Eleven Years Ago Today…

I originally posted this story in April, 2008 to share the “fun”  thirteen minute birth story of our third son. He turns 11 years old today, so I thought it would be fun to share this story again…

How To Freak Out Your Doctor

My total labor and delivery time with our firstborn, Asa, was a six hours. With Justus, total time was three hours. With both of them, my water broke first, then labor started…um, very quickly and intensely.

(And for all of you who had 46 hour labors, please don’t start throwing tomatoes.)

When your second labor lasts half the time of your first labor, you pack your bags and are ready to leave for the hospital for the birth of your third child about the time you see two pink lines on the stick.

I knew I couldn’t mess around with getting to the hospital, and my doctor should have known too. (I guess he was a little more accustomed to the 46 hour labor people.)

When I woke up with contractions one week before my due date, I was thinking, “Hm, these feel like they could be real contractions.”  But my water hadn’t broken yet, so I just wasn’t sure. As we got dressed and ready to go, I was deciding that yes, these were real contractions.

I called the doctor’s office to tell him that my contractions were about five minutes apart, but that my water hadn’t broken yet. He said, “Well, why don’t you come on into the clinic and we’ll have a look at you.”

My mom was already at our house, so she stayed home with the other boys (who were only four and one at the time…oh, where has the time gone?).

We made the twenty minute drive to the clinic, which, by the way, was across the street from the hospital. (Thankfully!)  All the way there, I was having wonderful contractions – the kind that make you not love being in a car.

But I was freakishly calm, because with my other two, my water had broken first, and with this one it hadn’t. So I thought, “Well, this could be false labor.” (Matt just smiled and said nothing when I mentioned that. He had seen these kind of contractions before and the face that I wear when I’m having them. He was quite sure that this wasn’t false labor.)

Once we got to the clinic, everyone took their time getting me into a room. Then, once I was in the room, the doctor took forever to come back there. Matt, who had been dutifully timing contractions (which were 1.5 minutes apart by now, thank you very much), was starting to get concerned – because again, he had seen me like this before and he knew that this baby was coming soon.

I, on the other hand, was really not thinking clearly, because really, I was just trying to breathe…and to not rip the leather off of the examining table.

Finally, Matt went out and found the doctor and said, “Things are getting pretty intense. I really think you should come check on her now.”

So the doctor meandered in with the nurse, and took his sweet time putting on the rubber glovey thingies…

Then he checked me, went pale, and said to the nurse, “Let’s get her across the street!”

The nurse said, “How many centimeters is she?”

And the doctor said again, “Let’s get her across the street!

(Apparently he felt that if any of the rest of us know that I was 9.999 cm dilated, we might all panic…)

Matt quickly pulled the van around and the nurse put me into it. We crossed the street to the hospital and went in through the emergency room entrance.

In the meantime, the nurse at the clinic called over to the ER and said something like, “A patient named Laura Coppinger is coming over right now. DO NOT mess with her in the ER! DO NOT ask for insurance papers. DO NOT make her sign anything. GET HER UPSTAIRS!”  And then the ER people apparently called the Labor and Delivery people, so they frantically started getting my room and the baby warmer ready…

We walked into the ER (at exactly 9:45 am), and they threw me into a wheelchair (which is such a fun place to be when you are about to explode), and they hurried me upstairs. Matt and I looked at each other like, “Is this really happening?”

We got to the Labor and Delivery floor and found that there were people everywhere flying around with blankets and stuff, saying, “Is this Coppinger?! Get her into this room!”  They whipped off my clothes, threw on the gown, and the doctor came in with his delivery gear on.

He broke my water, and the baby crowned. I pushed once, we had a head. I pushed again, and the baby was born.

It was 9:58 -precisely thirteen minutes after we had arrived at the hospital.

Another boy!!  Elias Joel – weighing in at 7 lbs 13 oz.

We called my mom to let her know that after leaving the house only about an hour and a half ago, we already had our new baby!

Nurses came and went all that day just to see me – the lady who had “come in and popped out a baby in 13 minutes”. (Shucks, if only it really had been that easy.)

