So, where was I? Oh yea, wanting the pain gone.
The midwife popped back in to check on me and I pleaded for the epidural. I don’t know how many times I apologised to my husband and the midwife for failing but it was quite a few times. I tell you what, if you decide to get an epidural, don’t expect it to happen immediately; be prepared to wait. First, the anaesthetist is notified and you are put on some sort of list – a list which doesn't appear to be prioritised based on how you are coping or not coping. Unfortunately it appears the anaesthetist isn't too concerned about your immediate need for pain relief – they come when they’re ready. Then the dude who puts the needle in your hand to connect your drip has to come. The midwife laid out a pile of needles and paraphernalia for him and I lay on my side with my eyes tightly shut attempting to breathe through the contractions. I think at that stage the idea that the pain would be gone soon enough was pain relief enough. I don’t know what that dude did or how he did it but fifteen or so minutes later I was that much closer to being pain free – all prepped and ready for a ginormous needle to be inserted in a very specific part of my back. Maybe an hour later my saviour arrived – the epidural lady. I’m sure I would have been more alert and responsive if Dr Patrick Reed had arrived but was happy enough with the young lady dressed in blue. I was sat up on the side of the bed and told in no uncertain terms how important it was that I kept completely still and was also notified of all the risks associated with epidural. For a split second I thought holy shit should I really get this needle given what can happen? That thought was gone before it even really eventuated. Keeping completely still is all good in theory except that your contractions don’t magically stop the minute you utter the words ‘I want an epidural’. Superhuman restraint must have taken over as I think I did pretty well to play statues during the insertion of the biggest needle you ever did see. As the epidural lady left I professed my love for her and was excited at the thought of the horrible pains fizzing out. I had no real expectation of what the epidural would do and in the hours to come it completely surpassed my expectations. The epidural was in and started to take effect around two thirty in the morning – probably around twelve hours since I’d really starting feeling it and maybe around three hours after I was in what they deem as active labour. Syntocinon which helps you dilate was also pumped in through my drip at the lowest dose to help the labour progress. After about an hour the full effect of the drug is supposed to be felt but I was still feeling somewhat painful feelings and let the midwife Kay know. The lovely lady increased my hourly dosage from the standard 6ml per hour to 10ml per hour. The 10ml an hour dosage was AMAZING – I couldn't feel a thing. Unfortunately I couldn't get any sleep throughout the rest of the labour as the doctor and the midwife were in and out constantly reviewing my ECG graph and checking on the amount of blood that I was losing. The concern was that perhaps the blood loss was from my placenta which may have resulted in an emergency c-section. The other explanation for the blood loss was from my cervix which had had some treatment on it many years ago. They were pretty certain that it was from my cervix and let the labour progress. The syntocinon was later turned off as my body was actually dilating naturally – from six to nine cm. Given how long I’d been dilating, the syntocinon was turned back on to finish my dilation in preparation for pushing.
For quite some time I was in euphoria – professing my love to the inventor of the epidural (and saying it was even better than cruise control) and talking a whole pile of other smack – I’m sure of which most of it was completely gobbeldy gook. I thought I was quite the comedian given my exhaustion. At one stage I said something along the lines of ‘if I tried to get up right now I would be like (insert Forrest Gump accent here) Lieutenant Dan’. Trainee Daddy reckons all the people in the room (of which there were a few) had no idea what I was talking about. At some stage of the morning there was a midwife shift change. A lovely British lady named Helen took over and one of the first things she checked was my numbness. Maybe my euphoria was a little too OTT. She was a little surprised when I had no real feeling right up to around my lungs. She turned the epidural down from 10ml to 9ml which was fine with me as it didn't make any difference. I was still totally in love with the epidural but also getting quite exhausted. I’d been focusing some much on the holy grail of 10cm that I’d forgotten that I actually had to push this baby out. Before I knew it (well not really – I’d been in birth suite number 5 for many hours) Helen said ‘it’s time to push’.
Yep, you know it – To Be Continued …