Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The story: The big day...or so we thought

One year ago today...

It doesn't seem possible. It's been a year. I've been putting off writing this because I wasn't sure what all it would give way to in my brain. So we'll see... if you are up to reading the story, you might want to grab a hot cocoa or something and get comfy.

November 20 has always been my parents' anniversary. That's what the date meant to me. Until it was decided about my 37th week that it would be a good day to induce me. My doctor was going to be out of town for Thanksgiving, and I didn't care to roll the dice on who else in the group I might get stuck with if I waited it out. Plus, I'm a planner, so I loved knowing when it would all take place. I'll spare you the icky details, but I was already "progressing" a week before, so the doctor felt like I would go quickly through the process. I figured we'd show up in the morning, have a baby by dinner, nice and easy.

We arrived early that morning, checked in, got all hooked up to everything, and Dr. N came in to break my water. Let's just leave that whole thing at this....totally the grossest hour followed. I then got my epidural about 90 minutes later, still not having a twinge of pain. I hadn't had any contractions leading up to this, so I thought I was in super good shape. I was more scared of the epidural than I was of anything else, in all honesty. I hate the idea of needles of any kind, and I just didn't see how I could possibly stand this procedure. Thankfully, it was quite bearable, just a slight prick with the first topical numbing shot, then nothing else after that. I felt some weird things, but no pain or discomfort. Then I laid back and waited.

My husband posted to his blog a couple times during the day. They came to check on things now and then, but largely the next few hours were ok and uneventful. We watched the little monitors to see her heart rate and when the contractions would hit, since I wasn't feeling anything.

At some point early afternoon, maybe it was around the 3pm shift change, our nurses changed. The great ones who we started with left and we got a new one. Actually, it was a new one and a newer one. One was training the other. Never a good thing, I now know. The trainER was kind of rude and abrupt, but the trainEE was nice. Unfortunately, the trainEE didn't know to check on things and the trainER didn't double check her. How do I know?? Well, you see, there was a point just after they came on that my little pump of wonder drugs beeped, along with the fluids I was getting being empty at the same time. The trainEE came in to change them or whatever, and then she went on her way. Over the next hour or so, I started having more pain. I was feeling the contractions and they were getting worse and worse. Someone would say that it was just getting "closer to time" and that I would feel them a bit more as it got time to deliver. I tried to tell them that something was wrong. I bet I said that 100 times, pleading with someone to check on something. My husband was there and trying to calm me, my mother had arrived and was doing the same. Finally, the anesthesiologist--a different one than the one who placed my epidural--came to check the placement and make sure it was all good. He looked it over and confirmed that it was ok. Since I was still having so much pain, he gave me a bolus of meds into the line for the epidural. I felt the cold in my back, but I never felt the pain decrease. This happened twice, with no pain relief in between his two visits over a couple hours. But I wasn't progressing in dilation, so something was up.

At the height of pain, I was a yelling mess. I remember it, but I'm sure my husband could tell it better. I went into the "I can't do this!" and "Make it stop!" phases, and I kept telling them that this wasn't how it should be. I was without pain and fine, watching the strong contractions on the monitor, then a couple hours later, I'm screaming through ones that weren't as strong...something was wrong, and I was mad at everyone for not believing me. Finally, my husband went out to the hall and said someone had to do something right then. By then, it was sometime after 8 pm, I think, and there were new nurses again, good ones. They called the anesthesiologist--this time, the third trip, it was the guy who had done the placement to begin with. He noted that the catheter was out of place, probably because of my writhing around in pain. He said they'd have to do it all over again, starting fresh. That would have been fine, but I couldn't hardly sit still like you must do while they do the procedure. It was torture, to put it simply. And when they got my second epidural in, and started the meds, they noticed that the trainEE from earlier had turned off my pump that was giving me the epidural meds. Yeah, turned it off. And the trainER hadn't double checked to notice it. Even when I was telling them over and over that something was wrong. They apparently never looked at that.

So once I got the second epidural, it was only about 5 minutes until I was peachy again. My husband tells it well of me going from crazy insane in pain to calm and cool in minutes. I was talking to my friend on the phone soon after and watching the super strong contractions on the monitor without feeling a thing. Drugs are good....I highly recommend them! After having been with and without, DO the epidural!!!

The rest of the night was spent waiting, progressing slowly, and trying to get some rest. The family was all there, in the waiting room, not wanting to go to the hotel or go home because they thought it would be soon. But Braska had her own plans...

Dr. N came to check on me and found that she was turned the wrong way. Not breech, but head facing my back instead of my front. This meant that she kind of got stuck, and they said that until she turned herself, it would be a very slow thing. That if she tried to come out that way, it would be hard and painful. Good. Just what I wanted.

So we continued to wait. I slept on and off. Most of the time I just sat there in the room with the lights off, alone. My husband had gone out to the waiting room to hang with the fam. I didn't want everyone in the room with me. I don't know how people can have like 10 people, or even 3 or 4 in there to "watch." Ewwwww...I didn't even want my mom in there, but after the chaos, when it came time to deliver, it was good that she was there.

That takes us up to midnight...when I was frustrated at my little bundle who messed up my plans. She was supposed to arrive on 11/20, but she didn't cooperate. Little did I know that was only the beginning of my plans going out the window...

Tune in for the rest of the story tomorrow...the day she actually decided to join us.


  1. can't wait!

    Happy Early Birthday to the little one!

  2. And I was truly blessed and honored to be there with you.


  3. you know RK I am wondering how much our stories have in common. I'll tune in tomorrow.

    I know there are a lot of things - uncontrolled variables- in birth stories that we sometimes hold onto for years. Wondering if we had done something differently if things would have been better somehow.
    The nurse turning off your pain meds by accident is not only a terrible error - her job was to keep them running- but the way these errors are dealt with, in my experience anyway, leaves us with no trust in the medical system and that sets us up for more stress.
    I had a big talk with my geneticist yesterday about how they could have handled things better. I have a feeling things did not go well for you in this regard either. I'll be back to check.

  4. How awful that she turned off your meds. Ouch!

    I can't wait to hear about Braska's arrival!!!

  5. I'm glad everything went well with Braska having her tube removed. Happy birthday to her-and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your birth story.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


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