Oh, and you know that clinic visit where I had to wait for the doctor to come check me before they finally realized that they needed to send me to the hospital to deliver a baby? Would you believe that later I received a bill in which I was charged a CO-PAY for that visit? The nerve. :)


Happy 11th Birthday, Elias!

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  1. Vicki says

    All of these stories were so much fun to read! Neither of my births were as exciting as yours. First one I labored all day only because of pitocin…dialated all of a fingertip! Finally at 5:30 pm (after starting pitocin at 7:00 am), went to surgery for a c-section. My son 3 1/2 yrs. later was a scheduled c-section. My daughter is the one who has exciting deliveries, going very quickly. She goes from next to nothing to show-time fast! Thanks to all for sharing their stories. And, Happy Birthday to Elias!


    Laura Reply:

    Oh those “labor all day on pitocin and get no where” stories make me hurt for the laborer every time! So glad your daughter goes more quickly. :)


  2. says

    First, I thought HOW did I miss this the first time?! And then I realized that you originally published this JUST before Michelle introduced me to your blog! And the rest is history. ;)

    I won’t hate you too much for your fast labors… {sigh}


    Laura Reply:

    Oh wow, did I write this THAT long ago?? Feel like I’ve known you forever. :)

    So glad we can still be friends, even though my labors were a teeny-tiny bit shorter than yours… ;)


  3. Cindy says

    Ha! I can identify. I was barking at my husband to speed and cut people off….He tells me it was pouring rain and there was a high risk of hydroplaning. I have no memory of that. I got onto the bed,(personal alert!), the baby was coming out with the bag of waters, which they broke, and the intern caught the baby 2 to 4 minutes after we entered the hospital screaming. I was always apologize to my husband before and after labor–I seem to develop a separate personality! :^) Yes, I was suprised to see the doctor’s charge on the bill (she wasn’t there!) but the overal bill was much smaller because there were ZERO preliminaries. In retrospect scary and as always so much to be thankful for.


    Laura Reply:

    Oh my goodness. That is scary! So glad everything turned out great!


  4. Susan F says

    Happy Birthday to Elias! He’s grown a lot since I started reading your great blog.


    Laura Reply:

    Yes, he was only 6 when I started writing this. Can’t believe it!


  5. Erin says

    Oh man, if this had been me, the baby would have been born at the clinic. I never listened to my midwife and if I felt like pushing, I went for it!! And I ALWAYS felt like pushing because that was so much better than transition. My third child is 11, too!! What a great year, sniff sniff.


    Laura Reply:

    Funny thing was, I never really felt like pushing with this one. Thankfully!


  6. carol says

    OK, this was fun to read. First three of my births were shorter each time. After the third came at record speed, the hospital was ready for the fourth….but it took FOREVER!!! Funny thing is that this fellow is still my most relaxed yet – doesn’t stress out about anything! The fifth? Well, that is a novel in itself – almost lost he and me…God is good!


  7. Katie says

    I just read this story for the second time, and realized that Elias and my second-littlest sister have the same birthday, and are both 11 years old! :)


  8. Heather says

    This was hilarious! Mine? 40 hours, with 4 hours of pushing…I earned a badge on that one. My husbands uncle and wife had a similar story. They were Amish, and on their 11th kid they rushed to the hospital and told the doc she is about to have the baby, the md stalled as yours, finally after they both kept on the nurse she finally looked and the baby was crowning, she ran out to get the doctor and her husband caught the baby! I should have asked if they recieved a bill?!


  9. jeanie harper says

    That sounds about like the birth of my second child! I called my doctor about 11:40 to tell him I thought I might be in labor. When we arrived at the hospital at 12:00 AM her head was crowning. The nurses ran with me in a wheelchair and lifted me into the bed just before she was born! My doctor showed up about 20 minutes later!


  10. says

    I had fast, but much less exciting labors with my two sons. With both babies my water broke, but I didn’t go into labor on my own, so I had to be induced. It took a while for the pitocin to kick in, but when it did I was in labor with my first for an hour, and my second for 30 minutes. I didn’t even believe the midwife when she said I was fully dilated, because I didn’t feel like I had to push at all (with both).

    It is always so interesting to hear everyone’s birth stories. Everyone I know has had such different experiences. Praise God that he is in control of it all!


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