Labor & Delivery: Part 2

by - October 12, 2016

Well good morning, a nurse whispered while walking across the room. It was early, still dark out, only 5 a.m. but time to start my Pitocin. She removed the Cervidil and placed the bag of Pitocin on my IV. She said I should hopefully start to feel some mild contractions soon as the medicine begins taking effect. Mild was the understatement of the century. From the very beginning I felt nothing but stabbing shooting pains in my lower back. Like someone was twisting my spine and repeatedly breaking my bones. There was some distance between the agonizing contractions in the beginning, but as the sun rose over the mountains and dawn turned to daylight, the calmness in between grew shorter and shorter. The nurse said it is common for some people to experience back labor. It means the baby is in a position that causes a bit of pressure. This was more than a bit of pressure on the spine. I knew from the beginning something wasn't right. Out of all the videos, classes, and personal statements no one ever mentioned anything feeling like this. No one would listen to me though. As time went on I was still not dilating and the pain continued to increase with each contraction.

I soon realized I couldn't do this alone. I didn't care how big of a pain in the ass Michael had been or would be. I needed someone there, anyone would have made the cut. Hell Hitler himself would have done the job as long as he supported me through this excruciating process. I decided to text Michael, I couldn't bare to even make an actual phone call. After what seemed life forever he finally arrived and as he witnessed my condition, with each following contraction, the color in his face went from a flush tan to ghostly white. He looked terrified, confused, and helpless. It was the first time I believe I have seen him scared and at a complete loss. For a moment his guard was down, his ego deluded, and he looked small. Seemed almost human vs. his typical tin man self. I could tell he wanted to be supportive for the very first time, but had no idea how or what to do. As he watched the monitors he could see when a contraction was coming before I did. He was a dead give away though. It's like his whole body would become tense in the anticipation of what I was about to endure.

I have never felt pains like these before. My body would go in and out of shock. My vision would focus and blur over and over. The agony was so intense that I couldn't control myself and I would be consumed by nausea. I honestly felt like either I or this baby were not going to make it. The nurse I had throughout the day was not much for giving me a break. Not the most gentle of caregivers either. She would come in and move me all around, shove her hand right up into my lady bits, check my cervix without much warning, and as I was contracting she'd  push down on my back. At this time, during the contractions I would be on my bed on all fours, or on my side gripping the bed bar. The pains had me contorted in positions I've only witnessed in the scenes of horror films. I'm sure between the screeching screams and the barely coherent reactions, I resembled someone suffering a possession. After enduring this for merely 8 hours it was finally time for an epidural. It was somewhat comforting to know some relief was on the way. Maybe the only time I didn't want to punch this nurse, was now. She finally gave me some good news.

Many, what seemed like hours, moments later the anesthesiologist came in. The epidural was a process all in itself. One that was also not shy of its own set of pain. Knowing freedom from this torture was right on the other side of that needle was hope enough for me. Once he was done I started to feel some lightening of my muscles. It was like the first ray of light after a storm. Calm fell over me... for a little while at least. The epidural only lasted about two hours. It was knocked out of place somehow, during one of my contractions. By this time my contractions have grown meaner, stronger and closer together. They were even more unbearable after the two hours of relief than before. I knew something was wrong. I have spent hours researching labor, watched video after video, spoken to people about their experiences, and even took pregnancy and birth classes. No one mentioned anything like this. I have never given birth before now, I didn't know what it was going to feel like or what to expect. I did know however, it would not be a walk in the park but I also knew it wasn't supposed to feel like this. Something was wrong and someone was going to finally listen to me.
I told the nurses over and over again that this didn't feel right. With the epidural I shouldn't feel this much pain and even so I didn't think the pains I was experiencing were normal. I hounded my nurses till they finally called the anesthesiologist. He gave me a shot in my IV that only momentarily provided some relief. The nurses eventually contacted Dr. Beale as well, after hours of my requesting to speak with him. He was still hopeful for me to have a vaginal birth when he showed up, that's what I wanted too. But I knew something wasn't right. The more I told him about what I have been experiencing, and how I had a gut instinct something was wrong, he and the nurses started to believe me. This was the beginning of an emergency situation. The pain was now so strong I was constantly in and out of consciousness. You cant push if you are not awake. A vaginal birth was now out of the question. My pain level was off the charts, I was not dilating, my body was under too much stress, and Milo was not moving or making his way into the birth canal, despite my water being broken. I barely remember the moments before I was rushed into the OR for a c-section. Much of these moments before are a foggy haze.

It's now after 5 p.m. that same afternoon and I have never been more terrified in my life. I never wanted a c-section, but at this time I just wanted Milo out. I needed to know if he was ok. Even if I had to get him out myself I couldn't take the pain and stress on my body anymore. They wheeled me in and the anesthesiologist gives me what's called a spinal tap. Basically a more intense epidural. This was almost an instant relief. Even though I was more scared and nervous than I've ever been I was finally pain free. Michael had to wait, and get ready so I was alone during the begining preparations. Laying on the operating table, paralyzed from the waist down, my arms strapped to the table like I was Jesus on the cross. I had all kinds of thoughts and worries running through my head. With doctors and nurses rushing around, I grew more and more concerned and scared. Dr. Beale started walking me through what was going to happen and the anesthesiologist described what I would feel. I was still completely and utterly terrified as Michael finally walked into the room. He looked me in the eyes and placed a hand on my shoulder. He could tell how scared I was.

Prepping took longer than the actual procedure. Before I knew it the anesthesiologist was asking if Michael wanted to watch. Milo came out screaming and I didn't feel a thing. Barely any pressure. Anything I did feel didn't feel like they were touching me. It felt like I was laying on a mattress and someone was pressing down around me, if that makes sense. My heart instantly sank into the deepest depths of my chest, as I heard Milo crying for the first time. I have never in my life been more thankful than at that moment. Crying was a good sign, this ment he was ok. I had so many fears of him or I not making it through this experience. They asked if Michael wanted to go with the baby or stay with me. He looked to me to decide. His expression had concern and support write all over it but I didn't want Milo to be alone. Milo was ok, that's all that mattered to me at that moment, so I told him to go. I would be alright. As the doctors and nurses stitched me up, removed the tape, tarps, and whatever else, and moved me to the transport bed I heard Milo crying the whole time.

I was exhausted from the 13 hours of the most stress and pain I've ever endured, but I couldn't wait to meet my baby. A nurse wheeled me into my recovery suite where I waited impatiently. Finally Milo was pushed into the room in a little crib cart and handed him to me. He was perfect. All bundled up and cozy in blankets and a hat. He was so pink and even smelled pink. I never thought I could be so overwhelmed with emotion. I was happy, thankful and so glad to hear the nurse say, "congratulations, you have a healthy baby boy." That I did. I stared down at him, as he began feeding from my breast for the first time, thinking I have never witnessed anything so perfect in all my 26 years. I was completely consumed with love. From that moment on I was certain my life would never be the same, I was completely changed, and would never feel the same again.

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