May 18, 2011

  • Two Years Ago: Olivia’s Birth Story


    What a beautiful, quiet week it’s been, after a lovely, beautiful weekend with Christy. I’m still smiling. :)

    Goodwill [out of all the cool stores in A___, we went to Goodwill! And wow, was it fun!] – and she warned me that she convinces people to buy a lot of stuff. And yes, she was right. :)

    Starbucks Happy Hour – Peppermint Mocha Frap for her, and Mocha Coconut for me. And long, delicious conversations for us both…

    Lovely times for our children to play together, our husbands to converse while they babysat so kindly… :)

    Christy, it was a pleasure!


    Some time ago I alluded to the car birth of Olivia – I don’t even remember what the context was or why I referred to it. But several people have asked to hear the birth story. So, because this is her birthday week, and because I’m off to work on sewing projects, I copied and pasted the blog entry from two years ago, announcing her arrival!

    Hope you enjoy! :)


    INTRODUCING… our [Roadside] Wonder!






    Olivia Caroline
    which means
    ‘Messenger of Peace and Joy’
    entered the world

    May 20, 2009

    [proud, wonderful daddy with his second daughter!]


    We are so blessed with a precious baby girl!! A baby sister for Zoe’, a beautiful little daughter for Ben and me!

    I had forgotten how completely darling a newborn baby is! We are all just completely smitten with her, and are head over heels in love! She has done so well so far, eats and eats and sleeps! I just love to hold her, smell her, kiss her, hold her… A new baby is just as precious and innocent as can be.

    My heart feels like it’s going to burst with the love I feel for my little family… My wonderful husband who has been such a supportive trooper through the past few days, my darling little girl Zoe’, my precious newborn baby. Any questions I had about whether I could love another child as well as the first have disappeared! The love that  God gives a parent for their new child is just amazing!

    [a few hours after birth]

    Zoe’ has done so well in adjusting so far. I think largely due to her daddy really taking good care of her, making sure she is not overlooked in all the changes that are taking place in her little life. So far she has taken everything in stride. We had told her that mommy is going to have a baby, but weren’t sure how much she understood. But now that Baby is here, it seems like Zoe’s reaction is that, well, we had told her a baby is coming, and now she’s here!

    She comes and wants to hold her, but isn’t overbearing like I thought she might be. After holding her for a bit, she says she’s all done, and then wants to go play. My parents and brothers are now here, and Zoe’ is just thrilled to pieces to have them here! I think all the action around here is helping her adjust well too. But wow, hard to believe my little girl is now the Big Sister!

    [a lovely bouquet arranged for Olivia by Aunt Rebekah!]


    The past few days have been rather eventful, as is any new birth entering the world! This birth had a few more unexpected twists than I was expecting, and I find myself thinking it surely must all be a dream! But this is what I remember of my ‘dream’…

    Nutshell Version:
    After 48 hours of labor, baby girl is born in car en route to birthing center.

    Long Version: [and beware, it is detailed. This is for my extended family and friends, whom I can't tell the story to on the phone due to time]

    I was due on Tuesday, May 12, but the days kept passing on by, with me hoping I wouldn’t have to count much higher with each new day! With Zoe’ 11 days late, and now Baby Olivia a few minutes shy of 9 days late,  I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m just a slow cooker – it takes me a long time to hatch a baby!

    My contractions began Monday afternoon, and by 10pm were 5 minutes apart. Although getting close, they were bearable, so we decided to try to get some sleep and see what would happen. At 5am the next morning Ben and I were heading to the Birthing Center over an hour away with contractions 3-5 minutes apart and getting stronger.

    We took Zoe’ to Grandpa Yoder’s on the way out, and arrived at the Birthing Center to find I was dilated to 4cm. That was encouraging, and we were told to head out to the town for one last “date” before the baby came and to walk around to encourage the labor. I was still able to walk and talk in between contractions, although I felt rather like a spectacle when a contraction came.

    So we did! We went to Panera Bread for breakfast, and I was very relieved that it was a very slow morning in business for them! Then we went to the beach with the intention of walking for a while. By the time we got to the beach we were both so tired from not resting well during the night, so we tried to sleep in the car for about a hour. Rather uncomfortable while I was in labor, but I was so tired I managed to rest somewhat.

    We attempted to walk along the beach, but that day was crazy weather for May, and it was very cold and so so windy, so we gave that up quickly and headed to the mall to walk instead. This was the midwife’s suggestion – I would never have dreamt of going to the mall during labor! WHAT in the world would people think??? She assured me that people are often in their own world and would probably never notice, until my contractions got really hard. So we walked and walked… and walked. A lot of window shopping going on, and objects suddenly became very fascinating as I’d suddenly have a contraction and try to breathe through it!

    Mid-afternoon we headed back to the Birthing Center, labor was not getting much more intense and I was getting very tired from walking so much. We rested for a while again, and then tried walking again for several hours to speed the labor. Herbal tinctures and things would kick up the contractions for a bit, but I wouldn’t progress.

    The problem was that the baby would not settle head-down. She had never “dropped.” With each contraction her head/body would try to go diagonal, then after the contraction would go more vertex. But she would not settle in the vertex position, which made the contractions ineffective, no matter how hard they were.

    By evening I was wiped out from being in labor so many hours already, and my contractions were slowing down because of that. We were advised to either get a motel for the night [to relieve the pressure of being at a birthing center] or just go home and see what would happen.

    We ended up going home, although we were told by the nurse that when the baby does right herself, that things could happen very fast, and she was concerned about a car birth! But as slow as things were going, I never thought once more about it, even though she gave me a plastic bag to hold the placenta would we need it!!

     I was a weeping, wailing wreck on the way home! My poor, dear husband! I would collect myself, only to have another contraction hit, and then I’d start crying all over again! Completely exhausted from having contractions for almost 24 hours already, plus this day was my sister Claudia’s birthday and I was so hoping my baby would be born then! I was already a week overdue and the thought of already being in labor 24 hours and not being able to dilate past 4 cm was completely overwhelming.

    We tried to sleep through the night as much as possible. My body was so tired that the contractions slowed to about 20 minutes apart, which allowed me to rest in between them. When I was laying down, they came about 20 minutes apart. When I was up and walking around they would come about 5 minutes apart.

    The next day we had a chiropractor appointment to try to straighten the baby, hearing that sometimes chiropractors can do things like that, and we were desperate. I thought my bag of waters was leaking as well, so we went to the Birthing Center afterward to check that out. Somehow, they weren’t able to detect that it really was my water leaking, [even though I was leaking quite rapidly] and I was sent home again. Ben asked if it would be crazy for him to go back to work the following day, and the midwife thought that would be okay, since this labor could drag out for quite a bit more time.

    All this time I was having contractions anywhere from 5-20 minutes apart, and was becoming so exhausted from not being able to sleep well for several nights.

    It was Wednesday evening by this time, and we hadn’t seen Zoe’ since Tuesday morning, so we went to Ben’s parents’ house for supper and to spend some time with Zoe. We found a very happy little girl who was taken care of so well! She loves spending time at Grandpa’s house, and seemed to be having a great time! I think it was harder on me than on her to be away from her so long! I was very uncomfortable physically because of leaking so much fluid plus the contractions.

    My contractions started coming 3-5 minutes apart again, and it just annoyed me because I knew the baby still wasn’t in the right position, which made the contractions basically ineffective in progressing the labor.

    We called the midwife and told her that my bag of waters was indeed leaking, quite rapidly. She said that from that point on we had 24 hours to have the baby, or we had to go the hospital. Regulations. We could either return to the Birthing Center that night, or be there at 7am the next morning to try to get things going again. I was so tired I couldn’t bear the thought of trying to labor through the night, so we returned home. Again.

    Ben tried to call a nurse friend who has worked labor/delivery for years, and were not able to get a hold of her. He left a message.

    The next 24 hours looked overwhelming to me. Wednesday night at 10pm marked the point of being in early labor 48 hours, and I was completely exhausted.  I didn’t know how in the world I was going to be able to have this baby! And knew that if the labor did not progress and the baby did not turn, that a C-section was still a possibility. If Ben would have given me the go-ahead, I would have opted for that right away, just to get the labor over with!

    But we returned home. Ben rubbed my feet to try to help me relax as much as possible, and my contractions were still coming about 5 minutes apart.

    We got into bed around 10:30pm, and shortly after got a text from Lois, the nurse friend, who had just got the message, and said we could contact her if we still needed something. Ben went out and called her, and while he was talking I felt the baby’s head move. Definitely move, as if something seemed to click into place.

