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Natalie and Chaynee
unmedicated vaginal delivery with episiotomy

My husband, James, and I were anxious to have a baby (I was a little more anxious). We decided to try, without really trying, to get pregnant. We were surprised when I 'unexpectantly' became pregnant. I was sooo excited! When I was 12 weeks along we went for the "heartbeat" visit. It was so unreal. I couldn't believe we were going to hear our baby! I had had some mild spotting, but neither the nurse or the doctor thought it was need for concern. What I had described to them sounded like 'old' blood. I should have realized something was wrong when the doctor told me that my uterus was small for 12 weeks. I knew the dates were right, but this was my first baby and I was kind of clueless as to what I should expect. After the exam, it was time for the heartbeat. After several minutes of trying, my doctor told me she was going to do an ultrasound. Now I was excited! I was going to see my baby! We went into another office and I had to drink what seemed like a gallon of water so my bladder would be full for the ultrasound. Finally it was time. The doctor turned down the lights, put jelly on my belly and started to look at our baby. I looked at the screen and waited, but I couldn't see anything! Finally the doctor looked up and said, "You have a blighted ovum. The baby never developed." She was so sorry; you could tell it was hard for her to give us this horrible news. I was devastated. I was shocked. I cried for the baby that wasn't there. I went home and stayed in bed for the rest of the day. Two days later I had to have a D & C. I woke up after the procedure, still groggy, imagining that the doctor had said there were two babies. Depressing just isn't an accurate description . . .

I was told by my doctor to wait at least 3 months before trying to get pregnant again. Three months! That seemed like a lifetime! I had become obsessed!

We weren't using any form of birth control, and I found myself counting the days in my cycle - trying for the infamous 'day 14'. I didn't want to take my temperature or chart, although I had no idea what that really meant; it just seemed like a lot of work.

After six months of trying, unsuccessfully, I purchased a book by Toni Weschler, "Taking Charge of Your Fertility." What a great book! It was so informative. After reading it, I decided to chart my cycle, and yes, take my temperature. It was so easy, not at all what I'd expected. After three months of charting I was pregnant! I knew it before my next cycle was suppose to start. I actually took an hpt about 3 days before I really should have, and it was POSITIVE! I was so happy and so scared . . .

On my first visit at eight weeks, the doctor told me that my uterus felt about nine weeks along. I was so relieved. The baby was growing! Then I got bronchitis. How miserable when you're not pregnant! I was terrified of taking my medication, but they didn't want me to cough out the baby, so I took it. I had a fever for 3-4 days that scared me. I would cry at night - worried about how it might affect the baby. After about a week, I was all better and things seemed to be going just fine!

My next visit, at 12 weeks, the nurse told me that my uterus felt about 16 weeks along. WHAT? From 9 to 16 weeks in only 4 weeks! She asked me to verify my dates. I knew they were accurate - I'd been charting when I got pregnant. She laughed and said "Well, I'm not sure, but we call it the "T" word around here." Twins? I have to admit, I was a little excited when she said this. (Not having had children before - I was clueless).

At 14 weeks I had my first ultrasound, just to check the number of babies in there. There was only one! I just had a large uterus. The baby was just the right size for my dates. (We decided to be surprised regarding the baby's gender.)

The rest of my pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I did, however, gain over 60 pounds!! I'm not a very big person (5'2" - 118 lbs) so I was quite a site!

During my seventh month, I noticed that my pulse was high. My mom has one of those little blood pressure machines that also takes your pulse. It was around 120+. My normal pulse is around 70. I mentioned this at my next doctors visit and was diagnosed as tachycardic ~ fast heartbeat. Because nothing seemed to make it slow down, other than sleep, I was sent to a cardiologist. After a series of tests he sent me home with a clean bill of health. My pulse was just a reaction to my pregnancy - my heart was working just fine (just very busy).

My baby's due date was October 16, 1997. On my two last visits to the doctor, they stripped a little of my membranes hoping to induce labor. It worked the second time. My visit was on October 14th and on the evening of the 15th I went into labor. To pass time, we went outside for a walk - too cold. I stayed home until 3:30 am. James kept track of my contractions and occasionally they were five minutes apart. I didn't want to get to the hospital too soon, but I was getting anxious, so we left the house. We took my hospital bag which was filled with every thing imaginable. I had music and cards and breath spray and hair bands, etc.

When I got to the hospital all was quiet; it was the middle of the night. I was hooked up to a monitor and checked. The nurse - Nurse Grumpy - told me that I was only at 2 cm. Also, my contractions had slowed down. They were very irregular and not particularly close. She told me that she could check me again in a little while, but I might want to think about going back home. GO HOME? Nope, I was staying!

