How overdue is overdue, and when do I start panicking? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 04:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm currently 41w5d with my first child (though I did m/c last summer). I have been looking forward to a drug-free, intervention-free hypnobirth, in spite of the "looks" and comments I've received from many people ("Oh, honey. You'll take the epidural." : ).

My pregnancy has been really great, though I've been having BH contractions pretty much since about 20w. Everyone was SURE I'd go early.

But no...I've stalled at 70% effaced, 1/2cm dilated, and with the baby at 0 station. I've had my membranes swept twice (the second time today) and both times seemed to bring results (lost mucous plug, tons of contractions). This past Saturday I KNEW my birthing time had come...but by Sunday morning, it had stalled again.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I have to meet with an OB (my CNM has to relinquish me to her as I will be at about 42w) and let her know my "plan." I'm pretty stressed out (okay, to the point of hysteria at times) as I do NOT want to be induced or have a C-section. But I also know my son's health is paramount. So far, the non stress tests have shown he's fine.

Today, as a last ditch effort (I've done everything...walking, bouncing on a birth ball, spicy food, sex, etc. etc.), I looked into acupuncture. He was great! Determined a serious block of energy to my cervix, hence why I've not been dilating. He wants to give me treatments for the week; I had my first today.

So, at long last, my question. Am I safe to continue waiting until the end of the week? I'll be about 42w2d by Friday. I'm so paranoid I'm making a foolish decision on waiting (my husband has been patient, but I know he's starting to worry). I HOPE the acupuncture and sweeping do the trick...in fact, I'm contracting about every 6-8 minutes now, but I don't trust it not to be prodromal labor, like it was on Saturday.

Any advice? Again, sorry I've gone on and on...I'm just so stressed out (and I'm SURE that's not helping!)...
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#2 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 06:03 AM
 
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I had a friend who was 43 1/2 weeks when she went into labor. As long as the baby is fine and you are fine I don't see what the problem would be.

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#3 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 06:17 AM
 
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Sorry to ask a dumb question, but how confident are you about your EDD? Were your cycles regular, do you know when you conceived? So often it is that damn date that is wrong, not the baby that is overdue!!

Living simply with the loves of my life! :::
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#4 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 06:23 AM
 
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Your baby is not a library book. Nobody is going to fine you 10 cents a day if he's overdue. Some babies are naturally ready to be born after 38 weeks in utero. Others aren't ready until 42. Barring medical complications, babies are healthiest when they're left inside until they're good and ready to come out on their own.

By all means, continue having the non-stress tests to reasure yourself that the baby is still doing fine, if such tests actually make you more relaxed. But you don't have to "do" anything- the baby will come out when he or she is ready.

If your OB tries to schedual you for an induction, or even if s/he DOES schedual you for an induction, you don't have to show up. This is your body and your birth.

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#5 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 09:10 AM
 
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Do long pregnancies run in your family, or in your partner's family? If so, then this could be perfectly normal for you.

42wks is not a magic number...it's an arbitrary number.

Whether or not you really know when you conceived, I would try right now to find a way to cast some doubt on your due date. Maybe you can truly remember that conception happened 2weeks later than you thought, maybe you can pretend to remember that something occurred unusually that month, to delay ovulation for 1-2 weeks. As long as doc believes you are 42 weeks, tho, you are so likely to get a heap of pressure to induce.

If baby is doing fine, then it's most likely safe to wait. Pregnancy simply does not obey calendars--some women cook em faster, some slower, and until about 30 years ago, everyone, including doctors knew this.

good luck and strength to you! happy birthing....it will happen!
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#6 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 10:40 AM
 
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Agreed - as long as baby is doing fine, stick it out. My mom went 2 weeks over with me, and 3.5 weeks over with my brother. I just went 2 weeks over with my first. Seems like long gestations just run in my family. Or maybe you ovulated later when you conceived than you thought. Keep checking on that baby to make sure she/he's ok, but stop stressing!
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#7 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 11:33 AM
 
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People regularly go past 42 weeks...EDD is just an estimate. That said, I went 41 weeks, 5 days with dd2 and I started getting stressed.

An idea...can you look around for another midwife who is comfortable going past 42 weeks and who won't start trying to push you to induce? There are some out there! My mw for my second pregnancy was very calm when I was heading towards 42 weeks and at no point suggested induction or another "plan" suggested. Her attitude helped immesurably. It's not too late to change mws!!!
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#8 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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with my most recent birth, according to my LMP my due date was july 15th. baby came on aug 9th. before that on DS was 14 days past due, DD#1 before him was induced labor at 10 days "overdue" but was very obviously early (only 6lbs 11oz, vernix all over, jaundice and reflux) The other 2 babies were 8 1/2 lbs. unless you are seeing decreased movement, high bloodpressure, abnormal fetal heart rate, or some other indication that somethingis really wrong then you are probably fine. Hang in there, no one ever stayed pregnant forever! and you will miss them when they are out, so enjoy it while it lasts.

ps:
by the way, my last baby was born uc and although that might not be for everyone, I have to mention that by skipping the stress caused by the drs and midwives about being "overdue" i had a much heathier pregnancy & baby, and my labor (once it finally came) was only 2 hours and 30 minutes long because my body and baby were READY this time. pushing things before it is time can really make a long mess of your labor.you might want to consider leaving out both the midwife and the ob if they aren't supporting your natural time frame.
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#9 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 01:45 PM
 
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RELAX! Try not to think about the fact that you're nearing 42 weeks.

