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Jeanne and Mekala
Epidural, Vaginal Delivery, Episiotomy

I was due on December 19, 1998. On December 10, I lost my mucous plug. I thought for sure I would go into labor (no such luck). On my due date, I woke up that morning and had blood in my panties and slight cramping. It wasn't my mucous plug since I had already lost that. I had been having strong Braxton Hicks contractions for the last two weeks and figured the contractions that I was having were Braxton Hicks.

I waited until about 1:00 and still was bleeding so I called my sister-in-law. She said, "You better call your doctor!" I called his answering service and another doctor that was on call called me back. He said to go into the hospital and get it checked out. So I took a shower gathered my things and my husband and I went to the hospital. I wasn't in any pain so I thought for sure they would be sending me home.

They hooked me up to a monitor that showed contractions every three minutes, the baby's heartbeat and my blood pressure. They checked me and I was only one centimeter dilated and said the bleeding was old blood. They took some blood tests and said in about an hour I could go home if the blood tests came back okay. They checked me again in an hour and I was two centimeters dilated (still in no pain) and contractions were still every three minutes, so the nurse called the doctor in (which wasn't my doctor who wouldn't be in until Monday). He said I was in pre-labor and that if I didn't dilate anymore, I could go home in an hour. The hospital was only 15 minutes away from my house so I wanted to go home if things were okay in an hour.

After he checked me my blood pressure went up and then I started feeling the contractions. They weren't so bad at first until maybe 30 minutes later. The pain was so bad I thought for sure I wouldn't make it through it, and they were coming every 2 - 3 minutes. I was in back labor! The nurse checked me and I was still 2-3 centimeters dilated; she told me to walk around the hospital for an hour. I tried to walk but every time a contraction hit, I would practically drop to my knees. We went back to the room and I asked for an epidural. The nurse said the doctor couldn't give me one until I was 4-5 centimeters dilated. She checked me again and tried to help things along by breaking my water.

Finally, after four hours of painful back labor, they gave me an epidural which was pure relief except I was completely numb from the chest down (I felt like a puppet). Through all of this I was crying and saying I would never have another baby again! They put a catheter in and I had an IV. They had to put an oxygen mask on my face because the baby's heartbeat kept dropping. I was starving too, I kept asking for food but they wouldn't let me have any. Finally at about 4:30 a.m. I was 10 centimeters dilated. The nurse said to push. I was totally numb and this was my first baby (I had no idea how to push!). They said to take a deep breath, hold it and count to 10. I would do that and push with my stomach muscles (even though I had no idea if I was really pushing or not). I guess I was because every contraction I would have to do that.

My husband was right there holding my hand. I was so exhausted that I kept saying I can't do it anymore. But the nurse would say one more. Finally the baby's head turned on its own, they called the doctor in and 20 minutes later at 6:24 a.m. on December 20, 1998 after 13 hours of back labor, my little girl was born! It was and always will be the most special moment of my life; I can't explain the feeling! My husband and I burst out crying; it was so emotional and we have it on tape too and cry every time we watch it!). Every bit of pain that I felt was so worth the feeling when she was born! I had a third degree tear which healed fine after two weeks. I can't wait to have another baby now!


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