As much as I’d love to say that being 5cm dilated and 100% effaced, meant that labor started to progress fairly quickly, that’s would be a lie. While it allowed the doctors to increase the dose of pitocin, in hopes it would speed up labor, it did no such thing.
Instead, I caved and asked for them to administer the epidural, which, contrary to what they tell you, does not feel like a bee sting, unless bee stings really fucking hurt in which case, then yes, it most certainly does. I’ve never had one, so I can’t be sure.
After the epidural was administered, I felt like something was off. My sister and others who’d gone through labor described it as not having any sensation from their hips down to their feet and that was definitely not the case with me. I just assumed however, that perhaps I was having a different reaction as is usually the case. I should have figured something was wrong when the Resident who came to check on my dilation was surprised at my ability to pull my legs up, but still I dismissed it and tried to get some sleep.
I probably lasted about 30-45 minutes before the increased dose of pitocin kicked in and I started to really feel the contractions. Contractions, that woke me up due to the severity and the pain that had overcome my body. It was then that I knew something was wrong and had Robby page the nurse.
The nurse in turn paged the group the anesthesiologist and after several minutes of holding Robby’s hand as I tried to breathe through the contractions, someone showed up in our room to check on me.
It turns out, the epidural slipped out of my back and all of the medication was just seeping into my skin rather than my spine. There was nothing that was targeting the correct nerves to alievate the pain and so once again, I had to go through the procedure of having the epidural removed and then reinserted and I still attest that it does not feel like a damn bee sting, thought admittedly it hurt much less. That could be from the medication that was speeing into my skin or that I was dilarious with pain, but it certainly felt a lot less uncomfortable. I’ll take my blessings where I can get them, thanks.
After the epidural was inserted, they tested it to ensure it was inserted correctly by pushing a dose into the line. I immediately noticed a difference. Within seconds my legs started to go numb and as my sister and others had told me prior, I was not able to feel anything from my legs down. Finally, blessed relief.
After they fixed the epidural, I went back to a drug induced sleep for maybe 2-3 hours, until once again I was ripped from my dreams due to sear agony. I could once again feel the contractions and was one more able to move my legs. I sought, comfort, however fruitless in squeezing Robby’s hand, as we waited for them to once again have someone come in to check on my epidural. It seemed like the minutes stretched on and I begged Robby to page the nurse and ask if they could give me anything in the meantime. The answer was a resounding no. I was too far along and they didn’t want to give me something that would assuredly knock me out and prevent my ability to push, so I waited, curled on my side, wishing it would stop. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the anesthesiologist appeared in my room and discovered the IV bag with the medication that was supposed to be delivered through the line in my back, was left off, hence the excruciating pain.
By this point, I was exhausted and just let them get on with once again fixing the error. The anesthesiologist who removed the epidural and reinserted it decided to mention that I likely had arthritis in my back and that when I got older it was likely going to be an issue. Gee, thanks sir. That’s exactly what I needed to hear when I’m half dead from lack of sleep and my body is rebelling at all the attempts to alleviate the pain. Seriously, thank you.
Finally, the epidural was reset, the IV bag checked to ensure medication was flowing, and I was once again able to drift off to sleep, though, you guessed it, that didn’t last long. Once again, I was jarred awake due to agonizing pain and once again Robby had to page the nurse. This time however when the anesthesiologist stopped by to check on me, everything was fine. The line was flowing, the needle was where it needed to be, my body merely decided that an epidural that should have lasted me several hours, would barely last me 2. Per my request the anesthesiologist topped me off (pushed another round directly into the IV) and I was once again able to drift off to sleep.
I was in and out of consciousness for several hours, and at one point my OB stopped in to check on my dilation. He advised was nearly there but not quite at 10cm, so we needed to wait a little bit longer. After he left, I promptly fell back to sleep, and after what I can only imagine was about 30-45 minutes, I was jolted away by a sudden need to push. I felt like I had to shit my pants and I told Robby he needed to page the doctor, because I thought I was ready. The pressure was unbearable and it took everything in me to NOT push, which was also about the time I realized that once again, the epidural had run out.
My OB arrived, did a quick check of dilation and confirmed that I was right. I was 10cm dilated and it was go time.
Everything seemed to happen in slow motion but also so quickly that it was hard to keep up. They helped move me from the bed I was on to a gurney and made Robby put on scrubs as they all prepared to wheel me out and into the operating room…