Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Scarlett's Birth Story - Part 2

Part 1

I left off in my last post when I had just finished 20 hours of contractions due to two rounds of Cervidil, and I had dilated to "a fingertip." I was so over it, and wanting this to be over!

Around this time is when my least favorite nurse of our entire hospital stay started her shift.  I had been waiting in anticipation to hear what my OB had said we would do next.  Without much of an introduction, the nurse started hooking something up to my IV.  I asked her what my doctor had said to do.  "We're starting the pit."  Well thanks for filling me in before going ahead and starting it.

This is where things get a little fuzzy.  My husband and mom can correct me if I have any of this wrong.  Anyway, as soon as the Pitocin was started, The contractions immediately got stronger.  They were still manageable, but they were more painful, lasted longer, and were closer together.  I started having a harder time talking through them.  I'd rate them as a 7 on the pain scale.  

At some point around 7 AM (I think?), my progress was checked.  And I had progressed to 4 centimeters!  How encouraging!  Maybe this labor wasn't going to last forever after all! (Although at that point, it already felt like it had!)

I was still unsure whether I would get an epidural or not.  Like I said, the pain was bad, but not unbearable.  So when the nurse came in and offered me some Stadol to take the edge off the pain, I agreed. My thinking was that maybe if I got the Stadol, I wouldn't have to have the epidural.  Plus, the pain was getting pretty intense.  I asked her what the drug did, and she said it would take my pain level down.  

While (not before) she was hooking the Stadol up to my IV she mentioned that the drug "might cause a bit of drowsiness." She then said she'd be back to check on me soon. 

Immediately after she left the room, it started spinning.  It literally felt like my bed was spinning circles around the room.  I started freaking out and telling Luke that something was wrong.  It took a good 5 minutes or so for the room to stop spinning.  By that time my mom had arrived, but I was freaking out.  I was not prepared for the drug to make me feel the way it did.  I was feeling dizzy and drowsy.  I knew I was acting drunk.  I couldn't even walk myself to the restroom because I couldn't stand up straight.  It was helping my pain, but probably not worth the side effects.  At this point I was not happy with my nurse for not filling me in on the possible side effects beforehand, especially since I had asked. 

I remember at some point that the nurse was supposed to give us an update on what my doctor wanted to do next.  I wasn't "with it" enough, but either my mom or Luke asked her what the doctor had said after waiting a long time for the news.  The nurse's response, "I told you, they're going to break her water."  My mom and Luke informed her that she hadn't, in fact, told them.  I think they were super annoyed, but my mind was too foggy to even comprehend what was going on.

Luckily, right before they broke my water (I think it was around 9 AM at this point), there was a shift  change, and my new nurse was amazing.  Praise the Lord!  Because seriously, the nurse has everything to do with how your experience in labor and delivery goes.  

I believe it was also around this time that I vomited due to the intensity of the pain.  I am one of those lucky people who throws up when I'm in a lot of pain.  You really do lose all dignity in labor.  That is one of the few things I had never done in front of Luke until that day.  Luckily I was in too much pain to be embarrassed. 

My mind was foggy when the doctor came in to break my water.  I just remember it being very painful because my cervix was so high.  And it was the strangest feeling when it broke!  

After that, I came back to reality and the fuzziness cleared very quickly, because the pain was enough to snap me out of it.  Immediately after my water broke, the contractions became so painful I thought I would die.  The nurse asked if I was going to want an epidural, and I told her I wasn't sure yet.  I think it was just a couple contractions later when she saw me gripping the side of the bed ("trying to break off the side of the bed" in Luke's words) and writhing in pain, that she asked me again, "Think you want to epidural yet?"  I answered her quickly with a "yes."  I knew I just couldn't do it.  She told me that we'd have to pump me with fluids before they would be able to give me the epidural.  She told me it would take about a half hour.  and she also said, "getting an epidural makes you sane." That made me feel a bit better.
Luke really thought my contractions looked like a roller coaster

That "half hour" was actually more like an hour in reality.  This was the hardest, longest hour of labor and delivery.  I wish I could even begin to describe the pain I was feeling.  Just waves of pain that started in my abdomen, but radiated down the tops of legs.  I told Luke it felt like someone was holding my uterus in a vice and trying to rip it out of my body.  I really feel like the pain level would have been the same.  I tried to relax and do some breathing exercises, like I had read about, but the pain just took over, and I couldn't control anything I was doing.  Mostly I just grabbed the side of the bed and held as hard as I could while moaning and saying things like, "I'm going to die,"  "I want to die," and "we are adopting the rest of our kids!"  Luke said this part was horrible for him, because he just had to watch me, and there was nothing he could do to make the pain go away.  

Finally the anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural!  This part was weird, because they made Luke leave the room.   The anesthesiologist had two other people with him, and the nurse had an over-peppy intern with her who  liked to talk to me and ask me questions while I was having a contraction.  I wanted to punch her. Just being real.  Anyway, it felt like we had quite the full house for the epidural.  And the 10 or 15 minutes that they were giving me the epidural were the worst 10 or 15 minutes of labor, and here's why: I had three contractions while they were giving it to me.  This means I was expected to curl my back out and keep my neck tucked and shoulders straight while I was having a contraction.  This was nearly impossible.  Thank goodness for the sweet nurse who calmed me down, and let me hold her hands during each one.  I'm afraid I probably broke some fingers, but it really did help.  Another reason the epidural was the worst part was because apparently the girl who inserted it was a medical student -- something they hadn't informed me of before she gave me the epidural.  Is that even legal?  Because it shouldn't be.  Anyway, the student inserted the epidural in the wrong spot, so she had to do it twice. I should mention that they also didn't tell this to me until after I had delivered Scarlett.  She also caused a "wet tap," but I will get to that later.  

As they laid me down after giving me the epidural, I noticed that back of my neck and shoulders were extremely stiff, and seemed to be in a lot of pain.  I thought it was probably just because I had been so tense while they administered the epidural.

Luckily, the pain was fading fast.  I was completely numb by the second contraction I had after they gave me the epidural. I think Luke and my mom thought I got a lot more pleasant after that. At first it was really nice, and I was enjoying not even feeling my contractions at all. I believe they started the internal monitors at this point too.  But then I noticed that there were still a lot of people in the room, and they seemed a little worried.  Scarlett's heart rate was doing some weird things.  I think it was partly that they couldn't get an accurate read on the monitors, but also because Scarlett's heartrate kept dropping.  I completely lost it at this point and just started bawling.  If things weren't going well for me, I could deal with that.  But if there was a problem with the baby, that is another story entirely.  

{ Part 3 coming soon }

1 comment:

  1. Having them tell you your baby's heart rate is dropping is SOOOOOOO scary!! I remember FREAKING OUT. The had me flip from side to side, gave me oxygen, ice chips, apple juice, etc.

    I am really enjoying reading your birth story and can't wait for part 3!!!!


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