You're not overdue until 42w1d. And even then, like pp said, it's arbitrary.

I went to 43w3d with my first (and only). I had to stop answering my phone b/c everyone was so negative and worrisome; I didn't need that energy around me.

Meditate, check in with you baby, and if all is fine, then don't worry. Trust your body and your instincts. Happy birthing!
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#10 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 03:10 PM
 
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Four of my five spontaneous labors began 42+ weeks and two were 44+ weeks. They were all healthy and normal length gestations for both my and my DH's families.

My first labor was induced without my knowledge or consent at 41w4d. It led to a cascade of intervention (yes, even with a HB DEM!) which resulted in my nearly bleeding to death. Inductions carry heavy risks which can never be justified *unless* the baby or mother's life, fertility, permanent functioning is at risk. Health mother + healthy fetus DO NOT = reason to induce... at any stage in gestation.

~BV
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#11 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 04:01 PM
 
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DD was 43 weeks to the day "over due". We were both perfectly healthy.

The hardest part was fending off our well meaning : back up midwives at the hospital that kept calling that last week to try to scare me to come in for an induction.

One happy momma joy.gif to a very spirited little girl dust.gif, her tough little brother superhero.gif, and a happy little suprise late April 2012 stork-suprise.gif. Wife to an overworked and under paid husband geek.gif.

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#12 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 04:21 PM
 
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nak

an average first pregnancy lasts 41 weeks--40 is a number not based on any research.

how was your edd dated? ovulation? lmp? early ultrasound? do these match?

when i was 40 w and my ob suggested we scedule an induction for 41 weeks, just in case, i quickly read henci goer's "thinking woman's guide to a better birth". she lists research that backs her up in refusing bio-physical profiles, in most cases. get the book, if you haven't read it already.
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#13 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 04:24 PM
 
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By all means, continue having the non-stress tests to reasure yourself that the baby is still doing fine, if such tests actually make you more relaxed. But you don't have to "do" anything- the baby will come out when he or she is ready.
i'd caution against it. with everyone's misconceptions and a high rate of false positives, a non-stress test paves your road for an emergency section before you even know it.
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#14 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 06:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annabanana View Post
i'd caution against it. with everyone's misconceptions and a high rate of false positives, a non-stress test paves your road for an emergency section before you even know it.
:

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#15 of 42 Old 08-28-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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I have been looking into this same issue, even though I'm only at 29 weeks myself. I was allegedly born 4 weeks late, with jaundice, not post-maturity syndrome. Anyway, long gestations seem to run in my family.

However, the risk of your placenta giving out is very real, and if I do go past 42 weeks, I would want some reassurance that the baby is doing fine, and that the placenta and amniotic fluid are still up to snuff. I know a lot of people on here are against monitoring, but all the monitoring technology is what I like about modern medicine -- I like to know what's going on. Anyway, I think I would continue the non-stress tests if I were you, ask about placental grading, and, if they do insist on inducing, ask about your Bishops score (which has to do with how ready your cervix is, and baby's position). If there were signs of fetal distress, and the Bishops score was low, I might even opt for a csection over induced labour... maybe.

My perspective -- get as much information as possible, and hold off on induction unless it's really medically necessary (not just for dates).
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#16 of 42 Old 08-29-2007, 06:40 AM
 
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I agree with those that say to get as much information as possible. Be aware that those tests, even if you pass with flying colors, may not necessarily indicate that all is well. I delivered a severely distressed baby at 41+2 when I'd passed all my BPPs, NSTs, AFI tests just fine. All indications were that her distress was due to being in there too long.

Do what you're comfortable with, but don't discount the risks if they are pertinent to your specific situation. OTOH, one of my friends carried her daughter to 43 weeks (!) and everything was peachy keen.

Mom of 7, ages 13, 12, 9, 7, 5, 4, and 2.5!
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#17 of 42 Old 08-29-2007, 04:38 PM
 
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Hey mendita...what's the update? Maybe those cntx were real two days ago? I look forward hearing more on what you decide/what happened...best birthing to you!

Midwife and mama in the Valley of the Sun
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#18 of 42 Old 08-30-2007, 01:46 AM
 
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Like you need all of us asking if you've had that baby yet, ha ha.

