Friday, September 7, 2007

Fear and Loathing Hosptial de la Fe

Whew! What a week. Seriously. If only I'd managed to get on and write Alison's birth story right away. It would have been interesting to see how my tone changed, if it did. Anyway, what started out as a three hour tour became a full week of fear, anger (or more particularly, righteous indignation) and overwhelming gratitude.

Friday, August 31
8:30 - Dad, dh and I dropped the Bunny off at school and head down to pick up Alison (as yet the only Alison) and then continue on to the hospital. Once signed in I get settled in on the labor room bed with my dingo rosary and preggie dingo running shirt, IV attached, fetal monitor and contraction monitors strapped on, clary sage oil and water bottles on hand and we start to wait for something impressive to happen.

9:45 - Dra S checks me and tells me that although my cervix is soft it isn't dilated really at all and not finished effacing either. I say, no big deal, with the Bunny I wasn't 'ripe' at my first check either but had a nursing newborn in my arms 4 hours later. I am certain this is going to go quickly. Bring it on.

11:30 - Dra S says, still not effaced, maybe 1 cm dilated, time to add cytotec, 1/4 tablet to start. She also upped the pitocin. I'm still not feeling anything, really. the cytotec makes my cervix pain a bit after a little while but still no real labor contrax are happening.

1:00 - We're all getting pretty bored by this time. Dad has headed home, dh and Alison are hanging out reading, trying to be light hearted and entertaining. Dra S comes back and checks me again. A bit more effaced. She adds another 1/4 tablet of cytotec, says, hmm, that one didn't really get in the right place, I'm going to put in another 1/4 tab. Hmm. Okay. I guess. I'm really not in a hurry though. I know baby's going to come on out. But whatever.
1:55 - Dra S wants to check again. I'm already pretty all set with her fingers up there but alright, I'll play along. She gets her hand in and starts fiddling. Pulling, tugging, tweaking. I say, What the hell are you doing? (okay, not really, in spanish I'm hopelessly polite.) She says, oh, I think I feel the cord and I just want to make sure it isn't coming out first. I think, yeah as if, my bag is still intact so lets not worry about that right now. I knew immediately what she was up to and sure enough, oh would you look at that?! Amniotic fluid is leaking out! Dra S doesn't even admit that she did it, let alone on purpose. I'm a little pissed that she didn't ask me, I'd already told her I didn't want to do that unless it was absolutely necessary. Nothing about this scene made me think it was necessary. Alison thinks to ask, so, are we on some sort of timeline now that her water has broken? Dra S looks kind of bummed to have to answer but admits that I now have two hours to "progress significantly" before we'll have to go to Plan B. Oh, and let's not have my eat or drink anything from here on out, just in case. 2 hours? Seriously? What about 24? Isn't that the standard for water breaking? Or even 12? 2? Are you fucking kidding me? And immediately it was obvious. Dra S has never had any interest in or expectation that I would successfully have an otherwise natural birth. She's here today to do a cesarean and by giving me from 2:00 to 4:00 to progress significantly she can still get me in and out of the operating room and be out by 5:00. When she leaves the room I say this to dh and Alison. Alison looks shocked that I would have such a negative take on things. Dh looks like he's seen this cynical me before and knows that there isn't anything else to say. Assuring me that I'm paranoid will only make me angry at him too.
However, labor does pick up. Whether because of the broken bag or because I'm not going to let Dra S play me like some illiterate ranchera teenager who doesn't know what's what, contractions immediately start coming hard and fast. Their opening bid is 50 seconds long, 1 minute and change apart. I am keenly aware of the time but I'm still fully confident that this labor is now on the same trajectory as my previous two and I figure we should be holding baby by 5.
For the next hour I get to stay off the bed and start grooving out to the contrax as they get rapidly longer and faster. I spend some time on the yoga ball, some time swaying, some time on the toilet. By 3:20 I'm leaning over on some pillows dealing with the pain with long long moans, just trying to keep the air moving, not too fast, not too slow.

