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Kristi and Jordan
Vaginal Birth at 38 weeks, Epidural, Episiotomy

In February 2004, I was told that because I had never had a regular cycle, I could not get pregnant without months of fertility medicine and procedures. So in October 2004, my husband and I decided that I should go off the Pill. Because I didn't think I could get pregnant, we had fun "trying" but figured nothing would happen. I had switched insurance and was getting in to a new doctor to get ready to start fertility treatment. I went in about 6 weeks after my last period but did not think anything was wrong because 6 weeks was in the normal range of when my period could start. The nurses insisted on my doing a pregnancy test before I saw the doctor. The first thing the doctor said when she came in (over 20 minutes later) was that I was pregnant. I did not know how to react to that because it was completely unplanned.

For the next few days I was in a complete daze! The pregnancy was incredibly tough! I was so sick that I had to get medicine to calm my stomach enough so that I could swallow my food, which lasted for about 5 months. In the first 12 weeks I lost almost 20 total pounds from being so sick, but quickly gained it back, and then some. Towards the end of my pregnancy, when I was putting eight pounds on every two weeks, the doctors started looking seriously for things wrong so they could induce me. I had severe swelling all over my body, which starts the story of the delivery.

On the morning of July 18, I went to my doctor for my weekly checkup (I was due in just over two weeks). All was going OK, but I asked her again about the swelling in my legs. I could not even get socks on anymore, because I could not find any to fit over my feet. She looked at both legs together for the first time (normally she just looked at one of them) and started to get worried. She wondered if I had a blood clot in my right leg because the right leg was so much bigger than my left (not that my left leg was small). She told me that I would have to come back that afternoon for a DVT on my leg to look for the blood clot. So I went to work and warned them that I might not be back after that day depending on how the ultrasound on my leg turned out. Well, I went back to the doctor, and although she couldn't see the vein in my leg the whole time because of the swelling, she did not find anything to be worried about. So that meant I would still be back at work the next day.

On July 20, I woke up around 4:30 in the morning just being uncomfortable and having to pee more than normal. About an hour later I started having my bloody show and I realized I was really in labor. I decided I would wait until my husband woke up to tell him what was going on. When he got up and I told him, he tried to take me to the hospital then. I figured I wasn't far enough along to worry about that yet, but told him to go to work and I would call him when I needed him to come home. Around 11:30 everything was getting pretty intense so I called my husband and told him to come home. We got to the hospital and they started monitoring me; my blood pressure had shot up a lot from the Monday before when I was at my last doctor's appointment. So the nurses went ahead and put the catheter in my arm to prepare for the IV and to draw blood to make sure everything else was OK. I was only 1cm dilated, and for 4 hours hadn't moved, but while in the hospital the baby turned to sunny side up, and the pain really started. Since nothing was technically wrong and I wasn't 39 weeks yet, they couldn't do anything to induce me, so they gave me two shots of morphine and sent me home.

I went home and tried to nap, but couldn't because although there was no pain, the pressure was incredibly intense. To make things worse, that day we had friends fly in from Wisconsin, so we had company over. We all decided to go to Olive Garden for dinner. I couldn't eat anything but a salad and every few minutes I would have to stop and rock in my chair. We went home and my husband went with his friends to the store and accidentally locked me out of the house, so I went next door to our friend's house. Not long after arriving there I went into her bathroom, where I threw up the salad I had eaten an hour earlier.

At about 9:30 that night the pain was back, so I called Labor and Delivery to see what they recommended, because I didn't want to go back to the hospital only to get sent home again. The Tylenol they suggested didn't work, so I called back about 30 minutes later to see what else they suggested. They told me to come in so they could check me again. Since we figured nothing would happen but another morphine shot, we left our bags at home with our friends there. We got there and I had progressed to 3cm! An hour later I was at 4cm, then half an hour later another nurse came and checked me again and decided that the nurse who said I was 4cm dilated over-guessed, but they decided to let me stay anyway. Meanwhile the pain from the back labor was so bad that when a contraction would hit, my body would start to spasm uncontrollably, o they got the anesthesiologist to come in right away. Five minutes later I couldn't feel a thing and my husband and I were able to sleep (it was now 11:30 at night and I had been up since 4:30 that morning). I do remember that in the middle of the night my doctor came in and broke my water, then about 5 minutes later they had to come give me a booster for the epidural that was twice as strong because although the epidural was on a pump, the medicine was wearing off and I was spasming again.

At about 5:30 on July 21, I was fully dilated but the baby was still "sunny side up" so I had to lie on my left side until she turned. Meanwhile the epidural had worn off yet again, so they had to come in with a second booster to take the pain away so I could lie still. At about 8 a.m., I was finally able to push. I could feel the contractions coming before they would show up on the monitor, and ask for my legs so I could push. After about an hour and 45 minutes of pushing, little Jordan was finally born. She was 7 lbs 5 oz and 20 inches long (and almost two weeks early). I delivered the placenta about 10 minutes later, and it then took them about 30 minutes to stitch up my second-degree tear. My husband called his family to let them know that Jordan was here, and it made the day bittersweet for them because about 20 minutes later, Jordan's great grandfather was laid to rest.

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