    Immediately I went into HARD, active labor, with contractions back to back. Ben heard that something was different, and came running back to see what was going on. He was still on the phone, and told Lois to come over as soon as possible. She lives about 2 miles away and was there in just minutes. She saw what was going on [me, rocking on the floor!], checked me, and I was dilated between 6-7 cm. She told us we need to head out as soon as possible, and she was going with us. She grabbed a couple of towels just in case we needed them, and we were literally running out the door as fast as we could after getting out of night clothes.

    The Birthing Center is an hour and fifteen minutes away, although this time I think Ben would have done it in one hour. He was driving as fast as possible, but trying to be as safe as he could! I was in the back seat, trying to make it through the contractions that were coming back to back with hardly a break.

     I was since looked back and just laughed and laughed, because my normally calm, collected husband was more worked up than I have ever EVER seen him! He was in the front seat shaking, praying, saying this was his nightmare coming true, and all sorts of funny things!

    About 40 minutes into the trip, I heard Ben tell Lois that he was afraid he had to stop for gas! In all the trips to and back from the Center [over an hour one-way] we had tried to stay filled up, but this was the one trip that mattered and he didn’t think we’d be able to make it the whole way there! He stopped for gas – or more accurately, screeched the car to a halt, jumped out, and pumped a gallon as fast as a human being ever pumped. Meanwhile, my labor only intensified, and I called/moaned, “This baby is coming!!” At a gas station at that.

    Lois jumped in the back seat with me, Ben jumped in the front after getting just a bit of gas, and we took off again. But the baby was indeed coming, and Lois told Ben to pull over as soon as he could find a lighted area, he needed to deliver this baby!

    The first place we came to was about 3 miles down the road, a Hampton Inn. We must have been quite a sight, and I’m so glad it was around midnight vs. the middle of the day, because this area normally got a lot of traffic!

    [picture taken the following day, and this was actually written on their sign!]

    So Ben wheeled into the parking lot, squeezed into the side of the car with Lois, and two minutes and two contractions later,  we had a baby girl! :) All the birthing equipment we had and needed was bath towels!

    Lois was an angel from the Lord that night… I have since looked at the whole timing of her contacting us and Ben being on the phone with her as just simply DIVINE. She was so calm and knew just what to do, and although the car situation was far less than ideal, she was just wonderful through it all! I feel like I just can’t sing her praises enough!

    After a few minutes of making sure the baby was okay, and she was a wonderfully healthy baby, we continued the trip to the Birthing Center. Ben and I were alternating crying out of relief and happiness and laughing at the sheer crazy wonder of it all!

     In all the shuffle of the baby coming so far, we had lost the one cell phone we had between the three of us. So we weren’t able to call anyone until we arrived at the Birthing Center, and  Ben ran in and told the midwife that, well, the baby was already here!

    [in the car, approximately 15-20 minutes after birth. Notice the car seat base just pushed to the side!]

    [still in the car, cutting the cord after we arrived at the birthing center]

    And that, my friends, is the story of our Roadside Wonder, as Ben calls this Baby! :)




    And there it is! I sure am glad it was two years ago!

     On May 20 of this year, there will only be celebration ~ no labor and delivery involved! :)



Comments (27)

  • you look strikingly gorgeous for enduring that much labor and frustration, to end with delivering in the car! =)
    she is a beautiful little girl. lots of wishes for the happiest of birthdays to her.

  • I love reading birth stories even if they always make me cry.  Your story is amazing.  :)

  • ;O) what a story…then and now!!!
    have the happiest of days celebrating your little darling!

  • Wow!!! That brought tears to my eyes too. : ) Every story is so neat and unique but hers is just amazing!! I think I would have been the one that was a wreck, that is by far one of my worst nightmares. lol. And you did it with such grace… you don’t look at all like you just gave birth, let alone in a car! : ) Happy Birthday to your messenger of peace and joy. : )

  • Two already?? You know, as crazy as life is with the littles . . . I just want to s.l.o.w. it all down, down, down. I don’t wanna miss the wonder of the here and now. And we are entrusted with them . . . to prepare them to be messangers of peace and joy . . . and whatever all their sweet names mean! Blessings as you raise your girls for Him. Oh, and the car delivery? I remember not being able to *believe* that after all your long laboring, that you topped it off with *this*. :) And just to avoid that very situation, I am now seriously, seriously considering homebirth for baby next one. Love you!

  • Thanks for sharing your amazing birth story. I was all teary and on the edge of my seat. So happy for you at the wonderful outcome and provision of your dear friend at birth. I agree that you look amazing for just having your sweet baby, and she looks so cute looking up at you!

