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Pregnancy & Birth

Personal Stories of Labor and Birth

Sometime around the middle of month 7, I couldn't fit behind the steering wheel of my Ford Taurus anymore (short legs, distant pedals, you get the picture). So my husband was driving me to work everyday and on our way, we'd stop off at the local diner for breakfast.

On Friday, February 1st, we walked into the local diner and my water broke (but not GUSH, just enough to wet my pants), so I got into the dry pants I was always carrying around with me. I took stock. Was I in labor? No. Okay. If I didn't eat now, would I get a chance to eat later at the hospital? No. Okay.

So we stayed and had breakfast. And then, since we were really close to where I work, we went there. I called my doctor's office, told them what had happened and asked permission to go home and get my stuff for the hospital. They asked, "Labor pains?" No. "Okay, go on home, get your stuff and then come right to the hospital."

So, I said goodbye to everyone at work. Gathered up a few things, went home, went to the hospital.

Doctor checked me, no labor. No dilation. Actually, no amniotic fluid. Hmmmm....did another slide and found just a smidge of fluid. It seems I had a slow leak from the top. It was a week before my due date, so he said "Well, we could send you home and induce you tomorrow if you don't start labor, or we could induce you today." I chose today, my husband agreed. He called our parents to let them know.

Machines, Pitocin. No labor. Upped the Pitocin and broke my water (wow! That's a lot of fluid!) and.....the contractions started and went off the charts. My husband rubbed my back. He was so great, he is the very best husband in the world.

Eventually I asked for an epidural and I gotta tell you, I am still in love with my anesthetist.

Now, I've been in labor a while and my doctor comes in to check on me and my son has moved two centimeters in the wrong direction. He's digging in his heels. He does not want to come out.

My doctor says, "What are your feelings right now about having a c-section?" I'm fine with it. My husband is fine with it. The doctor tells us that an operating room should be open in a few hours, and if no progress had been made at that point, we could do a c-section then. Fine. My husband calls our parents to give them an update.

So at 9:01 PM Friday, February 1 my son was born by c-section. My biggest memories of being in the operating room are:

1. My first sight of my son. He was on the table across from me getting suctioned and all that and his legs were spread-eagled and all I could really see were his bright purple testicles. Wow. And he was so pissed off. "Put! Me! Back! Put! Me! Back!"

2. The doctor and his assistants counting over and over, sponges, clamps, etc. 23 sponges, btw.
Afterwards, they let me hold my son as they wheeled us from the recovery room to our room on the maternity ward. He was so perfect and small and he had decided maybe it wasn't so bad being out in the world.

written by a 36-year-old woman 

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