- On March 9, 2009
Like many of Dr. Worth’s patients, I transferred to Village Obstetrics late in my pregnancy, at 34 weeks. After a dissatisfying appointment with one of the doctors in my OB’s megapractice, both a doula and a midwife recommended her to me as a physician friendly to a low-intervention birth.
I met frequently with both Dr. Worth and Dr. Mussalli, who have a truly collaborative practice, and my husband H and I marveled each time at the level of personal care we received (I’d never exchanged emails with my doctor before!). After a couple blood pressure false alarms in labor & delivery, we also got a good first impression of the kindness and care of the staff at St. Vincent’s.
At my 38-week appointment on Tuesday, February 10, I told Dr. Worth I had begun having intense pelvic pressure, so she asked if I wanted her to examine me. To my surprise, I was 2-3 cm dilated and 50% effaced. That night I started having my first “real” contractions, though they were fairly irregular. I told my husband the next morning I had a hunch I would go into serious labor that evening, so he arranged to stay home with me.
We walked to a diner to have breakfast, timing my contractions, and at noon we called my mom, who was planning to drive 8 hours from Virginia to be with us during the birth.
All day the contractions intensified while we watched episodes of Arrested Development and I took baths and finished packing my hospital bag. I called Dr. Worth to let her know things were moving, though we still didn’t know how long it might be until we would need to come to the hospital.
As night fell, it became increasingly clear that my hunch had been right, as the contractions got closer together and more painful and required a lot more focus to get through them. Harry was a godsend, providing encouragement and support, giving counter pressure to my lower back and timing the contractions. When my mom arrived at 10:30p.m., my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart.
We sent Mom off to rest, and my contractions continued to intensify. The contractions were getting harder, and they became more and more frequent – until they seemed to be stalling, and became sporadic.
By 2 a.m. I was feeling drained. We didn’t know where we were in the labor process. We decided to call Dr. Mussalli, who was on call, and he said we should head to the hospital.
When I got admitted at 3 a.m., I was 5 cm dilated and 70% effaced. Our nurse, Lisa, administered a dose of Stadol, which Dr. Worth and I had agreed would be a good choice since I didn’t want an epidural.
Despite my very long prelabor, active labor went quickly, especially after my water broke with a huge gush at 4:30 a.m.
When Dr. Worth arrived, I was exhausted and in the worst part of my labor. She suggested I try pushing once, and from there I would either continue pushing, or could consider an epidural.
I put my chin to my chest and pushed as hard as I could. My husband and mother were by my side, and I could feel the energy in the room starting to jump with nurses gathering around the bed to help.
Within a couple of pushes, my husband leaned towards me, gripped my hand, and said, “I can see her head!”
It was only minutes after that our baby girl, Iris Ellington, came into the world. With the help of the wonderful and supportive nursing staff of St. Vincent’s and Doctors Worth and Mussalli, she was born a petite but healthy 5 lbs. 13 oz. and was 20 inches long.
Because I had a vaginal delivery, didn’t tear, and was feeling well, I was able to leave the hospital after only one night. It felt good to bring the newest member of our family home so soon and so safely.