Monday, October 15, 2007

Amnesia setting in...

First, I want to apologize to any future-birthing Audiologists for my previous alarming post. Unlike Camille's case, I was "prepared" for the possibility I would "miss" the epidural because I chose to wait. I knew I wanted to wait as long as possible because I wanted to be able to walk around and not be hooked up to anything (IV, monitors) and the staff were awesome and they made sure I knew what I was (possibly) getting myself into. And in the end, that freedom I bought myself made me very happy.

Ways not to "miss" your epidural: 1. ask for it before you get to transition and 2. Remember that external monitoring sometimes doesn't work (It failed to pick up Camile's contractions and also, many of my contractions during Aizays birth.) Don't let the staff tell you you are not having contractions based on the monitor.

As I suspected might happen, I am having amnesia of the physical pain of delivery. I think it's harder to forget mental pain than it is to forget physical pain. It's still easy to remember panic attacks and anxiety from Aizay's birth and short bursts of panic from Coraline's. Fortunately for me, I was happy during labor and delivery and that really helped. I actually was able to relax between contractions. I couldn't do that during the worst part of Aizay's labor. Another pleasant surprise was that I had substantial breaks between contractions. I was perfectly fine laboring before I got to 7-8cm. In books and childbirth class, they say contractions during the end of labor (transition) can be 90 seconds long with 30 seconds off. This is what I was scared of when I asked for the epidural. But thoughout my labor, I had "long" breaks between contractions-all the way to the end! That really saved me from going insane, I think.

The pain I haven't forgotten yet-the 3 or 4 really bad contractions right before I started pushing. Coraline was faced the wrong way and she was basically aiming straight for my left femur instead of out. I lost the feeling in my leg during the contraction and my hip felt like it was being pried apart. And I was panicked because I was imagining she might not turn and there'd be, at the least, hours of pushing, or more forceps, or the worst nightmare of all: c-section under general anesthesia.

It turns out she turned in about 7 minutes and then got pushed out in another 7 minutes. That made me happy.

I feel very good now physically. I am not really injured and I didn't lose a lot of blood (I lost a lot with Aizay). I am just tired out and my muscles ache like I went on a long hike.

Other details:
-I labored (active labor) for 7.5 hours.
-Coraline came out with the cord wrapped around her neck, which could explain why she had a hard time flipping head down when she was breech.
-My nurses and midwives were so good to me. They worked out a way to not give me pitocin...And I had better nurses than last time (even though they were pretty good with Aizay, too). Maybe there is something to my theory of better nurses being on duty during the weekday shift. Or maybe they just treated me well because I gave them chocolates...
-It was an unusual day/night in labor and delivery the night Coraline was born. There were 4 emergency c-sections transferred into labor and delivery from other hospitals. Plus they had "planned" sections too. There were pre-eclamptics, gestational diabetes patients and a breech c-section. I think the staff were probably happy to have us there for some "normalcy". It was a crazy night and it goes a long way in explaining where all the anesthesiologists were.

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