The scene opens on a seedy nail salon in a strip-mall in Orange County, CA. It’s the type of nail place you go when you’ve already spent too much money on personal grooming that month, and you need a deal. Adequate, but so dated that it’s far from a relaxing and luxurious experience. There is a woman painting my toes and massaging my feet, as I quietly try to breath through contractions without causing a scene.
At this point I am ten days “past due” (my thoughts on that here), and I went to bed the night prior with some minor back pain. In the morning it was still mild so I spent a few hours working on a children’s book marketing project, making no bake coconut bites, taking a two mile walk, washing and vacuuming the car, and buying a new house plant, before finally heading to the nail salon at 2:30 pm. By then I had convinced myself that I was likely in labor, but I figured I had plenty of time since the pain was manageable and hadn’t come around to the front of my belly yet – it was still all in my back.
So, back at the nail salon…another woman started doing my gel manicure. I’m pretty sure it must have been her first gel because it took her over an hour. She kept applying the paint, then wiping it off and starting over.
Mind you, this entire time the back contractions are continuing to intensify. I was shooting the woman daggers with my eyes, praying she would get it together so I could go home and be miserable in peace. I finally asked her if she was almost done because I had to go, this baby was coming tonight. Every ten minutes I was having a thirty second contraction that I had to close my eyes and breath through.
By 4 pm she finally wrapped it up. I drove myself home and was in the tub by 4:15 pm. My husband came in to the bathroom to check on me. I told him what was going on, but figured the contractions needed to get closer together before heading to the hospital. I was planning another natural birth (read the first birth story here) so the last thing I wanted to do was arrive at the hospital too early.
I reached out to my midwife just to let her know that I thought we would be heading in to the hospital later tonight. I decided to track the contractions with an app on my phone. Come to find out, I am a poor counter in pain. The contractions that I thought were thirty seconds long, were really a minute, every eight to ten minutes apart.
I showered between contractions, while my husband made arrangements for our toddler, and then I decided to go lay in bed. My poor husband tried to push on my back during a contraction because the counter-pressure during contractions had been really helpful with my first labor. This time not so much. Laying down and having someone push on my back was the exact opposite of helpful. Contractions were lasting about a minute and a half every four to six minutes at that point. I was almost in tears and snapped at him to stop asking me so many questions!
That was my first cue that we probably needed to head in to the hospital. That, and the intensity of the contractions were getting to the point where I could no longer quietly breath through them. I was moaning out in pain. We headed out to the car for our four mile drive to the hospital.
During the ten minute drive I was alternating between texting my parents who had just arrived at LAX airport an hour away, giving updates to my midwife – contractions were now lasting for one minute – every three minutes, listening to my husband yell at every stop light, and me squeezing my cell phone like a stress ball as I moaned through contractions. As we rounded the corner by the hospital a very intense contraction got me and I firmly pounded my fist on the car door a few times. That got both our attention. This labor had gotten REAL really fast.
Once at the hospital I jumped out of the car while my husband grabbed our bags. I had to pause at a couch inside the hospital to moan through another contraction. There was a man and his young son near by and I was trying my best not to be too loud and scare them. By then my husband caught up with me and was trying to get me to take the elevator up to the birthing level.
“Nope,” I said. I needed to keep moving. I had one goal. Make it to the nurse’s station before the next contraction.
“I’m taking the stairs.”
Thankfully I did, because I literally made it to the nurse’s station, saw my midwife behind the counter and smiled at her, then put my head down telling the triage nurse to talk to my husband for any details she needed. I started moaning through another contraction, except this time it was different. I could feel my body start to involuntarily push the baby down. It was like my body knew I had made it. I was in the hospital. My midwife was there. I was safe. The time was 6:08 pm.
As soon as my midwife heard the types of sounds I was making, she took over the situation. She told the nurses to get me a room NOW. They offered me a chair to wheel me to a room.
“Nope,” I said. I wanted to walk since I had a break between contractions.
We made it to a room and they had me take off my pants (the comfy Le Tote ones I borrowed), and offered me a hospital gown.
“Nope,” I said. I didn’t want to feel like a patient.
The nurses told me I could climb up on the bed.
I was a woman on a mission at that point; my one and only job was to birth this baby, NOW.
“Hand me those pillows,” I said to the nurse.
That was the last rationale thing I said until my baby arrived. I proceeded to stand next to the bed, lean over, and bury my face in the pillows while I screamed through each contraction as my body pushed the baby down and out. I knew I was supposed to be trying to keep my voice low and relaxed, but all I could do was shrill and hang on for the ride.
Some how my husband was able to get the video camera set-up during all this (in case you’re wondering, it’s not a flattering angle). He then asked the midwife how much time we had before the baby arrived. She confidently responded, “About two more pushes.”
She was right. Two pushes later, she and my husband were catching a perfect baby girl. I laid over the bed panting as if I had just finished a marathon in record time. They offered to pass the baby through my legs so I could hold her and get up on the bed. Official time of birth – 6:16 pm.
Yup, eight minutes after arriving at the nurses station.
I’m not sure if that was a hospital record, but my IRONMAN husband is looking in to it. He laughs because on the video he says it’s like I have a race high. I am really excited and can’t stop jabbering with the nurses about what just happened. In my defense there were a lot of endorphins and hormones rushing through my body at that point.
An hour and a half later, the medical staff was finally done prodding my lower half, checking on the baby, and making me answer hospital in-take questions – since we bypassed that last bit on the way in. As they walked out, my parents arrived from LAX.
