Monday, June 4, 2012

August's Birth Story: Part 4

I opened my eyes.  I hadn't even fallen asleep.  The pain from the contractions was getting worse.  I hated the way my stomach felt when it tensed up from the contractions.  It was more than uncomfortable, and they were still coming every 2 minutes consistently.

"I'm going to have to have something for this pain," I told Adam.  "This hurts really bad."

I may have been stronger if I didn't already know I would be getting Pitocin and possibly some other drugs, not to mention a c-section.  At this point, I just wanted comfort.

"Can you ask for the epidural now?" he asked me.

"No, I'm sure I have to be at 3 cm for they haven't even started the Pitocin yet.  I'm sure they won't do an epidural yet."

After a little while the nurse came back in.  I told her how bad the contractions were getting and that I couldn't get to sleep.

"That second Ambien didn't work?  Wow.  Well we can get you some Nubain.  It will help you sleep and will help to take some of the pain away."

"Will that be given through the IV?"  I did not want to be poked again.

"Yes it will be," she replied.  "Do you want it?"

"Yes, please." I said.

Within a few minutes after they started the Nubain, I started feeling sleepy and relaxed.  By this time I think it was around 2:00 a.m.  It could have been later though.  Adam and I aren't sure on the timing around this part.  We were both exhausted already.  The Nubain started to mess with my head.

"Are you going to make the sandwiches?" I asked Adam groggily.

"What?" He was confused.

"The sandwiches.  We need 50 sandwiches."

"No sweetie, I haven't made the sandwiches yet," he smiled.

I drifted off to sleep, dreaming of sandwiches.


A short time after I had fallen asleep, the nurse came back in and was talking to Adam.  I caught words here and there about what she was saying.  The Nubain was really working on me.  I heard words like " Blood work. Preclampsia.  Magnesium Sulfate. Liver. Blood pressure."  I tried to wake up to understand what was going on.

Adam had to fill in most of this part for me.  I had Preeclampsia.  The blood work revealed that my liver contained uric acid.  My blood pressure was not going down, so they were going to start me on Magnesium Sulfate.  I was really surprised I still hadn't heard the word 'c-section.'

"Once we start the Magnesium, you will not be able to get up anymore.  The Magnesium is an all over body muscle relaxant.  It will hopefully reduce your blood pressure and keep you from seizuring.  You won't be able to stand after we start it.  We are going to have to start a catheter too."

The catheter was the second worst part of the whole process, right after the Cervidil.  Most people do not feel a catheter when they get one because they usually have an epidural, which is why they get the catheter.  I still did not have an epidural or any numbing medication, just the Nubain to help me sleep.  The catheter was very uncomfortable going in, and they did not get it in far enough.  I felt like I was trying to pee through a straw.

I saw the nurse hang the bag of Magnesium Sulfate.  Not long after she started it, I felt sleep taking over again.  I drifted off into the darkness.

"Breathe Amanda.  Breathe."

Breathe?  Someone was telling me to breathe.  Am I in labor or something? No, I'm trying to sleep.  I wish they would stop saying that.  What is that beeping noise?  I wish they would leave me alone.

"Amanda, you need to take a breath.  Breathe."

I opened one eye. The nurse was standing next to my bed.  One of my monitors was beeping.

"The Magnesium Sulfate is causing her body to relax so much that she is forgetting to breathe.  The beeping monitor is indicating that her oxygen level is too low," the nurse told Adam.

I took a breath.  I was so, so tired.  My whole body was heavy and sleepy.  My eyes felt like they had boulders on them.  They were so difficult to open.  They seemed to only open one at a time.

"You've got to breathe, ok Amanda?  You're going to hear that monitor go off every time your level gets too low.  Take a big, deep breathe if you hear it go off.  Ok?" said the nurse.

"Ok," I mumbled.

I drifted back off to sleep.  The next few hours were filled with beeping sounds and the voices of Adam and the nurses telling me to breathe.  Just when I would get deep into sleep I would hear "Breathe Amanda." I never felt like I wasn't breathing.  I just felt very comfortable.  I was in my own world, sound asleep.


