Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chapter Three: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

This is where things start to get very fuzzy on me. I believe that the following things happened. I do not believe they were necessarily in this order:
  • Around noon, we agreed to let them break my water. They did this and declared it to be clear and of the appropriate volume.
  • The contraction monitor kept slipping off and they eventually talked us into an internal one so that they could more accurately dose the pitocin and try to get things moving a little faster.
  • A few hours into the epidural or the pitocin (I can’t remember which), a nurse checked me and said she was pretty sure I was “there” and about ready to push. That was the most excited I ever was during the whole labor. Unfortunately, the other nurse (or a doctor?) she brought in to confirm this found that I was barely dilated any further than I had been at the last check hours earlier - maybe around a 4 at this point? The first nurse was embarrassed and explained her mistake away by saying she meant I was fully effaced (which I was) rather than dilated. Um, that’s definitely not the way she made it sound. Talk about a mind f-ck.
  • They lost Elliot’s heartbeat too many times and finally insisted on an internal monitor for him too. We were too tired to argue and, more to the point, too tired of having the entire L&D unit rush into the room in full panic mode every time the monitor lost his little signal. Even with this, they still lost his heartbeat whenever I turned on my left side so my movement was even more restricted.
  • I started running a fever. M and our doula took shifts putting towels soaked in ice water (literally, whatever container they were using to hold the water was half-full of ice chips) on my head and I was still hot. They cranked the AC up until everyone else in the room was shivering and I still couldn’t cool off. (Sign #1 of The Bigger Problem)
  • The anesthesiologist came in to check my epidural and asked if I was using the pump much. I said no, only once or twice an hour. She was appalled and said I shouldn’t be feeling that much pain. I explained that I’d asked to keep the level low but she remained alarmed. (Sign #2 of The Bigger Problem)
  • During one check in the early evening (?), a physician or nurse said “smells like chorio” and they started antibiotics for an infection. (Allow me to introduce: The Bigger Problem)

Chorio is an infection of the amniotic membrane affecting 1-2% of pregnant women. In addition to making the infected woman feel generally terrible, it causes high fever, uterine tenderness, fetal tachycardia and increased maternal heart rate. It’s really bad news.

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