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The 10th birth

While hanging around waiting for a baby to be born the other night, the proud grandfather told me the following story.

He and his wife (the mom of the labouring mom) had 12 children.

Together they’d attended prenatal classes when she was pregnant with their first, studiously memorizing the normal labour pattern: mild, infrequent contractions building in intensity, length, and frequency until the start of active labour, when the cervix dilates from 3-4cm to 10cm, at a rate of about 1cm per hour.

Well. She had a mild contraction. He noted it. 10 minutes later, she had a second. Five minutes later, a third. One minute later, a fourth.

They got in the car.

The baby was born minutes after they arrived at the hospital.

Their second baby was born en-route to the hospital.

With their third, she awoke in the middle of the night, had one contraction, and pushed out a baby.

“Which brings us to number 10,” the granddad told me.

By that time he’d already caught 5 of his children, but it was never the plan. So when his wife felt like baby #10 was on the way, they headed over to the hospital and went straight to L&D admitting.

“When did contractions begin?” the charge nurse asked.

“Oh,” said his wife, “they haven’t.”

“You’ve had no contractions?”

His wife explained that this was baby #10, and that she felt like it was going to be born that day, “probably within the hour.”

The charge nurse refused admittance, citing, reasonably enough, the complete & total lack of labour.

So, they drove back home.

On the way the dad called their doctor. “If you want to deliver this baby,” he said, “you’d better come over right away.”

As it turned out, the doctor was the charge nurse’s brother-in-law. After stopping by the house to give the once-over to the now breastfeeding newborn, the doctor tucked the placenta into a garbage bag and hightailed it to the hospital.

He then left the garbage bag on his sister-in-law’s desk.

How’s that for a birth story?

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