And thus, through the courage and great skill in obstetrics of Queequeg, the deliverance, or rather, delivery of Tashtego, was successfully accomplished, in the teeth, too, of the most untoward and apparently hopeless impediments; which is a lesson by no means to be forgotten.
There are no more uses of "impediment" in the book.
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a speech impediment
Personal animosity has become an impediment to progress.