I had to wait for over an hour before the anesthesiologist came by to administer my epidural. In the meanwhile, Mark and Dexter slept, and mom rested her eyes while seated in an uncomfortable chair. I lay in bed, completely and utterly in pain, shaking and shivering like never before.
Finally, Nurse Lisa came back with the anesthesiologist and they put on funny hats and gloves and proceeded to get me into position. Lisa helped me to breathe through the contractions, reminding me to breathe in slowly through my nose and breathe out as if blowing out birthday candles. The visual image she provided did help me to breathe better, and while the pains persisted, I felt calmer. I still couldn’t stop shaking, though.
At that point, I did insist on waking Mark up. I felt so lonely and wanted him beside me. So I (somewhat hysterically) asked mom to wake him up, which she did. Unfortunately, he couldn’t disentangle himself from the blankets without waking the baby, and so a screaming toddler was added to the already frantic atmosphere.
Finally, the anesthesiologist was ready, and while Nurse Lisa held my shoulders, looked me in the eyes and talked me through the contractions, I was stabbed in the back by a giant needle and set up with the means to really control my pain.
Or that was the idea.
Another unfortunate and unforseen problem – not only did the anesthetic not work as quickly as the last time, but when it did finally kick in, it was only on my right hand side. I was manouvered back and forth into various positions to try and get it to spread, but it took quite a long time to get me there. Finally, the left side joined up with the right, but in the meantime, my body had started convulsing uncontrollably. I was feeling nauseous. I was feeling completely out of control.
With Dexter’s birth, the midwife and Mark constantly kept reminding me to click my button to make the epidural administer another shot of medicine. I could go 20 – 30 minutes without it, and I felt like a rock star. But this time around, I was clicking that button for all I was worth. I knew it would only work every 10 minutes, and it would beep to let me know I’d gotten a dose. But it seems I kept clicking too soon, trying again and again until that blessed beep kicked in.
Two hours later, and in terrible pain, my pitocin drip was finally stopped. I was 6 cm dilated, and the baby was having decelerations, which is exactly what happened with Dexter’s birth. I knew from experience that if they kept up, they’d start talking about a C-section, so I hoped that they wouldn’t have to go there. I was given oxygen, at this point, though I don’t remember it at all. What I DO remember was hands constantly up my hoo-haw, checking to see if my waters were broken. Every hand came back covered in blood, which worried me.
By this point, my waters WERE still in tact. With Dexter’s birth, they had been broken for me when I hit 3 -4 cm. But here I was at 6 cm, and I came to find out that the nurses aren’t actually ALLOWED to break your water. That had to be done by a doctor or not at all.
Suddenly, I started to feel something strange. A sense of pressure down low, and the awkward feeling like a balloon being peeled away from my insides. I told the nurses, and everyone came to look, including Mark, Dexter and mom. At first they thought it was the baby’s head crowning. But then the nurse clarified that it was the bag of waters. They were coming out whole!
I don’t remember much about this, as I was still in agony and clutching hard at my epidural button, but what followed was described to me thusly:
A towel was placed on the bed near my nether regions, and the bag of waters was delivered onto it. Another towel was placed on top, and the whole thing was removed with absolutely NO mess. The nurses were astounded and told me later that it was the easiest water delivery they’d ever seen.
Of course, with that out of the way, the baby was ready, and I went from 6 to 10 cm in the blink of an eye.
But where was my doctor?
Apparently there was no time to even ask, because I felt another bout of pressure. I clicked my pain button over and over again, until I finally heard that blessed beeping noise, and then the control was removed from my hand. No more medicine for me.
Mark and mom watched in awe as our dear little boy began to crown. “Here he comes!” someone said.
I kept my eyes closed, and waited for them to tell me to push. But before I could do anything, he was out. No pushing. That’s gotta be a record. Dexter may have only taken ONE push, but I’d at least contributed. Not this time. Daniel practically WALKED out!!
And then he was in my arms. My precious, longed-for little Daniel. My perfect little guy that I had worried over and suffered for. Daddy cut the cord and then our family of three was a family of four.
But while we thanked our lucky stars and admired our new little guy, we didn’t know that there was more drama in store for us. Not until my doctor finally arrived…