I went 42 weeks 5 days with my ds. That being said, I think there are two issues here.

1. Are you really "overdue"? As people have mentioned here, it's an ESTIMATED due date. I took my last pill May 31 and had a positive pregnancy test/missed period July 4. That means I got pregnant mid-June. . .thus a March 7 due date.

However, my midwives, goddess bless them, moved my due date back to March 12 (once I hit 42 weeks) to keep me out of an induction. I had DS March 26. Their practice dictates that past 42 weeks you have to have an induction at the hospital with their OB which I was furious about. I ended up having membranes swept, trying massage and acupressure, walking, swimming, sex, spicy food, castor oil, castor oil on cervix, blue and black cohosh (taken w/midwife supervision) and nothing worked. I was scheduled for a 6am induction Tuesday a.m. and had my son Monday morning. Labor began on Sat. p.m. and stalled Sunday, picked up Monday morning. So I was looking at either having to check into the hospital or trying to find another provider (AAAAK!) or just labor at home and go to the ER. . .all scary options when you have people breathing down your neck.

2. Do babies really take 40 weeks to grow? Maybe, not all of them. Just like anything there is a bell curve or normality. Perhaps your baby is on the outer edge. I get what people are saying about the non-stress tests, creating an emergency where none exists. So you may want to avoid them. On the other hand, having them kept my family and friends off my back and made me feel more sane. Especially once we went past 42 weeks. Definitely only have once a week, maybe twice a week once you hit 42 wks. However, there is a statistical increase in complications after 42 weeks, that's why they bug you about that number, but it's not like there is an appreciable difference between 41 weeks 6 days and 42 weeks 1 day, so it's not hard and fast. I read somewhere that gestational length is related to maternal age (i.e. young and old mommas have shorter ones, peak gestational length is at 29yrs. . .my age having DS)

FYI, DS was born in a normal, healthy, natural birth in the birthing center with no complications--apgar of 9 and absolutely no signs of being post term. He had no peeling, great color, great chubby look--no weight loss. On the downside he was a whopping 9 lbs. . .midwives thought he put on a pound and a half in the last two weeks, so that was a bummer for me since I tore Just knowing lots of other women here have gone "over" whatever that means should make you feel more normal. Remember we live in a culture where 38 weeks is "right on time" so it's natural that you're feeling worried, pressured, and all the comments from people probably aren't helping. "haven't you had that baby yet?!" "What's wrong with you/the baby?" "Is everything okay?"

My advice: turn off the phone, change your message (hi, it's me, no baby yet but we'll be sure to let you know as soon as he's here!), lock your doors, and go out for dinner.
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#19 of 42 Old 08-30-2007, 08:45 AM
 
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I read somewhere that gestational length is related to maternal age (i.e. young and old mommas have shorter ones, peak gestational length is at 29yrs. . .my age having DS)
If you could find a source for this, I'd really appreciate it. I'm arming myself with research for my next appointment when I plan to discuss my plans not to be induced at 10 days "overdue," and wait on even discussing it until I'm past 42 weeks.

I've found:
http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/cgi...stract/6/3/159
http://www.greenjournal.org/cgi/content/full/107/4/880
http://www.transitiontoparenthood.co...datespaper.htm

The last one is most thorough and accessible, but the first two are reports of studies which doccument influences on gestational length.
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#20 of 42 Old 09-02-2007, 06:27 AM
 
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Tomorrow (Tuesday) I have to meet with an OB (my CNM has to relinquish me to her as I will be at about 42w) and let her know my "plan." I'm pretty stressed out (okay, to the point of hysteria at times) as I do NOT want to be induced or have a C-section. But I also know my son's health is paramount. So far, the non stress tests have shown he's fine.
You don't have to- if it's stressing you out so much that it's possibly hindering your labor you can always make up some dumb excuse. Don't feel like you have to do anything. Only if you feel your child is in some kind of distress. Otherwise, you could easily be talked into doing something you'll regret later on.
There are a couple of threads on Birth and Beyond from mamas who "played hooky" that you could take a look if you need inspiration.


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So, at long last, my question. Am I safe to continue waiting until the end of the week? I'll be about 42w2d by Friday.
Lots of mamas go weeks over... I went to 42 weeks, but I've heard of mamas going 4 weeks over. (I'm not trying to scare you, I promise )
There is no right time per se, as long as you feel you and the baby are fine. Your intuition is just as important (and IMO more important) than what your doctor might say- you know your body and your baby- you have been carrying him for 9 months. Your doctor has seen you a tiny fraction of that.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#21 of 42 Old 09-02-2007, 11:36 AM
 
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You're not STALLED. You know all this pressure (imposed by your HCPs and yourself) causes stress which PREVENTS you from going into labor. Chill out. Babies know when to be born. Due dates should be +/- 2 weeks. IMO you're not overdue AT ALL until 42 weeks. And going beyond 42 is still normal. There is no reason to panic and the more stressed you are the worse things will be.

