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Amanda & Jakob
41 Weeks, Induced Labor, Vaginal Delivery

At 41 weeks pregnant with an excess of 50 pounds, no dilation, and contractions so minor that they could only be identified on the monitor, I felt too exhausted and anxious to wait any longer. My obstetrician offered the option of waiting the maximum, another week (since he knew I wanted as natural a birth as possible) or beginning the process of induction. My husband and I looked at each other across the room and both agreed it was time. It was 4:30 pm. We were warned that we could attempt induction but walk out of the hospital empty handed; if my body wasn't ready and the baby wasn't ready no amount of drugs would make it happen.

By 6:30 I was laying in a bed on the OB ward of the hospital. I was given a pill that was inserted near the cervix to begin dilation and was home by 9:30 that night. I slept until I was awakened at 12:30 am by intense contractions that were 4-5 minutes apart. My husband and I wanted to stay home as long as possible but decided by 2:30 am that since the contractions were stronger and closer (3 minutes apart) that we should head on in. I labored through the early morning doing the things I had learned in my childbirth class ~ walking up and down the halls, changing positions, slow dancing with my husband when contractions came on strong, I even tried the jacuzzi tub since my water had not broken. The tub however seemed to slow my down contractions or maybe it was the pill wearing off.

By 9:30 am Pitocin was ordered and the strength of the contractions became intense but my cervix still was not dilating. I also was limited to laboring on the bed since I was strapped to the monitor and an IV while given the Pitocin. The nurse came to check the dilation of the cervix and was concerned that there was no progress, and my husband and I were equally disappointed but as she left to call my OB and give a report, I heard/and felt a "pop" which of course was my water breaking. My husband and I were so happy since we knew that was the sign that there was no turning back; we were walking out of the hospital with a baby one way or another. At one point the contractions were so strong my husband was afraid that I was having convulsions, but he continued to press the hot pack into my lower back.

At about 11:00 am, our wonderful OB nurse said "just tell me when you feel the urge to push." I said, "is that what we are waiting for, I've felt that urge for the last half hour!." My husband and the nurse each took a leg while I sat up to bear down at each contraction. The nurse asked if my husband wanted to touch the baby's head as it moved into the birth canal. I could see the excitement in his face as he described the ridges and head full of hair. As the head crowned my husband continued to describe what he was seeing moment by moment since I had my eyes closed and face scrunched as I pushed. Finally my OB showed up as the baby's ears emerged.

My husband was so excited he had to be reminded to put down the video camera to cut the cord. Our healthy baby boy, Jakob Daniel was born at 12:26 pm January 21, 1998 and weighed 8 lbs. 7 oz. I am so glad that fathers can and choose to participate in the birth of their children, it is such an incredible experience for both the parents.

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