|Katriana (Kat-tree-ona) Saphirra - 7 lbs 4 oz - 19 1/5 inches|
My third pregnancy started with a whirlwind of emotions and certainly ended the same way! My third baby was born around 6:45 pm on the side of I-25 just 15 minutes from the hospital I had planned to deliver at. It is the most insane, unexpected, intense and exhilarating experience I’ve ever had!
I’d been having contractions for about 5-6 days and wasn’t surprised when I woke up to more contractions at 3 in the morning on the day of my daughter’s birth. Like the others, they lasted about a minute long, were anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes apart and very strong. Around 9 in the morning, my husband and I loaded up the family and decided to head down. On the way, I called my OB office to see what they thought.
Because of the distance (about an hour and a half from my house to the hospital), it was the nurse’s advice that I head down, spend some time at my mother-in-laws house to see if they got closer together or, if they stopped, if walking could get them started back up. We arrived at my mother-in-laws’ at 10:00am. While there, the contractions began spreading farther apart so my husband and I went to the store and walked around a bit.
By 1:00pm I wanted to go home and rest. My mother-in-law agreed to keep my kiddos as I was sure active labor was just around the bend. I figured I’d probably get home, rest… do some last minute cleaning and wake up sometime in the middle of the night with labor actually kicking in.
Once home, I spent an hour or so napping. Contractions were roughly 10 – 15 minutes apart during this. I spent the next few hours hopping in and out of the bath tub and shower, cursing… everyone and everything and actually ended up in tears through a few of the contractions. The pain was so intense. My husband started trying to convince me to go in, but we had been timing the contractions and had recently checked my cervix. They contractions were still all over (6 minutes, 12 minutes, 10 minutes, 8 minutes, etc) and my cervix wasn’t changing much at all.
About 40 minutes later, I had an intense contraction that was just 4 minutes after the previous one. Four minutes later I had another one. After two more, that close together, I agreed with my husband and got dressed so we could head in. Thirty minutes into the drive I began fearing we weren’t going to make it in time, as the contractions were getting closer together and the pain from them had me … being extremely vocal.
|(You can see the contractions being sporadic |
here at 8 minutes, 4 minutes, 6 minutes,
7 minutes, etc)
|And then they picked up to 4 minutes, |
then 2 and then under 2 and then over 2 again.
They changed so quickly and it all just
happened so fast.
About 20 minutes away from the hospital I felt a bulge enter my vagina and the next contraction brought on a “pop” (that I’m sure I felt more than heard but it felt like I heard if, if that makes sense) and my water broke much like you see in the movies. Being GBS +, my husband and I were worried that it had broken and we weren’t at the hospital yet. Getting antibiotics before my water breaking certainly wasn’t an option any longer!
A few minutes later I was screaming at my husband to pull over. I needed my pants off and the baby was coming. I couldn’t stop it and I was not going to do it while he was driving (basically like a maniac, understandably so). He took the next exit and pulled over on it. Just as he opened my door and helped me get my pants off (while calling 911) he saw a police officer exit and began frantically waving him down to get help.
I was unable to stop myself from pushing as contractions came on and felt the baby’s head inside of my vagina. It was around this point that I noticed a lady running towards me and heard something I thought only ever happened in movies.
“It’s okay, I’m a doctor. I’m actually a pediatrician. It’s okay!”
|My husband couldn't keep his eyes off our|
new little girl! And I'm so grateful for this picture <3
I don’t know how to describe what I felt in that moment. Someone was there to help me have my baby and she knew how to. She continued to encourage me and reiterated that she was a doctor, a pediatrician and had actually delivered babies before. She asked me my name, what I was having and encouraged me to push.
Within just a few pushes, my baby was out and she placed her on my chest. The police officer had taken my husband’s phone at this point and was on with 911 to get an ambulance to us while the doctor talked to me and checked me. She assured me I hadn’t ripped (as I was certain my child had ripped my vagina in two, heading north) and worked on massaging my uterus. She asked my baby’s name and helped me calm down.
