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Shari and Sarah Natalie
Vaginal Delivery with Epidural

Let's start on Wednesday, October 25, two or three days after Baby's due date (depending on which calendar you use). I had my weekly doctor appointment, which I hadn't really expected to keep. But there I was! The doctor said that she'd like to induce since I was past 40 weeks. I told her that I was only two to three days past my due date and I didn't want to induce so soon. (She wanted to induce the next day!) Since I said "no," she scheduled me for a nonstress test and biophysical profile for that Friday, if I hadn't delivered yet. Then I made an appointment for the next Monday, October 30, and the doctor said that if I hadn't delivered by then, she wanted to induce the next day, Halloween! Jump ahead to the next day, October 26. . .

All day I had been feeling contractions -- menstrual cramp like, but very spaced apart and not painful, just noticeable. In the afternoon, I helped my son rake leaves for an hour, much to my husband, Jim's dismay. About an hour after coming inside, around 6pm, I started feeling contractions. They were every three to five minutes, and some getting painful. By 6:30, as we sat down to dinner, they were every three minutes, lasting about 30-45 seconds. We called my mom and asked her to come home from work to watch the kids, as the doctor had said to come in to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital and were in the triage room, where they check you and decide if you should be admitted, by 8:20 pm. After an hour of being hooked up to the external monitors and the baby repeatedly kicking and moving so they had to keep repositioning the monitors, and a jumpy med student doing an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid level (because I'm over 40 weeks, heaven forbid!), the nurse came in and said, "Go walk for two hours. Come back at 11:20." It really surprised us, how she just came in and told us to walk, no forewarning or anything. So after probing, it turned out that the doctor didn't want to admit me until my water had broken or I was more than the 2cm dilated that I was the day before at the office.

We walked for two long hours. We were sure there had been no change and that we'd be told to go home. We were really dreading that because I was still scheduled for those tests the next morning and we'd be right back at the hospital at 9:00 am! Good news when the med student checked me at 11:30 -- 3 1/2 to 4 cm dilated! They called the doctor and we were admitted.

We moved from triage to labor and delivery! Then, of course, they had to reattach the monitors and work with the baby to leave the heartbeat monitor alone, as she was still kicking it off. By 12:15, the doctor had come in, checked me, and broken my water. I was still 4 cm. By 1:00, I was asking for an epidural. The doctor came back in at 1:30 and said he wanted to give me pitocin to help speed things along -- yet, he hadn't even checked me to see if I had dilated any more! When we questioned why he wanted to use the pitocin, he said that often after an epidural, the dilation slows down some. But after a bad experience with pitocin during the birth of Edward (7 years ago), we really didn't want pitocin.

The doctor was starting to get snotty and had an attitude when I refused the pitocin. It appeared as though he wanted to hurry up and get the baby delivered so he could go home. He left abruptly and came back 15 minutes later to check my dilation -- 6 cm! Yea for progress!

He came in and out of the room several times, as he was watching the baby's monitor at the nurses' station. The baby was still moving around and kicking off the monitor, so it kept having to re-find her heartbeat. He said he wanted to put an internal monitor on the baby to better watch her heartbeat and make sure she didn't go into distress (which is why I ended up with the emergency c-section 7 years ago).

At about 2:00 am, I started feeling uncomfortable during the contractions and had one where I felt like I should push. Jim beeped the nurse, and I had one more small contraction before she arrived. Just as she came into the room, I had another hard contraction and I told her I felt like I needed to push. So she said to go ahead and try pushing. I heard her call for the doctor while I was pushing. He came right in and said that I was 9 cm and that I should tell them when I felt the next contraction, because he wanted me to keep pushing.

Next thing I knew, there were 6 nurses and the doctor (yes, I actually counted!) in the room. I pushed 3 more times, and the doctor said her head was almost out but if she didn't come out with the next push, he'd do a forceps delivery. So I pushed as hard as I could, and there she was! A girl!

Sarah Natalie (naming story to follow) was born at 3:27 am on Friday, October 27, 2000.

I remember looking at Jim just as the baby was completely out, and he looked at me. It was so wonderful, because there was such a connection between us. He wasn't just looking into my eyes, but it seemed, into my soul as well. We hugged and kissed, and I swear I saw him wipe a tear from his eye.

Sarah weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz., and was 20" long. She has just a little bit of peach fuzz on her head, which is very different from our other 2, who came out with lots of hair! Her apgars were 9 and 10. She looked absolutely wonderful! So although we felt that the doctor was a real jerk, we had a good nurse, and a great labor experience. Much, much easier than my first two!

Baby Sarah was just named today, Wednesday, November 2. Today was the deadline for naming her before her birth certificate would read, "Baby Girl Findley." We had called the hospital registrar yesterday and given the name "Sarah Elizabeth," but decided instead to use Natalie for the middle name, after Jim's middle name, Nathan. I called just in time, as the birth certificate was going out to the health department today!

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