Not What I Expected, But Definitely Worth It

by Angie Archuleta

It was my first baby. All through my pregnancy I had just assumed I would go into labor on my own and have a normal vaginal delivery.

A week before my due date, my doctor said I was still carrying her high and had not dilated or effaced at all. He guessed her to weigh about 9 pounds. He was worried that I would go way over my due date and by that time she would weigh over 11 pounds.

He set me up for an induction 3 days before my due date. I arrived at the hospital at 9:00 pm. They set me up on the monitors and checked my cervix. Still nothing. Pitocin was started and the dosage increased throughout the night. About midnight I started having mild contractions.

By the morning, they were starting to become stronger, but still I did not dilate. At about noon, I had finally dilated to a one and they were able to break my water. The contractions were full blown now. I had always told myself that I would not get an epidural until I was at least a 4, so I wouldn't slow down labor.

My mother and my grandmother and my husband took turns rubbing my back and walking me through each contraction. At four o'clock I had finally dilated to a 2 cm. The doctor came in and checked me again at 7:00 p.m. and I was still a 2, so he encouraged me to get the epidural so I could get some sleep. He said we were in for a long night.

I had the epidural at 7:30 and was just drifting to sleep when the L&D nurse came in and woke me up. The doctor and his assistant came in and told me that the baby's heart rate had dropped severely and they had to turn the Pitocin off completely. The baby's heart rate was still low and the doctor said he wanted to perform a C-Section. My husband and I talked about it and decided that was best since my water had already been broken for so long and the baby's safety was at risk.

My husband change into scrubs while I was prepped for surgery. They upped my epidural and my whole body was numb from my shoulders down.

Alexis Abigail was born at 8:27 p.m. on March 8. I was not able to hold her for almost an hour because I couldn't feel my arms, and was shaking so bad. My husband was having a ball showing her off though. When I finally got to hold her I couldn't believe what a little miracle she was. And how beautiful!

While this was not the labor and delivery that I had planned in my mind over the last nine months, it was definitely worth it. I realized it didn't matter how she arrived in this world, but that she was here.

Copyright © Angie Archuleta. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.