Monday, March 18, 2013

Spencer's Birth Story: Part II

In case you haven't read part one, it's here.

Ahhh.  Sweet, sweet relief.  That was the thought and the momentary sensation that was running through my head, and entire body after I had been drugged up with that epidural I was so certain I was not going to be receiving.  The pain went from, I'm going to jump off a cliff to end it, to ok, that was not pleasant.

I was relaxed, a little more calm and now it was time to hurry up and wait.  I was still laboring of course, but now that I was drugged up, I was confined to my bed.  I think Chris was relieved about this.  Relieved that I was no longer retching in pain and agony and relieved that he could grab a seat on the extendo chair and try to rest a little.  

My room had finally cleared of everyone who teamed up to make the pain stop.  Chris was settled on his chair, all 6 feet 2 inches of him were sprawled and trying to rest.  I was in my bed, never to get up again, and it was quiet.  I tried to rest myself, but even being comfortably numb, there was still some discomfort.  It was about one in the morning at this point.  The hours passed and although I had drugs, somewhere along the line it wasn't enough.  I remember there was this one spot on my right hip that simply ached the entire rest of the time.  It wasn't a dull ache either, it felt like my bone was being squeezed by the Grim Reaper himself.  It was intense, and during a contraction it went from a 9 to a 20.  My right arm became sore because the only thing I could do to somewhat alleviate the pain was to rub it.  

Between 1:00 am and 6:00 am, it is kind of a blur or still being in pain and at times simply forgetting I was there to have a baby in the first place.  Because the epidural did not take everything away.  I was still feeling these enormous contractions with an apex of awareness.  Except, at times it was so painful, I didn't think of them as contractions, I just knew it hurt and I wanted it to stop.    

I remember thinking at one point how far I was from that quiet, natural birth I had imagined.  The room was quiet and dark, Chris was sleeping and I was hurting.  I remember being slightly frightened because I had lost control of the situation.  I was beginning to recognize this feeling.  The night I had the triplets, I felt the same way.  

I said a sincere prayer.  I prayed for the baby and I prayed for myself.  I wanted us both to come out the other end of this healthy and well and that I could feel a little peace.  I didn't know what else to pray for.  I was inarticulate and in pain.  I wanted to get control again.

Peace did enter the room.  Nothing changed.  That dang spot in my hip was still on fire and the contractions and labor didn't stop or get easier.  But the peace did come.  I had a little more strength to get me through the next phase of this birth.  Shortly after this, I felt like I wanted to push.  I told my nurse this.  I told Chris this.  But my doctor wasn't there.  What felt like days, but was only about an hour, here comes my doctor (FINALLY! Aren't you just sitting in the lounge waiting for me to be ready?  What do you mean you have other patients?!?) and he tells me to go ahead and start pushing.

This is where it gets silly.  I really wanted to push a certain way.  I had practiced this certain form of pushing and even though I was drugged up and not having a natural birth, I at least wanted to push the way I had been practicing all this time.  The biggest difference was in the breaths.  My way was pushing while breathing down through the contraction. The nurses and doc wanted me to push while holding my breath and trying not to pass out.  So here I was, in pain, drugged up and still trying to hold onto a scrap of my original plan.

It was an awkward combination of the staff trying to continue to respect my requests mixed with their impatience that I just wasn't doing it right.  I tried my way for a while.  The baby didn't budge.  I tried their way for a while.  The baby didn't budge.  It was an exhausting exercise in futility.  I was fully dilated, pushing like a world class...something, and the baby wanted nothing to do with moving anywhere.  After going back and forth between different methods of pushing, the props started coming out.

The first one reminded me of a gymnastic bar.  "Well, we were just over at the Huntsman Center watching some gymnastics and thought we might bring this over to try and help you have a baby!"    Mind you this is after I had been pushing for hours.  The nurse (bless her heart, I was not an easy patient) suggested I simply put my legs up on the bar, then grab that same bar with my hands and push away!

I did laugh.  At least my sense of humor was still working at this point.  I told her I had ZERO strength and holding a bar was a laughable proposition, but I would try anyway.  Legs up.  Arms...almost...if you could just push my back a little...almost got it...just a little more...there.  Arms up.  Getting into this position was even more exhausting than pushing through a contraction.  So, no actual pushing happened.  The moment I grasped the bar, I immediately fell back down.  (This is a level of fatigue I have never experienced.)  I apologized.  I mean it seemed like it took at least two people to bring that dang thing in here and I didn't even use it.  Now what?

Prop number two.  I call this one, The Prison Escape.  I was handed the end of a knotted sheet, (similar to what one might use to toss out the window when trying to escape from prison) and the nurse had the other end.  "We're just going to have a tug-of-war,"  she said with a smile.  The idea being I would use the physics of this motion to push and move this baby out.

Am I on on candid camera?  I had to laugh again.  The idea that I had the strength to grasp the sheet, let alone push and pull and escape from a minimum security prison all at the same time was just too much.  Chris even sensed my ludicrous meter going off and gave me a secret grin.  I agreed to try, because really, it was around 11 am at this point, something had to work.  It was a similar attempt as the gymnastics bar.  I geared my brain up to do it, but my body just limped out  and I fell back before I even began.  Still exhausted.  Still in pain.  Still really, really pregnant.

Next time.... we're going to prep you for the OR, but just a precaution...  

This baby really liked his living quarters. 


Kelsey said...

holy, are you kidding me? WRITE MORE!

Angie said...

Oh lady, I'm so sorry. You are leaving us on a limb here! I want to know the rest! (I love your writing and your thinking)

Allysha said...

Motherhood is a perpetual chain of letting go of one expectation after another, isn' it. I have to say, not that you had much of a choice, but you were a real trooper! I am exhausted just reading this far!

Unknown said...

You have me on the edge of my seat wanting to know what happened next! My husband's favorite saying is 'life if what happens while you're making other plans.' It is so true for us (and it seems that it may be for you too). We are both in the Circle of Moms Top 25. I have been voting for you. I hope we both make it.