  • OH my word!!!!! I admire your strength, I have no idea how it is to labor that long, I do know that once I start Contracting … I can go from 2 to 10 and holding my baby in 15 minutes! You lokk amazingly beautiful holding your new born! Happy birthday to her !

  • @The_Carpers - Oh my word!!!!!!  Unbelieveable!! Did you ever have a car birth?! :)

  • That is an amazing story! I’m so glad you included “the long version” ;) How can you manage to look so beautiful after 48 hours of labor AND giving birth in a car??!?! That picture of you in the back seat with Olivia is priceless! Thank you so much for posting this I enjoyed it thoroughly :)

  • wow that was quite the adventure. i’m glad that you were able to have your friend to help you. Praise God that he gave you the strength to push her into the right position. thank you for sharing this!

  • Wow, what a story!! I felt the pain of you having to labor so long…made me tired just thinking of it!!
    But what a sweet lil girl as a result! :)

  • What a Story!!! I loved reading it! You looked so Beautiful right after you gave birth!!!
    What a sweet baby….I want to hold and give her kisses! I know she’s a bit bigger now, but that baby picture is just so precious.
    HaPpY BiRtHdAy to Roadside Wonder Olivia! =) 

  • One more thing…I think it’s so nice to have birthing centers. We don’t have any where we live…I wish so bad we did!
    Our choices are home or the hospital!

  • Goodness, that story just gave me goosebumps all over again!

  • @lifeisadance - Nope … never a car birth! my midwife knows I go to quick to take me to that point! When I have random (but steady) labor pains she has me come in.

  • @Elizabethmarie_1 - You’re too kind. I think I was just ECSTATIC that she was *finally* born! :) And that  birth center is the only one in the whole state of Georgia, thus the one hour and fifteen minute drive. Homebirths are illegal here (??!!) so hospitals are the main option. I don’t know *what* I’ll do next time, because I sure don’t want another car birth!

  • Wow!  That is a story that your daughter will love to hear over and over as she is growing up, I bet.

    And I echo what other’s said, you look so calm and pretty, especially in that first picture of you holding her.

    I am glad to say, though, that I do not envy you for the way your story went!

  • Sometime ago I came across your blog and have enjoyed reading it. But I HAD to comment this time. Feb 2nd of this year we also had a car birth. It was not beside the road but in the parking lot of the hospital! We also had an hour drive. My labor was quite unlike yours though. Mine started with a bang, 2 – 3 min apart form the start and an hour later she was born! So glad your story turned out alright. When I think of the things that could have happened, well, I thank God for our little baby!

  • @Berneice - Wow!! You have quite the story too!! Oh, I’d love to talk with you in person. :) I’ve met so few people who’ve had this experience, and well, it’d be pretty neat to hear it for real! Glad your story turned out well and that you and baby were okay! A car birth can be rather tramatizing! :)

  • Thanks for giving us such a long detaled version of Olivia’s arrival!!! WOW,,,  you are super woman in my eyes!!!

  • Clarita, can we have a repeat of that weekend? It was soooo wonderful and already feels like a long time ago. Happy birthday to sweet, happy, beautiful little Olivia. Her birth story makes quite an impact, and I hope her life will be the same. I was showing Steve a picture of her and gushing over her cuteness. He doesn’t normally go ga-ga over cute children like I do, but this time he said, “Yeah…if she grows up with a character to match those looks, I’d be pretty fine with her and Ian getting together.” :D (And with the character-development that I see you two building, there’s a good chance of that happening. :) )

  • @twofus_1 - Oh, that’s SO funny. I was thinking that at Zachary actually, but was a little too sheepish to say it! That if his character as a man matches his character as a boy, he’s going to be a wanted man – by both girls AND their moms!! :D And yes, let’s do a repeat. You come here next time? Except we have no Goodwills. :)

  • I would love to have a weekend at your place. And no Goodwills? No problem! You have the beach which ranks WAY higher in my book. :)

  • @twofus_1 - Yes yes yes! The beach!! When can we start planning?!

  • WOW! Amazing! My birth story with one of mine almost matched yours until the car part came in ;O), but better the car then a c-section! I had to do that with my last baby….
    I love how every birth story is so unique! Happy Birthday to your baby girl and Happy “birth” day to you to mama!! :O)

  • @sailing5 - Oh wow, so you had a really long labor too?? That is so so hard!

  • Wow! What an amazing birth story! (Popped by from your comment over at Aliza’s blog…)

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