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Birth Stories at StorkNet ~ your pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting community
Gina and Kailey Madison
Induced Labor, Epidural, Vaginal Delivery

I went into the hospital at 6:30 am to be induced, being 4 days late, and we were thinking it was going to be a big baby. My last child (I have 4 now!) was 9 pounds, 1 ounce, and I know from experience I didn't want one any bigger than that. I had only slept an hour the night before, but I don't know if I could have slept anyway! I was so nervous!

When we got to the hospital, they hooked up the IV and all, and informed me that my wonderful doc had ordered an enema for me (yuck!). I was going to refuse, but my nurse, an eight time mom, told me that an enema sometimes will cut labor time in half, and so I decided it wouldn't hurt. After we did that, they started me on pitocin about 8:00 am. I was already having some decent contractions, but they were running about 20 minutes apart, so they weren't really doing anything. Every 30 minutes, they'd come in and up my pitocin, until about 11 pm. The doctor arrived and checked me (contractions hadn't been that bad until then, although they were about four minutes apart), and I was still only about 1 cm dilated.

The baby had been moving all around, and they couldn't keep up with her on the external monitor. The doctor decided instead of using the normal "crochet hook" to break my water, he'd attach the internal monitor through my bag of waters, which in turn would break it too. Almost immediately I felt the trickle start and almost as soon as that happened, I had to start breathing through my contractions. I asked the doctor in advance how far I had to be for my epidural, and he said 3 cm. Within 25 minutes, the contractions were getting pretty bad. I called the nurse, and told her that I knew it hadn't been that long, but could she please check me and see how far I was because I was ready for my epidural. She said at first they needed to wait for about 30 more minutes, cause I was only one cm before. Then she heard me through a contraction and decided to go ahead and check me anyway. She told me I was at 3 cm, and she'd get the epidural person. I was progressing really fast! Now, the hard part is they had about three emergencies happen at this point on the floor, so the anesthesiologist was tied up. She called someone in, but he had to drive to the hospital!!!!!! I was highly upset to say the least! He got there in about 30 minutes (by this time I was really in pain) and started the procedure. Funny thing is, when he asked how far dilated I was, the nurse told him 4 to 5, although she hadn't checked me again since she told me 3. Haven't figured that one out yet! Anyway, I learned something new at this point. Epidurals aren't what they used to be! Yes, they are still great, but not nearly as much as before. Now, they want you to feel all the pressure, so even though my contractions were gone, I still felt so much pressure I was having to breathe through contractions and all.

As soon as he was done putting the epidural in, the nurse rechecked me and I was at 7 cm! Things were moving fast! So, even though I was fussing because I hurt so badly from the pressure, I managed to make it through the rest of labor (saying some things I can't really repeat!), and at about 1:45 they gave me the OK to push (note that this is only about three hours after I was 1 cm!!!!!!!).

I began pushing but I couldn't get in the right position to push in. The doctor had me in the "traditional" position in the stirrups, and I asked about squatting, but he said I was too close and there wasn't time to set up for it. So, I'd move around and such, and something just wasn't right. Finally, I managed to isolate "where" I needed to push (although for the first time in four labors, I did finally knew what an "overwhelming urge to push felt like!") and felt her drop into the birth canal. Once I isolated that, I began pushing correctly and was pushing so hard I could feel myself blacking out. I'd look at the doctor, and it was just like waking up because it'd take me a minute to remember what was going on (the pressure wouldn't let me forget for long!). So, then I pushed her head out, and on the next contraction the shoulders, and somehow I stopped. She was stuck half way out! The doctor said he'd never seen a mother quit pushing half way through the birth! LOL! But, I needed a breath, and it didn't take long to push once more and she was here at 2:02 pm.

I do remember thinking when pushing that she came out WAY too easy to be the nine pounder I was expecting, and the doctor guessed holding her that she was about 7 1/2 pounds. SHOCK! I was so surprised! He told me that he was gonna get her cleaned up first, so I only got to touch her before they took her over to the warmer. The nurses were taking FOREVER getting me cleaned up and such, and I began maneuvering myself into place to hold her as best I could with numb legs and all. The nurses were laughing saying that they weren't moving fast enough for me, and all I wanted was to be able to hold my baby! Her apgars were 9 and 9 (blue hands and feet), and they weighed her in the room. My huge 9 pound baby turned out to be a tiny 6 pounds, 14 ounces! It's funny because we have this part on video, and my response was "You're kidding???" So much for estimating size. Can you imagine if they would have induced me at 38 weeks like they were talking about? She would have been really small!

I asked the doctor if he had to cut or if I tore and he said no to both. He looked and said I had what he called a "skid mark" but it didn't even require a stitch. I was so happy!

I finally I got to hold her, and it was amazing! She was SO tiny! She's the smallest of all my babies so far. She has a head full of blonde hair, and looks a lot like my husband. None of my babies look like me. I put her to the breast, and she took to it right away. She was made for breastfeeding! We've had no latching on problems whatsoever, but getting her unlatched is another thing (even a month later!). LOL! After about an hour they took her to the nursery to be bathed, and I didn't get her back until about 5:30 or so. Then I found out she was 20 1/2 inches long, and her head circumference was 33 cm.

During that time I felt good enough to get up and walk and even went to the snack machines! I felt some pressure, but it was amazing how much better I felt with no stitches. If anyone can avoid it, trust me, it will be the best thing you can do for yourself. I could have literally gone holiday shopping without a problem. I was walking normally, and no one could even tell I had a baby the day before. I felt GREAT! The only thing I had trouble with was afterpains, and I managed to deal with that. I consider myself to have gone through three hours of labor since I was at 1 cm (no progression since the doctor visit on Tuesday before) at 11 pm, and delivered her at 2 am.

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When I got ready to leave the next day (my choice), I put her in her newborn outfit, and it literally swallowed her whole! The shirt could have been used as a dress, and the pants had so much room in them if I held her up they would have fallen off! I almost got hubby to bring her another but finally just took her home in it and put it up for about 3 months down the road. The pediatrician checked her out and said her only problem was that she was jaundiced (not really bad yet), and wanted me to take her back the next day to get blood drawn again. I'm RH negative and breastfeeding, and both tend to cause jaundiced babies, so I wasn't shocked. Luckily, the next day, all the jaundice was gone, so she did fine.

Kailey has a "stork bite" on the crown of her head, but they said it would fade, and it will be hidden in her hair anyway. One tear duct was stopped up, but I'd dealt with that before, and it went away with just some massaging. Other than that, she's perfectly healthy! We got her home 24 hours after delivery, and she's still doing wonderfully. The only thing was she got frustrated that my milk hadn't come in yet, and she was hungry! I tried to supplement with formula, but she'd spit up everything I put down her (even soy formula) so I already knew immediately that it's good that I decided to breastfeed! My milk finally came in two days later, and she has been a champ at breastfeeding since.

I'm so glad it's over, and the best advice I can give anyone in labor and delivery is to do ANYTHING you can to avoid stitches and tearing. Its 500% easier without that! And, practice those breathing exercises even if you are gonna have a epidural, because if you get one like I did, you'll still need them!

Kailey Madison
December 11, 1997 at 2:02 pm
6 pounds, 14 oz and 20 1/2 inches long

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