"Amanda, I'm going to check you to see where we are, and I'm going to take out the Cervidil."

I couldn't decide if the pain was worse when they put the Cervidil in or when they took it out.  Adam said by my reaction it didn't look as painful as when they put it in.  But, I was so drugged on the Magnesium, I think I just didn't have the means to brace myself or to have any sort of response of pain.

"You're still at about 2.5 cm, but you are fully effaced."

"2.5???  That's it???  After all of those contractions?" I was shocked.

"Yes, but the Pitocin will help to dilate you," the nurse replied.

I opened my eyes.  The nurse was hanging another bag on my IV cart.  That thing was getting full of bags.  I looked up at the clock.  It was just after 6:00 a.m.

"You will be getting a new nurse soon.  My shift is up.  I hope we have a sweet baby boy by the time I'm back tomorrow!  Let her know if you need anything.  You're doing great!"

I thanked her.  She was a very sweet nurse, and I was nervous about getting a new one.  I couldn't believe how heavy my body was.  I felt like I had been hit by cruise boat.  My whole body hurt.  It was a terrible feeling.

My new nurse's name was Lisa.  Lisa was very motherly but also very blunt.  She didn't baby me, but she was very caring, and she wasn't afraid to push me.  At this point, my contractions were almost unbearable.  Lisa had told me that I had to get to 3 cm before I would be able to have the epidural.

"I have to be at 3 cm now!"  I told Lisa.  "Can I please have an epidural?  I need one!"

Shortly after I began asking for the epidural, around 8:00 a.m., my doctor came in to check me and break my water.  She had told me at my appointment the day before the induction that she would break my water at that time.  I didn't feel any pain or even a gush when she broke it.  I actually had to ask her if she did it.  Adam later told me that they put a pad underneath me before she did it, but I don't remember that.  He said some fluid came out, but I didn't notice that either.  My doctor told me I was at 3 cm.  Finally!!!

"I'm at 3 cm, Lisa.  Can I have the epidural now?"

"Let's see if you can make it another hour," she said.  "I want you to really feel the relief when you get that epidural."

Was she nuts?  Did she know that I have been having contractions every 2 minutes for the past 11 hours?  Two of those hours had been on Pitocin. Pitocin contractions are SO much different than regular contractions.  They are seriously contractions on steroids.  The pain was insane.  I wish I could describe it, but I barely remember it now.

"An hour???" I didn't know how I was going to make it through the next contraction...let alone the next hour.

"You can do it.  Just breathe." she replied.

The only way I could get through the contractions was to hold hands with Adam with our hands joined up in the air.  I would push down on his hand, and he would push up on mine.  That was the only thing that would do for me.  My mom was there at this point.  She let Adam step away for a moment so he could put his shoes on.  His feet were killing him.

"No, come back!"  I yelled to Adam.  "I'm fixing to have another one!"

My mom came over to the bed.  "Here, I'll hold your hand," she said.

The contraction came, I pushed down on my mom's hand and her hand gave way.  "No mom, you're doing it wrong! Squeeze harder!" I gritted through my teeth.

That was the first and last contraction I allowed Adam to step away.

My mom and dad both stayed in the room.  They both tried to give me words of encouragement.  But I wasn't having any of it.

"Shhhhhh, no talking," I would say.  "Don't touch me."

I don't remember most of that part, but Adam told me about it later.  He said I wasn't rude, just short and to the point.  I always thought I would be a clingy laborer, but Adam said I mostly looked like I was somewhere else.  Like I tried to be somewhere else, and that's how I dealt with the pain.  I was surprised at how independent I wanted to be.

After about an hour or so (we aren't sure of the timing on this part), Lisa came back into the room.

"I NEED an epidural!  Please check me!" I begged.  I am not normally my own advocate.  Adam was surprised at how blunt I was.

"Ok, I'll check you.  Let's see where we are." she replied.

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