Birth Stories: Our Baby Arrived Early (Surprise!)

premature baby

Nine months pregnant in the heat of the summer? That’s what I was facing as June turned into July. How was I going to distract myself for the next month, waiting for my little one to arrive? Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about that -- and I never did have to wear that maternity bathing suit, thank goodness -- because our daughter was a surprise delivery, arriving four weeks early!

My husband and I had gone to a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment, and the ob-gyn joked that it wasn’t too late for us to go on a “babymoon” since she was certain I wouldn’t deliver for at least another week. I laughed off the comment, but before we were even in the car my husband was looking up flights!

It’s a good thing my rational side won out because three days later I started having contractions. I was convinced I was having Braxton Hicks contractions, since my due date was still a month away. I hadn’t even had the conversation with my doctor yet about how to time contractions or when to go to the hospital. So there I was, at 1 a.m., searching the Internet for advice on early deliveries and what I should do next -- with my husband sleeping soundly beside me despite the fact that I was grabbing his arm in pain every 10 minutes. 

The contractions became stronger and more regular. Not wanting to overreact, I waited as long as I could, but called the doctor when my contractions were five minutes apart. She said to come to the hospital. It was at that precise moment that my husband decided he needed to take a shower. Thoughts of my baby arriving in a fast food parking lot en route to the hospital flooded my mind!

After arriving at the hospital, we were surprised to hear that we were sure to have a baby that day! There wasn’t much time to dwell on how we weren’t ready or what we still needed to buy because before we knew it, I was ready to deliver.  After only a few pushes our daughter was born!  Although she was a surprise delivery at four weeks early, she had a healthy weight and didn’t have to spend any extra time in the hospital … and I could spend that month of July cuddling my baby instead of wearing maternity clothes!

by Loretta Curran