a lot of specifics about what happened once we made it inside.  I remember cuddling my baby, and that he had some fluid in his lungs that P was a little bit concerned about because he seemed to be struggling getting a full breath.  We felt that DH should give him a priesthood blessing, but we hadn’t decided on a name yet.  I had been thinking about the name Matthew for a couple days, and so I asked DH what he thought of it.  We both liked the name, and it seemed to fit.  We later learned that the name Matthew means 'Gift of God,' which made us love the name that much more.  After deciding on a name, DH went ahead with the blessing, and in a short time P was no longer concerned with Matthew's breathing.  He was healthy and strong.  He weighed in at 8 lbs 13 oz and was 20 ¾ inches long.

P and M took such good care of us for the next couple hours.  They helped me and the baby get as comfortable as possible.  They worked with me and the baby, figuring out how to breastfeed.  Matthew had come so quickly that I had torn a bit, so P gave me a couple stitches.  They made us something to eat.  We had a number of towels soiled with blood, and they started the laundry to get those cleaned.  They were so great!  DH and I were allowed to just rest while they took care of it all.

I remember just staring at Matthew, kind of in awe of the whole situation.  After trying to get pregnant for so long, and then waiting for what seemed like forever because he was so late, he was finally here!  It was a miracle to me, and such a blessing that it had gone so well!


Stacy said…
I love this story! I had a car birth as well, on the side of the road. I remember all too well the feeling of "we should never have left home!"
Mama Birth said…
Fantastic Stacy! I would love to post your birth story if you would care to share it- you can e-mail it too me. Births like this make it looks so easy!