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Cindy and Nicholas
High Risk Pregnancy, Pre-Term Labor, Epidural, Vaginal Delivery

When I was 17, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. I was young and really not sure just exactly what endometriosis was so I did a lot of reading and research regarding this condition. By the time I was 20 I had had three surgeries and was told that my chances of conceiving and carrying a baby to term were slim to none. Again, I was young and in college and with no prospect of getting married any time soon so I was concerned that I would never have children but I tried to stay focused on other things. When my best friend of three years asked me to marry him during my senior year of college, I was shocked but I knew he was the one for me. We quickly married and talked candidly about my endometriosis. Andy, my husband, was very supportive and told me that when we were ready to have a family we would look at all the options, including adoption and fertility treatments.

Six months into our marriage, I started having terrible cramps and irregular periods so I was scheduled to have another surgery on August 20. On August 18, my husband and I went to the hospital for my pre-operative visit. The surgeon told me that they needed to do a routine pregnancy test. I was shocked that he would even suggest such a test. The whole reason I was having the surgery was because I probably could not have children. The doctor explained that it was hospital policy. Defeated, I went to the bathroom certain that there was no way that I was pregnant. Later that day, I received a call from my OB/GYN telling me that I was pregnant. I immediately was reduced to tears. Because of the pain and irregular bleeding I was having, my OB/GYN wanted to see me in his office the next morning.

I went to his office and sure enough an ultrasound confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. He told me my due date was April 27, 2000. My doctor told me I had a little miracle baby considering I was on birth control pills and had endometriosis. I did not know what to think. My husband and I were not even discussing starting a family plus we had resigned ourselves to the fact that I probably could not have children. Throughout my first trimester I spotted and had lots of cramping. Each time I saw the blood I was so scared. I just knew I was miscarrying. I could not even admit to myself that I was having a baby because the chances I could carry the baby to term were so slim.

After making it through my first trimester, my husband and I finally felt at ease. We were certain that my bouts with morning sickness would subside and that we were finally out of the proverbial woods. Well, the second trimester brought problems of its own. The morning sickness did not stop; instead it got worse. And at 25 weeks, I started having contractions. It was during this time that I met my friend terbutaline. Even on terbutaline, I had contractions about every 5 - 10 minutes. I was put in the hospital five times for observation and to have my labor stopped and then sent home.

At 32 weeks, I was put on bedrest. I never thought I would ever hate being able to sleep and stay in bed as much as I wanted, but I did. Along with the contractions, I was having terrible pain. My son had dropped very early and was at station 1 from 32 weeks on. He was putting tremendous pressure on my back and I was terribly uncomfortable. At 35 weeks, I knew I could not take it anymore. I was dilated to 1 cm and 60% effaced. The doctor had given me a stress test and checked the baby via ultrasound and said everything looked great. But I continued to have contractions every 5 - 10 minutes. At 36 weeks, my husband and I discussed the repercussions of an early delivery and the doctor decided that the baby looked healthy enough to take me off the terbutaline and as he put it "let nature take its course." I stopped taking the terbutaline and the contractions started being 3 - 5 minutes apart but I was only 70% effaced and still only dilated to 1.

On April 6, I went for a check up and the doctor told me that if I had not gone into the labor over the weekend that he would induce me on Monday. It was a Thursday morning and I was so thankful that the end was in sight. I was so uncomfortable from the contractions and the position of the baby that I could not wait to finally deliver my little miracle baby. The doctor stripped my membranes before I left and told me to go home and just see what happened. As my husband drove me home I felt great; I had all kinds of energy and was relieved that the doctor told me I could get out of bed. I went home and cleaned my entire house. I checked to make sure that the bags were ready for the hospital and put the finishing touches on the nursery. At midnight I was not tired and was disappointed nothing had happened. I tried to sleep but I was having a terrible backache and could not get comfortable.

At 5:00 a.m. on Friday, I got up to use the bathroom and my water broke. Because I was Group B Strep positive, my husband and I went straight to the hospital. By 7:00 am, all the contractions that I had been having had stopped and I was dilated to 3. The doctor decided to wait and see if the contractions would start again and just told me to sit tight. At noon, nothing had changed so I was put on a Pitocin drip. By 3:00 p.m. the contractions were coming fast and furious and I was dilated to 5 so I choose to have an epidural. By 6:00 p.m., the nurse was so surprised by how fast I was progressing that she told my husband and I that it was probably going to be about 3 - 4 more hours.

At 7:00 p.m. when the nurse came to check me again, she told me that I was dilated to 10 and 100% effaced, and it was time to push. She told me the doctor wanted me to do a few practice pushes before he got there because being my first baby he thought I would have to push for awhile. After my first practice push, the nurse told me to not push again until the doctor arrived. Thank goodness he arrived within 5 minutes because I was really having the urge to push. I started to push at 7:10 and after an episiotomy and forceps, Nicholas Andrew was born at 7:43 p.m. on April 7, 2000. He weighed 6 pounds and 4 ounces and was 19 inches long. Even though he was three weeks early he was completely healthy and absolutely the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Andy and I are so happy with our little miracle baby!

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