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Monday, May 31, 2010

3/25/10 - "Labor & Delivery: Parts 3 & 4"

Part 3 & 4: Overnight and Morning
At 11 I got a new nurse, Linda. Her bedside manner was a little lacking. She said the doctor said to give me some ambien so i’d be able to sleep. I took it. I’m a terrible sleeper. Little did we know that the cytotec (I googled it) would really work on getting my cervix ready. The “severe” cramps along with Linda coming in every hour to check the baby’s heartbeat and my blood pressure made it impossible to sleep - ambien and all. In the morning, I got a new nurse (thank goodness) and they checked my cervix. 3.5cm dilated. They decided later in the morning to kick me into gear with some pitocin. With me, were Mom, Holly, Stephanie, and Jim (who we’d decided he’d only participate in anything from the neck up - mostly because he passes out and even more mostly (yes more mostly) because I didn’t want him to see my lady parts in any other condition than he’d originally seen them. No reason to ruin the fantasy). Stephanie’s job ended up being the right leg. Mom’s job was the left leg. Holly took photos and updated Jim on what was happening to the bottom half.

Cut to 3cm. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it is. The pain is difficult to describe. It’s like it’s in your bones and no matter how much you wiggle or cry the contractions will come. That’s the scary part. After the pain is there and after you know how far apart your contractions are, you spend all the minutes between contractions terrified by the arrival of the next. Dr. Wills came in and decided I could get an epidural, but the anesthesiologist was in a c-section. I honestly don’t know how much time went by. What I do know is that I thought about getting in the bath tub and that I later rethought it when I thought about having the contraction in the tub. I was terrified that the 2 minutes between contractions was not enough time to get there with all my wires and tubes and my spirit was low. The contractions hurt like nothing I’ve ever known. It’s like you think there MUST be something that can relieve it, so you squeeze everything and move your head and flex your feet and straighten your legs. They tell you to breathe through the contraction, to try not to tense up, to relax your body and let the wave of pain go over and away. Eff that. Mostly I wanted to lift my back into the air, like an upside down yoga move. That is apparently the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to do. You’re “supposed” to sink your hips down and take it. I “suppose” I’ll never ever do that. I’m convinced that what I was doing was better. This was also the first time that I considered c-section as a viable option. lol Regardless of my anti-c-sectionism, the pain will make you reconsider.

Time gets you through that contraction, but then brings you to the next one. Terror is the word I would use to explain it. And torture. My whole body was in shock and shaking uncontrollably. During one contraction, I flexed my leg (if you’ll remember, I mentioned you’ll do anything to try to make it stop hurting) and I got a cramp in my calf.

That was it. My spirit broke. Not only was I crying because the contraction hurt, but when it was over, I was crying because the leg cramp was the last straw. It broke me. And thus began the long sad mourning cry which sent two people out of my room in tears.

Enter the anesthesiologist. Dr. Susan Wilcox. She had a british accent and began apologizing for my pain immediately. I thought that was nice since she wasn’t the one causing it. You know, as nice as you can find something to be when you feel like you’re dying. We sent most everyone out of the room. Jim doesn’t do needles and they stick one in your back for the epidural. While we were waiting for her to get set up, I had a contraction. They get more intense (intense is another good word to describe it) as time passes even though they don’t get any closer together. So she’s iodining me up and i felt a contraction was coming. She said “hold really still” and I started crying and said something similar to “Don’t. Stop. No. Wait.” in total terror that she would try to do it while a contraction would be there and I wouldn’t be able to move. I cried. She waited. Then she does the needle for the numbing medication. Then she did whatever else she did back there. I couldn’t see it so I don’t know what was going on. Whatever it was didn’t work.

Yep. Nothing happened. I think i expected a miracle. I think it may have actually been a miracle if i had gotten the epidural an hour sooner. Contractions kept coming and I kept feeling them. She came in to check and made me rate my pain on the scale of 0 cents to 1 dollar. One thing it’s a good idea not to do to people in pain is make them do math with money. If she’d asked 0-10 I’d have known what to say. Apparently my answer was a very pain stricken “A dollar! A dollar!” (I’d like to note that I never yelled at anyone or was cross to anyone. The closest I got to being a mean laborer was when she said it was going to kick in soon and I said over and over, “I don’t believe you. I don't believe you.” That was as mean as I got.) She came back and took out this bottle which she called “a boost” and injected the whole thing into my IV. It was a big bottle. (Note: A lot of this is blurry- apparently, once pain gets to a certain point, you don’t really pay attention to details.) Either way. I love the boost.

Then magic happened. I still couldn’t do the money math, but mom helped me to correct my pain grade of a “6” to “60 cents.” I still don’t get why she asked it in money. Anywho, then it was numb. Mostly on my left side but I could still feel about 30-40 cents on my right side so she had me turn to lay on my back instead of my side to let the medicine move to both sides. I got to lay with my eyes closed for a while. I was SO TIRED. I hadn’t slept the whole night before and had technically been in labor since 3am. I got the epidural at noon. It took an hour to work all the way. I feel sorry for myself just writing about it. lol

Once the epidural worked I was just as normal as the prior pringles me and not the unrecognizable crying writhing in pain me. It was amazing. Delivery’s gonna be a breeze. There was even a magic button that would let me continue to receive help every twenty minutes!

Not long after the epidural worked I went from 3-6cm. Then 6-8 lickety split! They catheterized me for a minute just to empty my bladder. She was saying that a normal “full feeling” bladder has 300cc’s of urine. She emptied mine at 900. lol. Whatev, I couldn’t feel it. I didn’t care. The pain was done and THAT was the important part. At least I THOUGHT the pain was done.

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