A Birth Story: Claire

At 3:30 AM on her due date we checked into the hospital. It was 32 degrees outside. I was surprised I even slept a wink the night before. My husband, Adam, didn’t sleep at all. My mother came the day before to help get things ready. Grateful for her help with things like putting clean sheets on our bed.

It only took about a half an hour to get the IV set up and the many questions answered. By the time visitors were allowed in, Adam’s mom and brother had arrived. Being induced, I knew it would be a long day. Little did I know it would be 16 hours before we got to meet Claire. By 8 AM my doctor came in and broke my water. I was only 1cm…which I had been for four weeks. Disappointed with no progress, I was starting to think Claire would never arrive! About an hour and a half into the real tough contractions (6 hours into actual labor), I broke down and got the epidural. I was always planning on getting an epidural, but thought I would last a little longer. The epidural was not as scary or painful as I imagined it would be. I had a contraction as it was being inserted, so I concentrated on that.

At one point they turned off the pitocin for about two hours because Claire’s heart rate would drop every time I contracted. That slowed my progress down a tad bit. Finally around 4:30 PM I was 9 cm. I was having horrible back labor and I was starting to feel the contractions again. Another dose of the epidural cured that! We started pushing at 5:20 PM.  The next two and a half hours went by so fast it seems. I had two half hour breaks from pushing. This was due to the pain in my back (first break) and the doctor being stuck in a C-section (second break). As anxious as I was to be done with the labor, I was so thankful to have those breaks. I was able to fall asleep during both times and restore some energy.

Finally at 7:56 PM, the baby girl I had been carrying around for 40 weeks had arrived. Claire came in at 7 pounds 11 ounces and 21 inches long.

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