A scared first time mom gets medication and an epidural.

Read this mom's birth story in her own words below.

A brand new baby is born.

The doctor cuts the baby's umbilical cord.

Mom cuddles with her new baby.

(The details of my labor are very fuzzy because I accepted many "pain-relieving" drugs.)

Lets start off with me confessing that I was VERY ready to have this baby--I was so tired of being pregnant! Pregnancy was really hard for me: I had 24-hour morning sickness for 4 months, then my stomach became SO heavy and I had stretch marks all over and felt UGLY...and I was really anxious to SEE the baby and hold him and make sure that all was well with him. Gaining so much weight was hard for me b/c I'm 5"1 and before pregnancy, I'd never been in the hundreds with weight...I was a 93-lb weakling! I gained up to about 130 pounds during pregnancy, and I was so scared the weight would never come off. I was SO ready to go into labor that I considered using herbs such as blue or black cohosh or red raspberry or even caster oil. I decided against doing anything like that, since I did not want to jeopardize my baby's health. I did walk a LOT and I walked up and down stairs and cleaned. (Hey, people said it would make me go into labor, and I was willing to try just about anything!)

On Friday, July 2,1999 I had my last pre-natal visit. They checked me out and saw that I was having mild contractions. They were concerned about the amount of amniotic fluid that the baby had, so they scared me to death and sent me to the hospital to have an ultrasound to make sure that was okay and see if I needed to be induced. Shannon and I were so scared! (He's the father and my fiancee, by the way!) Everything was okay, but we had to wait there FOREVER and the contractions were really starting to hurt, although they weren't consistent, yet. ( I had been going to the hospital since mid-July thinking that I must surely be in labor, I was that anxious!) So, they sent me home...again.

By Sunday, July 4,1999 (my expected due-date), I was going crazy. Was I never going to go into labor ?????!!! I had contractions all day, but they didn't seem to be in a set pattern. My friend Mary and I went walking, but my ankles started aching, so we had to stop. Shannon kept asking if it was time to go...but no. By 11 that night, I was SURE I was in labor, so my mom and I went to the hospital. They said that I was not dilated far enough, but I was having contractions, so I should walk around the hospital for an hour to see if that sped things up so they could admit me. So, in agony, I walked the floors of the hospital until about 3 am. They checked me again and told me to go home, that I'd probably be back the next day. They gave me some sort of shot to ease the pain and it would stop false labor. So, we went home at 3 am, and by 5 am July 5th, I woke up with horrible cramps. I did not want to go to the hospital right away just to be sent home again, so I walked up and down the basement stairs. BY 7 am, I could not stand the pain any longer. Shannon took me to the hospital (again) and since I was VERY sure that I was DEFIANTLY in labor this time, he stopped by McDonalds to get some food since he knew it would be along time before he could eat again!

We got there and I could not even walk, I was in such pain. They had me lay in one of the "waiting room beds" to wait for a doc to check me out. I was screaming and howling in pain, and scaring the poor nurse to death. They could not find the doctor, so I had to wait a while. Shannon's aunt came to sit with us, and she was crying because I was crying and she was upset because I seemed to be in so much pain. The doctor checked me and I was only 2 cm dilated! Unbelievable. He decided to admit me because of the pain. They gave me some sort of shot for pain, I think it was Demerol. Didn't do much, just made me sleep in between the horrible contractions. I was put into a room, and family members began showing up to visit. It was sort of humorous, here I lay dying in pain, and everyone is standing around the room! They broke my waters at some point, and catherized me, but I don't remember much about that part. I had to use a bed-pan, which was really disgusting... At some point, they gave me the epidural shot, and Shannon held my hand. It was extremely painful for me, I yelled at the nurse who was standing there because she had told me that they wouldn't give me the shot while I was having a contraction, and they did. The epidural worked on one side of my body, slightly. Needless to say, I was less than pleased about that.

At some point, Shannon disappeared into the bathroom to take a shower, and I kept waking up in-between contractions thinking that he had left. I was very relieved when he came back in the room! Finally, they got in touch with my best-friend Mary at work and she came. She really calmed me down a lot. I was so thirsty, my lips were cracked and I kept trying to lick them, but there was no moisture in my mouth. They gave me ice-chips, but no water or liquids and they said that I couldn't have any water. I have no idea why. I woke up before one contraction and asked Shannon to brush my hair. I was SO out of it!

The epidural wore off completely....and I really wanted to push. The nurse said that she would get the doctor. Everything about this part is blurry, but he apparently asked me if it was okay with me for medical students to watch. On my labor-plan I'd specified NO, but no one showed anyone my labor plans. So, I said, " Sure, let anyone who wants to watch come in!" There were like 10 doctors in the room, my mom, Shannon, Mary, and my stepdad video-taped it. I could feel when to push because I could feel the contractions, and I think that made it somewhat easier. They had me sit up and spread my legs and hold onto my knees. That sucked because I really wanted to squeeze Shannon's hand like they do in the movies and make him suffer right along with me! I did not take Lamaze, but my mom tried to help me breathe, since I kept holding my breath because of the pain. I got frustrated with her and told her to stop blowing in my face! (I was breathing all of her used-air, if that makes any sense...I was just grumpy.) Within about 25 minutes, my baby boy entered the world at 2:38 pm on Monday, July 5, 1999. I was so scared when I first saw him come out because no one had told me that he would be blue-ish, purple-ish, and I thought something was wrong...then he let out a scream! He weighed 7 lb, 10 oz and was 20 1/2 in. long! The doc handed him to another nurse, who cleaned him up and weighed him, and placed him on my belly. I was so tired I could barely hold him. I was so out of it that I was just babbling away to my new baby, Thomas. And lucky me, it was caught on video. Everyone was remarking about the fact that he had a little dimple in his chin, like me. (By the way, I leaned down while he was being born and took pictures myself. I'm that into photos!) They had to help me onto another bed because my leg was completely numb. They wheeled us to our room and Thomas and I successfully breastfed. That is pretty much all I can remember!