Ode to the Epidural

So, it has been a week and 1 day since Stockton arrived.  Robert has been bugging me to blog, but all my time during the day seems to rapidly disappear between feeding, changing and adoring the little man and time at night seems to drag on forever since he wants to eat every 5 seconds.  

But, Robert went in to work late today and helped me out last night and the little guy let me sleep for over 3 hours in a row so I am feeling pretty good right now- meaning, I only feel like I have been run over by a Hummer instead of an Amtrak train.

A lot has happened in the last week that is blog worthy, but I guess I will start at the beginning.  I had vague fantasies about giving birth naturally.  Now before I was pregnant, I thought I would definitely get an epidural, but somehow once I was pregnant, I read all these horror stories about epidurals and how they lead to c-sections and how giving birth naturally was what you body was designed for, yada, yada.  And my mom gave birth to all of us naturally, so I guess I wanted to prove that I was strong enough to do it too.

So, I thought I was in labor starting Monday evening.  However, I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a long time, so I wasn’t completely sure. Figuring that these were just more fake contractions, I went and ran all my errands after work.  By the time I got the the grocery store, they were getting to be about 5 minutes apart and I had to stop and catch my breath in the frozen food aisle, so I threw the closest ready made dinner into my buggy and high tailed it for the checkout.  The lady at the checkout asked me when I was due, and I said Tuesday, meaning the next week, but didn’t actually get all of that out, and she took one look at me and shoved the bag of food at me and said, You better get home, my CPR certification has expired!

After I got in the car, I called Robert to see if he was on his way home.  He was still working, so I told him that he better start heading home.  Once I got home, I starting writing down the time of my contractions, because I am notoriously bad at math, which Robert contributes to my lovely liberal arts education.

Even though I had been having contractions that were 5ish minutes apart for well over an hour, which is when you are supposed to call the doctor, I still wasn’t sure I wanted to call because I didn’t want to be “that girl” that thinks she is in labor but really isn’t.  

About this time, I started to feel a little funny and went to the bathroom.  After much deliberation and wondering if my bladder had given out, I decided that my water had broken.  I had always thought that having your water break was the clear signal that you were in labor, but it actually only breaks for about 15% of women.  I really wanted it to break so that I would be sure that I was in labor, but once it did actually break, I found out that feeling like you are peeing all over yourself isn’t that great.

I finally called the doctor and she told us to come on in, so away we went after finishing packing the bag, stopping for gas, and going through the Chick-fil-A drive through.  

Although the hospital was great, our first few hours there were not.  We had pre-registered, which supposedly would make things move along quickly, but we still stood in the waiting area for at least 30 minutes waiting to be taking back to the triage area where they asses you and admit you.  And yes, this whole time, I was still leaking water all over myself.  Not very pleasant.

Anyway, to move this story along, the nurse determined that my water had indeed ruptured and that I was in labor but the contractions weren’t dilating my cervix so they needed to give me some medicine to strengthen the contractions and move things along.  When the nurse referred to the medicine as being no fun and the devil, I should have taken the hint and gotten an epidural right then, but I didn’t.

After several hours on the medicine, which got increased every 20 minutes, I thought I was going to die.  Literally.  Around 4 am, I was feeling like death and asked the nurse to check and see how things were going, hoping that they were progressing and I would know that it was all worth it.  However, I was still only at 3 centimeters, not the magic 10, and she told me it could be 7 more hours before I was ready to deliver.  Again, I should have taken the hint, but I was being stubborn.  

Sometime after 5, I couldn’t take it any longer and told Robert that it was time to invoke the code word for “GET ME SOME MEDICINE STAT!”  We called the nurse and she came in with some IV drugs, but immediately behind her was the doctor who said I couldn’t have the medicine.  She said at this point it wouldn’t help the pain and it would just make me and the baby sleepy.  But, she said I could get an epiduaral, and I said, YES FOR THE LOVE ALL THINGS GET ME ONE NOW!!  To which she replied, it will take about an hour before you can have it.  You need another bag of IV fluid first.  To which I replied, I WILL KILL ALL OF YOU IF I DO NOT GET SOMETHING RIGHT AWAY.  

I didn’t really say anything, I just continued to exist in a fog of pain until the lovely man, whom I only have brief recollections of seeing, came in and gave me the epidural.  Before labor, I was completely freaked out by the thought of a very large needle in my back, but at the time, I didn’t feel anything.  The worst part was trying to stay still though multiple contractions as he inserted the large needle into my back.

Right after the epidural, I got uncontrollable  shakes for about 30 minutes, but then they went away and I was no longer in pain and miraculously enough, I was suddenly at 10 centimeters and life was good.

Of course, once I got the all clear that the baby was ready to come, the doctor was in surgery and I had to wait for 2 hours for her to get back, but I had my drugs and felt like a person again, so it was all good.  

And then Stockton arrived and all of it was completely worth it because he is the most perfect thing in the entire universe.

Of course, he has also been asleep for almost 4 hours right now.  Why, oh why, can’t he do this between midnight and 4 am?  Still, I think he is perfect.

sunbathing little man

sunbathing little man

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Ode to the Epidural

  1. Steve & Mirrin

    Ok, So I am so late to the party. I guess I really need to get on facebook. I just now found out your bundle of joy was here. I hope you all are enjoying this time and savoring sleep where possible. We would love to come by and bring you all dinner. We know how things are kinda crazy at this time, so our invitation is good for whenever you need it. Just give us a days notice. Congrats again.

  2. Sarah

    Oh, your story is classic – and to think I saw you last week as you were about to be about to be in labor – amazing, isn’t it? The water breaking – know what you mean – I’m the percent where it broke with both boys – once while walking into the hospital (that would be with my first son, the the 12-week preemie who is now 25) and the other at work (that would be the 38 week just fine second child who was perfect at the +/- two week window and is now 21).

    the years inbetween birth and their current ages has flown – savor as you can even the long nights. Really. They will be a blur that will not tarnish the rest of the story.

  3. Dorothy

    haha…I know what you mean about the water breaking – I always thought it was a one time undeniable gush. I was asleep and debated between my bladder giving out and my water breaking for a while before I woke anyone else up, and I surely wasn’t ready for the constant flow – for the next 22 hours. omg.

    glad he’s here…congratulations.

  4. Sarah Hofmann

    I personally believe the person who invented the epidural should be knighted, sainted, and given the congressional metal of honor and the Nobel peace prize… Yeah Epidurals!

  5. Robin Mann

    I offered sexual favors on the spot if the man would just give me an epidural, NOW!!!! He did without the favors, thank goodness.

  6. Carol

    When I was in the hospital and the nurse anestheist came by for her first visit just to introduce herself and tell me about the epidural, she happened to mention that she was supposed to be one of two NA’s there that day, but that the other one for some reason wasn’t there and it was just her covering for both of them. And thanks to Jean Moore, who had told me months before to say “yes” at the first opportunity because you don’t want to get put on a list that could put you behind several other births, including C-sections, I told her I’d take it right now thank you very much. I never even looked at how big that needle was because I didn’t care one bit!
    I can’t wait to see you all and get our kids together (who will have no interest in each other whatsoever, but it’s cute anyway)! I’m glad you blogged. It’s good to hear from you. Olin spent his first night in his own room last night – what a milestone!

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