Shelby delivered her second daughter with Claudia from our American Fork Midwife Group. While she labored all day, she ultimately had a quick and easy delivery with baby Ivy being born only twenty minutes after arriving at the hospital! Shelby shared fun details from the day and her experience that you’ll definitely want to read.
Ivy’s Birth Story by Shelby Watts
4 am – 8 am: strong contractions
8 am – 8 pm: contractions slow
8 pm: contractions start to pick up
8:40 pm: call Jared and tell him to come home
9 pm: jared leaves fire station
9:15 pm: Jared gets home
9:35 pm: arrive at the hospital
9:57 pm: Ivy is born
Warning: graphic content (but hey, it’s birth!)
I woke up around 4 am on August 16th because of strong contractions. I decided to get in the shower to try to relax. It didn’t really help and contractions continued at 10 minutes apart untill 8 am. Once I got out of bed and started moving around, contractions slowed down to every half hour to forty-five minutes. I was feeling weird and thinking that baby would come today, even though the contractions were so spread out.
I was only 37 weeks and 5 days so there were still things I needed to do, purchase and clean before baby came. I packed my other daughter’s (Olive) overnight bag, packed my hospital bag, cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom, got Olive up and made breakfast. Then we headed to Target to buy newborn diapers, pads, tucks and witch hazel.
When we got home, I was still having strong contractions about 30-45 minutes apart so we continued life like normal, with the exception of having to hunch over my birth ball and try to make it through contractions once or twice every hour.
In case anyone is wondering, I would not suggest having a 2-year-old be your doula. Every time I would hug my ball and try to get comfortable, Olive would climb on my back. As you can guess that is NOT an ideal way to breath and relax through a contraction. I would yell at her to get off, then she would come around and get in my face (while crying, of course) and scream that she needed a hug. It sounds pretty funny now, but was definitely not funny in the moment!
We went on like that until 7 pm when we went to church activity. The kids were playing kickball, so I sat on a blanket with friends to watch. Every now and then I would have a contraction. I would get up on my hands and knees, breathe through the contraction and continue chatting like normal.
Around 8:15 pm, I decided I wasn’t feeling well and that it was probably time to go home. I had brought Popsicles as a treat, so I left my cooler and went home. By the time I got home, the contractions were really picking up so I rushed around the house and threw everything that needed to be loaded in the car so that Jared, my husband, could load it quickly when he got home.
I ended up calling Jared at 8:40 pm to tell him that it was time to go to the hospital. Luckily, right as I was calling him, my friends showed up to return my cooler. They asked if I wanted them to stay. YES PLEASE! They loaded Olive and all of our stuff into the car and waited with me until Jared got home. He ended up leaving work at 9 pm and getting home around 9:15 pm. When he got out of his car, he started walking towards the house, just as I was locking and closing the door. He said something about needing to go inside to change and I was like NOPE, we are LEAVING!
We both got in the car where Jared asked me if I wanted him to drive quickly or smoothly, to which I replied UHH, BOTH!
At that point, contractions were coming just a few minutes apart and I was feeling the urge to push. I decided it would be better to see if our friends Staci or Bill could come pick Olive up from the hospital instead of dropping her off at their house. By then we we had made it to the freeway and were minutes from the hospital. In my active labor stupor, I was more concerned about getting poop and amniotic fluid all over my car than I was about having the baby on the freeway.Luckily, neither scenario occurred!
When we got to the hospital, we pulled up to the main entrance at about 9:35 pm and left the car there. Jared ran in, got a wheelchair and pushed me to the elevator with one hand, while carrying Olive with the other. While in the elevator, I felt something sort of bubble out of my vagina. I had no idea if it was her head or not. When I stuck my hand into my leggings, I could feel what felt like a water balloon in my crotch. My amniotic sac still hadn’t burst, but had bubbled out of me.
As Jared pushed me to the check-in desk, I told the nurses I was having the baby RIGHT NOW! I also told them that I was Group B Strep positive and needed to get an IV started immediately.
We were rushed to a room where we were attended to by 5 nurses—one was holding my leg up, one was starting an IV, one was asking health history questions, one was putting information into the computer. The last one looked like she was just sitting at the edge of my bed and between contractions. I asked her what she was doing. Turns out, she had her fingers inside of me and was trying to relieve pressure on my amniotic sac until we could get through my round of antibiotics. Somewhere along the way, Bill arrived to pick up Olive and Jared took her down to the lobby.
My water broke and all at once I was sitting in a warm puddle of amnionic fluid. The nurses said something about a brown tinge in it, meaning she had passed her first bit of meconium. I continued to feel the urge to push, but was trying to slow it down a little bit, in an effort to try not to tear or end up with an episiotomy. My midwife, Claudia, arrived just as Ivy was crowning. She asked Jared if he wanted to catch her. She told him to put his hands out and he apparently put them in the wrong place because she immediately said NO, HERE! Afterwards, he admitted that catching a real baby is basically nothing like catching one from a mannequin like they did in his paramedic class.
Ivy was born at 9:57 pm and immediately placed on my chest. In the flurry of activity, I didn’t even get the chance to take my shirt off, so I ended up with a nice smear of vernix, meconium and amnionic fluid on my shirt. My midwife massaged my uterus and checked to see if I had torn at all. She said I might have a few “skid marks” but nothing that needed to be stitched up.
All in all, it definitely did not go as planned, but I am SO grateful for the friends we have that were able to step in we needed them!