I found out that I was pregnant with my first daughter on July 10, 2009. We soon discovered that her due date was March 20, 2010, however my husband and I would have to wait a little bit past that date. I scheduled and attended all of my prenatal appointments from day one, as I understood the importance of prenatal care with my previous experience as a LPN. The pregnancy was about as smooth as I could ask for, until the last week arrived.
On March 26, 2010, I still had not given birth to my daughter and was beginning to become worried. I had scheduled an appointment to have a NST done as well as an ultrasound and some blood work to ensure that things were progressing positively. When the nurse weighed me, she discovered that I had gained 12 pounds in 7 days which pointed to potential health problems for me and my baby. I was retaining a lot of water which was evidenced by my swelling legs, hands, feet, and face. My blood pressure was slightly elevated, although it was not too high and this could also affect the baby’s health. The CNM decided that I was going to be induced the following morning (March 27, 2010).
My husband and I drove to the hospital at 5:00am the next day, eager to meet our little girl. When we arrived at the hospital I was 1 cm dilated and the induction began! At 10:00 a.m., we had all been checked in and I had been placed in a room and had to put up with an invasive catheter insertion into my cervix. This was done to get my cervix to continue to dilate and by 2:00pm I was at 6cm and in quite a bit of pain. Soon it became unbearable, so I requested to have an epidural placed to relieve the pain. The anesthesiologist placed the epidural at 3:00pm and I instantly felt some relief from the excruciating contractions. Later at 6:00pm the CNM decided to start Pitocin, which is a drug that quickens contractions and increases dilation because I had not progressed as quickly as I should have given the treatments that had begun. For the six hours following the epidural placement I was pain free and was able to relax while my body worked to deliver my daughter, but by 9:00pm I had not dilated further.
At this time, my CNM was checking my dilation and I began to feel the contractions again and they had returned with a vengeance. I asked to speak with the anesthesiologist who said that sometimes the epidural only lasts for a few hours so she removed the one previously placed and inserted a new one in an attempt to give me relief. This second attempt gave me pain relief for only two more hours, and by midnight every contraction was excruciating and I was having horrible back labor. At one point I screamed at the nurse to “cut her out of me” so that I would be out of pain. At 3:00am I was dilated to 10cm but my daughter had not dropped all the way into the birth canal. I spent about an hour trying to push, making little progress with no pain relief either despite numerous attempts. During this time I became like a drug addict begging for any amount of pain relief. The anesthesiologist did give me a dose of Fentanyl around 4:00am which allowed me to rest for about 30 minutes after I had been pushing.
For the next two hours I was in the worst pain of my life. At 6:00am the CNM came in and said that it was time to start to push. She brought the team in and I pushed. I pushed and pushed and finally my daughter began to emerge. I heard the CNM say “nuchal cord x 1” and I knew exactly what that meant; my daughter’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck which could threaten her life. I gave one last push and my daughter came out. My husband said she just kind of plopped out and fell onto the table with a big whoosh.
Reagan Mackenzie Hudson was born at 6:28am on March 28, 2010. She did have the cord wrapped around her neck once, and gave us quite a scare when she did not respond right away, but in the end she was born a healthy little girl. After 20 hours of labor I swore that I would never go through that ordeal again. Fast forward a year and a half later and my husband and I are expecting our second little girl, due on November 15, 2011. We couldn’t be happier and I am prepared to do it all over again if need be.