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I found out I was pregnant on Friday March 9, 2001. We saw our baby for the #1 time on Thursday April 24, at 11 weeks gestation. The 22-week ultrasound on Saturday June 30 showed us that we were having a girl. Seven weeks later, on Wednesday August 22, we looked at our 29-week-old. I had a textbook pregnancy, no worries, no complications, baby and I were doing fine.

My due date of November 5 came and went, my midwife sent me to the hospital for non-stress-test, ultrasound and an OB-check-up. My blood pressure was low, my baby was sky high, I wasn't dilated, my cervix wasn't ripe, there were no signs of labor. For the next 12 days I went back and forth to the hospital for tests, my mandatory induction date was set on November 19, when 42 weeks were over. I didn't want to get induced, I did want to go natural; I wanted to avoid any risks and didn't want any unnecessary chemicals in our bodies after taking real good care of myself (and so of the baby) for 9 months. I really wanted to have the baby, I tried every natural inducer in the book, had my membranes stripped on 4 different occasions (all after 40 weeks), but nothing worked.

Friday November 16, 2001
at night, contractions started all by themselves. every 12 minutes, not very painful, but enough to not let me sleep all night.

Saturday November 17, 2001
All morning and afternoon same story, every 12 minutes. I'm getting tired, but my back hurts too much to lie down. 07.30 Pm every 8 minutes, active labor started, I have to stop doing other things and concentrate. this is not sooo bad, I can do this..... 10.00 PM every 5 minutes, pain is intense! But manageable. the best way for me to cope is to be standing up, and have 'daddy' rub my back, I have all back labor. 11.45 PM husband called the midwife; she was to come to our house to check dilation before going to the hospital, in order top avoid going there too soon, and maybe be sent back.

Sunday November 18, 2001
00.10 AM midwife arrived at our house, checked me and I'm 5 cm.! After 26 hours of labor! I could cry from pain, frustration, tiredness. Off to the hospital, those 5 miles felt like 500 miles. I walked into the labor and delivery room, she followed me with a wheelchair. 00.30 AM settled in in L&D room, she breaks my water; in minutes I go to 8cm. A true avalanche of contractions start: every 30 seconds a contraction lasting almost 2 minutes. Did I mention I had back labor!? The pain I felt till 5 cm was nothing, meaningless to the pain I felt now. I have to breathe through the contractions, one on top of the other, no rest, no breaks! I felt the baby move down the birth canal, and now that I'm standing up again (I laid down for her to break my water) I feel a lot of pressure and a lot of pain. 01.00 AM I cannot take this anymore! General anesthesia is looking good right now! Off to the shower; daddy held the shower head on my back, I breathe through the contractions, I lost all track of time, the only thing that mattered was doing this. I was very tempted to get an epidural, but I knew I'd be so disappointed with myself had I given in to pain relieve. So I didn't. Any pain meds would do nothing at this point and would drug the baby too much. So I didn't get anything. I was never hooked up to an IV, no fetal monitor, nothing, I was free to move about and drink. My midwife followed me about with a doppler to check baby's heartbeat. 02.45 AM contractions start to feel different, back to the bed: she checked me and I'm 9.5 cm. 03.15 10 cm.! pushing started, after a transition that lasted almost 3 hours. Pushing felt good, I pushed through the pain. After the #2 push, baby's heartbeat dropped fast all of a sudden, and didn't recuperate! Under 60 already and dropping....I'm told to stop pushing and lie on my side. That's nearly impossible to do. the OB got called in and checked the heartbeat, then said the baby had to be out now! He decided to use forceps, there wasn't any time! The foot-stirrups were put in place, I got a catheter (didn't hurt), a 4th-degree episiotomy (no anesthetics, it hurt for a moment), he put in the forceps (no anesthetics either, so yes, that hurt a lot!) and pulled our daughter into this world! 03.25 AM Gina was born! After a 42-week pregnancy and a 30-hour labor. She was fine! 9 lbs, 20", head circ.15", Apgars 8&9, blue eyes and a full head of dark hair. She came out screaming!

Daddy cut the cord, I delivered the placenta, the OB explained it to us, on our request to do so. I got local anesthetics for the stitches, which took about 45 minutes. then they left us alone with coffee, cake and a phone. 05.15 AM I took a shower. 05.45 settled in in my room, Gina went to the nursery, husband went home.

Monday November 19, 2001
We all went home.
Labor was hard and long, but it was all worth it. I'd do it again in the exact same way if I had to. I felt very disappointed about the forceps, but I knew there's nothing I could have done differently to avoid it.

Submitted by: Susan
March 2003

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