|Beth and Jodi Ann
Vaginal delivery, IV Pain Medication, No Epidural and No Episiotomy
It all started on Monday night, October 15, 2001, around midnight. I was home playing a game on my computer when I started having small contractions. My husband was out with a couple friends, so I didn't want to bother him if it wasn't urgent. I went to bed around 2:30 a.m. and about thirty minutes later the contractions started getting worse. So, I paged my husband to come home. When he got home and saw that I wasn't feeling too well, he insisted we take a trip to the hospital. Once we were all checked into the Labor and Delivery department at the hospital, the doctor came into my room and hooked me up to the fetal monitor. She kept an eye on my contractions for about an hour and determined that they weren't strong enough to admit me. So, I was given a prescription for some sleeping pills and sent home. I was not happy.
The next day I was still having mild contractions, but nothing worse than the night before. I knew it wouldn't do me any good to go back to the hospital, at least not until later that night. Around 2:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning my contractions were getting worse, much worse. Again we got a baby-sitter for our daughter and headed off to Labor and Delivery. This time my contractions were stronger on the monitor, but I was only dilated to 2 centimeters. The doctor had me walk for an hour and a half and then she checked me again, but I was still at 2 centimeters. Therefore, I was sent home yet once again. This time I was very upset because my contractions were coming about every minute and a half. I told my husband, on the way home, that we'd be back at the hospital later that day to have a baby. He told me that the baby would come when she was ready. I knew in my heart that she was ready.
We arrived home around 5:00 a.m. Wednesday morning my contractions were still very painful. I tried to get some sleep, but to no avail. Around 4:00 p.m. I thought that if I took a bath it might relax me and ease some of the pain. Boy, was I wrong! The pain of my contractions seemed to triple. I was in so much pain I began crying. My husband came running into the bathroom to check on me and I just yelled at him that it was time. He leaned over to help me out of the tub. That's when I realized that I couldn't stand up. I was in too much pain to do anything. So, my loving husband left me in the tub and went to call for an ambulance. I couldn't believe it when he told the dispatcher that his wife was "stuck in the tub." I yelled for him to come help me out. I was bound and determined to get out of that tub before the paramedics got there. After tugging on his arm for a few minutes, I finally made it out of the tub and to the toilet. I asked him to bring me some clothes, but instead, he threw me a towel just in time for the paramedics to come walking into the house. So, I had to ride to the hospital naked!
Once I got to the hospital I realized that I didn't have my tubal ligation consent form with me. I was terrified that they wouldn't give me a tubal without it. So, I told every person I saw that my husband was bringing my purse with the paper in it. They all looked at me like I was crazy. The doctor came in to check me and I told her that I wasn't leaving the hospital without a baby. She said I was at 5 centimeters and I was being admitted.
I had decided to give birth without an epidural this time because I had so many problems with it when I had my first baby. I only wanted IV pain medication. My husband finally got to the hospital around 6:00 p.m. He gave the nurse my consent form, so my mind was set at ease knowing that after I had this baby I would get my tubes tied. Around 8:00 p.m. the doctor checked me again and I was at 6 - 7 centimeters. I asked for something to take the edge off my pain. She put some Nubian in my IV and I started to really relax. I fell asleep for a couple hours. My husband was amazed that I slept during such strong contractions. My nurse started me on some Pitocin to help my labor progress, but turned it off an hour later because my contractions were coming too often and too strong.
Another doctor came in to check my cervix at 10:30 p.m. As soon as he put his finger in to check, my water broke, and it went everywhere. The doctor said I had a very large amount of amniotic fluid and that my baby had her own swimming pool. At this time I was dilated to 7 - 8 centimeters. Finally at about 3:30 a.m. Thursday morning, I was dilated to 9 centimeters and I started feeling the urge to push. Everyone kept telling me not to push yet, but that's like telling a cat not to meow... ever! At 4:10 a.m. the doctor checked me for the last time. I was dilated to a full 10 centimeters and he told me I could push! I pushed a couple times and I heard my husband ask our best friend, "What's that?" Paul looked at him and said, "It's the head." I almost started to laugh, but I was trying to concentrate on pushing. I can't describe in words the feeling of my baby being born, other than to say it was wonderful. I could practically feel all of her facial features as she was coming into the world. After pushing for only a few minutes, at 4:18 a.m., Thursday, October 18, 2001 my precious daughter, Jodi Ann, was born. I took one look at my new daughter and cried. She weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces and was 21 inches long.
I was very fortunate this time because I didn't tear or need an episiotomy. At 1:00 p.m. that same afternoon the anesthesiologist came in to take me to the operating room for my surgery. He (as well as everyone else in the hospital) was amazed that I didn't have an epidural. I felt like I was the only woman in history to give birth without one. I got a spinal block, which numbed me from the waist down, and my tubes were then cut and burned. I was sore for about a week after, but to me it was all worth it. I feel very lucky to have given birth to two perfect little girls. I am also lucky to have had an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery.