Learning About Laura, One Story at a Time: A Great Way to Freak out Your Doctor

Here is the long awaited story that I promised to tell you about how our third son, Elias was almost born in the doctor’s office.

Prerequisite information is:  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, quickly and intensely.

(And for all of you who had 46 hour labors…please don’t start throwing tomatoes…I am just the person who helps the average labor length be what it is…and um, so are you…we’re just on opposite ends.) ;)

Anyway…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. (Guess he was just sorta used to the 46 hour labor people.)

So, when I woke up with contractions one week before my due date…I was thinking…”Hm, these feel like 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 in and we’ll have a look at you.”

My mom was already there…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…).

So we get to the clinic and and 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 1/2 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, “Um, things are getting pretty intense. I really think you should come check on her now.”

So the doctor strides in with the nurse…and takes his time putting on the rubber glovey thingies…

Then he checks me…goes pale…and says to the nurse, “Let’s get her across the street.”

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

And the doctor says, “Let’s get her across the street.”

(Apparently he felt that if any of the rest of us know that I was 9.9 cm dilated..we would all panic…)

So Matt pulls the van around and the nurse puts me into it…and we go 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 call the Labor and Delivery people and they start frantically getting my room ready and getting the baby warmer ready…

SO, we walk into the ER (at exactly 9:45 am)..and they throw me into a wheelchair (oh, such a fun place to be when you are about to explode)…and they hurry me upstairs.

Matt and I are looking at each other like, “Is this really happening?”

We get to the Labor and Delivery floor and there’s all these people flying around with blankets and stuff, saying, “Is this Coppinger? Get her into this room!”

They whip off my clothes, throw on the gown…the doctor comes in with his delivery gear on…

He breaks my water, and the baby crowns. I push once, we have a head. I push again, the baby is born.

At 9:58…thirteen minutes after arriving at the hospital.

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

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

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

Oh, and would you believe…I was charged a CO-PAY at the clinic for that visit? The nerve. :)

You can find other fun birth stories at Amy’s Finer Things!


  1. says

    Fun story – I’d heard it before, but it was fun to read it. I love how you put us RIGHT there with you, with your blog posts. Oh, and a co-pay??? I would totally have complained!


  2. says

    Very funny story to read!! But I’d be the one throwing the tomato. Labor all day and then a c-section because my 9lb baby wouldn’t come out!!


  3. Joelle says

    LOL. At least you didn’t have your baby in the car like one of my friends. Or at least the doctor was there because another friend I know had her baby before the doctor could even arrive! She got to the hospital and it went VERY fast. Her labor with her older child was something like 20+ hrs… what was up with that!


  4. says

    Hmm, your story sounds pretty good after being in the hospital for 3 days before Lil Major showed up…

    But, God totally knew what he was doing in both situations, didn’t He?


  5. says

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting this story. I’m hoping that my #3, when ever it happens isn’t this quick. I was 16 hours with my 1st, but only 5 with my 2nd. With Isaiah I didn’t really wasn’t sure I was in labor because my contractions where anywhere from 11-2 minutes apart and never got regular even when I was pushing I would sometimes got 20 minutes before my next contraction. It was fun trying to convincing my midwife that they are getting stronger and you think it’s the real thing.


  6. says

    goodness I must be tired, my lat comment is poorly written. I * really wasn’t sure… and I would sometimes get*… and I* think it’s the real thing.


  7. says

    I found your story on Amy’s Finer Things. I am so glad I click on your link. Your story really made me smile. I had a pretty fast labor also, BUT not as fast as yours!


  8. says

    Great birth story! So funny! Although I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time!

    My mom had a similar one with my younger sister. Her water broke and she knew it was time to go to the hospital and have the baby – and my dad asked if he could take a shower first even though he’d been home all day.

    They finally get to the hospital and they are trying to make her check in at the ER and she says, NO! I need to go upstairs, I am going to have this baby. The orderly who is pushing her wheelchair says, Oh, it’s like that, huh? And wheels her upstairs. My mom said he was the only one that believed her all day!

    She gets to labor and delivery and tells the nurses, Call my doctor, I’m going to have this baby. They say, Well, we’ll just get you settled in first and check you and then call the doctor. She says, No really, you need to call the doctor.

    They take her to the triage room and she puts her feet up for them to check and the nurses cries out, Put your feet down! Your crowning! Get her to the delivery room!! And my mom is like, I told you so!

    She gets to the delivery room and her doctor has just come out of surgery and still has on his surgical mask as he delivers my baby sister. And every shift changes the nurses say, Oh, you’re the one who had the doctor changing his gloves as he was running through halls!

    Doctors (and nurses) should learn to listen when women say, I am going to have this baby! :)


  9. Jamie Garcia says

    Ok you “beat” me. My second daughter was born last march and was born 1 hour after arriving at the hospital. They kept me waiting 20 MINUTES in the waiting room (the poor security guard called 3x in a panic :)

    and PS, I’m a “yeller” (not a screamer, I sound like I’m tackling something) when I give birth, lovely to do in the L&D waiting room!


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