Monday, July 8, 2013

My Labour Story: Part Three... Phantom of The Opera Style

5 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
So they had the anesthesiologist come upstairs to poke a huge needle into my spine for the epidural. (I KNOW, right? Labour is so effing comfortable and AWESOME!). He kind of looked like Live Schrieber as he punctured my skin.

My first tip to a labouring woman: Ankle socks are the dumbest f_cking idea EVER, if you can only limply/minimally slide your leg(s) along bunched up sheets in bed. They WILL.NOT.STAY. And it will annoy the hell out of you!

Okay, so... antibiotic drip? Check.
Oxytocin to start whacked out contractions by 10am? Check
Epidural and delicious pain medicine to maintain  recover  create  sort of keep sanity? Che-- oh... wait a second...

Now they give you info sheets telling of the risks of an epidural during labour. They tell you every possible scenario as a just-in-case thing. I read that sometimes the medication can be patchy or lopsided. For me, that meant that ONLY MY RIGHT SIDE WAS FROZEN, people.

My left side didn't want to miss out on the party, so it decided to give a middle finger to the pain managing drugs, and allow me to continue to feel, ache and Charleston kick through the labour pains.

I think my first labour nurse (who was wearing PERFUME for eff's sake) didn't believe that I could feel my left side. Like this baby was just an elaborate ploy to get increase after increase of pain medicine. I can, however, confirm that lefty was totally moveable, usesable and ALIVE with feeling.

They would run ice up me to see where I could feel to. And that would be everywhere, thanks for asking. Then I would be given a suspicious glare. *sigh*

After trying to lay on the left side, and the nurses telling me conflicting info, and no numbness coming, Dr. Leiv Schrieber had to come back. He had to adjust the hole in my back to "redirect" the needle. Like it took a left turn at Albuquerque.

This wonderful adjustment essentially included a free partial back wax, as the adhesive dressings that covered half of my back were peeled off and re-applied. I was picking gummy adhesive boogers off my back for two weeks. (You know, in addition to the regular boogers that build up there and need removing).

From here on out there were hours of awkward small talk with my not-authentic first labour nurse. The hubs left at some point to let the dogs out and gather NORMAL GODDAMN SOCKS for me. My slide-y right leg was pissing me off because I could still feel that my sock was only half on. For some reason, he returned, which worked out well for me and the baby. It was his chance to bail. Ha.

I kind of consider myself a hero, in that I had enough feeling to tell the nurse when I needed to pee, and I could do it without a catheter. However, that being said, I had to do it on a bed pan because of righty, and had to be sprayed down with water and wiped by the nurse. It was both an amusingly proud moment, as well as a nice preview to my future days in the nursing home once this baby ships me off and out of her life. (I assume).

By the time afternoon had rolled around, I was in PAIN on lefty. It hurt. Holy hell, mad props to women who labour for hours with oxytocin and don't get an epidural. MAD PROPS.

There was one stretchy elasticized band that held a monitor that tracked baby's heart rate, and another that tracked mine. I think Satan himself was the architect of those bands because they were so goddamn itchy and scratchy that I could barely take it by the 23 hour mark. No, not the 2 to 3 hour mark, the 23 hour mark. Added to the comfort was that conductive gel they use that kept drying out and getting re-applied. Oh it was so nasty. I think I wore down my fingernails from all the scratching.

I just realized it looks like I'm giving you the finger.

I was given a pain pump, where I could push a little button to get a boost of pain meds. By the early evening, it was doing NOTHING for me. If I pushed it too early (before 15 minutes) it would do nothing, and I would feel unhealthily and incredibly sad and disappointed.

The shift changed at 7pm, I think, and I got the most amazing, fantastic, wonderful labour nurse at Royal Columbian Hospital, named Alice. She was so genuine, so efficient, warm and wonderful. Her and the Hubs kept me going through it all. I feel totally and completely grateful that she was my nurse. I need to find out her last name and get her a nice card and gift. She was so so so awesome.

She encouraged me to breathe through the contractions, and I have to admit I was a f_cking rock star when it came to that. Through the tears and the spitting up, I did it, and it really does help. All those years of yoga paid off for the breathing part, anyway. Not so much for the acrobatics later when delivering. I found the "crouching mama, hidden baby" position to not feel all that serene.

I couldn't eat. Could only take small sips of water, and I had a few Jolly Rancher candies over those 23.5 hours. I was tired. And I was dilating, but baby's head was facing the wrong way. I don't know which way that was, but she was twisted a bit... when I did start to push, it would start to turn the right way, then she would shoot back up my hoo-ha, to the safety of her placenta sleeping bag, rendering my pushing useless.

So the pushing did begin around 11pm.

In the prenatal video I watched, they said the only thing NOT to do during delivery is to hold your breath and push really hard during a contraction, because it can hurt ya.

Unfortunately, that's how they roll at RCH, so with every contraction, I had to take a deep breath, put my chin to my chest, and bear down with enough force to vaginally lift an imaginary tanker truck off a puppy (the puppy was real, though. Probably). THREE TIMES for every contraction. THREE M-EFFING TIMES.

The amount of energy required to do that was incredible. They said that it usually takes a first time mom an hour or two of pushing to get baby out. And for me, the doc checked and had me keep going after the first hour.

And the second hour.

And I was tired. And her head was still turned.

And then still at 2.5 hours (because I was "soo close").

And still, more, at the 3 hour mark.

I used a labour bar, holding my legs up in the air at the thighs. I sat on the bed, on a stool, balanced on the labour bar pushing. I flipped onto all fours and pushed backwards. I pushed and pushed and pushed. As far we know, I never pooped the entire time. YAY ME! The benefits of crippling pregnancy constipation couldn't even be ruffled by three hours of puppy lifting pushing!

And, still pushing at 3.5 hours.

And then shit went wrong. And the Hubs could see and I didn't realize it.

To be continued...


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