Sunday, 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. I knew, vaguely, from the childbirth class that I was going through “transitional labour.” I remember wondering how quickly (or slowly) it was going to all pan out.
Sunday, 7 a.m. The nurse that had been with me all night was off. She commented that she’d hoped to be around for the birth. I’d hoped so, too, because then this would have been OVER BY NOW, GAAAAAH.
Sunday, 7:01 a.m. The new nurse arrived to take over. She was young-looking and immediately offered a popsicle. I eagerly accepted an orange one, thinking that the sugar might help take the edge off my hunger. At this point, I hadn’t eaten anything in more than 12 hours, and would have chewed off my own arm if I thought it was possible.
Sunday, 7:15 a.m. The popsicle was a mistake! The popsicle was a mistake!
Sunday, 7:16 a.m. I felt horrible. I felt like I was going to throw up and pass out and go to the bathroom all at the same time.
Sunday, 7:17 a.m. Darling Husband and the nurse helped me to the bathroom — dragging my IV poll and the epidural cart thingy along behind me.
Sunday, 7:18 a.m.
Awfulness ensued (as partially described here
). Imagine going to the bathroom without being able to control it (or totally feel it), while
vomiting into a plastic thingy, while half-passing out as your husband basically holds you upright on the toilet and douses your forehead and neck with wet towels to keep you conscious. Oh, and while a stranger watches
(the nurse whom you just met).
I just scared at least four readers into never getting pregnant, I think.
Sunday, 7:50 a.m. Awfulness was finally over, and I was back in bed.
Sunday, 7:50 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. I was breathing hard through every contraction. They hurt, but nothing like the pain I’d felt before the epidural. I remember thinking that NO PAIN could ever compete with that, so everything now felt very manageable in comparison.
Sunday, 8:25 a.m. The nurse checked me again, and said the words I’d been waiting desperately to hear: “You’re at 10 cm … Why don’t we try pushing?”
Sunday, 8:26 a.m. I remember thinking, “Um … pushing? Sure, except there is no one in the room except ONE NURSE and Darling Husband. Where are the DOCTORS?”
Sunday, 8:27 a.m. Must have said something like that out loud, because the nurse explained that “pushing can take a while,” and that she would call the doctors in when I was close.
Sunday, 8:30 a.m. The nurse said to wait until I felt the urge to push, and then bear down as hard as I could. She grabbed one of my legs, and Darling Husband grabbed the other. I still couldn’t believe that I was going to push as hard as I could and there was NO ONE to catch the baby, should he come flying out.
Sunday, 8:31 a.m. When the next contraction began, I did feel an urge to push. I pushed as hard as I could, and the nurse encouraged me to make each push last as long as possible.
Sunday, 8:33 a.m. Pushed again. During each contraction, I was able to do two long pushes, and then a short burst of a push, before I’d fall back against the bed.
Sunday, 8:35 a.m.
The nurse commended me on my pushing. Yeah! It felt great to be doing something right. Apparently the way to do it is by pretending you are going to the bathroom, and, uh, I’d definitely already proven I could do that
Sunday, 8:37 a.m. OK, pushing gets tiring very fast.
Sunday, 9 a.m. Something strange was happening. I would feel the contraction, push like crazy, and stop pushing when the contraction ended. But in between contractions, I was feeling a horrible pain in the right side of my pelvis. It hurt way more than the contractions, and the pain continued right up until the next contraction arrived and I was pushing again. Basically, CONSTANT PAIN!
Sunday, 9:02 a.m. The nurse didn’t seem too concerned about the pain in one side of my pelvis. She said the baby might just be more shifted to that side.
Sunday, 9:10 a.m. I cried and moaned for the entire second half-hour of pushing. The pelvis pain in between contractions was unbearable, and during the contractions I was pushing so hard I was certain I’d faint or throw up again.
Sunday, 9:24 a.m.
The details are hazy, but at some point, a resident OB came in to see how it was going. She was very pretty and young, and looked like Charlie on Friends
. In my mind, I kept calling her the pretty black Barbie doll.
