My pregnancy was a completely normal and healthy one. I was due on July 25th originally, then after an ultrasound it was bumped up to August 17th. So, we waited and waited even more until August 27th. I woke up and I felt like I was having horrible gas pains, but something told me it was more than gas! I went to my scheduled doctor's appointment and he confirmed early labor and said I was 3cm dilated and almost fully effaced. He told me to go home and wait til the contractions were closer together then go over to the hospital. Now, before I got any further let me go into my birthing plan that I had. I did not want any drugs, I did not want an episiotomy, I wanted a pure natural birth! At 4:30pm my water broke and it was meconium stained, BADLY stained with actual chunks of meconium in it! I quickly changed pants and left for the hospital. I had brought my underwear with me for them to see (they told me to). They were concerned from the beginning because of the large amount of meconium which they said is often common in overdue babies. They got me all set up with the monitors and such and then realized with every contraction I had the baby's heartbeat would fall to 98bpm and would take quite some time to get back up to its normal rate. My doctor came in looking very concerned and within seconds there were at least 15 people crowded around me. He explained they were going to do a scalp blood sample off the baby to test the oxygen in her blood and if that came back low they were going to do an emergency C-Section. At this point I started to panic! The sample came back OK and I was allowed to continue with a vaginal birth for the time being. They asked me if I wanted an epidural and I declined and continued to tough out contractions at 2 minutes apart that were extremely strong with no rest in between. At 7:00 the doctor checked me to see what I was dilated at and I was only at 3 1/2cms. At this point they STRONGLY suggested that I take an epidural, I asked if I could have something lighter like morphine or something to take the edge off the contractions. I couldn't have that because of the baby's heartbeat being so low, sedatives would make it even lower. So, I took the epidural and by 9:00 I was 9cms dilated. 1/2 hour later I was 10cms and ready to push. I tried to push for a bit and they suggested I just rest for an hour or so and let her head work down on its own. So I slept for an hour and the nurse came in to wake me. I started to push again and Moira Christine Cyre was born within 15 minutes of starting to push! I had a new view on the epidural after my experience.
Although I do want to attempt a natural birth again with a later child I won't be so against an epidural. I have a beautiful daugher after 10 hours of heavy labor.