After finding out that I was pregnant with our second child, I decided I was not going to eat everything in sight just because I was "eating for two" as I had done with my previous pregnancy. I had gained 60 pounds with our first child and had developed severe pre-eclampsia and was in the hospital on bed rest for five days before I delivered at 38 weeks.
During this pregnancy, I cut out sugar, ate only whole-grain low-gluten breads, and I exercised about three times a week until the last month of my pregnancy. Under my doctor’s supervision and approval, I successfully lost 21 pounds while the baby was growing at a very healthy rate (I was still packing most of my previous pregnancy weight).
At 37 weeks (January 20), I developed an intense headache that did not go away with any over-the-counter medications for almost two days. My doctor wanted me to come in immediately and, sure enough, my blood pressure was high and I was spilling proteins. He admitted me at 1 PM and broke my water. My doctor was pretty confident that since this was my second child, it would be a short labor. By 7 PM, I hadn’t had any contractions so he started me on Pitocin, which got things moving pretty fast.
I remembered the intense labor pains from my first pregnancy, and this time my labor plan was to have pain intervention, most likely an epidural. By 10:45 PM I was screaming for an epidural. The nurse checked me and I was at eight centimeters when she called the anesthesiologist. Fifteen minutes later there was still no anesthesiologist and I was now complete so it was too late for the epidural. I had a nightmare just like this during my pregnancy and for a minute I thought I was still dreaming but this was real.
It was time to push. I was begging to my mom to stop it; that I just couldn’t do it. And although I love my husband and he was also at my side, he was just as scared as I was. Mom turned out to be the best coach because she had gone through natural childbirth four times. She gave me the strength to start pushing since I knew she had gone through it the natural way and obviously lived! It hurt, and there is no pain that will ever compare to it, but 27 minutes later, when they put Emma, my beautiful seven-pound, eight-ounce little girl on my chest, I swear the pain instantly went away. I was just amazed and very grateful that I am a woman and I get to experience bringing life into this world.
I felt so much better after the natural birth than with the epidural. I could get up right away to take my shower, and I was so awake, not lethargic as I had been with the epidural. Now almost 12 months later I am three months pregnant with our third child and I plan to try my hardest to have another natural childbirth.