I’m so excited to introduce you to the newest member of the Classy Career Girl family, Sienna Grace Runyan. Born on August 1st and sharing the same birthday as her late great-grandmother, Margaret, she came fast and furious. The story is nothing short of dramatic and exciting so I’m sure this little girl has lots of surprises coming our way in the future.
While my labor with my first daughter, Mila, lasted a tough and grueling 20 hours, my labor with Sienna only lasted 4 hours!! You can read Mila’s birth story here.
A Note About My Natural Childbirth Decision
Before we start, I do have to share my decisions for labor. For both of my deliveries, I tried my best to have a natural, unmedicated childbirth and follow The Bradley Method. Bradley Method is also known as “husband-coached childbirth” and teaches parents to manage labor through deep breathing and support of a partner. If you are interested in natural childbirth, I cannot recommend these classes enough! If you don’t have the time to attend the class, I recommend the book, Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon. It’s a little old but has all the info you need to have a natural childbirth.
Note: For both of my labors, I was just minutes away from an unmedicated delivery. The midwives and doctors at both of my births gave me one last push “or else” and to this day, I’m not quite sure what “or else” was going to be. Emergency C-section, forceps, vacuum, drugs….I’m glad I never had to know. I know that not every mother’s situation can be a natural childbirth and every mother needs to make the right decision for her. For me, I knew I wanted to go into labor committed and focused on doing everything I could to have a natural childbirth and give my daughters the best possible entrance into this world. If my deliveries would have ended with something outside of my control such as a C-section, drugs or vacuum, I would not have been upset because I knew I did my best and my husband and I were as educated as possible in order to make the best decision for our family.
I chose natural because after doing my research, there are a lot of complications that can arise with inductions and with c-sections. I have nothing against them, I just knew that committing to a natural childbirth was the right decision for me with as little intervention as possible.
And as you’ll see, there wasn’t much time for any intervention for baby #2 almost born in the car!
How Labor Started
My contractions started at 4am on August 1st, 2018. That was the exact same time I woke up with contractions with my first daughter, Mila! Initially, contractions feel like very light period cramps so I kept telling myself not to get my hopes up. I laid in bed for 2 hours just letting them come and go because they weren’t consistent or very painful at all. I didn’t even wake my husband up because I knew we needed rest for a long day.
I woke up and walked around to see if contractions continued. They did so I knew this was it. I woke up John at 6am and said today is the day. It was 2 days before my due date so I was definitely ready to meet my baby girl. The night before when we went to bed we said it will probably be tomorrow because we actually have plans tomorrow and we didn’t have plans for the entire week before. The day that contractions started, Mila had her first day of preschool. I also had two live calls I was supposed to do with our members and John was supposed to play tennis that night. It was already one busy day but that wasn’t stopping Sienna from making her grand entrance.
After I woke up John at 6am. I finished packing my hospital bag. I also got Mila’s backpack ready for the first day of school between contractions and then hopped in the shower. The water felt really good on my body during my contractions and I remember this from my first labor with Mila. I was timing my contractions and they were coming closer and closer together and getting stronger. I was surprised that they were getting closer but I didn’t want to get my hopes up that things would move fast because of my previous 20-hour intense labor.
I got out of the shower and got dressed. Of course, Mila woke up and wanted me to help her get dressed. I somehow helped her put on her dress for school in between contractions and asked John to make us eggs. He looked at my contraction timer app and realized we might need to go to the hospital sooner rather than later. So he called my mom to have her pick up Mila from preschool that day and called the hospital to let them know to reserve us a room. The woman who I spoke with said not to rush in if I wanted a natural labor and said to wait longer. So, I agreed because just talking to them made my contractions practically disappear. Who asks a laboring woman her medical record number and expects her to know!
My first birth with Mila was in a birth center so everyone around was supportive of a natural childbirth. I knew now that since I was giving birth in a hospital, I would be an anomaly. I was worried about not being able to have the natural labor I wanted once I got to the hospital and I also knew the contractions would be much more comfortable at home.
And Then Things Went Fast….
John was still getting Mila ready for school so I laid on the couch in a side-lying position that I learned at our Bradley Method class. This was the same position that I used in early labor with Mila. This time the position was unbearable and so much more painful than I remember. I wanted to scream during my contractions but Mila was still around having breakfast so I didn’t want to freak her out. She thought mommy was just sleeping on the couch. Finally, I told John he needed to leave now and pushed them out the door with a hug and kiss to Mila in between a contraction so he could get her to school and I could scream. John walked her to school and I asked another parent to watch Mila a little early because we were headed directly to the hospital. Just a few minutes/contractions later by myself in the living room and my water broke. I quickly messaged John and said “hury” instead of “hurry” and John dropped Mila off with the first parent he saw and ran back because he knew I never misspell so it must really be urgent.
I got to the point by myself on the couch where I didn’t think I could do it any longer. The point where you regret your decision to go natural and if you are in a hospital you say give me some drugs ASAP!! But I wasn’t in a hospital and baby was almost out!
