27 November 2010

birth story, part 4

After hours of hideous nubane contractions (see Sarah's comment on the last post for her take on this whole chapter)... cervix recheck, still at 4-5cm.

I could not believe it. I think this is when I started to think I might not be able to do this. I mean, really not.
I am not sure, but I think this may be when I started to say OW and fuck or shit instead of just my weird single note toning during contractions, but maybe it was a little later.
It was evening now-- 24 hours since my water broke. Nurse D came on.

My lack of progress was incredibly disheartening-- I just felt like I was sinking each time they checked and each time it was the same. Pitocin was discussed with doc. And we all decided that it might help kick my dilation into gear-- they promised to be gentle, to start slowly. I asked about an epidural since I was so scared about the increased pain, but we all decided to see how I did, and then decide. If progress was quick, it might not be necessary.
D asked if maybe I would be more comfortable laboring in one of my own shirts- YES, and somehow we all changed me into a tank top.
And we started pitocin.
I also got a dose of antibiotics that tasted horrible in my mouth.

And then hours passed. Pitocin was increased twice.

They kept checking me, but even with the pitocin, I was barely dilating. Barely. 4-5? 5-6? The baby's head was deep and engaged, totally ready. I was even getting rectal pressure (sorry folks, but truth)-- and I would reward my own survival with tiny micro pushes, tiny ones, just hello body, I am pushing a little. I remember hearing Sarah say at some point (then? or before at the tub?) that it sounded like I was in transition. Well I sure was, but my body wasn't.

Late at night we conferred with the doctor again, decided on an epidural and very strongly increasing the pitocin. For those of you who know me, you KNOW how tired I was, how intense the pain was if I agreed to an epidural. Doctor D was summoned, a cranky interesting man, the bringer of pain relief and surly grumpiness.
But, oddly, he also brought the first laugh in a while--

he told me all the Bad Things That Could Happen, which I asked about and wanted to know- then I leaned into Doug and Doc D began to try to do the epidural while explaining the process out loud to Kendal, the magnificent med student at my OB's for her rotation-- I remember him remarking that "since I was slender"..... (??? SLENDER? Like a beluga whale?) but I guess from the back I was. I have no idea where Sarah was (Sarah, did you watch?)-- but he did look around at one point and ask me if the stuffed elephant on the window sill was a childhood toy. And I said, no, it is an adult toy. And then said oh my god, no, I did not mean that! and we all laughed-- two docs, med student, nurses, Doug and Sarah.

I remember Doc D feeling my hips, my spine, telling me the needle would not really hurt much, and you know, it didn't much, just a sting (menopur wins)--then he put in the epidural, I felt pressure, but nothing alarming, the beginning of warm heaviness in my legs, and then he said Uh Oh. Apparently it went into a vein not an artery, he backed it out, told me everything that was happening-- of all the uh oh's this one was not a bad one, he was able to reposition it rather than redo it, but then the epidural was in just 2cm. Taped into place, and I was told to stay pretty darned still so it did not dislodge.
There was an immediate and subtle abatement of most of the pain, a moment of sparkling sparkler feelings in my left thigh, and then, substantial relief.

I told him I thought that maybe I loved him.
It turns out, that there was one window of 1" x 3" in my crotch, in the contraction pain zone, that did not get numb at all. And so while things were *MUCH BETTER*, each fiery contraction came and went through that window, enough so I felt awake or at least conscious during each one, but was able to do something like doze/rest in between. The relief was immense. But that window sucked rocks.

Sarah went to try to sleep on the sofa in the lounge, Doug passed out (once he saw my face relax) on the sofa thingy in the room...and for a while, it was just me and the nurse and the monitors and the pitocin.


Michele said...

It's funny... Looking back, my GonalF shots hurt more than those spinal shots did... But I think it was also mental for me.

Cant wait for part 5!

Sarah said...

My Gosh Kate I was there and I can't wait for the rest of this story!!!!

Emily Erin said...

Wow, Kate-- you are amazing-- I can't wait to hear more!

K said...

Hi....just popping in to say a very belated congratulations. So so so so happy for you. Welcome to this wonderful,crazy,exciting thing called motherhood. Best to you all.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading from my phone and unable to comment! argh!
this is so exciting!I love the installments!'the best part, is that I know it tuns out ok...