OB Estimated Due Date (EDD) based on LMP: April 15, 2011

Birthday:  April 20, 2011

After being married for nearly two years, my husband Bryan and I decided we were ready to start our family. When we found out that we were expecting we were so excited that we called everyone we knew immediately to spread our great news! We knew that a child is a blessing from God and that we needed to do everything in our power to have a healthy pregnancy and birth. We decided to take the Bradley Method classes. I followed the Brewer’s Pregnancy Diet and did all the exercises we learned in class to the best of my ability. We feel like this really benefited our daughter. She is currently 8 weeks old and holds her head up and has strength like an infant much older than her. I gained a total of 38 lbs during my pregnancy. I was ready for this little girl long before we had her. I walked up and down our road attempting to naturally induce labor with no success.

We checked in to our hospital on Tuesday the 19th at 7:30 P.M. so that I could be induced. We were very leery of induction because of all the risks involved and because I absolutely did not want an epidural. However, we decided to go ahead with it anyway because my midwife was leaving town the next weekend, I was suffering from a very bad case of PUPPS, and delivery was supposed to make the rash go away.

When we arrived at the hospital I was 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced. I was given Cervadil to finish softening my cervix. With the Cervadil, I was told that I had to lie flat on my back for at least two hours while wearing an external fetal monitor (this monitor became my enemy). During this two hours I had a terrible back ache, but I did not give any thought to it because my back had bothered me for the last month. I assumed that lying on my back was not helping the matter. However, even when I was allowed to get up my back continued to ache. This ache was contractions brought on by the Cervadil. I did not realize what they were until the nurse came in and told me she had been seeing regular contractions on the monitor. There was no way for us to time them because the ache never went away.

Bryan and my mother-in-law, Kim, took turns rubbing my back all night. I was given something to make me sleep because the midwife said I would need all my energy for the next day, but the sleeping pill did not work on me! Because of my excitement and the ache in my back I got no rest at all. By Wednesday morning I was 3 cm dilated and fully effaced. My contractions, the EFM read, were 1 _ to 2 minutes apart by about 11:00 A.M. At this time we phoned family and friends to let them know how close together the contractions were. I was still only 3cm dilated at 1:00 P.M. so my midwife decided to rupture my membranes in order to speed things up. They then discovered meconium in my water so when our daughter was born she was taken across the room immediately to be suctioned.

Most of our immediate family arrived around 4:00 P.M. At this time my contractions had been double peaking for most of the afternoon. Yet, each time they checked my cervix I was still only 3 cm dilated. Up until this point I had only had an IV port in my arm in case of an emergency. I was told that I needed to be given Pitocin because I was not dilating fast enough. This drastically increased the ache in my back. The only thing that helped to relieve the pain was to sit in the bathtub and completely relax. However, because of the induction I had to get out of the tub every 40 minutes and wear the EFM 20 minutes. By 5:00 I was beginning to feel very discouraged. I had to completely focus on relaxing or I would tense up. I no longer wanted my back rubbed, it had become painful for anything to touch it. Bryan began asking me what I wanted him to do. He says I then told him to stop talking, that I did not want to hear him, and I was not going to listen.

I begged for pain medicine. Bryan told me I was in transition and that we were almost done. I was so confused I don’t even think what he was saying registered in my mind. Everything written in our birth plan did not matter to me anymore. I was given a dose of Stadol, which did not help the pain at all. It only added to my confusion. I still felt all the pain; I was just too doped up to talk. While I was in this altered state of mind I was told that I would have to get an IFM because my contractions were strong enough that my cervix should be opening faster. They had to make sure everything was okay. Bryan reminded me that we absolutely did not want an internal monitor. However, I was so confused that I agreed to it anyway because it meant that I would no longer have to wear the EFM and lay flat on my aching back. All I wanted was to stay in the tub and no one would let me!

We now realize that I was in a Natural Alignment Plateau. I would have dilated in my own time without the Pitocin if they had let me. Before they could get the IFM in place I was dilated to 10 with a desire to push! My midwife told me I did not need anything for pain, we were almost done and she knew I could do it. It really helped to hear someone with medical training say that they believed in me. I began pushing and had a very difficult time with it. Our daughter’s head was positioned sideways with the lower part of the back of her head coming out first. No matter how hard I pushed she just would not move down. After 2 hours of pushing I began to get scared that I was not going to be able to get her out. Another doctor was called in and they attempted to vacuum extract her twice with no success. They told me that I could push as long as I had enough strength, the baby’s vitals were okay. So I kept on pushing. At one point I attempted to get into a squatting position but I was so exhausted it was useless because Bryan had to completely hold me up. Yet somehow I kept going, and after 2 hours and 48 minutes of pushing and an episiotomy we had our beautiful baby girl!

Emily Exibelle Miller weighed 7 lbs and 11 oz and was 20 inches long. I will never forget how amazing I felt that day and the look of total joy on my husband’s face when he first saw her. Everything I went through was completely worth it when I held my daughter. Bryan bragged to everyone about how strong I was and how he was so proud of me and I am truly blessed to have him as my husband. If we could do it over, we would not have been induced. But we thank God for our healthy baby girl, for the Bradley Method, and for Jade because she truly made a difference in our daughter’s birth.