It's a scary and exciting moment when you first feel those contractions that you know mean it's go-time. Eric and Aubrianne Scheldt of San Diego experienced that life-changing moment in the early hours on Monday morning. Only the rest of their story didn't go as it typically goes for most. Aubrianne wound up delivering their healthy, 9+ pound baby girl, Iona, in the car on the way to the hospital!
Shortly into their drive to Scripps La Jolla Hospital, Aubrianne grew silent (anyone who's ever given or witnessed birth knows what silence means). "I started to hear little chortling sounds, just little cries. And I was like, 'Oh my God,'" Eric said. "I immediately just pulled over, and I guess the baby may have been halfway out or three-quarters. I just reached in and gave a little tug, and she just came right out." He said that he and Aubrianne were heading to the hospital as fast as they could, but "the baby just came faster." Eric called 911 while he was delivering their daughter, but before EMTs showed up, Eric decided to drive to the hospital with Iona cradled in his arm. When they pulled up, Mom and baby, who were still attached via umbilical cord, were immediately rushed inside.
It's a, for lack of a better word, controversial decision to head off to the hospital when help has already been dispatched. Not a route everyone would take. But clearly it's what this couple felt was best for their situation -- they wanted to get to the hospital and that was that. I don't think either parent would put themselves or, more importantly, their baby in harm's way during the most important moment of their life. For many of us, the hospital equates to the ultimate form of safety when it comes to labor and delivery. In fact, it's a common fear of many mothers (lord knows one of mine): Will I make it to the hospital in time for my birth? Labor, delivery, and the days post-birth are such a vulnerable time, so it's only natural for mothers (and fathers) to want to be surrounded by doctors and nurses who have done been in such situations a million times before, as well as medicine and equipment for any occurence that may arise. Of course there are those who choose to go the homebirth route, with little medical interference, and that's fine, too! But the fact is, over 98 percent of women opt to go the hospital route, as opposed to the homebirth one, because that's where they feel comfortable.
It remains a personal decision -- one I can see both sides of. But for me, and an overwhelming majority, the first thought we have when we go into labor is: OMG. How fast can I get to the hospital?!
Did you have a hospital or home birth?
Image via Micha Sittig/Flickr