Birth Stories

1st child, born at 38 weeks with epi (LONG)

My son arrived on July 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm, weighing 6lbs 15 oz, measuring 19 inches long, and is my first child.  Here?s my VERY long birth story!  I loved reading very detailed ones, so I hope you do too!   


On Thursday, July 15th, the day before I hit 38 weeks, I woke up and just felt strange.  I?d been having some regular Braxton Hicks contractions, but I?d been experiencing those since 24 weeks.  What was different was that after 8.5 months of horrible constipation, I was having regular bowel movements.  It seemed odd, but I planned to go about my regular work day anyway.  I?m a traveling piano teacher, and since I arrived too early for my first lesson, I parked my car in a parking lot to wait.  I noticed that my son?s movements were very different than usual ? much lower and they just really felt different than they had previously.  I really felt like something might be going on, but I blew it off and taught my lessons.  Several of my students? parents asked me if I thought anything might be happening soon.  I told them I really felt strange that day, but I joked I?d probably end up going overdue (I?d been in the hospital 3 times for preterm labor and had stopped taking the medication at 36 weeks to control the contractions).  Anyway, I made it through the lessons and came home still with diarrhea and feeling ?off.?  I talked to my mom on the phone and told her I thought it might be soon, and told my husband I?d be surprised if I made it through the weekend. 


We stayed up later than usual that night just watching t.v., and turned off the tv and lights around 1am to go to sleep.  Around 1:20am, I?d once again noticed my son?s movements felt strange.  I was almost asleep when I heard and felt a pop inside, down low towards my back.  I?d never felt anything like that and I said out loud ?what the f*** was that??  I asked my husband if he?d heard anything, and in his half-asleep voice said he had no idea what I was talking about.  I thought maybe it could have been the amniotic sac breaking, so I felt between my legs.  It was moist, but not really wet.  I lifted a leg and water started to trickle.  I got out of bed quickly, and water immediately poured out.  I ran to the bathroom while yelling at my husband to get up and get our bags ready.  He jumped out of bed and said ?really?!  This is it?!?


We both started running around, nervous, excited, and not knowing quite what to do ? we weren?t quite ready yet!  We threw our bags together and I called the hospital.  They told me I could take my time coming in since the heavy contractions were just starting.  Our house was a mess (warning to you ladies that are waiting to deliver ? clean frequently!), so I used the giant overnight pads I?d bought for postpartum to hold the water while I did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen, and my husband loaded the bags in the car and took the trash out. 


We got to the hospital around 2:30 am, since the contractions had been 4-5 mins apart for a minute long since my water had broken.  Once we arrived, the contractions slowly changed from mildly painful to excruciating.  At 3:30am they started an IV for fluids and at 4am they did the first internal exam.  The Dr. said I was 2cm, still thick, and my cervix was WAY back.  I was in pain, and they said they would check me again in 4 to 6 hrs, but that I could have the epidural whenever I wanted it.  I decided to bear through the pain until the next exam, and I told my husband to get some sleep. 


The next 4 hours from 4am to 8am were torture.  I never dreamed that it could hurt so bad.  My husband got as much rest as he could as I tried to focus through the contractions.  (Another word of advice ? if you?re planning to go natural or want to hold off a while for the epidural, take some pain management classes or do lots of pain management research ? I regret overestimating my own pain tolerance SO much!)


The Dr came back at 8am to check me, and I was so disappointed when she said I was 2 to 3 cm, but ?thinning beautifully.?  All that horrible pain for less than 1cm?!  At that point I knew I had to get the epidural.  I was hurting so bad, and each contraction made me feel like I couldn?t hold off for one more minute.  By the time they came to administer the epidural at 9am, I was shaking from the pain.  I made my husband wake up while they put it in.  It was so hard to stay still for it because of the contractions, and it felt so strange going in.  But, within 10 minutes, the pain was completely gone!  In fact, I couldn?t even move my legs!


Because I?d been progressing so slowly, they started pitocin at the lowest dose and said they?d check me again in about 4 hours.  During that time, we just hung out and watched t.v.  The nurse came in and had me roll on my side because my son?s heartbeat was dropping with every contraction.  H e recovered pretty quickly after each one, so they told me not to worry for now. 


Around 12:30 pm the nurse came in and asked me if I felt anything.  I told her I felt some pressure, but I didn?t think much of it because it wasn?t really intense.  (Everyone had always told me that when it?s time to push, you just know because of so much pressure).  She said she?d have the Dr. check me to see where I was at.  She came in, checked, and right away looked shocked and said ?you?re complete!?  I said ?what? I?m at 10?? and she said ?yep ? you?re ready to go!?  They said they had a patient receiving their epidural, and that they?d come back soon to start pushing.  My husband started to panic just a bit and said he was so nervous to see everything and wasn?t sure what he was supposed to do.  I assured him that the nurse would tell him every step, and that we?d both be fine. 


They came back in at 1:00pm and I started pushing.  They said I was doing great, but my son?s heartbeat nearly stopped with every push, and it took longer and longer for him to recover.  My Dr said that he was ?right there? and she wanted to use the forceps to get him out.  Since he?d been ok when I was on my side I asked her if I could push like that.  She said sure, but that if we didn?t? get him out soon, she?d have to use the forceps.  With that in mind, I pushed with everything I had, until I thought my eyes might pop out.  My son descended very quickly then and with a total of just 28 minutes of pushing he was out!  The Dr had to give me an episiotomy at the very end, and when his head was out she said ?there?s the culprit? when she saw his cord was wrapped around his neck.  She got it unwrapped before I even knew what was going on, and with the next push, he was out!


All totaled, I was in labor for exactly 12 hours with 28 minutes of pushing.  His Apgar scores were wonderful, and I?m really satisfied with my entire labor and delivery process.  Good luck to all of those in waiting!     

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