Thousand reasons Thursdays, Part 10 (Part 1 revised) and To Be Continued next week!!
Another day in the life of a bedridden pregnant woman began in the very same way it had begun for the last 43 days. I passed the morning doing my usual routine: eat breakfast, slowly make my way to the bathroom to avoid any unnecessary leaks, brush teeth, crawl back in bed, try to concentrate on reading the Bible or a bible study (the stack of books was getting higher), flip on the TV and click through to find nothing, pick at my lunch and hope someone would bring me something better, visit with my mom and Dad when they stopped by to check on me, try to find something else on TV……
But then something new happened this day. I started feeling like something wasn’t right. There was that tightening in my abdomen again. And I didn’t feel super great, like I didn’t have any control over my body - like an “out-of-body” experience. I called the nurse to let her know what was happening. I wanted to push the worrisome thoughts out of my head. Is this it? Am I really having the baby this time? Is it going to be Ok? Will he/she survive? What happens next? Is this going to hurt as much as I heard about?
By 5pm, the contractions were really starting to hit. This definitely got the attention of the nursing staff out in the nursing station. The evening shift nurse came in and gave me another shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions, and it last about 40 minutes. With a worried look on her face, the nurse told me they would be moving me into a Labor and Delivery room.
Casey was “home” now and we looked at each other in disbelief. Oh, wow, this was it! Could be read on both our faces. The nurse instructed Casey to gather up my things. He piled everything we had in the room on a little tiered cart they’d wheeled in, while they got me situated on a gurney.
Once in our new “home,” they got me hooked up on an IV of saline, “just in case.” Casey began the arduous task of phoning all the relatives to let them know that Baby Wilson might be making an early arrival.
The contractions were still coming on, so by 8pm, our new L&D nurse gave me another shot of “Terb.” Which didn’t do much and only for 20 minutes. They were timing the contractions at every 5 minutes.
The next few hours were a mad rush of busyness around me. Everything seemed surreal - like a dream. Family and friends had started arriving, and I found myself wishing they hadn’t come. I just wanted to be alone with the pain and the uncertainty. They were trying to be helpful, but nothing could help the lonely, empty feeling. I began to shut down mentally. Outwardly I acted like I was listening, but inwardly, I was in my own little hole, hiding until it was all over.
By midnight, everyone had gone home and to bed. They were convinced, along with the staff that Baby wasn’t coming any time soon. The nurse checked me again, at my request and complaining of the contractions worsening. NOTHING. Was I being a wimp? These contractions were terrible! I asked for something for the pain. Their answer to my request was a shot of morphine. I voiced my concern for the well-being of the baby, and was assured it would be fine. I began to drift off a little after the morphine kicked in, but the contractions were unrelenting, still coming at a steady rate of one every 5 minutes.
The nurse came in and tried to take my vital signs as quietly as possible. I peeked over to the clock on the wall, trying to feign sleep. 2 AM!! The nurse assured me they would be monitoring me all night long and would be in the instant my contractions got too close again. I tossed and turned every 20 minutes, trying to get comfortable, trying to relax and sleep a little. Casey was softly snoring on the cot next to me. We both had had a long night. I watched the clock tick by from 2 am til 5 am. Every time I would start to doze off, something would wake me and I would have to start all over again - look at the clock, look at the contraction monitor connected to me, look at Casey to see if he was awake, and then settle down to fall back asleep.
But now, it was 5am, and I was beginning to feel more pressure, more often. Was I in labor? Like REAL labor? Why haven’t the nurses come in? Do they know? Aren’t they seeing the waves on the monitor at the nurses station? Where is everyone?! I glanced over at Casey - still fast asleep. Should I wake him? I don’t want to scare him!
All of a sudden an overwhelming urge to use the bathroom overtook me. Was this the Transition Phase I had read about in that book about what to expect during labor? I fumbled for the Nurse’s call button and buzzed the nurse. No answer. Where IS everyone?! The hall outside my room which was typically buzzing with activity no matter what time of day was eerily quiet.
I buzzed again, the sense to “go” overtaking my body. Finally someone answered. “Hi, do you need something?”
“Um, I think I’m having contractions…..”
“Ok, things look good out here. How often are you feeling them?”
“Like every 5 minutes, although now it might be like 2?”
“Ok, well we’re not seeing that out here. We’ll keep an eye on it and see.”
I’ve always been one to not question authority, keep my head down, and do what I’m told. But at this point, I had to say something. I buzzed again.
“Um, I feel like I have to push…”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean I think I am in labor and I feel like I have to push!” I shouted frantically.
“Um, ok, well, you can’t push. You can’t have that baby yet. Just a minute, I’ll be in to check…”