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Gina and Cecelia
Vaginal Birth, Pitocin, Epidural, Episiotomy

I went to bed on a Wednesday, feeling that I had been pregnant forever, and I would continue to be pregnant forever. I was two days short of my due date, and oh so ready to meet my baby. At about 1:00 AM, I woke up to a weird feeling. I wasn't sure what was wrong, but I felt different. I was trying to get back to sleep, when I felt a twinge in my back. I knew right away this was what had woken me up, but I didn't recognize it as labor. At about 4:00, still awake, I called work and left a message that I would not be in on Thursday.

On Thursday, my husband and I went shopping for last minute items, and went out to lunch. People in buffet lines give you space when you lean over to pant and grasp your stomach, while your husband counts out loud. I spoke with my doctor's office shortly after lunch, and told them I would be going to the hospital that night.

At about 9:00 PM, we finally went into the hospital. I had taken a bath, and then a shower, and then another bath, and had reached the end of my patience. I called the hospital on my way in, so they were ready for me. They checked me when I got in, and they told me I wasn't ready to be in the hospital yet. They would monitor the baby and me for an hour, and then send me home. I started to cry when they said this, because I was feeling very unsettled and uncomfortable.

During the monitoring, the baby's heartbeat dropped a few times, so they decided to let me stay. They left my husband and me alone for about 4 hours, with only periodic checks to see what was happening. I started to feel a lot of pain, and like I needed to pee every few minutes. I was in and out of bed to the bathroom more times than I can remember. It turns out that what I thought was needing to pee was my water breaking, and squirting out every time I had a contraction. After about an hour of this, my contractions were getting stronger, but not regular. They decided to give me Pitocin to make them regular. I wish that I had prevented that, but I really wasn't thinking straight at that time. I also elected to get the epidural. This I would never have made it without.

After the epidural, I fell asleep for a few hours. I woke up at 8:00, and felt like I needed to push. I was fully dilated and effaced, so the nurse held one of my legs, and my husband the other, and I started to push with each contraction. The epidural I had took the edge off the pain, but I could still feel everything that was happening. I started pushing with every contraction around 8:30 am. Between contractions I lay down and rested, and during contractions I leaned up to push. During this whole time, I was very much inside myself. I was thinking only about the ebb and flow of resting and pushing. I could feel the baby's head move down, and then back up, each time I pushed. I remember mostly that I hardly opened my eyes during this period, I was moaning softly, and concentrating on the contractions. I know that there were other people in the room, but they were very peripheral at this point. I barely noticed what was going on around me.

Around 12:00 Noon, I started to get very tired. I had been pushing, with very little progress for over three hours. My doctor came in to check me, and they decided that the baby wasn't positioned exactly right. At this time, we tried some different laboring positions, to see if we could turn the baby's head just a little bit. Nothing we did had any effect except to make me tired, and cause the baby's heartbeat to fluctuate. By 2:00 pm, my doctor was back, and she was going to try and turn the baby's head with the suction thing. If the suction didn't work, we would have to go for a C-Section, because I was so tired, and the baby's heartbeat was now completely irregular. She asked me if I could push just two more times. I was so tired that tears were rolling down my face, and I wouldn't even open my eyes. I nodded, because I knew that I didn't want a C-Section. I summoned the last of my energy, and waited, without pushing, through one contraction, while she gave me an episiotomy (which I didn't feel), and another contraction, while she turned the baby's head. On the next contraction, she told me I could push again. I pushed, and the head came out. I pushed a second time, and felt the rest of the baby slide out. Once her head was turned straight, she seemed to just fall out. I kept asking 'Who is it? Is it Cecelia or Phillip?' Finally, my husband told me that we had a beautiful girl.

Cecelia Rose was born at 2:11 pM on July 11, 2003. She was 17 inches long, and weighed 6 pounds, and 15 ounces. Her Apgar scores were 9 and then 10. She had to be seen by a doctor from the NICU right away, because my labor was so long, and her heartbeat had been so irregular, but she was perfect and healthy in every way.


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