While we were at church (1-4pm) I had a few contractions that felt low and crampy, much more labor-like than the Braxton Hicks I was used to feeling. We got home and I started making dinner and Becca was trying to decide if she should leave right away while there was still light, or stay for dinner. I was feeling pretty painful contractions consistently at this point, but all I’d told Jake was “I’m really not feeling well”. I had to sit down a couple times though, and Jake noticed this and asked, “are you okay?” I told him that I was feeling serious contractions and looking to Trish said, “Becca, we might want you to stick around for a bit longer…” Jake ordered me to sit down and start timing the contractions. When we found them to be between 3 and 5 minutes apart, and getting stronger. He ordered me to call my midwives.
I’d been planning on delivering with midwives at a birthing center in Orem. Given our high deductible insurance, my ease of pregnancy and labor it had seemed like a good idea when I first found out I was expecting. When we moved to Heber we did get a little nervous and look at changing things. However, there were no midwives or OBs even here in Heber- only GPs who do deliveries. The new hospital in Park City had a great midwife, but everyone told us that if a storm hit, driving that direction was more dangerous, even though it would be closer than going down to Orem. I ended up sticking with midwives simply because nothing else seemed to really fit us.
Then here, at 36 weeks I knew I was too early to be able to go through with our “plan”. I called the midwife group and explained my contractions and asked if there was anything I could do to slow/stop the labor and what I should do. They confirmed that unless I was to my 37 week mark, they would not be allowed to deliver me, and given my history of going fast and early (though never THIS early) that I should go to a hospital close by to at least be evaluated.
Jake and I were in shock. We started throwing things in a bag, but kept timing contractions hoping they would slow or stop. Finally we said goodbye to Trish and the kids and headed out the door, saying, “we’re just going to the Heber hospital to check things out”. We left our house a little before 6pm.
When we arrived at the hospital and told them I was 36 weeks and having consistent contractions they looked a little doubtful but said, “Okay, well lets get you hooked up to the monitors”. Once the nurse had me hooked up and saw that my contractions were consistent at about three and a half minute she called in the GP. He checked my cervix and said I was at close to a four and asked me a lot about my history regarding my other pregnancies and deliveries. He said he wanted to put me on an I.V. and see if just getting my hydrated might slow things down. He said that at 36 weeks it might not be worth doing more than that to try and stop labor. (Looking back I wonder why we didn’t talk more about what more they might have done). He also explained that when delivering early they usually want you at a hospital with a NICU in case the baby has complications- but with my history of going fast, they might prefer to keep me there. He said he was going to make a couple of calls, and left the room.
While he was gone they hooked me up to an IV and when he came back he said that they did want me at a hospital with a NICU and that they were calling an ambulance to take me to UVRMC, but Jake told them that was out of our network and asked if we could go to Mt. Timpanogos Regional instead. He left to make more calls, and came back saying that that would work and they’d already called them and told them I was coming. Right then I felt a gush of fluid with one of my contractions, and told them I thought my water had just broken. “No doubt now then, we have to get you down that canyon” was the doctor’s response.
Jake was extremely nervous and scared at this point. He didn’t like the fact that he would have to follow behind the ambulance down the canyon. When the ambulance team seemed to be taking their time getting me into the ambulance he said he wanted to scream, “get her down there- she usually goes FAST!” I was feeling really calm though, and told him everything was going to be okay. I even made him take a picture of me getting into the ambulance since it was my first time! We left the Heber hospital around 7pm and made our quick ride down the canyon.
In the ambulance my contractions got closer together and stronger, but we made it to the hospital just fine, and Jake was only a few minutes behind us. When they admitted me to the hospital they assigned me to the OB on staff, Dr. Gourley. After the nurse had me connected to the monitors he checked me and found me to still be at four centimeters, which was a bit of surprise. There was also some question on if my water had really broke back in Heber. Dr. Gourly had to break a bag of water- and when I asked if it was just a for-bag he said that he’d “learned not to argue with a woman who thought her water had broken,” that it could have been a just a for-bag, or that since they hadn’t done a pH test in Heber, maybe my water hadn’t really broken like they’d assumed. Again, now looking back, I wonder if maybe more could have been done to keep me from delivering so early.
I stayed at 4 cm for what seemed like forever. With midnight (and Jake's Birthday) no longer seeming too far off, we thought they just might share their Birthdays! I’d been on my back for a long time. I asked for an exercise ball, but whenever I thought about getting out of bed I’d have a contraction and lose the nerve. Jake finally convinced me to at least stand up for a bit, then quickly rolled the ball over in case I wanted to try that too. I sat down on the ball and found it more comfortable than I thought. The contraction would come and Jake would steady me and massage my shoulders.
The doctor had not been in the room since he first evaluated me, having gone to a sleeping room just down the hall. The nurse was in about every hour. I’d told them I was planning on delivering undedicated, and so they pretty much left us to it. It was strange going back to this sort of set up, compared to my delivery with the midwives when I had Naomi. That time I’d had two midwives and a friend for a nurse buzzing around me the whole time I was there. This time it was pretty much just Jake and me. It was actually a very sweet experience. I think with so many women in the room when I delivered Naomi, he felt a little pushed aside or of no use. This time Jake was right there; coaching and comforting me. We put to use all the things we’d learn with Naomi. I’d been in labor from four to eight or nine pm and sat at 4 cm the whole time. But once Jake convinced me to get out of the bed and onto the medicine ball I could tell things were changing. My contractions were getting really intense now. The nurse came in a little after 10pm and I got back into the bed. She found me to be at 6 cm and could see my contractions were much stronger. She said she thought things were going to start moving really quickly. She said she’d get the doctor soon so they could be ready. As she was leaving I had a huge contraction with a desire to push. I screamed out for the first time. She came running back in and checked me, “Still at a 6” (“How can that be?!?!?!” I thought) but she told Jake to push the call button and commanded into the intercom, “get in here NOW”. As the next contraction came she told me to try to NOT push. I tried so hard, but let’s be honest, that’s like telling someone who’s nauseous not to throw up. You only have a little control; your body just kinda takes over. And with that, out came Titus’ head, into the nurse’s one gloved hand. “Push the call button again!” Jake pushed it, “We’ve got a head out!” Another contraction came just then, I tried not to push with everything I had, but out came baby- onto the bed. In walks the doctor, “We have a baby? How did that happen?!” Time on the clock 10:31 pm.
Titus started screaming. Jake, still worried about his preemie baby was counting all fingers and toes, looking him over good. “He’s perfect!” he declared. Titus was 6 lbs 4 oz, 19” long and got a 9 on his APGAR score. I was able to nurse him right away and he was doing great. They transferred us to a room, and told me that because Titus was early they would have to monitor him closely, checking on him every 2 hours, but he was able to be in our room with us all that night.