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Birth Stories at StorkNet ~ your pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting community
Melissa and Timothy Matthew
Uncomplicated hospital birth with epidural, no episiotomy

My due date was January 4, 2002. Four days had past and I was ready to see my baby! My wish was granted. At 2:30 a.m. on January 8, 2002 my contractions began. I wasn't sure if this was the real thing or not since I had been having Braxton Hicks the past couple of days. At first, I was waking up every hour or so with really uncomfortable pains. It felt better to sit on the toilet because I was losing my mucous plug at the same time. The pains were getting worse and they got to the point where I just couldn't sleep anymore. I just sat up and watched TV while I moaned through each contraction. At about 7 a.m. I looked at the clock and the contractions were coming five minutes apart. I still didn't go to the hospital because I had a doctor's appointment at 9 a.m. I woke up my significant other and told him I thought I was in labor. He told me to go take a shower and we would leave for the doctor's office. I took a shower and then laid on the bed while he got ready. Contractions were still coming five minutes apart and by now I thought the pain was horrendous. As we were walking out the door to go to my appointment, I felt a gush of warm liquid, it wasn't much so I wasn't sure if I had just urinated on myself or if my water broke.

We pulled in at the doctor's office and I went right to the receptionist. I told her I though I was in labor. She got the nurse and they took me to the exam room. They tested the fluid to see if it was amnio fluid, and it was. When the doctor checked my cervix I was 4 centimeters dilated. They sent me right across the parking lot to the hospital where, of course since my water broke, I was admitted immediately.

The registration process at the hospital seemed to take forever! The hospital which I delivered at did not allow for pre-registration. I had to answer questions through my contractions. All I wanted to do was get in the bed and get this over with! Finally, after about 30 minutes, I had all of the paperwork and headed through the labor & delivery doors.

Once I got a room, my nurse came in and introduced herself. They hooked me up to the fetal monitor, contraction monitor, and blood pressure monitor. She told me I needed to lay there for an hour because she needed to get some accurate readings. I was unaware I would be confined to the bed because in my childbirth class they told us we could switch positions. My significant other and I had decided to try to do this natural, with no drugs or epidural. Laying down was really uncomfortable so I asked if I could sit up in the rocking chair. This was much more comfortable! My contractions were tapering off and they weren't very uncomfortable at this point. When the nurse checked me about two hours later I thought I was going to die when she told me I was only 5 centimeters dilated. The doctor was called and I was put on the pitocin drip. Almost immediately, the contractions started coming very hard and lasting longer. I was trying my best to use the breathing techniques that we had learned, but, the pain was too bad for me to focus. The nurse came in and saw how uncomfortable I was. She gave me my pain relief options. At first, I declined everything, but after about another hour and only being at 6 centimeters, I thought it was best to get the epidural so I would have energy to push when the time came.

The anesthesiologist came in and put the epidural in place. Because of the pain relief, my body seemed to relax and about 30 minutes later I was feeling extreme pressure. It was very uncomfortable and I felt like I had to take a bowel movement. It felt like I couldn't stop pushing. About an hour after I had the epidural my doctor came in to check me. I had progressed to 9 centimeters and was ready to push. He began to scrub and the nurses prepared the bed for my delivery.

In all of my classes, they never once taught me how to push. The doctor told me to push through my contractions but since I had the epidural I didn't know when they were coming so I took it upon myself to just constantly push. Even though I couldn't feel the pain, the pressure was just as bad, almost unbearable. I pushed for approximately 20 minutes when I gave birth to my beautiful son, Timothy Matthew. He weighed in at 9 pounds, 3 ounces, and he was 21 inches long. His apgars were 9.9. Once he was out I felt empty and let me tell you it was quite a relief! The delivery if the placenta didn't hurt at all. I did not have an episiotomy nor did I tear.

We decided to take the full hospital stay since I was exclusively breastfeeding and thought it would be nice to have the nurses help me out. He was a very good baby and the nurses were a big help in answering any questions I had. At the time, I thought having a baby was the most painful thing a woman could ever endure. But, now as I look into the eyes of my beautiful little boy, I know it was all worth it.

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