Saturday, August 20, 2005

Disbelief/Not Believed

or: Good Reason part II

They won’t give me anti-contraction medicine—not that they think I’m having any contractions—but they will give me morphine. I think this is not so good for the baby but better than dying. Which is what I’ll do if I have to wait in this much pain to reach the 34 weeks where they’ll induce me. I imagine they won’t give me an epidural every twelve hours for the next week and a half either. As I start to clench my jaw and grip the bed rail, I wonder how pre-labor can be this painful and how anyone who is in real labor can do it naturally. We’d had exactly one introductory hypnobirthing class. I loved the images—to think of the uterus as a turtleneck just slipping over the baby’s neck, to imagine the uterus as a beribboned package and unlacing it, to think of a snowcapped mountain as a reserve of endorphins, let them drip onto your brow, through your cheeks, across your jaw. But I can’t really embrace these images. The baby isn’t supposed to come now—I don’t want to encourage it by visualizing a positive birth. I’m not really having contractions. No birth is what I’m shooting for, but I figure imagining the endorphins to be a universal visualization tool--I make it to my shoulders before I’m clutching the rail of the bed like the cold steel will provide a good role model.
Erik gets up every half hour or so to check on me. All I want to do is get up and walk but I was told to stay in my bed—and I do what I’m told because I don’t want anything bad to happen to the baby—or to think it was my fault for walking my baby into birth this many weeks early. I get up a lot to go to the bathroom, even if I don’t have to because that’s allowed. The morphine seems to do absolutely nothing but it must have had some effect because I made it through the night.
Every four hours, the nurses come in to take my blood pressure and check my contractions with a portable machine. Still, they see only little blips—tiny little hills along a mostly-flat line. I look like Nebraska but I feel like Colorado.
By the time the resident visits again I won’t let go of the bed rail. I arch my back every seven to eight minutes.
By three or four that afternoon, I ask the resident to please check me with her fingers. Double glove or something, I ask, but this can’t go on. She says, truly sympathetically, that she just can’t. They wheel me back to labor and delivery, just so she can check me again with the speculum. Fortunately, more morphine comes with this. Unfortunately, morphine is overrated. How is it possible? All this time I’ve waited for a reason to need morphine and it happens at a time when my opiate receptors are completely disinterested in receiving any opiates. Again, the promise of my needle-drug days dwindle. I imagine snow-capped mountains melting down my forehead.

To be continued, it takes a bit longer to write for some reason....


Trista said...

I looked for your blog when I heard you had given birth -- hoping for updates without having to bother you, so I bothered Julie instead. Glad to hear she is home, and glad to read your story.

When Kristin started contractions, they were monitoring them externally and all the contractions looked like were tiny blips. Once they stuck an internal monitor in her, they could see these gigantic contractions -- I liked to call them iceberg contractions, the part visible from the outside innocuous compared to the hidden danger beneath the surface.

Can't wait to hear the rest of the story (particularly the happy ending!)

Nik said...

Thanks Trista! I feel vindicated about the contractions. Of course, no one even mentioned the internal monitor to me. I love that term--iceberg contractions. Which I'll use next time. And by that, I mean probably never.
Congrats to you too! I can't wait to meet Julia.

Trista said...

Thought you might get my comment quicker if I wrote it here...

We got the sling at target, I think it was $19 or $29 or some other 2 digit number that ends with 9. Definitely worth it, only problem is you have to keep moving around for it to be effective -- not so good for sleeping... heck, I don't need sleep, sleep is overrated.