Saturday, May 7, 2011

Watching the Lights Go By

At around 6:00 a.m., the Evil Pitocin was started. I call it Evil Pitocin because I needed it to go into labor with Milo and can't say enough about how much I disliked how quickly the contractions settled in -- from 0 to 90mph in 30 minutes. Aware that using the Evil Pit caused my uterus to hyperstimulate with him (have contractions with two peaks), I had discussed the timing of my epidural very carefully with the night nurse.

I had decided that I only wanted to labor until just after the shift change without the epidural, since it was going to be necessary when Dr. Frying-Pan-Hands delivered the twins. I figured that any great anesthesiologist would love to come in on call on Monday morning and administer my epidural, right? Actually, I was mostly interested in having a "fresh" doctor because getting my epidural with Milo was rather, ummm... difficult. As in it took eleven tries.

Shift change rolls around and I still can't call my contractions any more painful than a 3 on the pain scale. And they aren't assembling into any ordered pattern at all. They were coming every 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 7 minutes... You get the picture -- like a middle school orchestra plays through a piece of music for the first time -- not paying any attention to the conductor.

At shift change, we were given a treat -- a nurse whom Scott has known since he was a child and who also staffed Violet's birth came in as our nurse for the labor and delivery. We were thrilled!

The anesthesiologist come in, introducing himself and surveying my back. He proclaims it acceptable, saying, "We'll get this one on the first try!" And he did. Whew!!! I was honestly more worried about the epidural than the delivery. Not only that, but it appears to be a perfect epidural -- I can move and sense the pressure of the contractions, but feel none of the ouchies. After this experience, I can now understand why a woman would want an epidural. Don't get me wrong -- I still preferred my un-medicated birth with Violet, but this was a thousand times better than the way I felt with Milo.

Of course, as soon as the epidural was effective, I was overcome with nausea. Super Nurse put something into my IV that got rid o the nausea, but also put me to sleep for a couple of hours. Poor Scott had yet to close his eyes, but I was out deeply enough that I didn't even know that the on-call OB came in to chat with us about what was up. I surely hope Scott told him what I wanted. I think he did, though, as everything was pitch perfect all day.

At some point, S and the cameraman popped back in, wondering if there was a timeline for the day as no one really knew how long it would take. Super Nurse said, "Well, this isn't her first, so she could go from 2-10 pretty quickly. It doesn't usually happen that way and she's about 4 right now, but you never know."

I did rouse when Scott's mom came in to see how we were doing, mostly because I wanted to know how Milo and Violet were after their adventure of the previous night. About that time, I began to notice that the head lead on Baby A was moving. I could feel it twisting and turning and it occurred to me that A's head night be turning to get into place for delivery, so I said something to Super Nurse. She decided to check my progress and very quickly said, "Yep. She's complete."

Scott's mom decided to postpone the meeting she was about to attend and stuck her head out the door to let S and the cameraman know it was time to gown up. Scott climbed into the surgical jumpsuit, claiming that he looked "like a garbage man."

I was given an attractive shower cap, too, just before the bed went mobile and I was pushed into the OR. You always see shots in movies as a patient is being wheeled into surgery, dramatic music rising, weeping spouses begging the character to, "Hang on! I can't lose you!" and the camera pans to a shot of the lights whirring by overhead, clearly the patient's view. Aside from the melodramatics, the view of the lights is accurate, I can now vouch. I had that thought as I watched the lights go by...

1 comment:

Jeanette said...

As I read these excerpts I feel as though I am reading a book. When are you going to publish??? :-)