Three hours later, we were still waiting. I wasn’t upset. They were updating me—there were something like three crash c-sections, some woman who was having her fifth child next door was farther ahead of me and needed it, and they were obviously shorthanded. The contractions weren’t much worse, so we were just laboring through them. They did, however, kick everyone out when they were coming, so my mom and musicboy’s parents had to keep poking their heads in to see if it was all clear.
Eventually, they came. The whole process wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I never saw the ginormous needle everyone fears, and the worst part was the numbing stuff (I know everyone says that, but it really was true). It was an odd sensation, the whole thing, but they got me all set up and back in bed and the nurse said she was going to wait until I was good and numb before catheterizing me (oh yay).
I began to notice, though, that on my left side, in the lower part of my abdomen, I could still feel some pretty impressive contractions. My right side seemed good—I couldn’t feel them, and my leg felt tingly but not completely dead. I just figured it was going to take a while to get numb.
Meantwhile, back at the ranch, the doctor who had triaged me at 5 that morning came back in, saying “I went home and slept and you’re still here. Let’s have a baby, shall we?” I liked her then, and I definitely liked her now, though her forceful assertion that I needed pitocin and to break my water was a bit overwhelming. Then she checked me, and said I was still at 5. I was pretty much on board then. So they hooked me up to Pitocin and broke my water (not much came out—you’re welcome, but that becomes important later in a more hilarious portion of our tale).
Then everyone left but musicboy.
That’s when it hit.
For something like 10 minutes, I had the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my entire life. It was all-encompassing, all-consuming, completely maddening pain. I was writhing, feeling everything because somehow it seemed like the contraction overwhelmed what epidural I had been feeling, starting from that patchy left side and moving over to the right. I could feel it everywhere, and it was not letting up.
I was sobbing, begging for it to stop—begging anyone, everyone. I literally begged Heavenly Father to make it stop. I begged musicboy to help me. I begged and pleaded and sobbed and it wouldn’t go away.
Something was definitely wrong.
My eyes were closed, but I could hear musicboy begin to cry. I think that’s when I knew that it was bad. He’d been so strong, so tough, so able to see me work through pain. But this was worse than anything we’d experienced before, and it WOULDN’T STOP.
My nurse, who’d watched my labor for nearly 12 hours and do it pretty well, walked in and realized something was really wrong. She called for anesthesiology, and they came in and realized something was really, really wrong.
Apparently, my epidural didn’t really take. And apparently, the Pitocin, at the same time, had caused my uterus to get a bit hyperexcited. That combined into the worst 10 minutes I can remember.
And at the same time, the parents wanted to come back in. At this point, the anesthesiologist was actively working on getting my dose right and the massive contraction had finally stopped. Every contraction got a little bit better, but we told them to stay out until I wasn’t writhing anymore.
It got better, but that was scary.
The doctor had said that she would come back in four hours to check me, but she was impatient or perhaps knew that I was moving. After the anesthesiologist, great man that he was, got me all set, I was fine. I could still feel my legs, but I couldn’t feel the contraction pain. I had a lot of control, actually, over my body, which was good because they kept moving me from side to side because Baby Girl’s heart variables kept them hopping.
I got my epidural at 6:30. The massive contraction hit around 7, I would guess. Once I was comfortable and settled, I sent musicboy with his parents to eat something. He hadn’t really left me all day, and after what we had been through, I figured he needed a breather. My mom was very happy to stay with me; it was good to have her there. When they returned, around 8:30, I was at 8. Musicboy went out to update his parents of my progress (finally! progress!) and the doctor had me push a little. Suddenly, I was at a 9 and musicboy said he was glad he came back when he did.
As we got closer, I started to feel gushing every time I would have a contraction. It was HILARIOUS to me. It was amniotic fluid coming out as the baby’s head descended and I thought it was the funniest thing ever. I so wanted to know what it felt like to have your water break. Every 2 or 3 minutes, I felt it. It was bizarre.
When I told them, and they checked it, there was meconium in the fluid, which had been clear previously. It was just more things to keep them a bit concerned about the baby. They wanted to put an internal monitor on me to check the contractions, but I was progressing so fast that it wasn’t necessary.
I think I surprised them. I don’t think I was surprised.
By 9:25 or so, I was pushing. I knew I would fly through those last few centimeters if I got the epidural. I just knew it.
I had no idea, though, how it would all finish.