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Jennifer and her daughter Natalie
Vaginal Birth, Long but Unmedicated Labor

It was August 17th, 2010. I went up to the labor and delivery unit with my mother for a non-stress test at 8 a.m. (Exactly one week before, I had a failed induction after 22 hours of contractions. They used Pitocin and Cytotec, but I never reached active labor.) I had just been hooked up to the heart rate and contraction monitors when the nurse came back and my doctor (another from the practice) had decided they were going to induce again. Okay, fine with me. I was ready to have this baby!

Once again, I settled in for the long day ahead. My husband was working and I told him just to stay there until I knew it was going to work. My nurse, Mary Ann, came in at 9 a.m. and started Cytotec. I was still 2 cm, just as I was the week before. I had just started to have contractions and they weren't very strong when my husband came in. I was scheduled to get the Cytotec every 3 hours and as expected the nurse came in right at Noon and 3 p.m. In the meantime, my mother-in-law came to visit, and my mom left for a while. After hanging out all afternoon with minimal pain and unknown progress, my mother-in-law also headed home for some rest. When the nurse came in at 6 p.m., I asked her to check my progress and when she was done placing the pill, I asked her how far I was and she had forgotten to check. Bummer! I have no idea after many hours if this induction is even working! I was scheduled to get one more pill at 9 p.m. and she promised to tell my night nurse to check me.

It was 7 p.m. and the nurses were changing over. All the sudden I felt a little bit of fluid gush out. I said to my husband, "I think my water just broke." He suggested that I had probably just peed a little bit. I had been getting up and going to the bathroom all day and I knew if I had to pee or not. My new nurse, Shelley (who was awesome) came in and I told her I thought my water had broken. She got out a little test strip and my water had definitely broken. YES!!! I was definitely going to have this baby one way or another now! We called my mother and mother-in-law to tell them the news and I assured them both it would be a while and not to worry about running back to the hospital.

I don't remember much after that. They started Pitocin to keep me going, as Cytotec can't be used after your membranes rupture. Not long after that I was in quite a bit of pain. I was lying in the bed, trying to breathe through the contractions. My husband was kneading my back and it was taking the edge off. Poor guy's hands were so tired. This went on for four hours. In the meantime, my mom came back. I was so glad to see her.

At 11p.m., my doctor whom we had not seen since 8 a.m. came in to check me. (Keep in mind I had not had my cervix checked in fifteen hours.) I was in so much pain, I looked up at him and in this polite, but stern voice I said, "I'm sorry Sir, but I can not move". He asked my nurse if my water had broken. DUH! Like four hours ago. He told the nurse to get me an epidural. Thank you! Within minutes the anesthesiologist came in and started placing the epidural. My mind went to a peaceful place and I didn't feel a thing. Ten minutes later I was pain free, sitting up and happy.

Around 1:30 a.m. I started feeling a lot of pressure. I pushed the call button and in came Shelley. Finally, I was being checked. I said to her, "Please say I am at least 5 to 6." She came back with, "How about 9?" NINE!! Nine was awesome. She came back 30 minutes later and I was 10 and ready to go. I started pushing and the baby's head appeared after the first set of pushes. She told me to hang on a minute, as she had to call the doctor. Back in she came and I was pushing again. I was crowning when my doctor arrived. He sat down and the baby was right there. He started to turn her and her clavicle broke. It was loud, but only the doctor and I heard it. One more push and our beautiful Natalie Raine was born at 2:21 a.m., a healthy 7 lbs. 15 oz and 20 and 1/4 inches long.

Today, I hardly remember any pain and would do it again in a minute.


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