Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Breaking Point

        “Mrs. Cooper, is that right? I am sorry but you are going to have to stay, there seems to be a problem.” My eyes and head swing in an upward motion in a smooth single glide. The target of my eyes is a doctor I do not recognize but he seems to have read my file, at least it appears so by the way he is talking to me.
After what seems like forever another nurse comes into my room. “You need to get into a gown and we are going to get you admitted.” She says as she hurries from the room. I thought something didn’t feel right, that is after all why I came into the ER in the first place, but I had no idea.
I get into the gown and crawl up into the bed they rolled up in front of the hall door. I hate hospitals. The sheet on the bed are white like they have been bleached over and over, so many times they are wearing thin. They are also cold and rough, I hesitate to slide my leg under the sheet. The lights in the hall blaze, florescent must be the most unnatural lighting ever. You never confuse the haze of fluorescent lights for the natural glow from outside.
A nurse comes by and rolls me up to labor and delivery, 3rd floor coming up! The nurse parks me in the room and then tells me the doctor will be in to speak with me shortly, which I know means probably hours from now. Guess I will check out what is on the TV.
Funny how the angle hospital TV’s are at, forces you almost to recline, if you don’t either lie down or bring the back of the bed up, it just isn’t comfortable to watch. Almost as if they are telling you in their own little way, get comfortable you are going to be here awhile.
I look down at my phone, and think should I call him now or wait until I know more information. I don’t want to worry him and at this point in time I am not sure which will worry him less, so I start to dial.
He doesn’t answer so I have to leave a voicemail, I tell him I will call when I have more information, but all they have told me at this point is they are admitting me. Hate leaving messages with important info, but I could get dragged off for tests and not knowing when I could call again, I better tell him something now.
I try to watch TV for a while, my focus is nowhere near the television, but it is a decent distraction. Had I know I would be staying I would have brought my bag with me; it has all the magazines, Gameboy and music to listen to. I wait again what seems like hours to see someone again. They tell me they will be right with me to hook up some monitors, if I want to get up or use the restroom without machines this is my last chance for a while. I take the suggestion and go to use the restroom.
Hospital in room bathrooms look funny to me, first off they are always entirely made of tile so they are always cold. Then they have handles and pull strings, for god only knows what. Then there is the drain in the middle of the floor, something strange to me about standing in a room that is meant to be hosed down, nothing good comes to mind in thinking why they need that there, so I try to stop thinking about it entirely.
 How long ago did I call my husband, what is taking him so long I thought at the least he would call by now? I am now almost in a state of panic, I know I contain it well you could hardly tell, but I am one straw away from my back breaking.
I am currently 21, 2 weeks married, adopted with no family medical history and past 40 weeks pregnant, and I have no idea why they have kept me or what is going on? Could I get more anxious than this? I have been here for some time and nobody is telling me anything.
The next couple hours fly by, but the events relax me. My husband decides to just come over instead of calling so he is here, great to have personal company, he knows me. The monitors have been hooked up and my baby is doing fine. They are talking about inducing my labor that is time for my daughter to enter the world, my nurse tells me I am in the final hours without children that it will be soon.
The next time I see the doctor in my room he briefly goes over the plan of action, we start some meds in my IV and some on my cervix directly to get labor started, then we wait. There is no exact what of knowing how long it will take to get up to full steam baby pushing time.
In about 40 min I start to feel really crampy, the doctor checks and labor has begun, slowly but it has started. My pulse starts to race at this news, am I ready? Have I done everything I could to prepare? I am so nervous to be a new mom.
A couple hours later, nothing much has changed, so my nurse suggests we go for a walk around the hospital, see if the exercise helps things along at all. So we decide to cruise the halls for about an hour. We check out a full 3 floors worth of Hospital wall art. Funny when you are just in and out of the hospital for appointments you don’t really notice how much art there really is on the wall. I am amazed at how many artists are featured and the quality of the art at the Hospital. I am happy it is here though, I am searching for good distractions, and the pain is getting worse and more frequent.
We walk, now at a slower pace, back to my room. About 15 min go by and the Doc is in to check me, I have moved forward. Good news. He tells me that he is going to order an epidural to be readied for me, so when I am ready they can administer it if I choose, sometimes the window of able to give and unable to give is very small, so he wants to be prepared.
It has been now 4 hours since I saw my Doctor and things don’t seem to be changing. The nurse comes in a tells me she doesn’t see things changing too much that I may want to try to get some sleep while I still might be able to. I try and try to find a comfortable position and just can’t. The nurse sees my rolling around and asks me where it hurts the worst, and I show her my lower back. She comments I may be having back labor and makes notes in my file.
