Labor Coach Rule #1: No Yawning

I was originally going to call this episode of the series “My Story- The worst three hours of my life”, but since my last post something has happened that was much worse than I could ever imagine and truly became the worst hours of my life, which is why it has taken me so long to update my blog. I know how much you love reading all about my crazy life and for this pause in craziness, I must apologize. So without further ado…

I have to apologize right off the bat. My posts are usually focused on the humorous events of my adventures in pregnancy. But folks, there was absolutely nothing humorous or slightly entertaining about the three hours that came next. So when reading this please do not chuckle, or smile, or even think good thoughts. These next three hours were like when you were forced in elementary school to watch ” Old Yeller”. It was horrifying, torturous, and full of innocence stealing. This is the part that you are supposed to forget about after you hold your baby in your arms. Unfortunately, I cannot forget.

At about 2:30am the nurse came in to take out the Cervidil, do her normal checks and start the Pitocin again. Of course I hadn’t been sleeping so I had been waiting to hear how far I had progressed for the last half hour. She told me that I had not progressed at all. My heart sank. I hadn’t been on the Pitocin since the previous afternoon so I thought that it was a good sign when the contractions had been growing worse and worse on their own. When she told me to get up and get showered so that she could start the Pitocin again in a half hour, it didn’t help that she was very unfriendly and had no more concern for me than she could fit in her cold tiny hand. Because she was the opposite of what a nurse is supposed to be (I know, I was raised by one) she became the cause for everything and all the blame fell on her. But don’t feel too bad for her, that was all about to change.

I got up and my contractions immediately got worse. Not long after I walked the five steps it took to get in the restroom, my water broke, a plethora of other nasty things happened, and the pain tripled. I was scared, in pain, confused. At no other time in my married life have I thought that it was a good idea to wake up Jimmy, but the moment to wake the man had come. It was a lot like poking a hibernating bear. I really was unsure of what would happen. But I was already in a world of hurt, I thought that anything that happened from this point forward could only be better. I was completely wrong.

I want to preface this paragraph by saying that I was no angel and I do love my husband dearly. I’m sure that I was irritable, angry, bitter, unmanageable, and ornery. But I have the right to choose not to remember this. I really didn’t know if another round of Pitocin was the right way to go anymore. Truthfully, I didn’t know if I could handle anymore. The contractions at this point were already really strong and they were coming about every two minutes. If I had more pitocin, I knew that the contractions would only get stronger and there was very little hope that they would yield the desired result. I was tired from being awake for two days, I was hungry, I was in severe pain. So we called Nurse I chose the wrong profession and now my patients pay for it back in and asked her for some more of those drugs so that I could make it through the next few hours. She ever so rudely informed me that she would not be able to give me anything but what I heard was that she was my torturer and it was now my turn to suffer. She left before I could say another word. Thanks lady, first baby here, kinda scared, could you be a little helpful.

I laid back and the tears began to fall. The contractions just kept getting worse every time. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see straight, I became one of those ladies that I had heard for the past two days screaming “get it out of me!” To my credit I wasn’t screaming but I was absolutely not silent. I stared at the clock, they were coming closer and closer. Soon it was every minute. The contraction would calm down, but another would come 30 seconds later. There was no end in sight… no relief to come. I began shaking terribly. And throughout this there is my husband, sitting in a chair next to me hunched over with his head hanging. I kept thinking, ” Is he really trying to sleep right now? I’m sorry, am I boring you? I know how exhausting this all must be for you.” But I couldn’t speak at that point which was probably for the best. I know there are those guys that are great during labor. They are supportive and comforting. But not my husband, at least not at 3am. There was no hand holding, no back rubs, no breathing techniques, no washcloths on the forehead, no sweet encouraging words whispered in my ear. But there was one thing… a yawn. I finally got the strength up to speak and I uttered four simple words in hopes that he would at least help me clear my mind and make a smart decision. I chose these words carefully as I knew I would lose all of my will to speak in about 15 seconds. I asked him “What should I do?” He opened his mouth and yawned, he YAWNED, HE FREAKING YAWNED! He looked away and said “I don’t know, do what you want.” Could you care less? Really could you? I don’t think it would be possible. All of the sudden, rage stored up from my childhood and ever since boiled through my body. I can’t tell you what we fought about or what was said because I was blind with rage, but I can tell you, we fought. It was ugly. And folks, we went through all the child birth classes. I apparently missed the part when they said that if you are in labor after midnight, the labor coach doesn’t have to coach anymore. He can remain sleeping.
“Get my nurse!”
Unkind Nurse: Yes(rudely)
Laboring pregnant lady: I want to talk to my doctor.
Unkind nurse: Is there something I can do?
Laboring pregnant lady: Apparently not, I want my doctor
Unkind nurse: It is 4am
Laboring pregnant lady: She’s on call right?
Unkind nurse: Yeah I just talked to her not too long ago.
Laboring pregnant lady: Then ring her on up. Get her on that phone.
Unkind nurse: She said that she would be by in the morning.
Laboring pregnant lady: I WANT TO TALK TO MY DOCTOR!
*Ring Ring*

