I was lying in bed looking around at the semi-dark hospital room. I wish now that I knew then what I know now, I should have been up and walking around, but then again I couldn't do that with the Cervidil. I just had to muster through my labor pains lying on my back, waiting for each wave that hit, one at a time and only 30 to 60 seconds apart, ALL NIGHT LONG.
It was not my imagination, and Nubun is a testament to this, the big flat screen TV in front of my bed was possessed! It kept on coming on, and turning off and I never touched a button! It was sort of spooky, and I was already drowsed up by that sleeping pill as it was...
We were not able to relax much during the night, Nubun would hold my hand almost all night and he’d stroke it as I was going through a strong contraction. That was what most of our night consisted of. Throughout the night I’d stretch my neck and try to see the computer screen behind me, I couldn’t see it. I asked Nubun to look at it.
“Yeah I can tell you are having a contraction, barely.”
What? Barely? Was that computer out of its mind!? I turned and twisted till I could see it. And sure enough it was showing very small contractions on there. I wanted to get out of that bed and march over to that screen and strangle it! How dare it not give me credit for the awful pain I was in?!!
The nurses came in the room and were talking in low voices while they were doing something on that computer screen. I struggled with a strong contraction and right afterwards I asked them if they saw it on the screen. One of the nurse squinted her eyes as if she could barely see it, and said: “Uh. Yeah I see it, you had one alright.”
“Good!” I said proudly. “I get some credit for it.”
She smiled sweetly and said: “They will get a lot stronger later on.”
Stronger? I shuddered. Tears sprang to my eyes as I was going through another labor pain, I already knew they were only going to get stronger but I didn’t want to hear that. Later on I found out that I was dilating all night long and that computer was not reading my contractions barely at all. Even my very last contraction before Evie came out barely showed up. I think now, what are those computers good for anyways? If I am having labor pains I KNOW IT, I don’t have to have a monitor tell me so.
I had a turkey sandwich that night, it was very good and I felt like my body needed it. After midnight though I was not allowed to eat or DRINK anything. When they told me that I panicked! I could go on for a long time without eating but not drinking. All my life I have guzzled water, during the day and throughout the night. My body required lots of water. Didn’t they understand that? Hospital policy!
As the night went on I got thirstier and thirstier, and since I couldn’t sleep through my thirst and pain I was in that much more misery. I begged Nubun to bring me some drink and he would go then come back with a little cup of pitiful ice chips. I felt like slinging it across the room. I didn’t want ice chips! I wanted WATER in its liquid glorified form! It wasn’t long before I thought I was going to die from thirst then I resorted to begging in that humbling tone of voice that only a wife can use to manipulate her unsuspecting husband.
“Nubun, get me some water, or I’ll die!” I felt sorry for him because he likes to follow the rules and the rules were no water after midnight. I could see the conflict on his expression and I know he could see the misery in mine. I felt sorry for him but sorrier for myself. I grabbed his hands and looked into his eyes. “Pleeease! Nobody has to know!”
He couldn’t stand to see his wife suffer and he was uncomfortable to go against our drill sergeant-doctors orders.
I smiled. He snuck out of the room and came back in with a cup of liquid heaven! After I drunk it I looked at him and wanted to laugh, he looked so guilty! And I? I had never loved my husband more! (Note: the water restrictions alone are cause enough for me to not want another hospital delivery ever again! People that know me well, would understand.)
The long night rolled on, I don’t know how the minutes, seconds, and hours went by but they did. It felt like I was suspended in time, floating in space with nothing but waves and waves of pain rolling over me unmercifully. I never cried out loud just repeated Nubuns name over and over again and prayed out loud for God’s help. I was worn out because my pains were so close together. Who said they were 2 to 3 minutes apart? Huh? Who told me that? Mine were mere seconds apart, I didn’t have time to recuperate from one wave before another came. I felt like all night was just one long extended contraction. Yes, labor hurts.
It was wearing on Nubun too, he needed some energy too and he raided our snack pack and spent the night munching on Slim Jims. When he ran out of those he raided my snack pack and ate all my Pop Tarts.
When morning came things started going really fast. The nurse started me on Pitocen before checking to see if I needed it or not. Then she checked me for dilatation and seemed surprised that I was at least 8 centimeters dilated, already on my own. She rushed out of the room to call my doctor.
She came back in and said I had to have an enema. I told her I didn’t want one. So she called my doctor up and told her I didn’t want one. “Oh well” she said “She has to have one.” I was a little mad. It seemed barbaric, and at that point in my life I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. I thought the doctors orders were the law, a law you don’t argue with.
I got the enema. And my nurse kept on saying that when I felt discomfort to let her know and she would quit pumping that liquid up my colon. Well, I was in so much labor pain I never felt a thing, I never told her to stop. So I got a good cleansing. I thought I still needed ‘to go’ and after ‘going’ twice I told the nurse that I needed to go again. But I found out later on that it was Evie’s head that was already starting to crown.
They asked me if I wanted an epidural, I was still drugged up from my sleeping pill and they had just giving me a Phenergan too, I didn’t even know what that was for at the time, but I was well doped up and had trouble concentrating on decision making. I asked if it would hurt my baby and they said it would only make her sleepy. Ok.
The anesthesiologist came and was standing in front of me giving me instructions on what to do. I was smiling and acting they way I was feeling, all doped up. “Look!” I told the poor guy interrupting his instructions. I pointed to my toenails. “Aren’t they pretty? My husband painted them for me!” He grinned then continued on. I interrupted him again as I turned to Nubun and smiled: “I see two of you!” I pointed at him and right beside him. “You are here and you are here!” Then I doubled over with another monster labor pain. My body was in shock, I was drunk with pain and drunk with drugs, never having to take anything stronger then a regular strength Tylenol before my body didn’t handle meds gracefully.
I was drugged but my pain was only getting worse, and for the first time all night I finally said it: “I can’t do this! I can’t, I just can’t, it hurts too bad.”
And then they gave me the epidural, I never felt the needle. It gave me instant relief.
The doctor came in mere minutes after that and the nurses all lined up in military fashion when they saw her coming. They informed her on what was going on and she got onto them for giving me an epidural while fully dilated. Then she examined me and exclaimed “There is the head! She is coming out!” She stomped her foot and clapped her hands. “Somebody start counting!”
I got so excited and asked Nubun to see if he could see her head. He said that she had a full head of hair and it looked like a fuzzy coconut!
The nurse told me to push and started counting. This was my big chance! I pushed with all my might. The Doctor gave me an episiotomy, and 4 pushes later Evie was safely out.
She was tiny! And perfect! She was plopped on my belly and for a few seconds stuck in time I looked down at my little sweetheart. She started crying and stuck her fist up to her mouth and started sucking on it. Tears came to both our eyes. She was ours, we could look at her touch her… it seemed like just 10 seconds later the doctor cut her umbilical cord (which looked more like a telephone cord) and took her from me handing her to the nurse.
“Go! Go with her!” I told Nubun. He looked at me for a second before going over by his daughters side. "You did good Andrea, really good." I teared up, that meant so much to me.
She was 5lbs 15ozs, 20 inches long, and in perfect health. Our lives changed forever that morning.
19 months later I had my second sweet little girl, and now I am 7 months pregnant with my third and I can’t wait to have a natural birth this time, with absolutely no unnecessary interventions.
Being a parent is indescribable, it is such and honor, such a blessing, such a privilege. Evie enriched our lives, and continues to do so with every passing day and I can’t imagine my life now without her. There is nothing in this world like giving birth; I thank my God for allowing me that beautiful privilege. God is so good!
Our Sleeping Newborn
Evie Now at 3 years old