The Fertility Diaries: Friends and Mothers
"She's So Worth It"
As February came to a close, Carrie watched her due date arrive — and pass.
Nearly all the other women in her online "birth club" of mothers due in
February had already delivered their babies, but on March 1, she was still
waiting. "I was feeling okay," says Carrie. "I never had any
problems physically — but I was just so ready to be done!"
Finally, in the wee hours of the morning of March 2, Carrie's water
Carrie: "When John and I arrived at the hospital, things moved
fast — I went from 2 centimeters dilated when I checked in, to 7 centimeters an
hour and a half later, when they gave me the epidural. Since the baby was in
the posterior position, it was all back labor, which isn't fun! The epidural
seemed to slow things down and I didn't fully dilate for another five hours.
Around 7 p.m., I started pushing. But the baby hadn't descended yet, so pushing
really slowed the heartbeat. They waited an hour for the heart rate to
stabilize, and at 8 p.m., we tried pushing again. At 9:10 p.m., Payton
Elizabeth was born! She was 9 pounds, 7 ounces — the doctor laughed at me
because my first comment was, 'She's so tiny!' I guess not!"
Carrie had thought the labor wasn't all that difficult, but she was about to
get some bad news. Payton's face up position during delivery, combined with her
size and the fact that Carrie overextended her hips while pushing, led to
something called pubic symphysis separation. During a normal labor, the
ligaments that hold the pubic bones together stretch and then return to their
normal position. But Carrie's ligaments stretched so far to allow Payton to
come out that they were damaged, and there was a 2centimeter gap between the
"What it means is that I couldn't really walk at all initially,"
Carrie says. "When I first got out of bed, it was really freaky — I was
telling my legs to move, and they wouldn't. The doctors thought it was just a
side effect of the epidural, but the pain radiating through my pelvis wasn't
normal." If physical therapy couldn't help, Carrie was told, she might need
Carrie returned from the hospital overjoyed with her new daughter, but
frustrated that the labor injury forced her to use a walker — and for a while,
left her unable to pick up and carry Payton. "I could hold her, but I
couldn't carry her," she says. "I feel so bad for Carrie," says
Jenny. "You expect to be able to enjoy and bond with your baby and not have
to worry about something like this. You have an image of what it's going to be
like — walking around pushing the stroller, and all that. I know she's enjoying
her daughter so much, but it's not fair that she has to miss out on some of the
things you want to do in the first few weeks."