Today I am thankful for pain control. Because I went to the dentist today to repair a filling and I'm really glad he had more than whiskey to give me while he drilled into my mouth. And because on this day last year I was working on my second 24 hours of back labor. And I'm all about the natural birth, ALL about it really, but they have stuff for 48-hour back labors and that is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
OK, that was the interesting part of my post for today. For the heartiest and most bored among you, here is what I remember from this day last year (the first 24 hours are here):
My back labor went on through the night, of course. Our doula and Jeff took turns supporting me so they could sleep. It's all pretty fuzzy, but I remember (besides the PAIN) a bath, a popsicle, and some napping during the longer breaks between contractions. The bed, the couch, the chair, the floor, try kneeling here no that won't work. And at one point I took Tylenol, which is comical to imagine that I thought it would help but maybe I had a headache or something. I had all kinds of fun and joking with Jeff and our doula. Our doula spooned me in bed so she could push on the pressure point near my sacrum to support the contractions. The punk-#ss contractions that STILL weren't in any kind of pattern. We were still at home, still being told to stay home. I do remember thinking very clearly that if another nurse told us I wasn't in "active" labor I was going to drive there myself through the ice storm and throw something at her head. Laboring women are supposed to do stuff like that, right? I was ready.
OK, so that morning of November 28th last year I had had about enough of 24-plus hours of labor. I knew where to find my OB since I was supposed to see her in clinic if I hadn't gone into labor yet, so I called her clinic nurse and got through that way. She made magic and arranged for me to come in to the hospital to get assessed and possibly get some pain control so I could go back home and get some sleep. So in we went around noon, the roads were fine because they were deserted because of the ice storm. The wonderful, wonderful residents who took care of me validated that I was in real labor (so I forgive them for calling it "dysfunctional") because I was at 4cm. Into a labor room, yay! Having a baby, yay!
I labored more, more, more, more. Then some more. Eventually got myself to 6cm. Finally I oh so reluctantly consented to an epidural at 40 hours of labor, from gorgeous wonderful Todd the anesthesiology resident. We had a nice little thing going, jokes about how he googled to find out how to put a NEEDLE IN MY SPINE. Love him. I consented only partially because he was hot, but mostly because my OB was worried about my pain, exhaustion and ability to push after 40 hours and she wanted to break my water to see if that would speed things up. It did--I went from 6cm to 7cm in the moment they broke it. Oh, and this is funny--for the last 12 hours at least of labor I hiccuped at the end of each contraction, and so did bubba. We were in sync. The residents, in a loving and validating tiny gesture, trusted me that a hiccup signaled a contraction and used that instead of all their machines and printouts and such.
Then, some sleep. Another popsicle. Wondering whether bubba would have a 28th or a 29th birthday. My OB came in. Finally around midnight it was time to push. And after all that I had a "short" pushing for a first baby. Wonderful Todd came back and reduced the pain stuff so I could feel the contractions and birth. I pushed for 90 minutes, which felt like 20 in my time warp, and then I met my bubba at 2am on the 29th. I felt him coming out, and he was perfect.
My God, he was perfect.