Sorry this is long! I was typing it up for my baby book and decided to post it. Helena Grace Born September 29, 2008 at 3:34 am. 7 pounds 6 oz. I started having contractions around noon. I wasn't sure if I was having cramps or contractions. I dozed on and off and later on they were coming on more strongly. I went and laid in the bath, with Brian begging me to go to the hospital. I am stubborn though and didn't want to go too early. Finally I caved at 7 pm, because I thought real contractions would be much worse, I thought I would be sent back home. I was examined and I was 4 cm and my waters were leaking. I was rushed off to a birthing room. I had a cd player in the room, and I just laid there listening to some music. My sister joined us, and the nurse suggested that we walk laps around the maternity ward to speed things up. I sure didn't feel like walking but I did it anyways. Contractions were stopping me in my tracks, so I headed back to my bed. The nurse came to check me and I asked for some morphine. She suggested that I just take the epidural as it was a lot better. So I thought for a minute, and I knew I could handle the pain I was in at the moment, but I sure didn't want to suffer later on if I didn't have to. SO I TOOK THE EPIDURAL! The doctor came in and gave me it in my spine, and I did not feel him put it in at all. I also had an IV because I had Strep B. The IV was more painful then the epidural. It was wonderful! Instantly I could feel no pain! I could still move my legs, and I could feel people if they touched me, but I couldn't feel contractions. I was very HAPPY with my choice. The nurse came in and checked me around midnight and said I was 7cm dilated but I had a big bulge of water in front of the baby's head. She went to get the doctor to come break it and to put me on a drip to speed up my contractions. The doctor came in and opened my legs and a HUGE TIDAL WAVE OF WATER came out all over the doctor. He checked me out and I was somehow fully dilated in a matter of minutes. He let me relax a bit and I had my epidural topped back up. Everytime anyone came near me, huge amounts of water would come out of me. The doctor said it was the most amniotic fluid he has ever seen. I guess all that water I drank stayed in me, haha. Unfortunately, because of the epidural I could not tell when to push. I had a contraction monitor on, but my contractions were getting weaker instead of stronger. The doctor came in and told me to start pushing. I was getting a bit frustrated because I couldn't feel if I was pushing. He left me with the nurse to keep pushing. I pushed for 2 hours. The nurse went to get the doctor because I wasn't making any progress with the pushing and the baby's heart beat was dropping. The doctor told me he was going to cut me (I didn't care at this point) and that he was going to use the vacuum extractor (a big suction cup with a hand pump) to help me get her out. It seemed like there was a million people in the room staring at me. (I was at a teaching hospital.) Everytime I pushed, water would go up the tube of the vacuum (which the doctor said has never happened and he didn't know why I had so much water) All of a sudden I said I NEED TO PUSH FOR REAL THIS TIME, and I pushed and the doctor did the vacuum thing and PLOP she came out. I didn't even feel her come out, but I saw the happiest look on Brian's face so I knew she was here. I saw a little arm reach up in the air and then some crying. She was whisked off with Brian and I was left alone to be stitched up. (I didn't know until 3 days later when the nurses came to my house to visit me that I had a horrible third degree tear as well as the cut the doctor made.) Thank god I had that epidural. I didn't feel a thing! My mom was pacing the halls when she heard that first cry, and she barged right into the room. She saw my baby before I did! Finally I was handed my baby, after about 1/2 an hour of stitching me up. She was so small and cute, with a LOT of hair. I had a hard labour, but in the end, it wasn't hard at all because I didn't feel a thing, due to the epidural. I didn't even break a sweat! (Not that I want to go through that all again, haha) We spent 2 days in the hospital and are now at home getting used to each other. We had a couple rough nights, but we seem to be getting it under control now.