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Kristine and her son Samuel Andrew
Overdue, Vaginal Unmedicated Delivery

During my pregnancy, I read a lot of information about labor and delivery, including as many "birth stories" as I could find. I was determined to have as few medical interventions as possible, but I knew that could change when the moment actually arrived.

Since this was my first pregnancy, I was assuming I would deliver past my due date. I tried to keep busy by swimming, walking and preparing the house for our new arrival. At 38 weeks, the doctor found that I was 3-4 cm dilated and 50% effaced. She was sure I wouldn't make it to my due date. At 39 weeks I was 4 cm. On my due date, I was 4-5 cm. My doctor couldn't believe I wasn't going into labor, and I couldn't believe I was painlessly dilating! I was scheduled to have my water broken on August 8, a week after my due date. I really hoped I would go into labor sooner. On the evening of August 6, I was having some cramping and I was anxious to get things going so I got up and walked for a few minutes. I thought I felt my water break. By the time my husband and I got to the hospital at 11:15 p.m., there was no doubt my water had broken. I was checked and found to be 6 cm. I was just so glad that the baby was coming and things were progressing quickly.

We did some walking, standing, and swaying for about two hours as the contractions got progressively stronger. My parents, brother and sister also arrived to help me with whatever I needed: a cold cloth, the fan turned up or off, a hand to hold. As contractions started to intensify, I was more comfortable sitting up in bed. I started to vocalize pretty loudly, but it really helped. It helped to concentrate on breathing out the pain. I also tried to keep all my muscles as relaxed as possible during and between contractions. That meant I sometimes rolled my head, or swayed back and forth. I must have looked and sounded pretty strange, but that didn't matter at the time! I also tried to stay focused on the baby by talking to him/her.

At 4:15 am, I felt a very intense contraction (or maybe the urge to push?). I asked to be checked and I was 10 cm and ready to push! Once I got the hang of pushing, it was actually a relief. I could tell when I pushed correctly because the contraction pain diminished. Pushing was still hard work though! I ended up with a scratchy throat from grunting and little broken blood vessels in my face from pushing so hard. The last couple pushes were so intense that I felt like I was somehow in another state. But all of a sudden I heard, "It's a boy!" And there was my little boy looking at me. I could hear my husband and sister sniffling as I excitedly announced, "There's my baby! Look at him!"

Samuel Andrew was born at 5:04 a.m. on his grandpa's birthday. He weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz. and was 21 inches long. We are so proud and happy with our little Sam.


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