Samuel's Birth Story (told by Mommy Leah)

Posted by  | Monday, December 3, 2007  at 10:18 AM  

Samuel was born on Tuesday, August 22, 2006 – ten days before his due date. I was admitted to the hospital on Sunday night to begin an induction, and he was born Tuesday morning at 1:15 a.m. He weighed 5 lbs. 13 oz. and was 18 inches long. Here’s our story:

At 30 weeks I had a follow-up u/s to be sure that I no longer had the placenta previa that was present at my 20 week scan (I didn’t). The measurements of Samuel showed that he was about a week or two smaller than what he should be. The doctor scheduled another u/s for two weeks later and hooked me up to a fetal monitor to make sure that Samuel wasn’t in distress (he wasn’t). The next 8 weeks were filled with weekly u/s and stress tests. Samuel continued to fall behind in size. When he finally fell below the 10th percentile mark, the doctor told me it would be best to induce in case Samuel was failing to thrive. He was at risk for Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction (IUGR).

When I was admitted on Sunday night, my body was not ready for labor. I was 0 across the board – nothing ready to go. The doctor used a Foley catheter overnight to help dilate my cervix. It should have only taken about 12 hours to get to 3-4 centimeters. By morning, the catheter wasn’t budging, so I started on Pitocin. This was the beginning of contractions for me, but they weren’t bad at all. Finally, around 2 p.m. Monday, the doctor was able to remove the Foley and break my water. My contractions intensified, but I was breathing through them just fine. By 4 or 5 p.m. Monday, I asked for a dose of Stadol (which is an IV narcotic; others include Demerol or Nubain). My neighbor said she didn’t need more meds than that to get through her labor, so I thought I would give it a try. WOW! That stuff is crazy! I definitely didn’t like it. It made me really loopy. I got really tired and would fall asleep. But then every 2 minutes or so I would feel that contraction come full force. Then I’d slip back into sleep. I felt really out of control of my body and was happy when it left my system. At this point my body still was stuck at 4 centimeters. I waited it out until 8:30 p.m. Monday, then talked with my nurse again. She said I was still stuck at 4 centimeters. She asked if I was planning on getting an Epidural. (That’s like the million dollar question to any pregnant mom, right?) Let me take this break to give you my own, personal take on Getting An Epidural:

I was one of those mom’s who said, “I’ll see how it goes and then decide if I want to get an epidural or not.” I have a pretty high threshold for pain, and I knew all of the reasons why I shouldn’t get an epidural (I mean, I worked with Krista EVERY DAY – ha, ha!), so I thought I might go all the way without one. But I wasn’t opposed to getting one either, so I was still up in the air as I sat in the hospital. This is where I’ll say that in my opinion, if you don’t want an epidural, then you have to have made up your mind before you ever step foot in the hospital. It is similar to the breastfeeding thing – if you are surrounded by bottles and formula, and then breastfeeding isn’t going so well, it is so much easier to switch to formula. Not exactly the same, I realize, but you get the idea.

So, what did I do? Well, I was still breathing through contractions just fine, even with the Pitocin, but I knew I wasn’t opposed to getting an epidural, so I said, “sure, let’s do it.” The nurse called the guy and he came in and stuck the needle in my back. Now, I know tons of people are freaked out by this. It wasn’t bad at all for me. I think I even had a contraction in the middle of him hooking me all up. Because I was still in control of my body, I was fine breathing through the contraction and the needle. Skipping ahead, by 11 p.m. Monday night, I was still stalled at 3 to 4 centimeters. My doctor came in and said it was time to start talking options (i.e. having a c-section). I begged him to give me another hour. He agreed, so Ed and I started praying. We prayed to the Lord to help my body progress and to keep our baby healthy. We prayed and cried together – it was an awesome time. An hour later the doc came back and – would you believe it! – I was dilated to 8 centimeters! 4 centimeters in an hour! He said he was going to go lay down and he would be back later. At 1:00 a.m. Tuesday the nurse came in and said she was going to go ahead and check me b/c the doctor hadn’t come back yet. She checked and – wow! – I was at 10 centimeters and ready to push! The Lord was really answering our prayers! The nurse said she would get my feet up and all that and we could start pushing a little because it would probably be another couple of hours of pushing and the doctor would surface eventually. Well, I pushed once and she was like “woah, wait right there!”. She went to get the doctor – who came in with his hair all disheveled and said he had been out cold! I pushed about 4 more times and Samuel was born 15 minutes later!! We were shocked and amazed that we had a little boy!! It was an AWESOME experience that I will treasure forever. Oh, and it ended up that he wasn't an IUGR baby - he was just little!

In the end, I’m glad I had the epidural. I was able to relax and enjoy every minute of the birth. I could watch as Samuel was born and I could focus on him. The down side is I didn’t have the feeling to push that you get to experience without drugs. I didn’t know if I was doing it or not. But I figured it out quickly and he came out just fine. I am pretty sure that I will again have an epidural with this baby, but I am still keeping with my “wait and see” approach.


marymstraits said...


I also got a dose of Staidol and hated it! The nurse told me it would help me to not care about the pain, but I found it to be more of a distraction than a help. I had the same epidurel philosophy but pretty much knew I would end up with one. I decided I would go as long as possible without one, but when my labor stalled at 2 cm with major pain and the pitocin was going to be cranked up, I knew I couldn't do it. The other thing we had going was my labor started with my water breaking, and I had to deliver within a certain time frame. I also was able to relax with the epidurel (went from 2-10 cm in about 2 hours) and had no problems pushing--20 minutes total. Every woman's body is different, though, and I know it's important for some to go 100% natural. I applaud those of you out there who did it!


Jen said...


I had the same experience with Liam, though with Demerol. It just made me loopy and knocked me out. I would wake up every 2 minutes with a contraction without the presence of mind to deal with it. It was really frustrating. I will never get that again. And epidurals sure are wonderful! I'd still like to see if I could do it drug free next time... if there is a next time. :)


Anonymous said...

I too had one of those medicines with Mackenzie, and same thing...didn't really ease the pain, just made me loopy :)

I thought about trying w/o an epidural with Camden, but Tom wouldn't let me - he was afraid I'd get to a point where it was too late for an epidural & I'd be miserable. I was fine with that...I felt like I enjoyed my births so much more being fully aware of what was going on & not having to deal with pain.

Later girls,

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