I caved. I let her give me Stadol. BIG MISTAKE. I knew in my heart of hearts that I shouldn't have, but I couldn't keep going like that with no end in sight. The Stadol didn't curb the pain a single bit. In fact it just got worse. Eventually, my screaming could be heard outside of the labor and delivery ward. (I'd just like to take this moment to apologize to all of the ladies who came in to deliver their bundle of joy that night. I'm sure I scared the ever living daylights out of you. Sorry!) More Stadol was administered. The pain was not alleviated. The only thing the Stadol did was make me feel like I had lost my marbles. Just what I needed to top off some crazy horrific pain...NOT!
My sister kept asking if I wanted her to call mom. In the midst of screaming like a banshee and crying like a baby, I actually told her not to. Note to sis: Never listen to a drugged pregnant lady in labor (even if you think she's not really in labor). I should take this moment to give props to my sis, who stuck it out like a champ and truly is the best sister a girl could have. I'm fairly certain, though, that she's decided that giving birth is for the birds, and adoption is the way to go. I can't say that I blame her. That certainly ranks as one of the longest and scariest nights of either of our lives.
By now, you probably more than get the picture of how the night went: pain, pain, more pain, drugs, even more pain, even more drugs, extra extra pain, dingbat nurse, two women who between them had only ever seen a horse give birth...yeah, not a pretty picture. It went on until around 6:30 or 7 a.m. when my doctor came to check on me. You know her expressions that I mentioned earlier. Well, you could see the steam rising from her head and the wrath in her eyes when she walked into the lovely aforementioned scene. Her first question, "How far along is she?" The answer...silence...crickets chirping...No one knew, because no one had thought to check. Hmmm...lady...9 months pregnant...screaming like she's undergoing Chinese water torture...wonder what that could be caused by?
So, turns out I WAS in labor. When the doc checked I was dilated 8 freakin' centimeters. My previous pleas for an epidural had gone unanswered since it was just the baby pressing on a nerve. When I heard "8 centimeters" my heart nearly fell out of my chest. I thought I couldn't get an epidural that late, and, people, my dreams of a med free birth had gone out the window hours before. I WANTED an epidural!! The relief that came over me when my doctor ordered the epidural is indescribable. Granted getting a needle in my back while writhing in pain is a whole other blog post that I will spare you.
Finally, the epidural kicked in. I couldn't feel a thing. I won't lie to you. The lack of feeling was absolutely glorious. I thought I'd landed in heaven. Then reality kicked in.
The nurses: "Let us know when you feel a contraction."
Me: "Huh? I don't feel anything."
Me: "Not a thing." Seriously, I felt nothing.
Plan B-the nurses told me when I was having a contraction, and they even told me when to push. Of course, they had to wake me up first. If they'd let me I would have slept through the whole darn event.
On cue, I pushed with all of my might. They administered Pitocin in an attempt to regulate my still erratic contractions. The doc kept coming in and out, the whole while looking concerned. I kept hearing mutterings about my baby being in distress. Thanks to the mass quantity of drugs running through my system I didn't have the wherewithal to be very concerned. The nurses kept getting on to me for not staying on my side--as if a woman who can't feel the vast majority of her body can actually be expected to know if she's staying put. The doctor came in again to check me. The concerned expression grew more so. She told me that my baby was under too much stress, and that I needed to have a c-section. Screeeech! What?! No, so not in my plans. Argh ! Due to the size of his head she thought pulling him out with giant baby tongs (no that's not what she called them) would be far too dangerous. I cried. They strolled me into surgery.
The drugs could no longer dull the terror. I was scared my baby would die. I was scared I would die. And to top it off, it felt like they had shipped me to Antarctica . So not only was I shaking from terror, I was also shaking from cold. For the life of me I couldn't figure out how they would cut a straight line with me shaking so badly. This made me even more scared which made me shake even worse.
Shaking aside, they pumped me full of more drugs. They started poking my belly with something and asking me if I could feel it. "No...no...no." All the way up to my chest, they poked, and I still couldn't feel a thing. At that point their eyes got a little big, and somebody muttered that I'd had enough. Call me crazy, but I think you're still supposed to be able to feel your chest when they anesthetize your lower half. This being reason number 210 that I never, ever want another epidural as long as I live.
My mom had been there for some time at this point. They suited her up and let her sit next to me. She held my hand. As you probably suspect, I didn't feel a thing. My sweet baby was safely extracted. My first sight of Levi above that blue curtain is forever etched into my mind. He was beautiful and so funny looking all at the same time. I cried. He peed on the nurse. I laughed and cried some more. Then fear struck again. How could they possibly sew a straight line with me laughing and crying? Never fear, it is possible.
My mom held him up to me, so I could kiss him. I touched him for the first time. I cried some more.
To be continued...I know...How could there possibly be more?...