My eyes slowly peel open to an early morning haze; I guess I did finally fall asleep for a bit. I am not awake for even 5 min before a nurse is in the room checking vitals and taking more blood. My doctor comes in and greets me, he informs me that he is now leaving and his collogue will be taking over and he introduces her to me. She takes a check of me and talks about how I have been in labor for a while now and they would like to try to speed it along. I say whatever they think is best. She tells me she will get things ordered then and we will get things moved along.
A few minutes later in comes the nurse with a new IV solution and hooks it up. She warns me that this may go very fast to hold on and go with it; my daughter is at the end of the ride. I get nervous and a little scared, but excited that it might all be over soon as well.
30 minutes later I am screaming at my husband about how he did this to me and he should have to feel how much it hurt. I am grasping at the cold hard steel rails on my bed and tearing at the crappy hospital sheets which have tangled my feet. Needless to say I am in now finally in full blown labor.
My doctor checks my and happily reports I am almost there, just a tiny bit to go on my cervix dilation and then we are good to go to push. I am anxious, nervous and excited, all the while in huge amounts of pain, horrible to manage, a pure mess. My nurse tells me she is going to call the Anesthesiologist for my epidural that it is time.
The concept of receiving an epidural in labor sounds much more ideal than it is. You take a woman in pain that has been told to breathe in funny patterns, and then you tell her to roll into ball, hold perfectly still and hold her breath, perfect execution right? Well after we got through that, the relief from pain is almost immediate but I find it very strange that even though the pain is gone I can still feel all the pressure of the contractions. I guess I have been so focused on the pain I did not notice how much the contraction are actually pushing on me.
A couple calm hours go by chatting with my hubby, playing trivia games and such. My doctor comes back to check on me. I can tell by her face she is beginning to get concerned that I have not finished my dilation of my cervix yet. She tries to manipulate it slightly, but unsuccessfully. She then informs me that she is willing to try and let me wait another few hours but if nothing happens we are going to have to go the c-section route, which I really don’t want to do.
About 90 minutes pass, and we have made a full circle we are at the 24 hour mark for labor, at the same time my first doctor is back on shift a replaces his collogue. He though does not share her thoughts on c-section; he says we can do this natural.
He orders for me to go to the delivery room and the race is off, everyone starts to scramble a bit. My husband gets escorted off to where he scrubs for delivery. And I am on the roll again, through the hospital halls.
The next period of time moves very quickly for me. One thing after another is happening and people are coming in and out of the delivery room for a while. It seems everyone is situated and the doctor arrives, he says we are going to try our first pushes, being this is my first child I need some coaching, not exactly sure what it is I push on. After a little explanation and practice, I give a few good pushes. The doctor says he is going to scrub and be back and we are going to have a baby.
I guess I feel slightly relaxed knowing that everything seems to look fine and we are in the home stretch, at least it seems.
The doctor comes back and we start pushing, we keep going for almost 20 min. This is a lot of work to do over and over again for 20 min. We decide to take a break then we will try again. We go through this cycle 3 times. I am frustrated, crying and at a loss for words completely. What is going on, what do we do now?
After about another 30 min since the last time I tried pushing with the doctor, he returns. He tells me he wants to try a vacuum to help pull the baby out. It seems my daughter has turned herself around and her head is facing the wrong way and it just doesn’t fit so nicely as facing the other way does. So he wants to help her along.
Terrified of the notion that they are about the attach a vacuum to my new daughter head and try to pull her out of me, I try to cooperate as best  I can. Loads of pressure, and they tell me to push, so I do. No luck. We repeat this a few times and they all disappear again.
What can go worse is she really stuck? Why are we doing a c-section like the other doctor said? My thoughts are racing, but my body is exhausted from this marathon, where the ends appears nowhere in sight.
Almost fearful of his return, the doctor reemerges, with what appear to be huge salad tongs, he tells me they are called forceps and will help scoop my daughter out. These things are huge I tell you, I can’t imagine there is room for those too as well as the baby, but they seem determined to try. And try they are doing, but it seems fruitless yet again.
The doctor leaves once again, but he returns quickly this time. He says I need one person for each of my legs; they need to hold them because I am so tired. The doctor walks over to me and asks me, “Do you want to have this baby now?” I tell him of course. He tells my mom and husband to hold my legs way high and then in an instant he doctor reaches down grabs the back of my ponytails pulls my hair hard and yells at me,” Get mad and push that baby out!”
Terrified, I am pushing for my life, eyes darting from face to face, wondering if this is normal. He pulls harder and I push harder. I am actually afraid so I push for fear. 8 min later my daughter is born, it is finally over.

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