Monday, March 23, 2009

Two Years Ago Today: Part IIa (The Long Day)

Friday, 1:20 am
I wake up with a dull ache in my back and the occasional pain in my lower abdomen. Contraction? I try to pay attention to any pattern, but can’t even tell when the pain begins or ends. I try to sleep.

2:18 am
The aching in my back is making it impossible to find a comfortable position to sleep. I get up and write down every time the back pain is joined by an abdominal pain. 10 minutes. 3 minutes. 8 minutes. 13 minutes . . .

3:05 am
I try to lie down again but the back pain is too much. Sitting up is much more comfortable. I remember that I have taped “Grey’s Anatomy” and watch that.

4:00 am
H wakes up to find me up and out of bed. He realizes this is it. H gets up.

7:10 am
After showering and checking that all our bags are packed, we leave for the hospital. The contractions are not too bad, but the pain in my back is constant, so it is still difficult to “time” the pains. As we drive down College Street, I watch the people who are up so early. Waiting for the streetcar, opening up shops. Everything feels very serious.

7:30 am
At triage, we see another couple from our prenatal super-weekend. We didn’t really like them during the class. We exchange awkward greetings. Another friendly nurse, Cathy, gets me set up on the monitors again, this time in a cubicle at the other end of the room. The pains are sporatic, but some are strong enough that I have to clutch H’s hand to get through them. I start to get anxious.

Friday, 8:30 am
The doctor arrives and calmly explains that while she would normally admit me at this time to start pitocin to strengthen my contractions, there is simply no room. The entire delivery ward is full. We are advised to go home for a few hours and return at 1 pm.

Friday, 8:35 am
We decide to go to Future Shop to pick up a portable DVD player, as there are no TVs (!) in any of the delivery rooms.

Friday, 8:45 am
The pain is becoming stronger, especially in my back. I just want to lie down.

Friday, 9:00 am
We arrive home and I curl up on the bed. The pain gets worse. We cancel our plan to go to Future Shop.

Friday, 9:20 am
I pull myself off the bed and heave myself onto the futon in the living room. It doesn’t help. I am starting to sweat. Everything inside me tenses up.

Friday, 9:35 am
I move the two feet from the futon to the couch. Not good. I feel incredibly hot and nauseous. I am also very afraid.

Friday, 9:40 am
I stagger from the living room into the bathroom and try to throw up. I can’t. The nausea and the pain are getting worse.

Friday, 9:45 am
I hurl myself onto the bed and roll around, trying to find a comfortable position. I can feel myself beginning to shake. My back is in constant pain and when a contraction hits I just want to grab at something. I begin to feel like I really will not be able to do this.

Friday, 9:46 – 10:59 am
I stagger between the bedroom and the living room, throwing myself on different pieces of furniture in different positions. The pain in my back does not let up. I am so nauseous, but no matter how many times I try, I can’t get myself to throw up. I find myself sobbing. I don’t know what to do.

Friday, 11:00 am
H returns from his Tim Horton’s run. I was had hoped that eating something might help the nausea. I take one bite of a bagel, chew it up and spit it back out.

Friday, 11:15 am
H starts to get anxious about the amount of time that has passed since my water broke. The risk of infection increases after 24 hours. It’s been 26 hours.

Friday, 11:30 am
The pain is horrible. I can’t remember how to breathe. I don’t know what to do. I can’t handle the pain, the nausea, the fear. I feel like a fuck-up; I thought maybe when the time came I would be calm and stronger than I expected. I am not.

I find myself apologizing: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I can’t handle this. I’ve failed labour. I can’t.”

H tells me this is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.

Friday, 12:00 pm
I finally vomit. I lie down and close my eyes.

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