We had three due dates for Damaris (October 4th, 7th and 10th). She was late on all accounts. I went into the hospital Tuesday, October 12th, at 4:00 a.m. (CST). They did my blood work and started an IV. At 5:15 a.m., they started my pitocin. The pitocin was doubled at 7:30 a.m. The doctor came in at 8:00 a.m. and did an ultrasound because Damaris’ heartbeat was being picked up so high in my body (we later found out why). Damaris was still head down so we continued with the pitocin. It was doubled again at 8:15 a.m. and then doubled again at 9:15 a.m. They were up to the highest dose they wanted to give me. There was some concern because Damaris’ heartbeat was dropping with every contraction. When the doctor came in around noon, he said that if her heartbeat continued to drop, they would be doing a c-section that afternoon. Her heartbeat stabilized and they stopped the pitocin at 4:00 p.m. Our doctor came in at 5:00 p.m. to check me. I still hadn’t dilated more than 1 cm. He gave us two options. He said we could either go home and come back on Thursday to try the pitocin again or we could stay and he would put in the cervicil gel on Tuesday night and then do pitocin again on Wednesday. We decided to stay and try the gel. He told us if that didn’t work, we’d be looking at a c-section on Wednesday afternoon. They put in the gel around 5:30 p.m. We managed to get some sleep. They took the gel out at 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. They let me get up and take a shower because they had to wait at least 30 minutes before starting the pitocin after taking the gel out. It ended up being longer. They finally started the pitocin at 4:45 a.m. They doubled it at 6:00 a.m., at 7:00 a.m., and at 8:00 a.m. I was again to the highest level. Damaris’ heartbeat was doing good which was a concern. The doctor came in to check me. I had thinned out quite a bit, but still hadn’t dilated any more than 1 cm. He told me he would be back around noon and we’d make the decision about the c-section. They turned off the pitocin at noon. Nothing was happening so we planned for the c-section around 2:00 p.m. that afternoon. They got Russell his scrubs and we made phone calls that we were going in for the c-section. They took me back around 2:45 p.m. to give me the spinal block (we opted for the one that lasted 1 1/2 hours rather than 2 1/2 hours). This was the worst part of the whole experience. They wouldn’t let Russell back into the operating room yet and he always holds my hand when I have shots or blood drawn or anything like that. I sat on the edge of the table and they put in the shot of numbing medicine. They started to put in the spinal and I screamed. The numbing medicine didn’t work and I was feeling everything they were doing. They pulled it out and tried the numbing medicine in a different spot. It worked this time and they were able to put in the spinal. They laid me down and let Russell into the room. He sat right at my head and held my hand. They started the surgery a couple minutes after 3:00 p.m. Damaris was delivered at 3:12 p.m. Our doctor is British and so we couldn’t understand him when he said it was a girl. I kept asking whether it was a boy or a girl. Russell finally told me it was a girl. We both were crying. The doctor then leaned around and told us that her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and her body. He said that was why my labor wasn’t progressing even after 2 1/2 weeks of contractions and two days of pitocin. Everytime Damaris tried to drop down, her cord was yanking her back up. He said it was a good thing we had gone ahead and done a c-section. Russell and I just bawled when we found that out. We were so thankful that God had taken care of Damaris and led the doctor to go ahead and do the c-section. Russell got up and went over to see Damaris and take her picture. They finished cleaning her up and wrapped her up so Russell could bring her over to see me. He held her up and the first thing I said was that she looked just like him including the long eyelashes. They finished the surgery around 3:45 p.m. and took me back to the room. Damaris weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces. She was 18 1/2 inches long. Her head was 14 1/4 inches and her chest was 12 3/4 inches. We got back to our room and they brought her in to be with us around 4:30 p.m. She was able to stay with us most of the time in the rest of the time we stayed. They only took her to the nursery for tests and baths. Her doctor told us on Thursday afternoon that she has a mild heart murmur, but that it wasn’t anything to be too concerned about. She said we would watch it and it should be fine. They released us from the hospital on Friday morning.