SNYDER: Proudest mom moment comes with a surprise delivery at home
Mothers are amazing creatures.
They can clean up the kitchen after cooking a five-course meal before the kids sit down at the table to eat.
They can play “kitty cats” all day long and still have all the laundry done by the end of the day.
They can meal plan, go grocery shopping and take the kids to the zoo before 7 p.m.
These are just daily accomplishments. Yet, ask any mom and she can precisely identify the time of momdome where she felt the most accomplished; the proudest moment, if you will.
Here’s where I tell you mine.
I delivered my daughter. By myself. Alone.
I experienced what the doctors call precipitous labor or rapid birth.
My middle daughter (now 4 years old) was born right on my bathroom floor.
You know those TV shows – “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant?” Well, mine was more like “You Didn’t Know You Were In Labor?”
Of course, I knew I was in labor; I just didn’t know my labor would progress so quickly.
Let’s lead up to the exact moment.
My contractions started out typical. The doctors will tell you, wait until your contractions are five minutes apart and then come to the hospital.
I followed orders, but they never said your contractions can go from seven minutes apart to 30 seconds within five minutes. Total fail!
I wasn’t doing a grand job of timing them, and I kind of got caught up in the whole pain thing, so I decided to go to the bathroom. I also decided to lock the door.
I had a 4 year old awake in the room next door and my mother in law was there on standby in case anything went down, thus the door locking.
Well, went down, indeed it did.
Unbeknownst to me, that intense pain I was feeling was not just contractions. Actually, I was crowning, or she was crowning I suppose.
Realizing that I was sitting on the toilet, I managed to maneuver my pregnant body off of the toilet and down to the bathroom room to deliver the rest of her body.
You notice a lot as you give birth, like how dirty the bathroom floor really is, how there is never any toilet paper on the toilet paper roll and how you really need to start picking up your dirty clothes and putting them in the hamper.
In the midst of this, I managed a meager “I need help,” to the adults on the other side of the locked bathroom door.
One would think I would scream as loudly as possible “HELP ME! THE BABY IS COMING OUT!” But, no. Call it motherly instinct or maybe the phenomenon of time slowing down during accidents or traumatic moments, but my focus was on delivering my baby and making sure her head didn’t touch the dirty bathroom floor.
Luckily, I caught her. She took a big breath and let out a wail. Her umbilical cord swayed freely, and terrified as I was, I knew it was OK.
My mind continued to race. Am I going to have to use the rusty old scissors to cut the cord? Was I going to have to gnaw through it with my teeth like pre-medicine times? (I don’t know if they really did that, but animals do, so it’s not too far off).
My husband, after a trip down to the basement to get a screwdriver, finally got the locked bathroom door open. Boy, was he in for a surprise of a lifetime.
As he opened the door, he saw his wife sitting cross legged, and newly birthed daughter, quite happily waiting on the bathroom floor.
I’ve never seen blood drain from a face faster.
He stood there, said nothing, and waited, jaw agape.
“Call an ambulance,” I stated, like I was giving directions to a 5 year old.
He turned and left the room. He didn’t even come to gaze upon his daughter and say “Hi, I’m your Dad.” He was clearly in shock.
The lovely Jessamine County EMTs arrived within a minute. Luckily, they took charge of the whole cord-cutting thing. After which, I stood up and walked out into the hallway to jump (ha!) on the gurney and got wheeled out of the house.
The scuff the gurney made is still on our wall; I’ll never be able to wipe it off. A constant reminder of my proudest mom moment.
Now, this is in no way a story about any accolades I deserve.
Every mom’s story is different, and we all know that time where we’ve had to show strength when we thought it wasn’t possible.
It’s more of a “women are stronger than we realize” story. Sometimes we just have to live through something to figure that out.
If you feel so inclined, I’d love to hear your proud mom moment. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Show me your strength! I shared mine, now you share yours. Thank you.
Now, go get your kid a snack, because they always want one.
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