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Birth Stories at StorkNet ~ your pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting community
Jennifer and Joshua
Induced, Nubain, Vaginal Delivery, Post-Partum Hemorrhage

I found out I was pregnant with my first baby at 10 weeks. A baby! I was overjoyed. My husband, James, was shocked and ecstatic. I also couldn't believe it had happened so soon. My husband and I had been married for about six months, but we had known each other for almost 9 years. We met in high school and got married as soon as I graduated college. Since we had such a great friendship, that was our cushion into this new transition.

My pregnancy graduated normally, pretty much textbook-almost. My morning sickness lasted until the end of my fifth month, not the third like all the books say. But when it did, I loved being pregnant. I loved knowing that I was carrying around a life inside me, wherever I went. My son or daughter. A tiny, perfect human being sent from God. I couldn't help resting my palms on my soon-to-balloon abdomen.

I was working at the time as a hostess at a busy restaurant. A job fraught with no breaks, long hours standing and puddles of water to trudge through. After about my fourth or fifth time falling and having boxes land on me (okay, so I admit, the clumsiness started early!) I faced the fact that I would be better off at home. I left my job a lot earlier than I'd planned to, in fact, right after I found out we were pregnant. I immediately missed those bi-monthly paychecks, independence and feelings that "I can do this." It turned out for the better, however, for myself and for our unborn baby.

I was filled with incredible warmth and joy at seeing my burgeoning belly, and laughing at the loss of the sight of my feet! I remember my husband would lay on the carpet and look up at me, mentally measuring my "girth." It was a wonderful time. The Bradley course we took was eye-opening, to say the least. I hadn't given much thought to drug-free labor. Frankly I figured I would just go into labor at home, go to the hospital, and take it contraction by contraction, and whatever happened, happened.

I ended up having two due dates, two weeks apart because of conflicting ultrasound information. My midwife decided to go with the first date of December 22, 1999 instead of January 3, 2000. Everyone was asking me if it was going to be a millennium baby. How should I know? I would've had the baby born a couple months ago if it was up to me! By now, the ninth month baby blues had parked themselves right in front of me, just like my humongous middle. It was very real to me.

I had so many non-stress tests done that they were actually inducing the real thing to me! I was worried that the due date was wrong and that the baby would be born early, a disappointing ending to a perfect, soon-to-be full term adventure. I remember the appointment where my midwife said the word that starts with the big, "I", INDUCE! This appointment was on a Friday, and she said if I didn't 'pop' over the weekend on my own, then Monday morning, January 3, 2000, (my second due date ironically enough) I would come in for a planned labor and delivery. I panicked. You mean, I can finally get this baby out of me and now I've changed my mind since it's too scary?! It took time to sink in.

Well, Monday morning came and I was still not sans baby. I was admitted, checked and revealed to be 80% effaced, zero dilated. I was baffled at the nurses disappointment. I wanted to tell them, well, what did you expect, I'm in here to be induced, after all! That was about 8 am. Nothing. My midwife comes in with some prostaglandin gel and tells me, "It'll get the boat rockin." "Okay," I'm thinking, "I'm about to enter uncharted territory." That was at 9:30 am. Five minutes later, I'm in labor! It was the best thing. Contractions that I can live through! That built my confidence up big time where I would need it later. My husband is excited and is timing my belly "seizures." He tells the nurses that I'm five minutes apart and have been for hours, now. My midwife comes in at 11 am. She tells me I'm at 3 centimeters. A good thing, she says, with a contradictory frown. I soon learn that this would not be a delivery in the fast lane. I'm sitting backwards in a chair with my face buried in my hair and gown, surrounded by family, retaining composure, the ONLY comfortable position.

Sitting on the toilet and standing in the shower was agony. I decided to walk, squat and lean on walls. A friend from my childbirth class was walking the halls the same time I was! All right, teamwork, I was thinking. She was soon to deliver, about 4 hours before me. THAT was discouraging.

Now, it was about 11 PM at night, still at 3 centimeters. There was talk of a c-section. I felt like my dream of a quick, drug-free delivery was out the window. It sure was. I was exhausted - too exhausted. I agreed to having my waters broke at 11 PM, and my midwife went home, thinking I'd deliver around 8 the next morning. I was pushing at 12:30. I went from 3 to 10 centimeters in about an hour. Ouch! In fact, I didn't wait to push until my midwife got there, you couldn't have stopped me. She showed up and my son, Joshua, was born about 20 minutes later. I remember having one shot of Nubain, but feeling every second of the birth. It was such an awesome feeling to feel his descent. It took 19 hours in all, but it was definitely worth it. I immediately started to hemorrhage after the birth. I was given a shot of pitocin, and with breastfeeding I ended up being ok. I'm looking forward to having two more children! But, not without the grace of God!

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