She or the officer asked me where we were from and when I said we were from a small town, 50 miles from the city so that I could have a VBAC, I remember her jaw dropping in excitement. I’d just had a VBAC on the side of the road. She had just delivered a VBAC baby on the side of the interstate (probably not what she envisioned herself doing while visiting her daughter at the air force academy).
|Patricia holding my little Katriana after|
having delivered her! <3
There is, literally, no way to explain the emotions I felt during that time. The amazement that a doctor saw what was going on and pulled over to help me… the fact I had just delivered my third child on the side of the interstate… that I had a baby on my chest and she was looking around and moving and breathing. The doctor, whose name was Patricia Miller (Patty), encouraged me to nurse her and told me how she was actually from Pittsburg. She had my husband find something to cover our baby in so she wouldn’t get cold.
The only blanket we had on us was the one I had made during the pregnancy. We covered her while I worked on getting her to latch, which she quickly did and nursed like a pro. My husband and I answered Sargent Keith Wrede’s questions about my name, birthdate, age and the baby’s name. The ambulance showed up and they began working on getting the cord cut (my husband got to cut it). Dr. Miller continued massaging my uterus and checking to see what my placenta was doing and monitored the baby. She said she’d rate her APGAR around 8 or 9 and said my little girl was doing really well. The paramedics checked my vitals and helped get me out of my minivan (which most definitely looked like a baby had just been birthed in it) and onto a gurney.
Before long, my new daughter and I were in the ambulance and headed towards the hospital where my doctor delivered my placenta and the nurses quickly checked to make sure baby and I were indeed fine. My daughter continued nursing like a champ and everything was okay. It’s… amazing. Purely amazing.
There are so many details I’ll never forget from this birth. The way my feet, hands and face swelled up like crazy while in labor (didn't expect that... everything was tingling and everything :p). The way I screamed as the baby came out (my throat was sore that night, it was pretty primal lol). The way I was certain my daughter had split me in two. The complete lack of control I had in the situation. The fact we had already gotten our children somewhere safe so they didn’t have to be a part of this crazy and terrifying experience. The role God played in putting a Sargent AND a pediatrician right where Marc stopped the minivan so I could deliver the baby. The way her head felt when I reached to see if she was indeed coming out. The amazing feeling of having your baby put directly onto you, the cord still inside of you and just looking at her and being so amazed. The pace my labor went. Just everything.
Everything about this experience is incredible and a blessing and a miracle. The number of people who helped take care of family during this birth will always be a huge reminder to me how caring and compassionate the majority of people are. I remember asking the doctor why she stopped. How did she know to stop? She told me she saw my baby bump and with how I was acting and my husband was acting, it was clear something was definitely going on.
I’m so grateful for the images her daughter got of us. I will never forget her and I’m grateful I will one day be able to show my daughter who delivered her.
And I am especially proud that this birth was a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean). I know some will think and perhaps even judge me for choosing a hospital so far from my home. But, when faced with major abdominal surgery, that carries significant risks to you and your child for no reason other than the hospital nearest you having a VBAC ban (claiming they aren't equipped to handle emergency surgeries -_-), or finding a doctor in the next city over (only 50 miles), that can safely deliver your child and is confident enough in his/her abilities to perform emergency surgery if it's actually necessary (but doesn't think it will be), the decision wasn't difficult to make. I knew there was a chance of having the baby before I could get to the hospital, that's a risk no matter where you're at! Labor can go incredibly fast no matter how close you are to the hospital... and most labors don't last so long. I'm rambling now haha ... the point I want to make is women shouldn't be forced into situations where they either take the risks of a major surgery when all recent research proves VBAC is safer than repeat section in most cases or find a doctor else where and hopefully don't have the baby on the side of the road. :p VBAC Rights rant over :p
Katriana Saphirra was born on August 28, 2015 at approximately 6:45 pm, weighing in at 7 lbs 4 oz and 19 ½ inches long, on the side of the road… and within hours of her birth, was already making headlines. Our third little girl made quite the impact upon entering the world!