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Birth Stories at StorkNet ~ your pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting community
Susan and Cecilia
High-Risk Pregnancy, Long Labor, Pitocin, Epidural, Vaginal Delivery, NICU

Our Story begins in late February 1997 when my husband, Douglas, and I discovered I was pregnant. We had hoped and prayed that God would bring a child into our lives. We had been married for four years and were ready for an addition to our family.

I soon was hit with morning sickness. Well, for me it was morning, noon and night sickness. I had to give up my job in March due to the sickness and the fact that my office was full of lead. My office was located on the Sheriffs Department Training Facility. (i.e. shooting range)

We started looking for just the right doctor. We never did find one, but what we did find was a wonderful midwife. We chose to have our birth at a hospital run birthing center near our home. We chose the hospital run center due to the fact that I was slowly but surely becoming a high risk pregnancy. My morning sickness never did let up. I was given a home health care nurse to come over and give me IV's whenever I started to get to dehydrated.

We moved into a larger condo and traded in our deluxe car for a compact to save money. We were now a one income family and planned to stay that way come hell or high water. I did not want to go back to work once our child was born and Douglas supported that decision wholeheartedly.

As soon as we were settled in the new condo we started to research childbirth methods. We wanted to try to have an all natural unmedicated birth. This led us to the Bradley Child Birth Method. After only thee classes, I was put on bedrest. That was it . . . I then spent the next few months at home with my feet up. The positive thing that came out of this was the fact that I now had lots of time to read all the books we had bought.

Our little girl was due on October 25, 1997. We knew we were going to have a little girl. We had an ultrasound about every third day after the 25th week due to my morning sickness and dehydration.

Well, October 25th came and went. But on the evening of October 26th on our way to visit my parents, my water broke. It was around 5 p.m. when we got to the hospital. My midwife was in San Diego until the morning which added a little stress, but then I was told I was only dilated to 1. That added even more stress. I knew we were in for a long night. I was lucky to have brought along my very own support system. My husband Douglas, of course; my mother who had never seen an actual birth in all of her 70 years; my sister in law, who had been my support throughout my difficult pregnancy; and my best pal Kathy for comic relief.

By 2 a.m. still no baby, and no progress. I was still only dilated to 1. The contractions had been 2 to 4 minutes all along with very bad back pain. The only thing I could do was to lean over Douglas when a contraction hit. By the time my midwife arrived at 7 a.m., I was dead on my feet, in a lot of pain, contractions still 2 to 4 minutes apart and only dilated to 2. Not looking real good. We wanted to have an unmedicated birth but now we were just shooting for a vaginal birth.

By 7:30 I was given pitocin to help dilation. YIKES! Now the contractions were one on top of the other. It went like this until I couldn't take it any more.

At 3 p.m. I was given an epidural. By 3:30 I could rest. I even took a little nap. By 6:30 p.m. it was time to get the show in the road. The pain was back. I was dilated and the baby was on her way. After almost two hours of squat pushing she arrived, all eight and a half pounds of her. If you were keeping track of time, that would be from 5:00 pm to 8:08 pm the next day in labor.

The labor had been very long and I was very tired but the first thing I wanted to do was to hold my little girl next to me, close to my heart and breastfeed. My midwife had warned me that she might not breastfeed right away due to the fact that I had a long medicated labor. I did not get my hopes too high. Cecilia surprised even a veteran midwife and went straight to breast and had a little nursing. This was the start of our nursing relationship. After a short but, oh so sweet nursing, she was off with her daddy to get a bath and to get the once over by the doctor. Her daddy brought her back to me about two hours later. It had been a long day so we had another little nursing and off to bed. My Husband, myself and Cecilia did get to room together the first night, but in the morning she was sent to NICU. It broke my heart!

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During labor I had an elevated fever and so did Cecilia. So just to be on the safe side, she was sent to NICU to get a series of antibiotics.

My midwife sent me a pump and told me to start pumping to help bring in my milk. I wanted very much to breastfeed Cecilia while she was in NICU. So we spent the next few days and nights in the NICU unit. Cecilia nursed very successfully ~ so successfully that she would not take a bottle. The NICU nurses would call me in the middle of the night to come and feed her. I was released from the hospital without my little girl. Leaving the hospital and going home without my little one was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. I didn't spend much time at home because I wanted to keep nursing, even after the NICU nurse gave me a lecture about nipple confusion and how it wouldn't happen to us because Cecilia was so young. I wasn't going to take any chances.

On the afternoon of October 31, 1997, we were able to bring our little Cecilia home, but not without some strings attached. She had to keep getting medication twice a day. We had a home health care nurse come into our home to administer it via IV medication. This lasted for only a week.

Today Cecilia is a happy, healthy breastfeeding baby! We thank God everyday for our little girl, she is the light of our lives!

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