Labor and Birth

Giving birth is the most momentous part of pregnancy, and involves a lot of hard work, energy, and emotion. Whether you opted for natural childbirth or an epidural, tell us how your pregnancy progressed. Did you give birth at home or in hospital? Was it complication-free or was baby a little more stubborn? And, of course, how does it feel to have a new addition to your family? Help other women prepare for their birthing experience by telling us your story

And feel free to mention details of your baby's life like the type of baby bedding sets you chose for your nursery.

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Painful Cesarean

I do not tell this story to frighten anyone, but to encourage women to speak up if ever in doubt.

I was in labor with my first child for 26 hours. During this time, I was given three epidurals. Three anesthesiologists. Three needles. The first was given early on, and only took on one side. Another epidural was administered after a few hours. This seemed to work better, though I still had pain.

Late in the evening, after 24 hours or so, and I had only gotten to 8cm, a decision was made to proceed with a cesarean at 3am. At this point, I had a great deal of sensation, so a third epidural was administered in preparation for the c-section. I immediately stated my concern that I could still feel a lot. I was assured that prior to the surgery, I would not feel anything more than tugging and pulling during the procedure. I was wheeled into the operating room, scared and exhausted. Prior to the c-section, the anesthesiologist dabbed my shoulder with a wet swab and then dabbed my abdomen. I should feel coolness on the shoulder, but merely a wet sensation on my abdomen. On one side of my abdomen, this was true. On the other, I immediately exlaimed that it felt cool. Several of the team exchanged glances and the anesthesiologist assured me that some temperature variation was normal.

My husband and the anesthesia nurse talked to me to distract me from the procedure, but as soon as the incision was started, I cried out that I could feel it! It was not just a dull sensation. It was horrible pain. I truly cannot describe the magnitude of the pain. As they were pulling my son from me, I literally felt as if a wild animal was pulling apart my torso. They did not put me under, as that could affect the baby.

As soon as he was extracted, I was pumped full of drugs and the pain was gone. I woke to my son and husband several hours later, feeling tramautized and robbed of the birth experience and immediate bonding with my son. Perhaps the worst part of all was the attitude of the hospital personnel, which seemed to be that nothing out of the ordinary had occured. I felt mostly dismissed. I was fine. My baby was fine. End of story.

In the larger picture, I do agree with this, but I am still shocked with the whole ordeal. I am now pregnant with my second child and trying to consider how to proceed with delivery. I would prefer to have a VBAC, but am terrified that I cannot be adequately anesthetized for another c-section, if one becomes necessary. Has anyone heard of anyone experiencing pain during c-section, as I did? For those of you about to undergo a c-section, if you have doubts about the effectiveness of your anesthesia, speak up and DEMAND to be recognized.


Young Mother and Big Baby

When I was 19 I became pregnant. I had just come home from the military and had no job and was barely making rent on my apartment. I was not prepared for the news that I was going to be a mom.

The first half of my pregnancy went perfectly. Then at 27 weeks I experienced my first bout of preterm labor. Again at 33 and 35 weeks I had contractions. By the time I made my due date I was 3 cm dilated but there was no sign of the baby. I was scheduled to be induced four days later. The night I was to begin my induction I went in and the nurse hooked up a fetal monitor and found I was having contractions. I decided to go home and wait it out. The next day I wasn't feeling anything so I went in anyway. The nurse checked and I was 5 cm!!! I couldn't believe it.

After two hours of walking the halls I wasn't progressing so we started pitocin and when that didn't help the doctor broke my water. That did the trick and I was in hard labor for the next hour until I got my epidural. As soon as I could relax, things progressed rapidly. I went to 7 cm and then 9 cm and then fully dilated in an hour and a half. I did a few practice pushes for the nurse and she realized my daughter was coming fast. The doctor barely made it in time. She was born at 5:53 PM weighing 8lbs. 10 oz. and 20 inches long.

As soon as my epidural wore off I was up and moving around with no problems except for some pain from my episiotomy. We went home two days later and she is now a happy, healthy 11 month old. She's already walking, talking, and feeding herself and I'm going back to school to become an engineer.


The Dramatic Birth

Barely a month after my 20th birthday, October 1999, l gave birth to our baby girl, Natalie, after being married for only three months.With her, it wasn't that stressful and complicated. My husband Ralph gave me all the necessary support i needed at that time.

In about 2 and half years later, then came the bounce little man, Markus. With Markus, the pregnancy wasn't that easy like Natalie. Aside from the periodical check up, this time round i received extra medication as i experienced some minor complications.

Due to my condition, i restrictly abided by the instructions of the doctor, i wasn't taking alcohol, went by the required diet and also took my drugs on time.

From 6 months onwards, things took a dramatic turn. Every thing became normal. Here i could eat well, felt well and became always cheerful. This the doctor felt happy for the tremendous improvement and Ralph and i were happy for the good job done.

