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Susan's Birth Story

No epidural, no pain medications, forceps, forth degree episiotomy

After a perfect pregnancy my due date of November 5 2001 came and went. I decided not to be induced unless there was a medical reason. There never was. I also planned to go natural, even though it was my first. I figured, I take real good care of my body and that of baby's for 9 months, why put unnecessary chemicals in our bodies so that mom is comfortable, and for the same reason I didn't want to be induced. I didn't want to risk complications, and/or having drugs affect the baby, and maybe slowing labour down. I wanted to be aware of things, and be able to move freely, no IV, no monitor, nothing. I'm having a baby, I'm not sick. I had a check-up practically every day, and both me and baby were fine. My mandatory induction date (when 42wks are over) was set on November 19. It never came to that.

Contractions started Friday night,  November 16.Not very painful yet, like every 12 mins, but painful enough to keep me up all night! Saturday same story all day, till 7.30 pm every 7 mins, at 10 pm every 5 mins. The pain was bad, very bad and I was so very tired. My husband called the midwife, around 11.30pm, she was going to check me at home, before going to hospital. Little after midnight, Sunday morning, she arrived, and checked me: I was only at 5 cm. I could cry from this terrible pain, frustration and anger. But I didn't, I needed all my energy for breathing techniques. The best way for me to cope with this pain was to be standing. So the car ride to the hospital was pure hell, even though it was only 5 miles.

At the hospital, I wanted to walk, so I walked into the labour and delivery room, the midwife following me with a wheelchair. She broke my water and in minutes I went to 8cm. Transition hit. I couldn't cope with this pain anymore, so I decided to take a shower. Transition lasted 3 hours, a contraction every 30 seconds, lasting around 2 mins. Husband held the shower head on my back, I had all back labour. The pain I felt till 5 cm was absolutely nothing, totally ridiculous compared to what I felt now; the pain was unbearable. I was very tempted to get pain relief, but I knew I'd be disappointed with myself for the rest of my life had I given in. So I didn't. I never had an epidural, nor pain medication, nor gas. Even when it became very hard, I stuck to what I believed in and what I planned.

After an eternity, contractions felt different, so back to the labour and delivery room and the midwife checked me, I was almost at 10 cm. A while later, I was 10 cm. After almost 30 hours! I started to push, which went great! I had all the strength in the world, really felt how and when to push, I pushed like a pro. After the 2nd push, baby's heartbeat dropped fast and didn't recuperate. I was told to lie on my side and NOT push. This was impossible, it took everything I didn't have to not push. After 30 seconds or so, the gynaecologist was there and said baby had to be out NOW! I got a catheter, a 4th degree episiotomy (no anaesthetics!), he put in the forceps( no anaesthetics either) and pulled our sweetie into this world! After a pregnancy of 42 weeks, a labour of 30 hours, Gina Josefa was born at the same hospital where I was born 28 years and 9 months earlier! Apgars 8 and 9, 9lbs, 20 inches. After the placenta came out, the gynaecologist explained it to us, on our request to do so. Then they sewed me up (yes, with anaesthetics), then they gave us something to eat, coffee and a phone.

One and half hours after giving birth, I took a shower. I lost almost a litre of blood. I felt so strong, so proud of myself. I was disappointed however that it ended with forceps, but there was nothing I could have done differently to avoid it. The next day, we went home. Gina is doing great! She is the love of our lives!

Thanks for reading! Greetings, proud mommy Susan.

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