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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 broke.

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!"

Adult Hands and Baby Feet

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 bones.

"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 surgery.

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."

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