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Becky and Nathan
Pitocin, Epidural, Forceps, Vaginal Delivery

The birth of my first child, Nathan, was wonderful. My pregnancy was mostly without complications, although I did have some bleeding in the 27th week. Everyone was sure that I would go into labor before my due date, but I wasn't going to get my hopes up. I'm sure glad I didn't because Nathan didn't decide to make his arrival until 10 days past my due date.

I began dilating at 36 weeks, but I had only dilated to a little past 2cm. I was scheduled for an induction on Friday, but my amniotic fluid began leaking Monday morning. I wasn't sure that it was because it was a slow leak, so I called the doctor's office and they told me to come on in and have it checked out. My husband was working nights at the time, so he was home and able to go with me to the doctor. It's a good thing because she confirmed that my amniotic fluid was indeed leaking and sent me straight down to the birthing center.

I wasn't having contractions, so I was started on a Pitocin drip at around 10:00 A.M. I called all my family and of course they all rushed to the hospital even though I told them there was no hurry! The waiting game began and I felt like a "watched pot." Everyone was just sitting around waiting for something to happen. Finally, I started having some small contractions. They just felt like bad menstrual cramps. These went on for a couple of hours, steadily increasing in intensity, but still manageable.

Then, while using the restroom at about 4:00 P.M., my water completely broke and the hard contractions started immediately. By this time, I was receiving the highest dose of pitocin and the contractions were coming one right after the other. I was also having back labor because Nathan was posterior. Needless to say, I was not feeling good! At this point, I was only dilated to 3cm. Up until now, everyone had been hanging out in my room. This was fine with me as long as there was no talking during a contraction. Now, I was in the midst of a contraction constantly, so everyone besides my husband was asked to leave the room until I could receive an epidural. I was really worried because I had heard that they usually won't order an epidural until you reach 4cm or 5cm. I was having intense, non-stop contractions and knew that I would not be able to maintain control for that long. Fortunately, the doctor wanted to place internal monitors on me and was having difficulty getting the uterine monitor in because of the non-stop contractions. So, she went ahead and ordered the epidural, so she could have an easier time getting the uterine monitor in place.

Heaven.that's the only way I can describe the feeling after receiving the epidural. Getting the epidural was not bad at all. Nothing could be as bad as the pain I was feeling from the contractions. After the epidural, I began to dilate quickly. I received my epidural at approximately 6:30 and was dilated to 5cm the next time they checked me. Everyone was allowed to come back into the room, but I think only a few people came back in to see me. The anesthesiologist had difficulty keeping the epidural effective. It would work great on one side but only partially worked on the other side. I can't complain, though. I still felt sooo much better than I did before the epidural and he was great about boosting it whenever I started hurting. I can't say enough good things about the anesthesiologist. I really felt like he was waiting right outside my door to respond to my needs. I never had to wait long for him to respond. Since Nathan was posterior, the nurse kept rotating me, trying to get him to turn. Finally, I dilated to 9cm around 11:00 P.M. and the doctor had me pushing on my hands and knees to turn Nathan. I'm not sure when I completely dilated since they had me start pushing a little early. There was never a definitive moment when the doctor said, "You're complete, you can start pushing now!" In fact, I don't even think my family was aware for a while that I was pushing.

I always thought that I would be humiliated if I had to push with my bottom in the air. But, at that point, all that I could think about was doing what it took to get the baby out safely. I was on a mission! I pushed like that for a while and then they had me push on my side. The next time the doctor checked me she said that Nathan had turned and was in the correct position. The nurse had me move to my back and start pushing from the standard position. Around this time, they noticed that Nathan's heartbeat was dropping a little with the contractions, so they put an oxygen mask on me. This should have frightened me, but I don't remember ever doubting that I would have a healthy baby. I was quite confident that my doctor would take care of us both.

I had been pushing for about an hour, and Nathan's head just wasn't getting past my pubic bone. The doctor was getting concerned about Nathan's heart rate, so she suggested that we use forceps to move things along. I wasn't crazy about the use of forceps but I knew that it was for the best. I knew that I was pushing really well because they had already told me that I was one of the best pushers they had seen, so I knew that there was nothing more I could do on my own. The only time I hesitated on pushing was the first push using the forceps. It hurt! However, my doctor urged me on and told me not to back down now! I'm not sure how many pushes it took, using the forceps, to deliver Nathan. Before all was said and done, I had the anesthesiologist and the nurse pushing down on my stomach and the doctor pulling with the forceps. Oh, and by the way, I was pushing too!

Finally, my beautiful baby boy was born at 12:47 A.M. It was my proudest moment. I cannot tell you the pride you feel after giving birth to a child. I felt like I could do anything after I did that. My husband told he had so much respect for me after witnessing my ability to give birth. Looking back, it seems like I had a complicated and difficult labor. But, it really never seemed that bad to me. I look forward to doing it again in the future! Nathan was a healthy baby and received APGAR scores of 8 and 9. He weighed 8 lbs 14 oz. and was 23 in. long! He is 4 months old now and a true joy!

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