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My daughter is one month and one day old, so it has been a while! I never posted much while pregnant, but I wanted to post a short birth story and let you all know that I really appreciated this forum and learned a lot from all of you! Thank you! I know it was all of you that made me realize it was possible for me to have the natural birth that I was hoping for!<br><br>
The Story:<br><br>
I was due Oct 26. The Tuesday after I was due (Halloween) I started having contractions in the morning around 10am. They weren't painful at all, but they were regular, between 5 and 20 minutes apart. I made sure to finish everything up in lab where I work and give all the instructions I needed to for the person who was going to continue my project while I was gone because I knew I wouldn't be coming back to work, no matter what happened!<br><br>
What happened is that I continued having contractions... I sort of slept on Tuesday night, but not that well. Wednesday they continued, and they were pretty regularly 4-5 minutes apart. They were getting stronger, but still not at all painful. My DH stayed home from work and class all day and we walked outside a lot, then they'd get to be 3-4 minutes apart and I'd have to stop walking. By 4pm on Wednesday we decided to go to the hospital, since I had been having contractions (just like the birth class told us!) 5 min apart, lasting for a minute and going on for not just one hour, but many! (and also, partly out of boredom, for a change of scenery and to see if anything was going on.)<br><br>
I was 3.5 cm at the hospital, but they had us walk around there for 2 hours (and we thought we were bored before!!) and I was still 3.5 cm, so we went home and got a good night's sleep on Wednesday night.<br><br>
Thursday: Contractions continue all day, just like before. Fun! Then around 7-8pm, they start getting even stronger. This is where I feel like I finally went into active labor. I sat on my birth ball a lot, or was on hands and knees on the floor. I needed my husband there. But I was still doing fine. I could definitely handle this! The contractions were by now 3-4 minutes apart lasting for a minute and a half. (at the time I was hoping that this was transition, since that's about what "they" told us the contractions would be like... I wish! ;o)<br><br>
Around 3 am we headed to the hospital again. This time we knew we'd be staying.<br><br>
When they checked me I was at 6cm! I was pretty excited because it really hadn't been that bad up til this point. Then we went to our room and labored there. The hospital was very nice. They had a birth ball, two different kinds of rocking chairs, a large tub in the bathroom, shower, etc. etc. I tried pretty much everything. Things were pretty tough, but still I was able to relax in between contractions and I was fine, though getting quite tired since we hadn't slept all night. At one point (between contractions) I said to my DH: "this is tough, but grad school is way harder!" (I'm in my 5th year of a cell bio PhD program)<br><br>
Around noon (8 hours after arriving) they checked me again... only 6-7 cm! I was pretty disappointed! All of that work, for maybe 1 cm! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">( They wanted to break my water to speed things along. I agreed, to hopefully avoid the use of pitocin. The resident was pretty horrible at breaking my water, so it really hurt, but after that, things got moving.<br><br>
And this is where it got tough! wow! it was so intense, the contractions were maybe 3 min apart and lasting for almost 2 min! and I was so exhausted and so was my DH. I pretty much had my eyes shut for the whole of transition... which lasted about 3-3.5 hours. It's amazing how I can't really remember the pain now, but I do remember that it was there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">)<br><br>
At 9cm I asked if it was too late to have a 1/2 dose of narcotic. It was and I said, fine, I'll just do it then. My doctor told me later that it wouldn't have helped me at that point anyway. And I'm glad I didn't get it, though if I would have, that probably would have been okay too. I never wanted an epidural, even when it got bad, they scare me too much, plus it never seemed quite that bad, I guess.<br><br>
Anyway, then it was time to push. That was so much better, really. The contractions didn't hurt when I was pushing. Surprisingly, I ended up only being able to push correctly when I was half-lying on the bed with my husband and nurse holding my legs, or pushing my legs against the squat bar. I never, never thought I'd want to push like that, but I was exhausted, and every other position I tried (toilet for one) I just couldn't "feel" the push the right way.<br><br>
So, that went on for 2.5 hours and then Claire was born at 5:43pm, Friday Nov 3... with a full head of hair, screaming at the top of her lungs and staring at me with her big eyes and big cheeks. I was absolutely in love from the start. After looking myself to see that she was a girl, my first words were: "Oh my god, she's so beautiful!"<br><br>
I only had a tiny tear in my vagina requiring a couple stitches and have recovered pretty easily, I think. I feel amazingly lucky in my whole pregnancy and birth and to have my wonderful daughter. Thanks again to all of you for your (mostly) unknowing support.<br><br>
Claire Ann<br>
Nov. 3, 2006 5:43pm<br>
8 lb 5 oz. 21 inches (a surprise for everyone, including my doctor, who thought the baby would be small... I kept saying, "well, all of my siblings and I were over 8 pounds, I think this baby will probably be 8 pounds...")<br><br>
--Kate<br><br>
p.s. the hospital and nurses and everyone were great. Our birth plan said that no one should ask me if I wanted drugs and be positive, and everyone followed our wishes. Even though I liked everyone, it was very strange though, every time a nurse or doctor would come into the room to do anything, even just look at a computer and then leave, my contractions would slow down to 6,7,8 min apart instead of 3-4. I didn't notice this. My DH told me later. Very strange. I think for this reason, I won't go to the hospital next time until I'm sure that I'm in transition (it didn't happen then!).
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/partytime.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="partytime"> congrats!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/partytime.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="partytime"><br><br>
It's amazing how quickly the horrid pain is forgotten hunh?!? Great birth story! What a healthy girl!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/birthday.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="birthday">: Claire Ann! Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story!
 

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Congratulations Kate! What a great (and long!) birth experience! It lasted a few days! I love the name Claire too....enjoy your daughter!
 
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