John got back super fast after that text and I was panicked by myself. I could feel the urge to push and knew that the baby was coming very soon. Everything I learned though from Bradley Method made me know that I could not push yet since I was not in a hospital. I didn’t even have time to put a change of clothes on after my water broke so I asked John for a towel and wrapped it around me. He was still packing the car (and moving kind of slow in my opinion) until I screamed, “Get in the car and drive NOW!” I jumped in the front seat praying that we would get there in time and trying not to push even though my body wanted to. It was 8am when we left our house and my labor had progressed alot in the last hour. I definitely regretted not leaving earlier at that point but there was nothing we could do but go now.
The Long Drive to the Hospital
We started the 25-minute drive to the hospital just in time for morning traffic. Not smart.
First, we waited at the longest stoplight ever! I had my eyes closed through the entire drive but would open them here and there to see where we were. I kept saying “HURRY!” and “Are we close?” Then, I started saying just take me to the emergency room. I wanted John to know how urgent this was because he had to get me there fast because baby was coming any second. I didn’t even wear a seatbelt on the drive and John told me later he was going 110 mph on the freeway. Yikes! He also ran a red light at the end but THANK GOD we finally got to the exit to the hospital.
My moment of relief was when I looked up and saw the exit to Clairemont Mesa Blvd. I knew we were close enough to the hospital and we were going to make it there safely where someone could help us deliver this baby safely and not in a car. Thank the Lord!
At The Hospital
John knew better than to drop me at the emergency room because he knew the people who we needed to get to were on the third floor in labor and delivery. There was no time to waste so John pulled up to the front drop off area, left the car running with all of our belongings in it and quickly grabbed me a wheelchair. He had asked me if I wanted to walk up to the third floor and I told him he was crazy. There was no way I could walk!
He ran me into the hospital, straight to the elevator and got me up to the third floor. There was no one around that morning and even though I was in distress, it felt like everyone was just looking at us like we were CRAZY!! I was mouthing “HELP ME” to people and they all just looked at us strangely. It was kind of a weird feeling.
Thanks to the hospital tour that we took a few months back of the hospital, we knew exactly where we needed to go. As soon as we got to the third floor where we were supposed to “check-in” I just yelled, “I’m pushing! I’m pushing!” and they let us through security into labor and delivery without checking in. Once again, they thought we were crazy.
The nurse didn’t even know my name or medical record number but she checked how far along I was right away. I’m sure she didn’t believe I was actually in the pushing phase and was as far along as I was. But, she checked and sure enough could feel Sienna’s head ready to come out at any moment. I was way past 10 cm dilated and it was time for her dramatic entrance. She quickly gathered all the staff and called the midwife who ran into the room to deliver my baby just in time. She moved me into the delivery room and I still had my eyes closed the whole time. I was still trying to relax between contractions and the wonderful midwife and nurses talked me through everything that needed to happen next.
I was wearing my “Powerful” shirt and had no time even to change into my hospital gown. I would feel much more powerful when I could push! The midwife told me our baby’s heartbeat was dropping and she couldn’t stay in the birth canal for more than 10 minutes longer. She needed to get out now. She also said I needed to get her out on the next push because the umbilical cord was also around her neck.
I’m always up for a challenge and I was so relieved that I could finally push after all this time trying to fight my body NOT to push. With my first labor, I pushed for 5 hours because she was stuck sideways!! And with my second labor, Sienna just needed three little pushes and she flew out.
I was in A LOT of pain at that point and everyone was yelling at me to open my eyes once she was born! I opened my eyes and they laid her on my chest. We were shocked to look at the clock and realize that it was only 8:31am!
FUN FACT: We only spent 9 minutes in the hospital before Sienna was born. We even got Mila off to her first day of preschool and had a baby in just an hour! Now, that’s what I call efficient!
Warning: Do not try delivering a baby at home or in your car. This birth story is incredible and I am so grateful it all worked out but it may not have. If we arrived a few minutes later, I’m not sure what the situation would have been like. Not only was Sienna’s heartbeat low and her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, but I also started bleeding too much after she was born. They had to give me a shot of Pitocin to stop me from bleeding so I didn’t have a hemorrhage.
Pitocin is a drug that many doctors use to induce labor. It was tough to make the decision to put Pitocin in my body after working so hard to have a natural labor but the midwife told me that I had to do it now or risk having a surgery later and not being able to be with Sienna later. By the way, I had to make that decision alone because John was parking our car and getting our belongings. Good thing we didn’t get towed and the security guards were not around that morning!
After I was doing better, the midwife said, “Now, that was better than a cup of coffee to wake up!”
Thank you for reading and for all your sweet words of encouragement!! We are so very blessed to add another Classy Career Girl Baby to our family and team. Please let me know if you have any questions about birth, labor or delivery in the comments! I’m happy to support you in this exciting and life-changing process!
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