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Birth Story: My Water Broke At Pizza Pizza

12/13/2015 10:44 EST | Updated 12/13/2016 05:12 EST
Amy Gibson

As the famous saying goes "life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." That couldn't ring truer for going into labour. Both of my births were the most surreal nights of my life. Life-changing? Yes? Predictable? Hell, no! The second one took an especially unexpected and dramatic turn. I will get to that momentarily...

Nothing can prepare you for what labour is really like. No prenatal classes, books, or advice from family or friends can prepare you for what is to come.

As much as expectant parents like to be organized for when the first signs of labour present themselves, nothing can prepare you for what labour is really like. No prenatal classes, books, or advice from family or friends can prepare you for what is to come.

When Mother Nature decides it is time it is game on. Ready or not, here comes baby!

Many expectant moms are encouraged to take control of the situation, to plan ahead and make a birth plan. For those not in the know, a birth plan is a detailed document that lists your expectations and wishes for labour. For example: where you want to give birth, the position you want to be in, who you want in the room, if you want lights dimmed, if you want music on, if you want vanilla candles lit, what you want to be wearing, your preferences for pain relief etc... Seriously, birth plans are a thing.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I recall asking my OB at the end of one of my check-ups, "well, is now a good time to talk about my birth plan?" He politely smiled and said, "Amy, the best advice I can give you is to forget about a birth plan. Just go with the flow. Your baby will come when she is ready and birth plans have to be flexible."

Fair enough, and since it was my first child, I did go with the flow because I had no idea what to expect. At 39 weeks, I went into labour and my daughter arrived after 27 long hours of labour.

Years passed before I was pregnant again and somewhere along the way, I forgot about my OB's advice about going with the flow. This time around, I knew what to expect because I had been there, and done that.

amy gibson

At 38 weeks, my bags were packed for the hospital and the labour playlist on my iPhone was all set up. I envisioned every last detail of going to the hospital, the stages of labour and all that entails. Hell yeah, I was ready. Or so I thought.

In all of my planning and daydreaming, surgery was never in my plans. I wrongly assumed that the second delivery would be similar to the first.

I went for a late-term ultrasound and discovered that (surprise!) my son was in the breech position. Fact: When labour begins, only three to four per cent of babies are in the breech position.

They also warned that he was a big baby. They estimated he would be about nine pounds, four ounces. Fact: The average weight of a baby born at 38 weeks is six pounds, eight ounces. Due to his size and position at this stage of pregnancy, my new OB recommended we book a C-section for the following week.

I left the appointment in shock. I was trying to wrap my head around the fact I was going to have to have a C-section. I felt scared and anxious.

In all of my planning and daydreaming, surgery was never in my plans. I wrongly assumed that the second delivery would be similar to the first.

At least I had a week to let it sink in, read up on C-sections and be prepared. Except, I didn't have time to.

The following evening, my husband and I were rear-ended on the 401 in Toronto. The guy behind us clearly didn't see that traffic was starting to slow down. Bam! My body shook forward as he hit our car. Bam! Our car then hit the minivan in front of us. The seat belt dug into my lower abdomen and both of my hands immediately clutched my giant belly. My heart started racing. Tears poured down my panicked face and I couldn't speak.

My husband kept asking "Are you OK? Are you OK?" All I could think was "No! This can't be happening." After years of struggling with secondary infertility, we were finally pregnant. We were so close to his arrival. He has to be OK. The baby has to be OK.

Within minutes, I was in an ambulance being taken to the nearest hospital. Not my planned birth hospital. But it didn't matter. All that mattered was that the baby was OK. They monitored me for four hours. My body ached and my back was on fire. I waited for answers and results. They eventually gave me the all clear and I was discharged.

Right before we were about to leave, I felt the strongest baby kick I have ever felt. It took my breath away. I looked at my husband in shock. I knew at that moment we weren't going home.

On the way home, my husband and I were exhausted and hungry. We had missed out on a BBQ at my sister's place hours before (where thankfully, my daughter was that evening). We stopped at a Pizza Pizza on the way home to grab a quick late-night slice.

Right before we were about to leave, I felt the strongest baby kick I have ever felt. It took my breath away. I looked at my husband in shock. I knew at that moment we weren't going home. I stood up and whoooooosh, my water broke.

Fact: Only fifteen per cent of women experience the rupture of the amniotic sac before they go into labour. And of those, most only experience a light trickle and not an embarrassing flood. Nope, not me, I fell into the latter. It was embarrassing. But I didn't have time to be embarrassed. I had to get to the hospital.

We drove directly to our birth hospital and unlike my daughter's lengthy birth; my labour came on fast and strong. The contractions I was experiencing signaled that I had to be operated on sooner rather than later. I was going to have to have an emergency C-section. The birth I had envisioned was nothing like the one I was experiencing.

There were so many people in the operating room. I was scared and unsure of what to expect. I lied on the operating table and felt like a passenger on this unexpected and intense ride. At 3:26am, my son was born. He was a healthy nine pounds, seven ounces. I was exhausted but deliriously happy to have him safe in my arms.

My OB told me the next day that the stress of the car accident likely kick started my labour.

newborn

The lesson in all of this; is that in my experience, no two births are exactly alike. Childbirth is a unique, wild and unpredictable adventure. You really do have to go with the flow. I have friends who could barely make it to the hospital in time their labours came on so fast. Other friends went through hours of labour before eventually having C-sections. Another friend wanted a water birth at home, but ended up delivering in a hospital.

The point is, we can plan and we can daydream. But at the end of the day, it is largely out of our control how and when our babies arrive. All that matters is that they arrive safely and that the mamas are safe too.

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain

So, long story short, detailed birth plans are a beautiful concept, but in reality, just go with the flow. Vanilla candles and my labour playlist would have been lovely. But when the time comes, nothing matters more than your child arriving safely into this world.

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain. My son will one day hear about what happened the night he was born. As for why? Well, that is a story for another blog. But I assure you, he will know without a doubt how much he is loved and that he is a wish come true. Conceiving him wasn't easy, but what matters is the future we have ahead of us.

amy gibson

Did you have a dramatic delivery? Share your labour story in the comments below.

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