Real-Life Birth Stories

The Longest 4 ? Hours of My Life (cont.)

By 11:00 a.m. I was still only dilated 3 to 4 centimeters and I was in serious pain. My doctor gave me a shot of Fentanyl to take the edge off the contractions. It was my miracle medicine...for about 10 minutes. Then the contractions were back and harder than ever.

One of the nurses suggested I go sit in the Jacuzzi tub to help relax. I was open to try anything at that point. With the help of the nurses, I made my way down the hall to the Jacuzzi room. I slid into the tub and was almost instantly relieved. My belly felt weightless and the hot water relieved the tense muscles in my back. I was very relaxed and was feeling well enough to joke around with the nurses a little bit. Then suddenly, about 20 minutes later, nothing, and I mean NOTHING was funny anymore.

My contractions became more intense than ever and not even the hot bubbly water could relieve the pain. The nurses helped me out of the tub and back down to my room. We had to stop twice in the hallway because the pain was so intense it was all I could to not to crumple to the floor. The contractions had begun to hit four in a row with NO warning. I couldn't feel them coming on at all, they were suddenly just there, at their peak. I would get about 15-30 seconds rest in between each one and they would start all over again.

My doctor came in and checked me. I was dilated to 6 centimeters, which was far enough along for an epidural. Since my doctor was taking a patient into emergency surgery, the other OB doctor came in to administer my epidural. I sat up and leaned against one of the nurses, the pain was so intense that no matter how hard I tried, I absolutely could not sit still. They had to give me a second shot of Fentanyl just to relieve the pain enough to get the epidural in. The doctor had to try twice to get the epidural in place. He almost had it in and I felt something heavy and that unmistakable urge to push. I told my doctor, "Now wouldn't be a good time to tell you I think I have to push would it?" and he replies, "Hold on honey, I have to get this in." He finally got my epidural in place and checked me. Sure enough, I was dilated to 10 centimeters. I had gone from 6 to 10 centimeters in a matter of minutes. Thankfully my epidural kicked in fast and I was feeling great.

Although I was fully dilated, the nurse and the doctor said the baby was still very high up and that I had at least 1-2 hours of pushing ahead of me. The doctor decided to walk back to the practice to check some patients and he would be back in about a half an hour to see how we were doing. The head nurse told me to push and hold for a count of 10. I pushed and before I knew it she was yelling for the doctor to get back in the room stat because we had a baby that was coming NOW.

The doctors barely had time to get their gloves on before Isaac Ray was born. The doctors passed him to the nurses who began to clean him up. They were suctioning out his mouth and nose but he wasn't crying. It took him a few seconds to take his first breath, and when he finally let out his first little cry, my heart just melted. They wrapped him up and laid him across my chest. I looked down at him and kissed his tiny forehead. He looked exactly how I had imagined he would. He had little wispy tuffs of hair all over his head and the softest skin. He was so precious and content and he opened his eyes and looked up at me and it was that moment that made me realize everything I had gone through was totally worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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