Ok usually I am not that obstinate but something just snapped. Plus she deserved it. If she had been a better nurse, none of that would have had to happen.
My husband answered the phone when my doctor called because I was in the middle of a contraction and would have to wait for the 30 seconds in between when I could speak again. I told her that I was scared and that I didn’t know what to do and she calmly said she had already scheduled in a time to perform my C-Section if that is what I chose to do. She recommended that I go ahead and get the epidural so that I could calm down and get some rest and she would check me when she got to the hospital. If I had progressed, great, if not, we could go ahead with the C-section if that is what I wanted. I love her! She made it all seem like my idea. But she knew when I was 8 months pregnant that I would have to have a C-section. But I really wanted to try and she was not going to force me to do anything that I was uncomfortable doing. I don’t want to say that I gave up on what I wanted, but I gave it my all. I tried for three long and painful days to get my body to cooperate. I gave it the good old college try but we would find out later that my son’s head was so big that it didn’t even fit underneath my pubic bone. I would have never gotten that baby out. I’m glad that my doctor is smarter than me!

The dreaded and most feared moment had come, the moment of the giant needle meeting my spine. After I was off the phone the nurse was there in a flash with the anesthesiologist. She told me that my husband had to leave the room. I wish they had told me in one of those not so helpful classes that they were going to do this. I thought they were removing him because we were fighting. I was so mad at him right then, but I didn’t want him to leave me. I asked him to pray for me and then he left. I was still shaking badly and I was afraid that if I couldn’t stop shaking the big needle might hit my spine and paralyze me forever. Even though they told me it wouldn’t happen, I trusted no one .
At this point my life could not have gotten any worse so I was afraid of nothing. Now I have some life changing information for all of you ladies out there. Once you get over the fear of the epidural, it is one of the easiest things you will do during your hospital stay. I barely felt a little pinch and it was over. It is much easier than the IV. It is much easier than the contractions. It is even much easier than your babies first bowel movements. So ladies please, I am begging you, get the epidural, get it early, get it often. Don’t wait…don’t be scared….just do it. I laid back relaxed for the first time since I came to the hospital. The pain was still there, but it was subsiding at a rapid pace. While they hung up all of the cords, the nurse covered me with a warm blanket. My husband came back in and held my hand. The epidural was everything I ever dreamed it could be. I felt like a baby being tucked into bed.
I soon fell into the best sleep that I had had in three months and have had since. But not before the absolutely best part of my hospital stay happened. (If you don’t like talking about yucky things…don’t read below…or just grow up.)
The Catheter!
You cannot possibly understand what a catheter means to a lady who has been concerned solely with her distance to a bathroom for the past four months. In an instant, I no longer worried about how I would be able to wrangle my whale of a self out of bed every twenty minutes to use the restroom. I longer worried about peeing myself when I sneezed or laughed. I no longer obsessed about how much fluid was going into my body every time I drank something. I no longer fought with the baby who chose to sit right on the bladder. I could just pee, and I didn’t even know I was doing it so there was no embarrassment on my end. I couldn’t even feel it because it was done after I had my epidural…smart thinking ladies. The catheter is an absolute gift from God to pregnant women. You just have no idea how much peeing controls your life until you are nine months pregnant.
I fell asleep, it was great.

I promise that the next installment will come much quicker than this one did. Just hold on to your hats. It will be here before you know it. (And it will include the best part…my son)

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