3:20 Dra S checks again ( I am all set with that checking biz, can't she see I'm obviously in active labor?). 2 1/2 cm. Fuck, a check, and it isn't what we all were hoping for.
But, I can get out of bed again, all is not lost. Contrax are getting good, really hard. I am so angry though that I'm here, in this evil place with a stopwatch going and my doctor a vulture with a scalpel looking smug as she announces my insignificant progress. Yeah well hold up bitch, I have 40 minutes to go and you never defined 'significant'. I start swearing at everyone who ever told me they thought I should go to a hospital so Alison starts dosing me up with the pure essence of some homeopathic remedy for righteous indignation. Even at the time I can see the humor in the fact that she knew I'd be this pissed and came prepared. Dra S suggests that I could have an epidural. I shout NO! and continue doing my thing. She starts on about how she wasn't suggesting anything, wasn't trying to undermine my labor, wouldn't dream of doing anything I didn't want her to. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

4:00 - The witching hour has arrived. Dra S is back, gloves on, thinks she's got it going on. I'm at 5 cm. I decide that this is a good time to stop understanding spanish. I'd toldDra S in advance that that happens when I'm in labor. It isn't true this time but I know that my only chance to have the birth I want is to ignore her completely. To be so engrossed in my actively laboring self that she'd need a team of helpers to get my cooperation from here on out. Baby is fine, I know she is, she's reacting to contrax just the way the Bunny did, the way Wendy did not. But, I'm not able to get upright again and it blows. It is so mind bendingly painful that it makes me feel like time has slowed to a crawl. That's good and bad. I am pretty sure that I can avoid any more checks and therefore the implementation of Plan B because I'm truly in enough pain to bring on an altered state, I don't open my eyes for an hour. However, I'm now in so much pain that a itty bitty part of me would welcome relief. I pray Dra S keeps her mouth shut about epidurals and cesareans now. But then suddenly it's time to push. I keep it to myself until the last minute lest she try to get her fingers in again to verify what I am sure of. When I can't resist any longer I get on my hands and knees. I hear Dra S telling me to get on my back. She says I can't stay that way, I can't have a baby that way. Oh really? Funny, that's how the bunny was born and I'm not budging. Thanks anyway.
The nurse says, but we have to wheel you into the other room, you'll fall off! I promise not to fall and then hope nobody noticed how I understood that part but nothing else for the last hour. Doh!
They wheel me into the other room, Dra S is begging Alison to talk sense into me. Alison knows what I'm up to. She relays the message but without conviction. She tells me I'm a mama lion and to keep on doing my thing. I'm pushing hard, I can feel the baby moving on out. I can smell the excrement. I hope someone can deal with that and pop!

4:52 - Baby's out. So hah! on you and your 2 hour stopwatch Dra.
I whip around, someone hands me little Alison Grace as she's suctioned and patted. She is purple and yelling and tiny and wet. She's perfect and beautiful and has a ton of hair. Her Apgars are 9 and 9 or 8 and 10 depending on who you ask. Whatever, I'll keep her. The pediatrician takes her for a moment to weigh and measure, give her vit K and eye drops. The placenta whooshes out. It is perfect. Completely intact, textbook perfect. The umbilical cord too. The veins weave around each other beautifully, the color is almost an iridescent pale blue. I had to check, Wendy's had been yellow and black, skinny and misshapen. I breathe yet another sigh of relief. Alison Grace is handed back to me and she starts to nurse. What a girl!
All is well. We made it, the days of breath holding are over.
I thank God.

to be continued


MikeandCharlsie said...

Hey Plady, so glad to hear that everything went pretty well. I will be inducing soon too and it is nice to hear a successful story. How many weeks early were you? So far ICP has not reared its ugly head with me but the Dr. wants to induce just to be safe! I hope you are doing well and enjoying your little sweetie.