Read part one.
We pulled up to the hospital and the valet opened
my door, heard me and said "hmm wheelchair?" Uh yeah, buddy. The nurses
took me into the triage room where I had to strip, put on a hospital
gown and get checked. "Well, I have good news and bad news. You're 100
percent effaced but only 1 centimeter."
It was in this
moment things turned down a different path. I panicked. "If this is 1 cm
pain, how am I going to get to 10 cm? I will surely die. Or pass out
from shock. Something must be wrong. I'm going to have a c-section."
same nurse yelled at me to calm down. She wasn't sure if there was
anything they could do since I was only 1 cm. Which if I could have actually spoken, I would have assured her that I was most definitely NOT leaving this hospital without a baby. After checking me again,
she reported that I was pushing. "If you think you are in pain now, wait
til you rip your cervix." More panic. And later a grievance against snotty nurse who fortunately we did not see again.
I've never been
in labor. I've never pushed. And I most certainly did not how to stop pushing. Things didn't get better from there. The nurse botched
my IV and a wide-eyed Shea told me not to look. The two-inch long bruise
left on my arm now 12 days later is evidence of what probably happened.
an hour later, I was checked again. Eight centimeters. EIGHT. Suddenly it all
made a lot more sense. The pain I was feeling, the panic, was me in transition. A few minutes later I would be at 10 cm, and I could hear the nurses' shocked whispers in the hallway. I was shaking violently, which they told me was hormones that surge right before pushing.
made a decision I am still processing. I cried,
begged, pleaded for an epidural. I told Shea not to be mad at me but I
couldn't do it. The nurses and Shea assured me this wasn't "normal" labor and I
had nothing to feel guilty about. My strong desire for a natural birth
went out the window when my body had no time to prepare and cope with
the pain. When I went from one to ten in an hour. There was no lead up,
no time for coaching or confidence building. And there was a nurse who
induced panic and fear. And the confusion of what was happening and the lag time as I had to wait to push when my body was already ready to go.
didn't feel the epidural needle. My body was slumped over Shea's with
my eyes locked into his waiting for relief. And then it came, like a
sweet wave of warm water. I know I could still feel the contractions
somewhat because I remember asking "is this one?" but my memory is
fuzzy. We waited an hour for the little man's head to turn. The nurse
asked me to try pushing just to see how close we were. With one push, the nurse
asked Shea if he wanted to see his son's head.
My midwife arrived and with only two more pushes, I was sobbing as my son was placed on my chest.
The consequences of a speedy labor, though, started soon after Shea cut the cord.