So, I’m walking around all classy, leaking fluids, etc. Oh, and by this time, Mike’s parents arrived to hang out. Since I wasn’t having contractions, I didn’t really care who was in there – as long as they left the room when I had to get up to pee or be “checked” by the nurses or doctor for dilation.
Prior to arriving at the hospital to hang with us, my in-laws were drinking margaritas after a very stressful day of getting ready for and throwing my sister-in-law’s bridal shower. They were celebrating that it was over. And then Mike called them. “Yeah, we’re at the hospital right now, Melissa’s water broke at Kim’s shower.” And they promptly paid the bill and headed to the hospital. Like they needed the extra stress a month early! They walked in and I just started crying like a baby. “It’s too early! I’m so sorry!” – such a loser. They are seriously the nicest people ever – I am so lucky to have married into their family. I don’t hate them, like most people hate their in-laws. We were all talking about food and the fact that I couldn’t eat. I sent Mike down with his dad so that he could eat without feeling bad sitting in front of me. He was nice once he got back, saying that the food sucked.
Then I sent him home to get my toothbrush and face wash. I also had big plans for him to pick me up some Italian Ice from Jodi’s. He kept saying, “the nurses said no food! only ice chips!” So I fought him tooth and nail and even had his parents on my side. End result: I got Jodi’s Italian Ice. The best lemon Italian Ice I have ever had. It had pieces of lemon zest in it. AMAZING. By this point, I still had no drugs or anything because I still wasn’t feeling any contractions, even though they kept pushing the pitocin (and in larger quantities as it got later). It was to the point where I was worried that they would have to do a C-section if things didn’t start progressing. Well, things started to progress. I’d like to blame the Italian ice instead of crediting the pitocin.
The in-laws stayed until about 7 p.m., when things started to get real. I finally started to feel these mild “contractions” that everyone was speaking of. It’s hard to explain what they felt like. Not like a stabbing pain, but more of a slow dull pain that progressively got stronger. Like bad menstrual cramps that would come in waves. When they started to annoy me, I suggested walking around the floor, because I had heard good things about people “walking off” the labor pains. Those people lied. I got around the circle once and paused in front of my room. Mike laughed as he said, “We’re done?!” so I humored him and walked around one more time. After that, all bets were off.
At my last doctor’s appointment, which was the week before, I had asked how my doctor felt about epidurals. She told me she was all for them, but that she warns all of her patients not to try to be rock-stars when it came to having it administered. As in, don’t wait until the pain is absolutely unbearable if you plan to have the epidural, because it takes a full hour to prep your body for the procedure (they have to push a certain amount of fluids into your body before they can even start the procedure and schedule the anesthesiologist). She certainly didn’t need to worry about me being a rock star. Not even remotely interested.
At about 10 p.m., I was not happy with how the contractions were feeling and I was just plain tired. No way was I going to go through another 12 hours of this bullshit as it got progressively worse. Time to call in the druggie doctor. I decided to prompt the nurse and hit the “pain” button on the little remote I had. I knew they were about to have a shift change, and I didn’t want to mess around with updating the new nurse on anything. “Yeahhhh, let’s go ahead and order the epidural, please”. So she hooked up my IV with the special fluids and away we went. It was a long hour, but contractions were not unbearable. They were getting there, and I could imagine how terrible it would have been without pain meds. No thanks!
Once all the fluids were in me (about an hour later), they started lighting up the room like Christmas. It’s seriously amazing what they are able to hide in those rooms behind those cabinet doors. Super bright light above my bed was turned on, and then they started opening all these secret compartments in the room with different tools and such for the epidural. Right before midnight, low and behold, Dr. Brody comes in and introduces himself as the anesthesiologist. The only reason I remember his name is because of Adam Brody and how intricate the show The OC was to my late teens/ early 20s. Dude looked nothing like Adam Brody, though his voice was monotone/ nerdy to an extent. The nurse asked me to sit up and turn to one side and drape my feet over the side of the bed. At this point, I was visibly shaking. I was terrified of getting stuck in the spine. Plus, we just had birthing class the day before, and they explained how sometimes to epidurals don’t always work if they don’t stick you properly and then you end up feeling EVERYTHING, or they are a little off and only half of your body goes numb while the other half feels EVERYTHING. So many things could go wrong. Aside from possibly being paralyzed, you know. So I was visibly shaking, and that is what Mike said freaked him out the most about the whole situation. He was holding one of my hands, while the nurse was holding my other hand and talking me through what was happening.
The anesthesiologist started to make conversation, which I hate. I know it’s fake, and they’re only doing it to try to “calm you” or whatever. He said, “So, where are you from?” – when I responded with my hometown, he responded with, “that’s where my wife is originally from” and blurted out the actual address from memory. Small world! I still didn’t care – I was just thinking about how he was about to literally stab me in the back. He explained each part of the process as he was about to complete it. First, he washed my back down with a sponge. Then, he said he was going to place some glue on my back to hold up the dressing thing that squared off where he would be putting in the catheter. All fine things, but let’s get to the point. It was about another 10 minutes of nonsense before he said, “Okay, I need you to push out your lower back, like you have really bad posture, and then you will feel a small sting from the needle” Well, first off, I like to pride myself on my posture. Second of all, bad posture is easiest to achieve in the top portion of your back. Especially when you have a giant belly on the lower portion of your other side. So it was hard for me to do, and I was getting frustrated.
The first try, I felt the needle and held still. I felt the sting and still held still – thought that was it! YAY! Wrong. I must not have been sticking out my lower back enough, because it didn’t work. Tried again, visibly shaking more now! Second prick. Oh hey – bigger sting! I jumped a little – more shifted. The nurse scolded me in a nice way, “you have to be still” – well no shit, thanks for the update….have YOU been stuck in the spine before? You look like you’re 16, so I’m going to guess no. The doctor was pretty cool about it and didn’t seems frustrated with me. Third time was a charm. I still don’t know if the procedure requires them to stick you in several different places in your lower back or if he just had to do that because I wasn’t sitting right the first two times. I didn’t care, because I started feeling the lovely sensation of drugs. And everything was balanced, meaning I couldn’t feel BOTH of my feet by the time the doctor left the room. The nurse had to help me get my feet back up on the bed. AWESOME!!! THIS IS WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR. And then I was able to relax and enjoy the show, so to speak…