Birth Story: The Epidural That Wasn’t.

By Sandra Berke

The Birth of Lilith Frances Prices Born on 08/07/2015 8:12 pm

It all started at 5:30 am. Everyone was asleep and starting to slowly awake for the day. My other half was snoring away beside me. As I heard my mom get a coffee cup out of the cabinet and make her first cup for the day, I felt my first contraction. I noted the time and closed my eyes. I laid in bed as long as I could stand which wasn’t that long. I made it to maybe 6 am before I felt the need to get up and walk around. My other halfs alarm went off and he hit snooze. I decided to download a contraction timer app. By the time 6:30 am rolled around and he quit hitting snooze and rolled out of bed I was sitting on my yoga ball rolling back and forth. “Do I need to call out of work?” he asked me. “No go in like your suppose to, I’m sure this is nothing… besides if I need to go to the hospital I’ll get mom to take me and call you when I’m on the way. Labor takes a while anyways babe” I told him. “Are you sure?” He asked. “Yes” I assured him. As he gives me a quick peck on the forehead and I grimaced threw another contraction. He headed off to work and I go back to my happy place.

By 7:30 am my mom was well aware of the situation. I had been contracting now since 5:30am every 5 minutes and they would last 1 minute. “I think its time to go in.” My mother told me. “No I really don’t want to. What if its false labor?” I replied. “I really don’t think that’s the case, lets go” she pressured. Just then my phone ring, its daddy, he called to tell me he was on his way home. He didn’t feel like being at work today. “Well that’s good because I’m on my way to the hospital. Meet me there!” I told him. 20 minutes later we arrive at the hospital across town. Still contracting every 5 minutes. We arrive at L&D,  got hooked up to the monitors and waited. They check me and I was at 3 cm but baby girl was not engaged. After an hour of being monitored they decide to have me walk for a bit. So we walk. Up and down the hallways of the Mother and Baby unit of the hospital. We stopped every 5 minutes to grab onto the side of the wall or to hang off my other halfs neck as he rubbed my back. I thought for sure this has GOT to be it right?! After an hour of walking around we got back in bed and got checked. I was then at 4 cm but baby girl was still NOT engaged. They then send us home. The nurse told us she had no doubt we were in labor but just not progressing. We had orders to go home and do whatever with instructions to come back if things get worse. That wasn’t really helpful.

By then it was around 11 am so when we got home I proceeded to try and relax. I took a bath. I sat on my yoga ball. I had a snack and a nap with my other half, Frank. Contractions were still coming just sporadically. After our nap I woke up with awful pains and deciding to jump into the shower and have the water beat down on my back. I asked Frank to jump in with me so I could hang off him as it helped. After standing in the shower for 20 minutes I went and sit back on my yoga ball. We noticed the the contractions were every 3-4 minutes and becoming unbearable. I was not able to talk threw them any longer. “I think its time to go back to the hospital” my mom says… “But…but what if” I begin to say but Frank cut me off. “No we are going, its 4 and there is traffic.” he insisted. So we head back to the hospital. The contractions were seriously strong at that point and getting unbearable. We reach the hospital and go back up to L&D and they hook me up to the monitors. The doctor comes back in and checks me and next thing I know I’m being transferred. It turns out I was at 5 cm and it was baby time! We decided that even though baby girls head is still not engaged that breaking my water would be best. I was nervous and my anxiety kicked in. I couldn’t believe it was really happening. We were due to be induced on Monday anyways. We move into the big delivery room. My mom mades phone calls. Frank updated facebook. Nurses got an iv started in me. I answered a whole bunch of questions. Shortly afterwards the doctor comes in and we talk. We discussed the risk of breaking my water. I told him that once he broke my water I would go fast. Really very fast. I had a feeling he didn’t believe me. He asked me if I wanted a epidural or other pain meds before or after he broke my water. I told him after is fine. As I was unsure what I wanted to do. I was nervous about having the epidural even though I  had 3 before. I wanted to know about the iv pain meds. The nurse and I discussed, or rather argue, about it. She kept pushing the epidural and even told me the only thing she could give me for pain was dilaudid. I explained my fears about that. It’s some really heavy stuff and it goes right to the baby. She assured me this is the ONLY thing she could give me. I knew this was a bunch of crap but the contractions were right on top of one another and the pain was so unreal. So I agree to the epidural. The nurse starts my bag of fluids that I needed to have before I could get one and turns it on full blast. Half a bag in half an hour later and I felt like I had to use the bathroom. I told the nurse I needed to poop and she told me she didn’t want me going on the toilet and bearing down since I was 5cm and my water had been broken. She got me a bed pan instead but I ended up relieving myself on the bed. Embarrassed I apologized but their was so much pressure. I then started panting trying to breath threw the contractions that were one on top of the other. I told her to check me and that I felt like I needed to push. She checked me and then yelled at me to just breath. I was at 9 cm and said if I pushed I would rip myself open. I literally couldn’t help it. My body began to push. she grabbed her walkie talkie and yelled for the doctor.

Next thing I knew things happened so fast. There was no time for that epidural or pain meds. They asked me whom I wanted in the room as it started to fill up with people and every light was turned on. I managed to get out frank before a wave of pain hit me. Still trying not to push even though my body was. I wanted my mom there so bad but couldn’t get the words out. The nurse yelled into her walkie talkie again that I am involuntarily pushing and we needed help now. The doctor finally came in 30 seconds later and realized I was at 10 and told me it was ok to push. I grabbed the back of the bed and pushed as my legs were being put into the stir-ups. I grabbed the back of my legs and push as hard as I could. The next thing that happened was the ring of fire as she crowned and her head was then out. The doctor barely had time to suction out her nose and mouth and bring his hand back down under and she came flying out! 4 pushes and 12 minutes and she was here!

6lbs 9 oz 18 inches long and I couldn’t believe I did it without pain meds! I had gone from 5 cm to 10 in an hour and although it didn’t happen the way I had imagined it would. In the end we had our baby girl and that’s all that matters. I had spent so much time worrying over things like “what if type situations” that I didn’t focus on the right things. I should have stood up to the nurse and told her I wanted another one. I should of labored the way I wanted to in the bath and on the ball at the hospital instead of in the bed. If I could do things over again I would have made sure things happened differently.

I later found out that yes I could of had something else for the pain but the hospital makes more money from epidurals. They made me feel like that was my only option and I had to take it if I wanted any relief. I guess its a good thing that things happen so fast. 







A Picture Of Modern Birth

This birth story and others from the August 2015 due date group can be found on this blog. They are being shared by mothers who want to give new moms and old a window into that birth looks like today to empower others to make choices for themselves. fully supports evidence based birth and wants to help however we can. Please feel free to leave comments and questions and check back for more birth stories from this great group of women!

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