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Erin and Kennedy Alexandra
Pregnancy Induced Hypertension, Unmedicated Vaginal Delivery

I had a pretty easy pregnancy. We had to go for some genetic counseling because there was one case of mental retardation in my husband's family. Everything was fine. Wanting to find out the sex of the baby, we had two ultrasounds, but baby did not want us to know so we took that as a sign. In the last month and a half, I developed PIH (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension). Not a fun thing to go through. My swelling, high blood pressure and the baby's heartbeat had to be monitored twice a week for about one-hour.

The only thing that took away the discomfort of pregnancy and the PIH was going for my monthly massage. I was very lucky to have Beth. She is a doula. (a massage therapist that does pregnancy massage - in and out of the delivery room) When I was at eight months, my doctor checked my cervix and I was 1.5cm and 50% effaced. I was so glad. The doctor said that if I went into labor that they would not stop it. So I called Beth to tell her my progress and to move my next appointment up to the next day. Beth gave me my massage and really worked my pressure points that induce labor. For the next two weeks my doctor requested that I have my blood pressure taken twice a day, so my mother took on the duty of taking it at lunch and in the evening.

On May 25, 2000 at about 2:30 am I woke up to some cramping. Just being uncomfortable in bed and not really thinking about it, I went to the couch. About every hour between 2:30 and 6:30am I awoke to the same cramps. At 6:30 I finally got up and got ready for work. After I was ready I woke my husband up and told him that I thought I was having contractions about one hour apart. I called my mother to verify what I was having was a contraction and then off to work. They were one hour apart until about 10:30. At that time they jumped to 10 minutes apart. I called my husband on his cell phone, as he was in training for his new job he started that Monday. I told him not to bother to come home yet because we were not to go to the hospital until they were 5 minutes for an hour. At 11:30 they jumped to five minutes apart lasting 45 seconds. I decided to go home at 12:00. I called my doctor and she wanted me to have my blood pressure taken and then I was to call her with it. I left work and drove to my mother's work. My mother was worried to death when I got there because I told her I would be there at 12 and did not get there until 12:30. She took my pressure. I was still feeling good and thought I had a while to go. I told my mother I would call her when we left for the hospital. As I was walking to my car I had two contractions in a row and lost my plug.

I got home to find that my husband's family had already arrived to follow us to the hospital. His mother and sister cleaned up around the house while I took a shower. My contractions now were about 2-3 minutes apart so I called my husband and my mother. They both arrived at about the same time. We headed to the hospital. My mother called my father and sisters in the car. I was checked by a nurse at 3:00 and was 2cm and 60% effaced. She told me to walk. My doula arrived and we started to walk. We walked for about half an hour and I got sick in the hallway. I was checked again and was now 4cm. I was admitted. I was doing well. The pain was like bad cramps but nothing I couldn't handle. At 8:15pm I went into transition and my water broke. At 9:06 I felt the head coming down so we called for the nurse and doctor. They came rushing in the room. By the time the doctor got one glove on the head was out. She told me not to push so she could turn the baby. Then she said I could push with the next contraction. In one contraction Kennedy Alexandra Smith was born at 9:07 pm. She was 2 1/2 weeks early and weighed in at 5 lbs. 15.4 oz. and was 20" long. I got two stitches for one small rip. I am so glad I did not get any medication for pain because being able to feel her come in to the world is worth a million dollars!

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