My Birth Story: 'I Labored For Over 24 Hours'
5 months ago, 12 Jan 22:47
I had a fairly easy pregnancy—until the end. By 36 weeks, I just felt done. I felt big, my feet hurt, I was getting up hourly to go to the bathroom, and I was dealing with carpal tunnel. My baby girl’s due date didn’t offer any consolation either. I expected her to be late. I was late, my brother was late, my nephew was late, my husband was late. We’re just a bunch of late babies in this family. Another fear: how big she would be. My husband and I were big babies, so I talked to my doctor about the possibility of being induced toward the end. After all, the longer she stayed in, the bigger she’d get. My doctor said she wouldn’t let me go a week past my due date. With the end in sight, it was countdown time. I was due on October 6th, but nothing was happening. So I asked my doctor if we could do a Foley bulb, which is supposed to urge your cervix to dilate in a drug-free way. But that didn’t work. My induction was scheduled for October 14th. I made it to that date with absolutely no signs of labor. There were a couple nights where I thought: "Am I having a contraction?" But mostly, I felt really normal—and really pregnant. Watch an OB-GYN answer questions about fertility & pregnancy: The induction was scheduled for 9:30 p.m. that night. I worked from home that day and my husband and I went out for our last dinner before we’d become a family of three. As we started driving to the hospital, my nerves started kicking in. It was a very emotional time, but I held onto the fact that we were going to meet our baby girl soon. When we got there, they checked me. I was just over a centimeter dilated at that point. At the hospital, we discussed our plan of action for the induction with the doctor. First they inserted a pill into my cervix to get contractions going. Then they told me I could get additional rounds of this medication for up to 12 hours. That’s when I realized this could take a long time. At 11 p.m., a nurse told me to grab a snack at the cafeteria. As soon as I started walking, the contractions started. They were mild at first, but were coming every few minutes. By midnight I could really feel them. Still, I was only two centimeters dilated, and we were a few hours in already. My doctor gave me the go-ahead to take a quick shower. By 2:30 a.m., my contractions were coming in waves every 45 seconds. They were relentless and intense; I couldn’t catch a break. At 3 a.m., I got the epidural. Before labor, I was most nervous about this part (needles scare me!), but at that point I was in so much pain, I thought: 'who cares?' Funny how I didn’t even feel the needle, and once it kicked in, I took ...
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