Monday, January 7, 2013

Labour: A list

Because we've just hit his first birthday, my mind has been turning back to Dear Boy's birth. I don't think I've ever recounted that tale on here and I'm not altogether sure I could do it now as my memories of the whole thing are spotty. This isn't just the forgetfulness that some people say comes with time - you forget the pain, the discomfort, so you're ready to do it all again. This is the lack of awareness, or the internalisation of my consciousness, when all I was focusing on was my body turning inside out and time warped and everything on the outside was just unclear.


This is what I do remember:

I finished David Drake's 'In The Stormy Sky' moments before my waters broke.

On the hospital's advice, we went in for a check - just in case I was an idiot and had mistaken waters breaking for peeing myself. They made me pee on a stick so they could send it off for testing. It's the only thing we received a bill for during the whole birth.

All I wanted to do was wash my hair. The painful contractions started in the shower.

The trip back to the hospital was very uncomfortable. The Next Biggest Sister called while we were in the car. Mama didn't let on what was happening but that sister knew something was brewing.

The midwife put on a dumb instrumental guitar CD. It was background noise and vaguely irritating but when it stopped it was all I wanted. It was scratched and kept skipping. I asked Lovely Husband to play it again, but didn't want to let his hand go.

Pain relief came in this order:
  • Ignoring it/laughter
  • TENS - great for early labour but became a tangled irritant once we got back to the hospital.
  • Shower - I'm not sure how long Lovely Husband blasted my back as I climbed the walls of the bathroom. Felt like hours.
  • Saline injections - most painful part of the whole shebang and only relieved the back pain for about 15-20 minutes. 
  • Gas/air - the longer the pushing went on, the more it felt like my back bone was being split down the middle. Didn't work the first time I tried but I started to cling to that hose and eventually think I just sucked for the distraction.
  • Epidural - which the doc recommended for the forceps procedure. Pity it didn't work. At all. Either time the inept resident/registrar(?) tried.
  • Spinal block - the big guns in the operating theatre, which felt like static all over my body. Went a little higher than they'd intended all the way up to my neck.
I couldn't let them strap my arms down in the operating room. All I could see was lethal injection scenes from too many movies. 

I've never felt more like a slab of meat in my life, laying there as busy people did busy things all around me. None of them looked me in the eye. 

OBs come with gumboots.

I couldn't pick out my anesthetist or the OB in a line-up. In my mind, they're the same youngish bloke.


Dear Boy's first piece of clothing was a hand knitted green and purple wooly hat.

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