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Angie and Rebekah
Epidural, Vacuum Assisted Vaginal Delivery

My husband and I had been married for five years when we decided it was time to start a family. Also, I was getting close to thirty and wanted my first child before that. I usually don't plan things but with the pregnancy everything was planned. I quit taking my birth control pills and started taking folic acid six months before we wanted to get pregnant. We did this so the baby's birth would coincide with me getting out of the Air Force.

The whole way through the pregnancy I worried about everything;, one thing would pass and I would worry about another. I worried we wouldn't be able to get pregnant, we got pregnant the first month we tried. I worried I would have bad morning sickness, I only felt nauseous for about three weeks.

At sixteen weeks, thanks to the ultrasound, we found out we were having a girl. We started picking names. I had always like the biblical spelling of Rebekah, but we chose other names and decided we would name her when we saw her. My due date was originally 9 December, then they moved it to 12 December. 12 December came and went and no baby. My mother's birthday is 28 December and my grandmother's birthday is 26 December. I kept joking that I was trying to hit one of them, but I was praying the baby would come soon. In the last three weeks of my pregnancy I ballooned and was getting bigger by the minute. I was scheduled for another ultrasound on the 19th at 10:30 to make sure I still had enough amniotic fluid and to check the baby.

Well, on the 18th at 9:30 PM I had just laid down on the couch with my head in my husbands lap and I felt a gush. My husband, Henry, had always joked that one day I would just say, "Oh crap it's time to go." I told him he was crazy. Well I got up off the couch and said "Oh crap it's time to go."

We got to the hospital and they did a check to make sure it was amniotic fluid. The test paper they used showed that the fluid was not amniotic fluid. I said "trust me, my water has broke I'm leaking everywhere." They did another test and it came back positive. They put me in this little room and asked me if I wanted to start pitocin. I said, "No." I had heard all bad stories about getting induced. They told me I had six hours, if I didn't start contracting significantly they would have to start pitocin anyway. I started having sporadic contractions, all in my back. But they were bearable. About 2:30 am the doctor came in and said they had to start the pitocin. The contractions hit me like a brick wall, they were coming so fast it was unbearable. My poor husband rubbed my back continuously for four hours. I was throwing up and constantly going to the bathroom. All I kept thinking was how after I had such a perfect pregnancy the delivery was going to be a nightmare. I had not wanted to take and drugs during delivery. My doctor kept telling me to keep my options open.

After being on pitocin for two hours the doctor came in to check me. I was climbing the walls I was in so much pain, but I still refused medication. The doctor checked me and said I had only dilated one centimeter. I freaked out. I had to have something. They gave me Stadol. I started having weird dreams and I still felt every bit of the contractions. I will never take stadol again. I kept getting up to move, the nurse would come in and tell me I needed to stay in bed so the monitors would stay on my stomach. Didn't she know I was dying? Finally I could take not more and at 5:30 am I asked for an epidural. The doctor came back and said he had to check me again. I asked if I could have the epidural first. He said "no" and checked me. I was dilated to a 9. I almost cried. In our childbirth class they told us after we dilated past an 8 we could not get an epidural. The nurse must have felt sorry for me because she told the doctor I was suffering pretty bad and if they could, to give me the epidural. I almost told them "no." After all, I had made it that far. But I also was exhausted from the pain and I took the epidural.

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After I got the epidural they moved me to a big birthing room so when the baby came out she didn't have to be taken to another room to be checked. Almost as soon as I got there I felt the urge to push. The doctor said I could start whenever I wanted to. I was at a training hospital so I think the doctor that was with me was pretty new, because two other doctors kept coming in and checking on her. After an hour and a half of pushing the chief of neonatal care came in to see what was taking so long. My babies head was turned sideways in the birth canal, she would move a little forward with each push then go back. The chief checked me out and told me I had another hour to get the baby out then they would have to do an assisted birth, either vacuum, forceps or cesarean. I was pushing with all my might, but she still did not move.

Finally my epidural started to wear off and my back was killing me. The pain and all the pushing was zapping my strength fast. The chief came back in and asked how I was coming along, I asked for more pain medication and for assistance with the birth. After an epidural booster I was getting more strength to push. They tried forceps but it seems I have a bump on one of my pelvic bones that would not allow the forceps to close. I kept asking how my daughter was, and to everyone's amazement she was fine. She never showed any kinds of stress, her heart rate stayed strong. I, on the other hand, was on oxygen by this time. They got out the suction and did a vacuum assist. The last pushes seem like a dream, it was like I wasn't really there. I just kept pushing, six counts of ten. And she was finally born December 19 at 11:24 am 7 lbs 8 ozs, 21 1/2 inches long. I don't really remember her coming out just the doctor carrying her to the warmer to be checked. Since I pushed so long and hard at the end I ended up with a third degree tear, but she was worth every bit. My husband, Henry, and I are even planning to try for another child when Rebekah turns one.

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