I did forget things-- like how during the first contractions at the hospital, a gush of fluid exited me. It was almost funny,
and each time I would announce, panting, "Another Gush!" because for me it was so remarkable, and I guess I could not believe how much fluid there was.
So, the tub.
Somehow, I said yes to the tub and they started to fill it.
I'd seen the tub during the tour-- a big tub, BIG. And we all laughed since they had little aquarium skimmers handy for, um, skimming any unintentionals out of the water.
They have arm length gloves for in-water cervix checks and for baby delivery...
and they asked that dads please bring swim trunks if they wanted to join their beloved in the birth tub at any time.
Let me say this: Doug is NOT a water person. So there would be no "joining".
Never mind the skimming.
I am not knocking folks who share the whole experience but gosh darn, I don't think I am ready to bond that fully (come, my love, and share in a soup of my bodily excretia).
So the time comes to walk down the hall. My IV was unhooked.
The only way I think I made it was to imagine the instantaneous pain relief of hot water, of buoyancy, of that big tub.
I don't know how we made it down the hall, how long it took, I only know my eyes were mostly closed. I do know Doug walked me.
I do know we got into the room.
I got nekkid.
they put a truly green exam glove over my IV port hand, taped it around my wrist and asked that I keep it out of the water.
I do not remember getting in
how I remember being in the tub.
BLISS feels like an odd word to use the in the landscape of such intense physical sensation, but it was blissful. Warm, I tried to will my body to relax around the intensity. Asked my shoulders to stay low and soft, asked my friken cervix to open, asked my hips to release the pain.
Bloody show! Nurse W would exclaim and then work some magic with her skimmer. I hung on to Doug at the edge of the tub. The bottom of the tub was smooth and it was deep, there were no handles, no places to sit, just straight sides about 2.5' deep, hot water.
My sister arrived when I was in the tub. I remember her voice, and her hand in mine. I opened my eyes only long enough to register her presence. Hopefully said something welcoming. I do not know.
About thus time Nurse G arrived to take over for nurse W (split shift) and they realized they needed to monitor the baby since I had been in the tub for several hours. I remember a long process of them putting goop on transmitter, transmitter into water toward baby/belly, goop washing off transmitter... over and over and over until they asked me to get out so they could monitor the baby.
Getting out sucked ass. The water was getting cool so they told me they would refill the tub.
Stepping out of that tub, over that ledge, was insane. I remember being toweled off, lying on the bed, monitors back on, maybe a cervix check. As Doug says, they did that a lot.
Because almost nothing was happening.
It was afternoon I know now but did not know then. I think I was finally as far as 4cm.
Back out of the tub we talked about pain management. The doc was consulted, nubane prescribed since it had a lower chance of causing nausea. So back I went to the room (no recollection of this journey), back on the IV, nubane administered. And what it did for me was not to take the edge off at all-- no relief at all-- I ended up calling it "the consolidator" (my sister calls it the exorcist drug) -- it took my gaussian contractions (ramp up, sustained bad, ramp down) and took away the ramping-- now a rect function (instant on, sustained bad, I don't remember how they ended)-- so the contractions slammed me with their intensity.
I got on my hands and knees, it helped some, but then they needed to check me again. So back on my back. And once I was lying down, it was nearly impossible to talk myself into moving.