After a short visit with my parents, we sent them out to get Pizza Hut, the holy grail of post partum. The restaurant was located just a mile away, and they were supposed to deliver the pizza to my parents, downstairs at the main entrance of the hospital. Some how it took over an hour and they ended up delivering the wrong pizza! I thought about calling to complain, but it was 10 pm and I hadn’t eaten since 1 pm…so obviously I just grumbled about it as I ate three pieces. The good news was that it bought us a proper moment to meet our baby girl, and finally agree on a name.
Baby Liv Claire Coy entered our world (2.2.18) fast and furious. A crazy, yet perfect labor and delivery. Definitely, the most exciting Friday night these parents have had in a long time.
I’ve heard second labors are typically about half as long as your first.
In your experience, was your second labor much shorter than your first?
15 thoughts on “Eight Minute Birth; Baby Delivered Faster Than Pizza Hut”
I labored for 32 hours with my daughter who was due the same day as yours but ended up being born on 1/5 due to a complication that required them to induce.
I sincerely hope it’s more than half faster for the second… 16 hours still sounds too long haha.
Enjoy your sweet little girl!
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Congrats Becky! So happy your little one has arrived! 32 hours, hope you are getting some help while you heal from that marathon. Too your point, half that would be a good start;).
Congratulations! The second labor is shorter, at least in my experience. My first was induced for preeclampsia and was 16 hours. Second was spontaneous labor and was only 4 intense hours.
Thanks Angela, some people like dad and furious – others like predictable with a slower build;). How about you?
If you dont mind me asking what hospital did you give birth to that have midwives delivering your baby? I am intrested in having a midwife in a hospital setting.
Hi Tina, it was Saddleback in Laguna Hills. When I had my first baby they had one approved midwife, now they have two.
I had to ask around a little but was happy to find a midwife that my insurance covered because she was approved by the hospital. Good luck! It’s worth doing the research to see what’s available.
Thank you for responding! Did you have to get ivs when you were giving birth?
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Nope! None of the “routine” stuff except a check for dilation and intermittent fetal monitoring (with the first).
I want to share my story because I think that my experience might be valuable to someone (maybe even you) at some point in terms of validating a different type of birth experience than most women have. Approximately 3% of women experience precipitous birth (labors under 3 hours). It’s not often talked about and more often than not we are told how lucky we are but there is a flip side to this “luck.”
My first labor was a two hour labor. My second, 55 minutes from start to finish. I delivered my daughter about two minutes after arriving at labor and delivery “screaming get my pants off!” My third was a two hour labor and my fourth was more normal. I had uncomfortable (not painful) irregular contractions for a few hours (I went right to the hospital when I noticed 4 in one hour for obvious reasons) but once the painful regular contractions started, it was one hour. Honestly, after baby number two I was elated and happy with the whole experience (which was kind of humorous) until I was pregnant again… and then again. With subsequent pregnancies I actually had so much anxiety about delivering spontaneously. As nice as my lighening speed delivery seemed at first, I was actually traumatized by it. My car ride to the hospital that night was terrifying. My husband and I would welcome more children
but the anxiety I had with births three and four was honestly more than I can handle in the future.
I just delivered my fourth on 2/12/18 and I seriously said the Rosary each night with the intention of having an attended delivery.
Just wanted to share my experience – the anxiety was real and very difficult to handle. I also felt so alone in it because other than my mom, deceased grandmother, and one cousin (yes, precipitous births run in families), I’ve never met anyone else that had an experience like mine.
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Thank you for sharing! I love hearing other perspectives and stories because we only know our own experiences and media makes it seem like every women follows the same routine birth (water breaks, women gets an epidural, women screams until baby arrives). I’m sorry to hear about the anxiety it has created. I don’t know if we will have more, but I know I’ll be discussing what we should know should it arise that we can’t make it to the hospital. Obviously for some of us it is a valid concern.
I love your story and wanted to share a little of my own with you. I have 5 and am currently a few weeks from number 6. Every birth was it’s own. I was induced w bb1 and laborers actively for 71hours, bg2 also induced and actively labored for 37hrs, bg3 induced and labored for 17hrs before an er C-section, bb4 scheduled C-section, bb5 I opted for a vback and on his due date I woke up feeling pain off and on but not regular so I cleaned the house, mowed the lawn, packed all my others thing up just incase, Iade dinner for the kiddos, raked the lawn, loaded the car, and a few other odds and ends my husband arrived home around 7pm from work and my mom about the same time to get the older kids. We got the olders off and I told my husband go ahead and eat, shower, etc. He did and I waited a few more hours. I finally agreed to go to the hospital about 11pm (it took some force). My contractions, although more intense, were still not reg. We arrived about 1130 to triage in l&d where I was examined and told I was not dilated at all. One of the nurses who was leaving from her shift saw the pain I was in and insisted on a fetal monitor for 20min. That’s how they realized my baby’s HR was dropping to the mid 20s with each contraction. They decided to admit me and called my doc who ordered an ultrasound for the next morning and fluids to try and get baby on track. I was admitted and put into an old wing for periodic monitoring. At about 3am I was in so much constant pain I began to ask for something to take the edge off and was checked again and told I was at a 1 and needed to be at 2 for any pain meds but they did move me near the nurses station for closer watch. At 515 I called for my husband who had fallen asleep, my water broke. They came in and checked and said I was at 5 and if I’d like I could use the restroom while they gote those meds. I went into the restroom, sat down, and looked at my husband and said this baby’s is coming out. Several nurses helped get me back to the bed yelling don’t push and by the time I touched the bed my son was caught by that same nurse who insisted on the monitor. (she was filling in for someone both shifts and her shift wasn’t scheduled for 2more hrs but she couldn’t sleep and decided to come in early).