Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In which I try to get down some of my labor/delivery story

WARNING: This is long post, filled with a lots of less than lovely labor memories.  Though it has a happy ending - a healthy baby girl - those currently pregnant may not want to read it.  I do promise you, however, that my story is not typical of most births.

It has been amazingly difficult to find the time or energy to do much besides sleep, eat and take care of Baby S, but I promised myself I would work on getting some of this story down and I WILL do it.

I'm actually sick at the moment with a nasty cold, and I think Baby S is feeling it too (hoping with every finger and toe crossed that she won't get any sicker than she is right now).  She has been crying and fussy all day and last night wasn't so great either.  It is so sad to see her so inconsolable.  At the moment she is quiet, but I know it won't last long.

The story, or at least part of it:

I woke up the morning of Dec. 19th, at about 4am, with slightly stronger pains than I'd had previously, and I was feeling a little excited but unsure based on the previous few nights of false labor.  By 6am, things were actually feeling a bit regular, and I decided to bring hubby in to do some timing.  The contractions were 7 minutes apart, almost like clockwork, so I called in the reinforcements (mom and sister/doula who needed to drive up to us from NY).  Everything seemed to be moving right along, and the hospital seemed sure that they would see me by later that afternoon.

Five hours later, my sister and mom arrived, and I was still holding steady.  The contractions hadn't really increased much, and timing-wise they were spacing out from 5 minutes apart up to 10 minutes apart.  We all settled in for a long wait, my sister went on liquids patrol - offering me fluids after every contraction - and I started to relax into the rhythm.  By evening, we were baking chocolate chip cookies (a Christmas family tradition), but I was needing lots of breaks as the pains were getting slightly stronger if not closer together.  The midwives suggested I try to sleep and even wanted me to take an Ambi.en if need be.  I couldn't tell if my waters had ruptured, and I was starting to feel anxious.

Around 11:30pm, I went to bathroom, and "POP!" "GUSH!", my membranes truly ruptured.  It was so startling and strong a sensation that I became shaky on my feet and had to call my sister in inspect the fluid and make sure all was well.  After that the pains became much stronger and I started getting nervous and antsy to get to the hospital.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the birth center, they sent me into a triage room...something I thought wouldn't happen in the birthing center, and which meant staying 30 minutes on my back, in a small room, with the nastiest labor nurse ever, and pain coming seemingly from everywhere.  I was scared, I wanted to get up and move and I also wanted to stay in the bathroom as I kept feeling the intense need to go, I wanted my family back around me, I was in pain and I was starting to feel the intense urge to vomit.  The nurse brought over a wastebasket, but it stank of antibacterial products and I couldn't put my face near it.  I was shaking horribly by this point, and starting to freak out.

I was informed that the room with the birth tub was in use, and wouldn't be available to me...something I knew might happen, but I was still so upset to hear it.  I was taken to my room where I got into the tub and tried to relax.  It didn't work.  I was so tense, and I still kept feeling those strong urges to go the bathroom (both 1 and 2, sorry for the TMI), so I had to keep getting out of the tub into the cold bathroom and shivering on the toilet while my sister wrapped towels around me.  My sister tried to talk me through each wave, but I was losing my grip on reality.  I was beyond tired, and feeling like there was not a single break between contractions, even though there were in actuality.

I had told my husband, actually before I got into the tub, that I wanted an epidural.  The midwife and everyone else was totally against it.  I was only 3 cm dilated (after almost 24 hours of labor), and they said it was too soon and not what I had said I wanted.  I didn't want to hear it, but they promised me the tub would help.  After being in the tub did little to calm me or help with the labor pains and dilation, I truly went nuts and started begging for pain medication.  I explained that they could all stop worrying about my birth plan, and that I had in fact put it in my birth plan that though I didn't want pain meds offered to me by anyone, I was not against taking them under extreme circumstances or a very long labor...this could be categorized as both.

After crying and begging, they said they would get me the epidural.  The news that the drugs were coming somehow zapped the last of my strength, and  at that point I folded in on myself and seemed to completely give in to the pain and panic..fear, of course, being the worst thing for managing pain.  The anesthesiologist was held up with an emergency, and I began to cry thinking about how many more contractions I would have to feel before he arrived to take the pain away.  I dreaded each one, and could do little more than lie in a fetal position and cling to the closest warm body while screaming for help.

The anesthesiologist arrived, and thankfully his kindness made up for my coarse, nasty labor nurse.  Everyone else was forced to leave the room, and I had to cling to the nurse who seemed to find my clinging repulsive.  He worked quickly, though not fast enough to prevent more waves of pain from wracking my body, and I struggled to be still while the catheter was put in.  Finally the medication started to kick in, and for a little while I let the pain and fear go.  Unfortunately, I then started to shake/shiver so hard that I can only compare it to having a seizure.  Everything convulsed, violently, and I found it hard to get air (this can apparently happen with an Epidural).  The only thing that calmed the shaking was two dosings of Demerol added to my drip, and finally my teeth unclenched and my body truly relaxed. 

Okay, Baby is hungry, so this post will have to be continued later...

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kerri,
    What a story! I too had quite the experience. I feel like even though I did so much preparation for the labor, videos and stories and coping strategies, that I found myself completely unprepared for the intensity of what I experienced. I am so proud of how hard I worked, and beyond grateful for the medicine that was made available to me when I needed it. I haven't been able to sit and write my story yet, because so much of it seems to still be sorting itself out in my head. It was perfect, in its own way, so different than what I'd planned, but perfect in that it brought me my little man... and I really do feel so proud of myself for 'doing it', if that makes any sense.

    Sorry to hear that you are feeling sick. I hope that you and your baby girl are feeling better very soon.

    xoxo - Foxy