A mom's story: Katie Slaughter

Katie Slaughter gave birth to a 7 pound, 9 ounce baby boy at 10:46pm on Feb. 9 , 2012. Lewis Wendell has a full head of jet black hair and gray blue eyes, and he came along with a lot of grit from Katie and an assist from a talented nurse.

I work in the lab at St. Vincent’s Women’s Hospital. When my husband and I first found out we were pregnant, I was at IU West Hospital because of my husband’s insurance. I started my job at the Women’s lab when I was five months pregnant! Crazy, right?

I started new insurance with my new company and had to change doctors and hospitals. I was a basket case. I had been with my OB/GYN for 11 years and didn’t want to leave her, but I had no choice. Little did I know that it was the best thing that could have happened to me and my baby. Everyone raved about my new doctor, Dr. Gates, and his partners. Friends of mine had just had their baby at Women’s and they raved also about how wonderful the entire staff was to them.

From our first Monogram appointment with Kathy Ryan, my husband and I knew that we were in the right place.

Our birthplan was not to induce, just to let Mother Nature take her course. Well, at 41 weeks I was ready to meet my son. We went in on a Wednesday evening to begin the induction process.

From the registration process with Bobbie to the actual birth, everyone that we came I contact with was amazing! I remember all my nurses and other staff being so encouraging. They honored that fact that I didn’t want any pain medication but also told me they would get me pain medications if I asked for them. We started Pitocin Thursday morning, and progress was slow. That afternoon, Dr. Leone, one of Dr. Gates’s partners, broke my water and the contractions really started! I was still not dilating very fast so the nurses called in an RN who massaged my stomach, and her magic hands had me dilate from 6 to 10 cm in a matter of minutes. No joke!

I was in labor for a total of 12 hours. The whole time I was in pain my nurses, doctors and residents kept encouraging me and helping me. They are perfect for their jobs; they were really there for me and my husband.

When the contractions got intense, I started pushing and thought I wanted an epidural. I asked for one, and the anesthesiologist came in and got ready. I looked at my labor nurse and said, “Do you think I can make it through the rest of this without an epidural and how much longer?” She was very honest and said, “It could be 45 minutes to a couple more hours.” I appreciated her honesty. Then she said, “If you want an epidural we can get you one but I think you can do it.” She didn’t coax me in on direction or another but she knew I had made it this far and how important it was to me to do this epidural-free. I love her for that.

I apologized to the anesthesiologist a million times and told him I had changed my mind and didn’t want the epidural. He told me it happens all the time I never questioned turning down the epidural. I know it was the right choice for me and my baby. Honestly, I don’t remember the pain. My adrenaline took over and my body responded to the contractions and did what it needed to do. Through the birthing process I focused on my breathing and my husband. I am surprised he didn’t go home with a broken hand.

Nothing about my birthing experience was as I had imagined or planned in my head. From having to change insurances, doctors and hospitals at six months pregnant to asking for pain medications. The reason I got through it all was God first, my husband and the awesome staff at Women’s. The staff there is what I expected . . . and so much more.

Related Stories