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Hello and welcome to my site. A personal page for me to blog about my experiences, spur of the moment thoughts, feelings, travel, and etc. I hope you have fun reading my entries as much as I enjoyed writing them. Please feel free to leave your comments and messages.

My Labor Story

Just basing from the title, it's easy to guess that I had given birth already. It was a very memorable experience for my husband and I. And we are very thankful that we chose to deliver here in Chicago, specifically at Prentice Women's Hospital at Northwestern instead of anywhere else.

My aunt works in that hospital in the psychiatric unit and she told me that their Maternity and Child Division is the best in the United States.

On September 8, 2011, I gave birth to Eli Santiago at around 8:54 pm. He weighed 6 lbs and measured 19 inches in height. I was in labor for more than 24 hours. Before realizing that I was actually in labor, I had the energy to come to downtown Chicago with my husband which is an hour and a half away from where we live via bus and train. The commute included a lot of walking, but I didn't mind because I was always active during my whole pregnancy.

Then, when we got home at night, my stomach began to hurt. I couldn't tell where the pain was coming from. I was pretty sure that I wasn't having any contractions at first since the same feeling happened to me before and the experience only turned out to be gastroenteritis. The pain was tolerable that I was even able to sleep. I was peeing and pooping more than usual but I didn't mind because I thought I just ate something bad.

Finally, I woke up at 1 am and felt that my underwear was really soaked with something. So, I went to the bathroom and checked what it was. I was surprise to see that I had a lot of clear discharge that was accompanied by blood. After finding that out, I had made time to clean myself up at first then I woke my husband up and told him that I might be having the baby already.

We quickly went to the hospital after that. Fortunately, my husband had a feeling that I might be giving birth that night too so he took care of all the stuffs we need for the baby and me. When I got to the hospital, the nurse midwife was already waiting for me since I called in before we left the house. After doing my first internal examination, we found out that I was 2 cm dilated already. I was really going into labor and she told us straight that I will be having the baby within the day for sure.

As mentioned earlier, Northwestern Hospital is considered as one of the biggest hospital in the US. All their rooms, gadgets, and personnel were all state of the art. Given the chance that I can give birth there, I wanted to try everything they had to support me through a natural (drug-free) delivery. I rocked myself on the yoga ball, I stayed on the tub, walked, and did breathing exercises. But everything they had didn't seem to work at all!

I was getting really frustrated because my contractions were 3 - 4 minutes apart, lasting 1 - 2 minutes long but my labor wasn't progressing as much as we've hoped for.

Dilated at 5 cm, my husband finally said that I should just go with the epidural already since he knew how much pain I was bearing for the last 16 hours. So, I did that and a whole team of anesthesiologist came into my room and gave me the epidural.

Everything else felt good after that. I was no longer screaming and angry. I even had a little nap since my waist down was numb. Because my body was already relaxed, my contraction came in fewer so the doctor decided to purposely break my bag of water. She believes that it may be one of the causes why I was having a hard time to dully dilate.

5 hours later, I felt great pressure between the vagina and rectum despite of the anesthesia. I told the doctor that I was still feeling uncomfortable because I shouldn't be having any of that due to the drugs. She checked me again, and discovered that I was already fully dilated.

A nurse came in the room soon after that and prepared everything that we might need during the delivery. Then, I realized that I was on the bed, finally pushing at each contraction until the baby came out. After becoming fully dilated, I pushed the baby out at less than an hour. The staffs were really impressed with how smooth and fast the whole thing went. I told them I had practice with the pushing ;)

The midwife was telling me that I shouldn't feel less of a good mom for choosing to go with the drugs. It's just that every woman is different, and we all have our own ability to tolerate pain. Plus, choosing just the epidural had less complication to the baby and I.

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