This birth story series is sponsored by Overland Park Regional Medical Center.
Having babies is life changing. There isn’t anyone that could argue me out of that fact. You are changed forever. The birth of each one of my kids was special and painful. There are things from each birth that have stuck with me. My body had no idea what it was doing when I had baby number one. My most difficult labor story, it was painful, lasted forever, and now I will refuse Pitocin until the cows come home. Baby two was easy. Mostly textbook, Chumbawumba announced their breakup that day. Baby four, I am just glad someone woke my doctor up in time for him to get billed for the delivery.
Three, Gunner, his birth literally changed the course of time for our family.
I am that kind of person that is miserable when pregnant. I am incredibly grateful that getting pregnant has no complications for us, but being pregnant hurts me. With each baby my period of morning sickness got longer and longer. By kid four, I was barfing well into 22 weeks, only to get sick all over again for the last month. I was my worst sick with my third pregnancy though. I lost weight in that pregnancy. At 37 weeks, I was trying all the “old wives tales” to have myself a good old exit party. I was desperate!
Gunner was my last Arizona baby. While I was pregnant with Gunner, third pregnancy, my husband finished his MBA. As the natural process goes, he started applying for jobs that complimented that degree. About a month before I was due to have Gunner, he got a call from a potential employer asking to him to an interview. They got through the details and set up an in-person interview that would take place out of state, with an overnight stay. The date for the interview put me pregnant, smack dab in the middle of my 38th week. Oh yeah, babies one and two came early, about a week and half early. Ya know, smack dab in the middle-ish of 38 weeks.
I was stressed! I was sure that I was going to have a baby alone. Not only alone, but going into labor alone with two kids that lived outside my womb. So like I said, I was sick of being sick with my third pregnancy, but also, I was sure that I needed to get my baby out in time for dad to be around. I walked so much. I bounced and I ate all the heartburn foods! I tried all the tricks. Then three days before the interview I stopped moving, crossed my legs to support my uterus, and prayed that Gunner would stay put until after the interview.
The day before my husband was supposed to leave I had my weekly OB appointment and they assured me that everything was static. No action with the uterus or cervix. All the cramping I was feeling was just Braxton Hicks contractions and sent me on my way.
I went to bed so unsure of everything. I woke up at 2 a.m. in labor. I tried so hard to will my body to stop having a baby, but Gunner was coming. We called for family to come watch our other kids. My husband switched from a suitcase to a backpack and at 4 a.m., when he should have left for the airport, WE left for the hospital. I had accepted that we were having a baby and this job opportunity wasn’t going to happen. My husband was rightfully, majorly, bummed out.
So we tried to make it all work. Crazy thinking, but if we didn’t try something, I knew I would forever wonder what could have been.
We checked into the hospital and they tried to send me home, which I wasn’t having. They told me I wasn’t consistently in labor, which happened with both of my previous pregnancies. I had to explain that this happens every time my body tries to have a baby. Now in my third pregnancy, I explained that my body doesn’t do regular intervals when it comes to contractions and that I just needed to walk to show them that I will start to dilate at an alarming rate. Once we got to the walking point, my husband feverishly made who knows how many calls to get his flight moved and everything that went along with his interview; pushed back just enough to line up the planets of life and job obtainment.
By the time he got off the phone, I was having contractions that stopped me in my tracks every two minutes apart and had dilated four additional centimeters, to a seven, in less than 40 minutes. We got admitted and did all the small talk with the labor and delivery nurse. This woman was amazing. We told her that we were trying to have a baby super quick so that we could also make a really important job interview work. To this day, I still don’t know what really happened in that moment. While sharing this story the nurse was checking my cervix and my water broke. If she really helped that along, I owe her practically everything!
Less than 30 minutes later, I had Gunner in my arms. My husband stuck around for me to have a nap and get settled, then I kicked him out. Assuring him I’d, we’d, be fine, which I was mostly, minus some unexpected bleeding that resulted in lots of panic and tears. But long story short, he got the job. He almost didn’t make it to the interview that would wind our family up in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
The job interview that almost didn’t happen was a huge blessing in our lives and still telling it makes me wonder how different our lives would have been if this story would have gone any other way. Having Gunner was really the day our lives changed unexpectedly and we wouldn’t change that chaos for anything.
For labor and delivery expertise, more moms in Kansas City choose an HCA Midwest Health hospital. Our OB/GYN teams at our delivering hospitals – Centerpoint Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center and Research Medical Center – ensure every woman has access to top-quality maternity care, including specialized services for women with high-risk pregnancies. By delivering more babies than anyone else in the region, our maternity hospitals deliver experience and safety. Learn more at hcamidwest.com/delivers.