I decided to walk the halls. That didn't last long - I was definitely too wimpy! And I was tired! We hadn't gone to bed all night - who could sleep? Poor James was at my mercy. He was so sweet. I was constantly changing my mind and he agreed every time. Now, about that bag I brought - what a waste of time! Who was going to play cards? And I really didn't care about my hair or my breath! The music was nice, but I wouldn't have missed it if it wasn't there.

I tried to sleep in my room, but ouch, it's not that easy. Nurse G., who was annoyed by me, didn't come back again to check on me until around 6:30 am. She looked at the monitor and told me that my contractions still weren't that close together. She didn't check to see how far I'd dilated. In her eyes I just needed to go home and quit wasting her time. She really wasn't helping the situation. She made me feel like an idiot for even being there. The shift change was at 7:00 am, and I think she just wanted to go home.

Hurray for the shift change! Nurse Wonderful was my nurse. She checked me and I was at 4 cm. HURRAY! I could have drugs! I was such a wimp - James had to listen to me whine when we were alone. He was probably thrilled when there was someone else in the room - I wasn't such a baby then. Just telling me that I was at 4 cm improved my mood tremendously. Nurse W. asked me if I would like to walk around or shower before giving me drugs. Walking or showering might help speed up my labor, and I couldn't get out of bed once she gave me the drugs. I opted for the shower (I would suggest that to anyone who's not worried about what their hair will look like at delivery for pictures sake). While I showered, James called our families. He told them I was at 4 cm. My mom told me later that she had no idea what he was talking about . . . funny because she's had five children.

After my shower Nurse W. came in and hooked up my IV. She had to go assist a C-section, but would return momentarily. James asked how the drugs felt. The nurse had told me that I would feel drunk, not to fight it, just to relax and go with it. All I felt was tired.

Before Nurse W. came back, my doctor came in. She's such a wonderful doctor and a beautiful lady. She looked so nice at 8:00 am! (I had shower/bed head). It was so refreshing to see her after Nurse G. from the night shift. She checked me, and I was at 8 cm. WOW! It had only been an hour since I was at 4 cm. Things were happening fast! She decided to break my water and see how things progressed from there. I've heard that manually breaking of the bag of waters can be kind of uncomfortable, but it didn't bother me a bit. Then, instantly I was at 9 cm! Hey, I thought, this is getting easy!

My doctor looked at my monitor and decided to administer pitocin because my contractions still weren't close together (HA! and Nurse Grumpy wanted to send me home). I apparently inherited this strange blessing from my mother. She had five children and never once were her contractions close together. She never knew when to go to the hospital. I'm her last, and she almost didn't make it there in time! I call it a blessing, because I'm a wimp. I can't imagine the contractions being one on top of the other.

Dr. B. decided that I could go ahead and push. It was about 8:30 am on the 16th. I pushed once or twice and Dr. B. said, "Oh, this baby has a lot of hair!". Wow, she could see hair!! Then Dr. B. looked at the nurse and said, "Call me when she's crowning," and left. What? Call me? How long was this suppose to take? We can see hair! I was a little confused, but she's the doctor, she's done this before.

I pushed and I pushed. I tried every position known to man, and I pushed and I pushed. Still, no baby. James coached me the whole time, and he was sooo sweet. I can't imagine what being a coach would be like (especially when the coachee is being grumpy). I'm sure he was frustrated with me, but he never let on.

Nurse W. thought that my bladder might be full and was in some way holding the baby in. She told me to try and go right there on the table. At this point, those of you who've not done this before, you just don't care where you pee. I just really didn't feel the need to go. Nurse W. decided to catheterize me. I cannot put into word how painful this experience was. I do not recommend it! I was on my back, but somehow coming completely off the table. It took several people to hold me down. Needless to say, it was totally unnecessary.

Finally, after a little begging on my part, they called in the doctor. Someone had mentioned the vacuum, and I was all for it! We moved into the delivery room, only because I needed the vacuum. It didn't take that long to get set up, but it was quite painful. I never saw the vacuum, but my husband said it was HUGE. He refers to it as the SUPER SUCKER.

I was already feeling better because I knew it was almost over! After 3 or 4 more pushes the baby was here! IT'S A GIRL! A BIG GIRL! Chaynee Frances was born at 10:24 am on October 16, 1997 (her due date) and weighed in at 9 lbs 1-1/2 oz. and was 21" long. She was big and purple and had a cone-head from the vacuum. And she was the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen.

I had an episiotomy, and I tore. OUCH! Chaynee was x-rayed when she was only a day old. Because of her difficult delivery, and because she was so big, they thought her shoulder might have been broken. Thank goodness she was fine!

And finally, I did it all without drugs! What? Well, when Nurse W. hooked up my IV, it was only saline. She was coming back after the C-section to put the meds in and by that time I was already at 8 cm. Too late for meds. She didn't tell me this until Dr. B. was stitching me up in the delivery room. Of course, then I didn't feel like such a wimp anymore.

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