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#22 of 42 Old 09-02-2007, 07:53 PM
 
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Sorry I took so long to reply--we went camping!

well, it turns out I read it right here in Mothering:
"Robert Mittendord of the University of Chicago Medical Center has isolated 16 factors that can influence the accuracy of a predicted due date. Ethnicity may play a role; African-American women, for instance, often have pregnancies that are, on average, three to eight days shorter than those of other women. First-time mothers can almost be counted on to deliver ten days or more after their due date. The length of gestation seems to peak for babies of mothers who are around 29 years of age, so maternal age may be a factor. Caffeine consumption makes pregnancies shorter. Taking The Pill up to two months before conception can cause havoc with due dates. Finally, because biologic variation in fetal size increases throughout gestation, ultrasound dating can be deemed somewhat reliable only in the first trimester.33" Here's the link: http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr.../inducing.html

Check out the citations at the bottom of the article. Thinking of you,

Elizabeth
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#23 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 12:16 AM
 
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Any updates Mindita? I know you posted on 08/28.... praying that you have gone into labor and birthed a healthy baby!

Keep us posted!
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#24 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 01:43 AM
 
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Ds was born at 42.5 weeks. As long as you and the babe are healthy, then it is fine

Meghan : Kayla~ 10/19/04 Jack~ 5/27/07
Evelyn~ 10/9/10

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#25 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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The average length of first time moms is 41.5 weeks! Your just there now.

Mama to Hailey Rose '02 Pro- crunchy
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#26 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 03:02 AM
 
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My sister has birthed both her babies at 43 weeks Due dates are ESTIMATED and not useful at all. My second baby I told everyone I was having a WINTER baby And I did! Hope you had a lovely birth with no unnecessary induction.
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#27 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't believe how wonderful and supportive you all are! You are all so amazing...thank you.

Well, I posted on Monday (my time...CA). At 1am on Tuesday, I woke to serious back labor contractions at about six minutes apart. Within the hour, they were two minutes apart, whoa, nellie! We went to the hospital (meeting our doula there) and my water broke 15 minutes later...it was meconium-tinged. I back labored for 18 hours w/o intervention, but never dilated past 3.5cm, and I only got that far because the midwife helped it along.

During this time, I went from strong, regular cntx at about 2-3 min apart to irregular contractions, one even lasting eight minutes, yikes. (I didn't know they could do that...the nurses were surprised too.) At a certain point, the midwife had to hand my case over to the OB on duty, but I was lucky that she was a great doctor who respected my right to try to continue naturally. She was worried though because the baby was showing signs of fetal distress; his HB was dropping significantly whenever I had a strong contraction.

Finally, I agreed to try Pitocin (I know, I know) to regulate the cntx. I also agreed reluctantly (but it was all my choice) to take an epidural. I was just so worn out from the back labor (the baby was posterior) and I was not sure I could take stronger cntx for at least two more hours and then be able to push.

Unfortunately, about 15 minutes after the Pit was administered, it was clear that the baby was in further distress. We all heard it plummet significantly, at which point the path was clear. I quickly signed the consent and was taken in for an emergency C. In the end, it was fortunate that I had the epi (and a hep lock that I'd earlier agreed to), as it sped up the process.

Little Jacob Matteo was born at 8:50pm. He's pefect and beautiful. I admit that I sometimes still cry that I was unable to give him the drug free birth I longed for, but ultimately, his health was the most important thing.

So that's my LOOOOOONG tale. Thank you all soooo much for your input and concern. I can't tell you how much it means to me.

I'd better get some sleep now while he's sleeping!
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#28 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 10:07 AM
 
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I'd better get some sleep now while he's sleeping!
Thats a great idea!!!
Sleeping while my little one slept was completely necessary for my survival.


Congratulations on the birth of your precious little boy!!!
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#29 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 10:30 AM
 
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I'm sorry you had a c-section but congratulations on the birth of your baby!

Did your midwife or nurse ever mention to you that the baby was posterior? That's what it sounds like to me. Back labor, weird contraction pattern. A lot of my students have had this same kind of experience, because the labor is so painful that drugs become necessary, but once the epidural is given it's almost impossible to turn the baby.

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#30 of 42 Old 09-03-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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...Little Jacob Matteo was born at 8:50pm. He's pefect and beautiful. I admit that I sometimes still cry that I was unable to give him the drug free birth I longed for, but ultimately, his health was the most important thing.
Congratulations, mindita, on your little Jacob Matteo.

I wish you loving support from unexpected directions, lots of snuggle time, and a swift and full recovery.

Take gentle care,
BV
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