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Birth Stories at StorkNet ~ your pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting community
Elaine and Chris
Vaginal birth with pitocin and epidural

I have a history of infertility. It took us four long years to conceive our son and that was with a miscarriage along the way and no subsequent pregnancy again until 1995. That was a difficult pregnancy with lots of spotting and preterm labor. Our daughter was born when Jon was about 26 months old. Due to her size at birth, 9 pounds 14 ounces, she had problems breathing and spent most of her time in the hospital away from me. Both kids have been challenging in that our oldest had oral-motor sensory issues that have mostly resolved now and our daughter has SEVERE food allergies.

This pregnancy was a complete surprise. We were not trying to get pregnant and had thought we might actually be done with babies even though I was really wanting to have one more baby. I conceived when my cousin, who was only three years older died from a blood clot in the lungs. I don't know why these things happen, but they do.

My pregnancy was mostly uneventful. I had no spotting, no preterm labor. My weight gain was less than ten pounds although I had the normal morning sickness I'm prone to for the first half of pregnancy. The doctor spoke several times of inducing me because the children have gotten bigger with each pregnancy. However, at 35 weeks the baby was only estimated to be about 6 pounds.

When I got to 38 weeks, I was finally starting to feel miserable. The past month had been difficult, to say the least. Our family moved to our first house and my parents came to help us move. During that week, my Dad, who is only 60, had a heart attack which subsequently required a triple bypass only three days later. So, not only was I unpacking boxes, but my parents were here with us since they live over a thousand miles away with serious health concerns.

On the morning of February 20th, I woke up feeling a bit wetter than normal. I decided it was my bladder which has gotten a bit weaker with each pregnancy . . . pretty normal stuff. I decided to get up and get the bills done anyway. Over that morning, I was feeling a bit wet and had a little gush and thought it might be my plug. The previous week, I was one cm dilated, so I still wasn't sure.

Between 10:30 and 11 am, I walked into my kitchen and had a bigger gush and then was sure. I alerted my husband who was home for his day off and called our friend who was going to watch the kids. I then called the doctor's office, and was told to get to the hospital. It was funny because the visiting nurse, who was at the house to see my Dad, asked, "When are you going to have that baby?" My answer was, "Today!"

We arrived at the hospital at 12:30 and I was hooked up. I was having contractions at about 4 minutes, not that I could feel them. When the doctor came in, she said that I really should start pitocin because I am GBS positive and my water had been broken for so long. Had I started my antibiotics when my water broke, they would have waited up to two days for me to go into labor on my own.

I agreed to the pitocin knowing how serious GBS can be in babies. Since I was still able to walk, I did for awhile, still laughing until about 2:30. At that point, my contractions were starting to hurt and I was breathing through them. I went back to my room and got into bed sitting upright since any other position hurt. When I was checked around 4:00 pm, I was still only 2-3 cm, from 2 cm at noontime.

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Not too long after that, closer to 5:00 PM, the nurse told me that it was time to turn up the pitocin drip again. She said if I didn't want it turned up, she'd have to call the doctor. She also said that the doctor might strongly urge me to have an epidural so that the pain could go away. I said that IF the pitocin was getting turned up, then I wanted the epidural. She called the doctor and the anesthesiologist (who got there first) and did not turn up the pitocin drip. When the doctor came in to check me, I was up to 5 cm, and then I finally got the epidural in by 5:30. I swear I had about five contractions while he was putting it in, but as he did the catheter insertion, I was starting to moan and could feel pains down low.

When they laid me back, I could feel the pressure and was starting to push involuntarily. I was surprised because that was fast even by my standards. I got checked right away again and was 8-9 cm. My nurse went to get the doctor for delivery. It took three pushes. One to get him to crown, two to get the head out (and that part hurt the most because my contraction stopped at that point and he was still in me), and three to deliver the rest of him which was wonderful because it didn't hurt anymore.

Christopher Michael Xavier was born at 5:51 PM, on February 20. He weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces, and was 21 1/4 inches long.

He is the smallest of my three babies, but is nursing very well. No apparent jaundice yet. When I reflect on last week, there are a few things that come to my mind. This pregnancy was so unplanned, yet wonderfully executed. He came early, which I had thought would happen all along. We had put in offers on three houses yet none of them had come through. We finally got the house we live in now, but required help to get it painted and moved into since I was so close to time. If my parents had not come up when they had, my Dad could have died from a major heart attack. He was in a good place to be because we have excellent cardiac services here and my Dad could not be home to worry about other things while he has been trying to recover.

The only wrinkle has been that my two older children have pneumonia right now and have to stay away from Chris. It may be RSV. Since I am nursing, he will get my antibodies to the cold I'm trying to have. I wouldn't change any of it for the world. Our children have been a real blessing. We may not be rich, but we all have each other!

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