Birth Story: Part III

Once I was hooked-up to the Pictocin, my contractions really started to pick-up.  By pick-up, we're talking every 30 to 90 seconds.  Thankfully, they didn't last more than 30 to 45 seconds.  Because they were short, they were manageable.  When the Pitocin was started, I was in the hospital bed.  And there I had to remain until Evil Night Nurse Katie was satisfied that I wouldn't react badly.  Every once and a while, Liam's heart rate would still drop.  I could tell this was really making Evil Night Nurse Katie nervous.  Her poker face sucked.

Laboring in the bed was horrible. There was no way to get comfortable, and I felt completely confined. Evil Night Nurse Katie had me laying on my side to help with Liam's heart rate.  My left side completely fell asleep.  I asked to switch to my right.  And then that side completely fell asleep.  She also had me wearing the oxygen mask.  I wore this mask for the rest of my labor, only taking it off a few times.  The mask made breathing through contractions more complicated.  And it smelled like plastic, which was awesome since my nose was buried in it. With each contraction, I would grip handles on the side of the bed and concentrate on breathing and relaxing the rest of my body.  During my third trimester, I created a "labor and delivery" mix on my iPod.  Thank goodness for that music.  Everything online said to make a mix of calm, soothing music, but I knew better.  I needed happy music. So I made a mix of John Mayer, Florence and the Machine, all three Twilight sound tracks, The Postal Service, Sara Barellias, Colbie Calait, and the like.  Best decision ever.  There were multiple times that I was singing in-between contractions. 

At 6:22 am, I was allowed to move to the birthing ball.  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Before I sat on it, Evil Night Nurse Katie put a puppy pad under it and draped puppy pads over it.  I don't know if you knew this, but you leak a lot during (and after) labor.  Each internal exam produces bloody gloves. And don't even get my started on the fluids. 

When I got on the birthing ball, the Pitocin was also turned down.  My contractions were on-top of each other, and it was obvious that my body was taking over.  Josh's notes in the notebook say, "Contractions are more frequent and more painful."  True, but the birthing ball made them SO much easier to manage.  It was positioned right next to the bed.  Close enough for me to rest my arms and head on the bed.  In between contractions, I was upright and rocking back and forth.  During contractions I either put my head down on the bed and rocked or rolled my head back and rocked.  All the while, Josh was standing behind me so I could lean back if needed.  I didn't want my shoulders or feet massaged during each contraction.  I only wanted my head rubbed/scratched.  It really helped to relax me. 

In our birth class, the teacher told us about how contractions come on like a wave, peak, and then fade to nothing.  It's SO true.  They really did come on like a wave, starting small and growing.  And when it was done, it was done.  No pain.  Nothing.  Maybe some pressure if you were farther along in labor and the baby was dropped.  The worst part about the contractions was that they were ON TOP of each other.  The pain was manageable.  But the frequency was wearing on me.

Since me and Liam needed to be monitored at all times, I couldn't leave the bed to use the bathroom. Josh's note in the notebook says, "6:40 am: First attempt at the bed pan: FAIL."  There was never a second attempt. Major stage fright.  Peeing in a bed pan in front of my husband and a nurse - no dice. Eventually, a catheter was used to drain my urine.  And then a Foley bag a while later when my doctor realized that I produce A LOT of urine.

At 7:00 am there was a nurse change and Awesome Nurse Pam came back, as promised.  Man was I glad to see her smiling face.  She changed our "plan for today" on the white board to "Welcome Liam!"  That's when it hit me that this was really happening.


Natalie said...

Wow. So awesome, Betsy. Thanks for sharing this... can't wait to read part IV.

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