Monday, March 23, 2009

Two Years Ago Today: Part IIb (The Long Day Cont'd)

Friday, 12:05 pm
The pain and nausea come back. I start crying.

Friday, 12:15 pm
H suggests we leave for the hospital right away.

Friday, 12:25 pm
It’s a beautiful sunny day. I don’t care. From the car, I look at the people along College Street doing regular things. I can’t believe they don’t know the world is ending.

Friday, 12:35 pm
I decide there must be a way to get a c-section. What can I say or do to get to an OR? Who do I need to speak to?

Friday, 12:40 pm
We leave the parking garage and make our way towards the main entrance. I am still trying to figure out the best way to get an immediate c-section. See a very pregnant woman leaving the hospital. Tell H there is no fucking way they are sending us out to walk around.

Friday, 12:45 pm
We meet Nurse Cathy again at triage. She sets me up to the monitors in the middle cubicle. Even with curtains it is very central. Two of the curtains do not quite meet and I can see the people waiting at the nurses’ station.

Friday, 1:00 pm
Cathy tells us there is a room that will be ready for us soon. I ask for something for the pain. She says she can get an order for Morphine, but that if I can wait 30 minutes, I can get an epidural. I decide I can wait.

Friday, 1:30 pm
I tell H I may throw up at any second and he finds a pink kidney shaped dish. I start vomiting violently into the dish. As I am throwing up I look through the crack in the curtains and hold eye contact with a woman sitting by the nurse’s station who is watching me. I don’t care. I continue to vomit.

Friday, 2:00 pm
The doctor comes to check on me. She reassures H that about the risk of infection because of my water breaking. She was actually an author of the major study on the topic H had pulled up on the Internet at home.

Friday, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
I clutch at H through each contraction. The back pain does not go away. The nausea does not go away. I can’t believe women do this every day.

Friday, 3:00 pm
We are finally moved to the Delivery Suite, where the rooms are tiny and clustered together, and do not have windows. During our tour this bothered me immensely. Now I don’t care.

We get settled into Labour Room #2 by Nurse Betty. I know this should be hilarious, but I can’t remember the details of the movie. She tries to place my IV twice, unsuccessfully. This doesn’t upset me the way it normally would. I focus on getting the epidural.

Friday, 3:30 pm
We meet the anaesthesiologist, an Indian man who is friendly and unassuming, a little oafish. He has large, hairy hands. He too has trouble with the IV. Betty makes sure that he places it in my wrist, not the back of my hand. I have no idea why, but I like the fact that she is advocating for me. He finally gets the IV in place.

I sit on the edge of the bed with H and Betty to get the epidural. I am scared, but not as much as I thought I would be. I just don’t look at any of the instruments. This works surprisingly well. The worst part is the burning of the local. The strangest part is the cold sensation of the drug entering my back. So weird.

The doctor tells me there is no point in being in pain, so I should let them know if the drugs don’t seem to be working. I’m starting to really like this man. Then he shows me the pump: I can give myself an extra hit of epidural whenever I want. I had no idea this was an option. I am thrilled!

Friday, 3:45 pm
Oh. My. God. The back pain is gone. I feel incredible. The contractions are receding into the background. I can feel the tension being released from my body. Suddenly, Betty asks if I’m still feeling nauseous. I hadn’t even thought of that. I realize that the nausea is completely gone. This is fucking amazing. I consider giving the baby “Epidural” as a middle name.

Friday, 4:00 pm
The family doctor comes in and finally does an exam. To everyone’s surprise, I am 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced, although the baby is still high at -2 station. Things are progressing well already, so she decides to start the pitocin at a low level and increase slowly.

Friday, 4:45 pm
With the pitocin started and the nausea gone, I realize that I am starving. H goes out in search of some soup in clear broth.

Friday, 5:30 pm
H and I eat and chat. This is great. My legs are heavy but I can still feel them.

Friday, 6:00 pm
We meet Dr. B, the family doctor on call for the next 24 hours. She is young; H knows she was a resident just last year. She tells us she will be back around 8 pm to check my progress. H studies for his exam. I read and listen to the “labour and delivery mix” we created on the Ipod.

Friday, 7:15 pm
I feel a bit of aching in my lower back after the pitocin is increased. H warns me about using the pump too liberally.

Friday, 7:16 pm
I give myself an extra dose of the epidural. The sensation of cold going into my back is very comforting. The back pain goes away again.

Friday, 7:30 pm
Nurse Betty says goodbye at the end of her shift. She tells us not to allow the doctor to do an exam any time she wants. She also jokingly warns us not to be there when she returns the next morning. Famous last words. We meet Nurse Meaghan. She is young and very calm.

Friday, 8:30 pm
Dr. B arrives to do another exam. 7 centimetres!! That’s right on track, at about a centimetre an hour. The baby’s still high at -1, so she decides to increase the pitocin more vigorously. H’s convinced we will have the baby before midnight; I’m pretty sure it will be an hour or two into the 24th.

Friday, 9:00 – 11:30 pm
H and I hang out. I listen to music and he studies some more. H goes out for more soup. We wait anxiously for midnight, when Dr. B has said she will do another exam. I’m sure it will be time to push by then.

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