Moments later, my parents arrived at the hospital. My mom stayed with me while my father, who is a doctor, went to check on Greg. In the meantime, my doctor inserted the catheter balloon into my cervix. "This might be a little painful," I remember him saying like it was yesterday. Now I have a very high threshold for pain, but once that balloon was in there, it felt like a gun had gone off in my head. I shrieked in agony.
Tossing my original drug-free birth plan out the window, I begged my doctor for pain relief. With morphine drip in hand -- a brilliant invention -- I settled back to wait for my cervix to open. By then, Greg had made it back to my room with a bump on his head the size of my belly. Once my cervix ripened, I was given Pitocin to speed up labor and an epidural replaced the morphine. Did I mention my drug-free delivery plan?
Just as everything seemed to be moving along well, the baby stopped progressing. Since I had already been in labor for 20 hours, the doctor gave me a 30-minute deadline before he would perform a C-section. Luckily, the baby advanced before time ran out.
Finally, some 20 hours later, it was time for me to push. What a powerful feeling! For the first time since the whole ordeal began, I felt in control. I was more than ready when the doctor said, "Go!" Forty-five minutes later, our baby was born. Whatever pain and agony I had experienced was quickly forgotten when I looked into my little Stella's eyes for the first time. Greg was just so happy to see his little girl safe and sound that he didn't even mind his embarrassment at having passed out or his throbbing headache.