Austin Michael's Story
My husband and I were pretty lucky when we conceived Austin. We weren’t “trying” but at the same time we weren’t doing anything to prevent a pregnancy. We used what my nurse practitioner called the “Pull and Pray” method. I took a pregnancy test when I was three days late. It was positive! My husband was so happy… I was a little unsure. I was worried about whether or not I would make a good mother, if we had enough to offer our child, if we were too young (we were both 22 at the time). I guess everyone has their own doubts and fears.
That night, I thought very hard about my pregnancy and by the next morning I was just as happy, if not happier than my husband.
The following Sunday was Father’s Day, so we decided to tell our families at that time. I got “Grandfather” cards for our dads and wrote “Happy Father’s Day Grandpa, Love ?? (the baby)” in them. Now I have to be honest, I was a little worried as to how they would react, partly because of our young age, and the fact that we’d only been married for a year. We were so excited when my dad opened his card and just grinned. My husband’s dad was just as excited about being a grandfather.
My pregnancy started out rocky; at about five weeks I got very sick and couldn’t keep any food or liquids down. I became dehydrated and had to be put on bedrest for two weeks. I was making trips to the doctor’s office every day to be weighed. By eight weeks I had lost twenty three pounds. I had to have IVs put in and sugar water pumped through to help hydrate me. I was so sick and weak I couldn’t do anything. At about thirteen weeks I woke one morning and felt fine. It was very weird to feel normal again! After that my pregnancy went pretty smoothly. I was due on February 6, 2003.
On January 22 2003, I had a doctor’s appointment and because my doctor was on vacation, I had to see a different physician. He asked how I was feeling and I told him I was fine. I asked him to check me even though I was sure nothing had happened. I was right. I was not dilated at all and was only 3% effaced. I wanted to know when my doctor would be back, and he said he was due to return the next day, January 23rd. I had been hoping to go into labor on Super Bowl Sunday and asked if there was any chance of that happening. The doctor laughed and said there was always a chance, but not to hold my breath. Hey, everybody has to have a dream!
The next morning I woke up at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom and had my first contraction ever! I thought I had just been dreaming so I waited. About ten minutes later I had another one. I woke my husband and told him I was having contractions, but they were no big deal. We talked for a while then went back to bed. By 6 a.m. the contractions were stronger, but still weren’t too bad. I called my mom to let her know, then went to work.
That morning, I got my replacement all caught up on what was going on with my job. By 9 a.m. my contractions were about five minutes apart, but still weren’t that bad. I called my doctor; he said he wanted to see me at noon, so I asked my husband to pick me up so I could get checked at the clinic.
By noon my contractions were definitely stronger, but I could still talk through them. When my doctor checked me, I was 100% effaced and dilated to 2 cm. He told me to go home, get some rest, take a bath and lay on my left side. If the contractions got closer and stronger I should just go to the emergency room. I did everything he said and by 5 p.m. we were heading to the emergency room!
I thought everything was going great; my contractions were two minutes apart and I couldn’t talk through them. I still wasn’t in so much pain that I felt I needed any drugs; the breathing techniques I had learned were enough. They checked me in and got me into a birthing room. There were 15 other women in delivery that night also, so the medical team was very busy! They checked me again and nothing had changed, I was still at 2 cm. We walked the halls, took a shower, sat in the jacuzzi, everything we could think of to help me dilate. Nothing helped.
By 2 a.m. I was still at 2 cm. and my contractions were so strong that I couldn’t walk or talk through them. I had to shut my eyes and really concentrate on breathing to get through some of them. At that time a nurse came in, and said they were going to give me some morphine to help me relax so the contractions could do something. I was very nervous about taking anything, I had wanted a natural childbirth, but it seemed I didn’t have much of a choice. I was to either take the morphine and hope it helped me relax or go home and wait there for something new to happen. We live about 25 minutes from the hospital so that wasn’t an option. I took the morphine and fell asleep.
At 4 a.m. I woke up and thought I had wet myself. I called the nurse and apologized for not making it to the bathroom in time. She just laughed and said, “Your water just broke!” Then things really started moving along!
After two and a half hours of pushing (all natural except for the morphine!) I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He weighed seven pounds, eleven ounces and measured nineteen and three quarters inches long. Austin Michael was born at 1:59 p.m. on January 24, 2003; he was everything I had expected and more. He is now six-and-a-half-months-old and we’re already talking about baby number two!
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