Then the dee-day came, at the early hours on 21 February, 2002, i saw some slight bloodish substance in my pantie, although it was 2 weeks to my time. By then i had visited my parents so they quickly rushed me the hospital.

At the hospital, the doctor diagnosed me and studying my medical history, indicated that my time wasn't due. So we should to go back to the house. My parents insisted that i stay in the hospital for some days, for the doctor to monitor any new development, but the doctor insisted that there was no cause for alarm. So we went home.

The whole day i continued to see some blood. On the unforgetable day, 22nd February 2002 at about 2:23 am, my contradiction started, at a go it was so severe that, i was groaning and moaning. Not wasting time, my mum rushed me to the hospital in a car. Just 5 minutes after driving, my water broke and immediately, there lies handsome, bouncy little Markus. We continued to the hospital where the umbilical cord was cut, and the little baby was clean and wrapped nicely. Immediately, my husband was phoned, and he quickly rushed down to the hospital, and the whole family celebrated the new arrival. The new arrival, being a boy, magically brought an added joy to the family, since all along my husband was longing for a male child. So everybody was happy and welcomed little Markus to the family.

Although the marriage did not work out, Ralph, a German, is in Germany now, and i am an undergraduate, studying journalism, and staying with the 2 wonderful kids in Ghana.

Gifty Adjei

An Eventful Labor

I had my first child when I was 24 years old. I had been married for three years and was working as a sales associate at the local department store when I found out that I was pregnant. I was ecstatic, and so was my husband, Dave. We had planned on having children at some point in the future, and now we could get a head start on our family. My pregnancy was a breeze and the nine months flew by. I gave birth two days after my due date at the community hospital, with my husband Dave by my side. My labor lasted only six hours and, with the help of pain medications, wasnít even all that painful. We welcomed a healthy baby boy, Kevin, into our arms.

When I got pregnant for the second time, I was 27 years old and back at school, hoping to earn a law degree. As with Kevin, the pregnancy was great Ė I had very few symptoms, hardly any morning sickness, and just the occasional backache. I didnít expect that my labor and delivery would be any more eventful that the first time around, so I didnít sign up for Lamaze classes. I hadnít even packed my bag by the time my 39th week had rolled around. Unfortunately, I was soon to discover that one should never count their chickens before they are hatched!

I was writing my final law exam for the school year when I felt the first twinges. I tried to ignore them, and focused on answering the essay questions just like I had practiced at home. I assumed that the cramps were just the result of indigestion from the pickles I had eaten with my sandwich at lunch. About an hour into the exam, the cramps were still there and were definitely taking on the shape of contractions. I couldnít believe that this was happening! Of all the times Ė and I was still a week early! I knew that I should start thinking about saying something to the exam moderator, but I had so much riding on the exam, I just couldnít leave! I lasted another 15 minutes before I finally had to say something! You should have seen the look on the moderatorís face!

They called an ambulance to come and pick me up, and the contractions just got worse and worse. I remember sitting on the steps outside the exam building, crippled with pain. All I could think about was the exam that I hadnít finished and the pain that was now taking over my lower body. I tried to recall my first labor experience, but I just couldnít remember it being so painful. Then I remembered - I had been helped out by the drugs. Drugs. The word sounded too good to be true.

The ambulance finally arrived after what felt like hours (though I am told it was only ten minutes) and they carted me off. I got to the hospital, moaning and groaning, and the nurses brought me to a birthing room. Just as they were loading me into the bed, my water broke and things really started to develop. I looked around and realized that my husband wasnít there! In my state, I hadnít asked anyone to call him, and no one had asked me about him either! I got the nurses to phone him and my parents and ask them to come to the hospital.

At this point it was too late for drugs and I was in a lot of pain. I didnít have anything with me, so I was wearing this awfully uncomfortable hospital dressing gown and not-so-silently cursing my fate (and my husband!). The nurses kept running in and out of the room to check on me and finally, Dave walked in. I have never been so relieved! I yelled at him for making me pregnant, but kissed him at the same time!

From that point on, things settled down a little, but I have to admit, it was a lot more painful than I thought. Baby was doing great and, I could tell, was very eager to make her appearance! I made it to the pushing stage and started to feel a huge burning sensation. I felt as if I couldn't take it any more. But then Dave said that he could see the babyís head and it gave me a new energy that I didnít know I could even muster up. I gave a few final pushes and baby arrived! It was a beautiful baby girl!

Healthy and happy, the doctors passed our sweetheart to me, and I immediately forgot all the pain and trouble. She looked so tiny and sweet! Dave and I called her Danielle, and brought her home two days later. She and Kevin get along great and Kevin takes such pride in being a big brother. I can now look back on the labor and delivery and laugh Ėthough it didnít seem so funny at the time! I have definitely learned my lesson and will expect a few bumps in the road with my next delivery Ė I am pregnant again, and due in three months. As for the law exam, I got to rewrite it three months later, and passed with flying colors! I am now a junior attorney with a local law firm!

Georgia Mackie

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