Sunday, 9:25 a.m.
OH MY GOD! You wouldn’t believe who walked into the room after Pretty Black Barbie Doctor
. It was Cute Medical Student
! He was surprised to see me, and I was surprised and really happy to see him. After more than 12 hours of seeing strangers, he felt like an old friend from elementary school — even though I’d only met him once before
Sunday, 9:26 a.m. I got checked by both Pretty Black Barbie Doctor and Cute Medical Student, and they basically said that I was not close. Not close to bringing in the doctors for delivery, and therefore not close to popping out this baby. I was devastated. They stayed in the room for a few minutes, giving me worried looks as I cried and moaned and writhed. I don’t think I’ve ever written the word “writhed” before, but it is a perfect description of the pain of childbirth.
Sunday, 9:29 a.m. They said that since I wasn’t close to delivering, and completely exhausted from the hour of pushing, they were going to give me an hour-long “break.” I was given some more drugs — Darling Husband and I can’t remember, but we think they just turned up the epidural, or turned it back on, or something. They said it should ease the pain for an hour, so I could build my strength up again. Ha!
Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. “Break” time. At first, the pain was reduced. I could still feel every contraction, but they weren’t as sharp. The pelvis pain was still there, but not as strong.
Sunday, 10:31 a.m. I was ready to try pushing again. I was still starving and weak and hurting, but didn’t feel as nauseous or faint. The pain seemed to be a tiny bit better when I pushed, and I just wanted the whole thing over as soon as possible.
Sunday, 10:40 a.m. The first few pushes went well. I felt the same triumphant feeling I’d had earlier. I knew I was doing a good job pushing. I could feel the baby moving down, I thought. On one or two of the contractions, the nurse put her fingers up me and had me push against them. That seemed to help inspire me, because it felt like the baby was sliding out of me!
Sunday, 10:50 to 11:15 a.m. The pelvic pain was back to its unbearable state. The nausea was back. I felt like I had no energy and was going to black out at any second. I was sobbing and telling the nurse I couldn’t do it anymore. “The doctors aren’t even here!” I remember crying. “I know I’m not close, because you didn’t call them yet! I’m not close at all!”
Sunday, 11:16 a.m. The nurse suggested I get on all fours and try pushing that way. I mumbled something about how “I’d look like a cow,” but she kept mentioning it, so I finally agreed to try it.
Sunday, 11:17 a.m. Darling Husband and the nurse helped me into the position, which involved me grabbing the top of the hospital bed and facing the back wall.
Sunday, 11:18 a.m. When the next contraction came, I pushed as hard as I could. Then I heard a beeping noise coming from the heart monitor — from Baby Boy’s heart monitor! I looked at the machine that I’d been staring at all night, and saw his heart rate dropping fast. The nurse quickly had me roll to my left side, and we all watched as his heart rate crept back up. It was the first time he’d shown any signs of distress, and it was excruciating.
Sunday, 11:26 a.m. Pretty Black Barbie Doctor and Cute Medical Student came back into the room to check on me. I will never forget the sympathetic expression on Pretty Black Barbie Doctor‘s face when she checked me, and slowly said there hadn’t been any progress. NO PROGRESS after two hours of pushing (and an hour break in between). I was hysterical.
Sunday, 11:27 a.m. I started begging Pretty Black Barbie Doctor for a C-section. “He’s stuck in there, I know it!” I cried. “Pleeeeeease just do a C-section. I’m not afraid at all, and I know it’s going to come to that anyway. Please! Please!”
Sunday, 11:28 a.m. She said she is just a resident, and needed to check with the on-call OB. It’s their call, and typically they get women to push for three hours before attempting a C-section. I remember feeling horrified at the idea of another entire HOUR of pushing and pelvic pain.
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. Tears worked. The on-call OB said I could have a C-section! I was sobbing and thanking everyone, thrilled to be cut open if it meant the pain would end and Baby Boy would be here safely. Darling Husband looked terrified. It was only after I saw the expression on his face that I realized maybe this was more serious than I thought?