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Terri and Cameron
Overdue, Membranes Stripped, Induction, Epidural, Cesarean Birth

I found out I was pregnant at 19 1/2 weeks. I had avoided going to the doctor, I admit. In August of 1997, I miscarried at 12 weeks. I had already told my family and friends, it was devastating. I had a D&C and was sure I would never be able to have children. A year passed, but the loss of our baby hung heavy in my heart. Between May and August 1998, I was busy planning my wedding. Right before the wedding, I lost about 10 lbs. The fact that I had missed a couple of cycles was written off to pre wedding jitters. We had a beautiful wedding and a fabulous honeymoon in Mexico, including some very rough water sports and other honeymoon activities.

Upon returning to the states and missing yet another cycle, I decided to do a home pregnancy test. Well, sure enough it came back positive. I called my husband, then my doctor and was seen that day. The physical exam revealed a firm uterus and measured 19 on the fundus. Needless to say, I was scheduled for a sonogram the very next day. The guess was I was about 19 weeks and doing fine. My husband and I both went to the appointment; both praying silently that our baby was healthy and that it would be a boy. The sonogram was perfect, measurements were taken and finally the sex was revealed, it was a boy! My due date was determined to be May 7, 1999.

We were ecstatic. Not only were we past the critical first trimester, but we were well into the second. I believed I was going to have this baby. Both mommy and baby were in perfect health and the weight gain was minimal. Needless to say, I made up for lost time and gained 11 pounds in two weeks. Stern warnings from my doctor did not slow me down, as my weight continued to climb. By the time we started the third trimester, I was very large with baby yet still in good health.

Except for severe swelling in the legs, and numb fingers on both hands the pregnancy was uneventful. We had a slight scare with diabetes but further testing showed no problems. I worked until 2 days prior to our due date. On May 6th, my mom and dad arrived from Florida, certain baby Cameron was going to come right on time. I was as big as a house, having gained 50 pounds, and was really anxious to have our son arrive while his grandparents were there.

May 7th came and went as did the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th. No sign of baby. I had already had my membranes stripped twice, ate labor salad (awful), drank some wine, tried nipple stimulation, went four wheeling and just about every other possible thing I had ever heard to try. On the 12th, I went to the doctor. I was not dilated more than a fingernail; my cervix was thin and about 50% effaced. An ultrasound revealed plenty of fluid and the placenta was fine. I asked to be induced. No. But my parents are leaving soon. Sorry. But I am ready to have this baby. Apparently your baby is not ready.

At that point, he went to check the schedule for a possible induction the following week. After all, I was 41 weeks and close to having toxemia. Moments later he returned and in a matter of moments, our outlook changed. I was being admitted the following day for induction. Lucky for me, he was to be out of town the following week and wanted to be with me should I end up having to have a c-section. All of a sudden, I was going to be having my baby soon.

At 8:30am on Saturday morning the 13th of May, I was hooked up and the Pitocin begun. Contractions began immediately, building in strength. A couple of hours later, pain meds were given. The fetal monitor was perfect, my vitals were good, and everything seemed to be progressing normally, except I didn't dilate. I got to 2 and stayed there for hours. Back labor began and more pain meds were given. The day lasted forever and I began to dread seeing the nurse prepare to check my progress. Depression set in. My body was not cooperating, my parents were leaving the next morning and my back was killing me.

I finally got to 3. I needed my epidural. My doctor wanted me to get to a 5 first, otherwise it could prolong labor. At about this point, I felt as if I was going to be in labor forever. They decided to let the Pitocin keep going until about 7 pm, then they were going to shut it off, let me sleep through the night, so I would be rested to give birth to my son the next day. At 5 pm, with a fast warm gust, my water broke. Now I was sure we were on our way. It was too late to turn back now. We were in for a long night. I was almost a 4, yippee.

By 10 pm, I was still a 4. The lower back labor was very intense. They believed the baby had turned while in the birth canal and was now face down, thus the intense back labor. I was stuck in bed and had a catheter in. My contractions were coming every 1 1/2 minutes and lasting a full minute or longer. I was begging for an epidural. The charge nurse called by OB and relayed my status. Soon, the phone in my room rang, it was my doctor, asking me to hang in there for a few more hours, just till I get to 5 cm and then I can have the epidural. I just wanted to have the baby already. The charge nurse came into the room to relay the message from her conversation with him, took one look at my face and informed me she was calling him back and I would have my epidural in just a few minutes. By the time the Holyfield/Lewis fight was over, I was feeling good. The nurse won and I had my epidural.

The back labor continued throughout the night, I gave up on the breathing exercises my husband and I had learned, I had to visit with the anesthesiologist 2 additional times during the night to have additional medication in my epidural because the pain came through. At 7 am, I was visited by me doctor. I was at 7 cm. 23 hours of what I felt was pretty hard labor and to only be at a 7. We were running out of time, since my water had broken 14 hours earlier. He gave me a choice, I could keep going and try to have a vaginal delivery and if nothing changed have a c-section, or I could go into the OR now and have it. Obviously, I choose to go and have my son now. Frantically, my husband was trying to reach my parents to let them know to get to the hospital, as they had moved their flight back a day to see their grandson. There was no answer at our house.

Just as they were wheeling me into the OR, I heard my mother's voice. She looked terrified and asked me what was wrong. I told her I was going to have my baby and was whisked into the OR. The only part of my body I could feel was my head, my husband was right by my side with video camera in hand. I heard conversation, felt pressure in my rib cage, and then heard "We've got a cord. We've got two cords. WOW, make that three. The cord is wrapped around his neck three times. I have never seen this. Where is my camera?" A moment later, my husband was gone. I could barely see him as he was filming my son, on the scale being weighed and measured. APGARs of 9 and 9. And the next thing you know, there he was. I was holding him and nothing else in the world mattered. Not the 50 lbs I gained, not the endless hours of back labor, not the scar I would wear on my lower abdomen forever. All that mattered was Cameron Riley, born May 14th (my father-in-law's birthday as well) at 8:32 am; a healthy 7 lbs 15 ozs and 21 inches. He was perfect, I cried. Then I was alone with the nurses. My husband and son were on their way to the nursery. I was on my way to recovery and somewhere in between, my mother intercepted the baby and cried all over him. (We have it on tape.)

I didn't get to see him again for three hours, as I had some side affects from all the medications and wasn't able to breastfeed for a while. But when he finally arrived in my room, we bonded immediately; he was starved and latched on immediately. He has not stopped eating since and is now approaching 11 months and 23 pounds. We only had to stay in the hospital for 2 days and the Las Vegas newspaper came and took a picture of him which ran a couple of days later with an unrelated article. That will be a valued possession for ever.

I have heard many women speak of disappointment regarding cesarean deliveries. It is true, we didn't get to deliver the natural way. But I thank God I had one. I truly believe our outcome would not have been so good if I had of tried to deliver vaginally with a face down baby and three cords. We have been blessed in so many ways. Everyday when I dress, I admire my "baby's window to the world". It was the portal for the greatest accomplishment of my life. I get to love, hold and watch him learn every day. I would do it all over again to never have to lose another baby.

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