Oh yeah, my water broke. By now it was 4:15. Mo called my sister and my parents to let them know we were being admitted. I had one of those giant puppy house-training pad things stuffed into a giant pair of mesh underwear and was walked down the hall to my room. I know I had to stop at least once and lean on the wall through a contraction. The room was about two doors down.
Now, here's the deal. I remember my childbirth class teacher telling us that successful natural delivery in a hospital setting totally depends on having the right nurses around. Truer words have never been spoken. My first nurse was a lovely woman I'm sure, but she was horrible. Awful. I hated her so much that I peed on the floor just to spite her. True story. What can I say, childbirth brings out the animal in you.
(*side note: I just said to Husband, remember when I peed on the floor just because I hated the nurse so much? His answer: Yeah, it was the only time you had a smile on your face the whole way through transition. The only time. As if most women smile through the whole thing.)
Anyway, they had become worried about the baby while I was in triage - apparently she wasn't being active enough, so they made me wear the fetal monitor. The good news is that they have wireless fetal monitors at Swedish, the bad news is that they don't work worth a crap. That nurse was constantly on me, contraction or no contraction, PUSHING THE DAMN SENSORS into my gut. I wanted to slap her. Mo wanted to slap her. The only time she paid me any attention was to mess with the sensors. She basically acted like if I wanted to go natural, I was on my own. It was like it was a giant pain in her ass to have to deal with me and my pain - why couldn't I just lie down in the bed, get an epidural and be quiet like a normal lady?
So I labored in the tub for a while, and I hated it. That was disappointing because I had hoped to love the tub. No such luck. I was having some pretty bad back labor and I just couldn't hack it lying down. But the contractions were coming too fast and furious for me to change position. It basically took me getting to the point of "I'm going to die if I don't get up and move" for me to be willing to move. The other two things that sucked: I was so tired that all I wanted in the whole world was to lie down - but as I mentioned, lying down made me feel like my pelvis was going to shatter into a million pieces. The other thing was that I was having acid reflux attacks in between contractions - so I got no break. As soon as a contraction would end, I would get a flare of acid in my throat. And then the next contraction.
Somehow it got to be 7:30 in the morning. It was time for shift change, and the stupid on call doctor was in the room discussing my progress with the stupid nurse. Note that it had been nearly FOUR hours since the last time I had been checked, and I hear the nurse tell the doctor that I was dilated six centimeters. Like she had checked. Like I had made no progress in all the time I had been there. I hear the doctor say "and she's trying to go natural, right? So she doesn't want to hear about pain management?" all warily, like I'm a pain in his ass for not just taking the drugs and shutting up. I'm sitting on a birthing ball trying not to die and these a-holes are giving each other looks like I can't believe we have to deal with this shit. So the doctor turns to me and gives me a big fake smile and says something like "okay, well I'm off, so it will be the next doctor who delivers you. Good luck!" and leaves. Nurse says something similar and also leaves. I would have thought good riddance but I was too busy wishing the doctor had looked at me and actually spoken TO me and asked me about my pain and told me all about epidurals.
So then I start crying. Or maybe just making whining crying sounds. I have totally hit the wall. I look Mo straight in the eye and say those fateful words: I can't do this anymore.
This gets the attention of New Nurse. Angel Nurse. My favorite woman in the whole world. She comes over and puts a gentle hand on my shoulder (something A-hole nurse had not done once in the previous three hours) and asks me if I want to be checked to see how far I've come. Um, YES PLEASE. I felt a sense of relief in knowing that I was either going to be almost done or make friends with the anesthesiologist. But I needed to know either way.
I was a nine. A glorious, buttery nine.
Angel nurse told me that I could go ahead and bear down a little with the contractions if I felt like it, and went to call the new on call doctor to tell her I would be needing her assistance promptly.
Pushing gets its own post. Partly because I really want to discuss it thoroughly, partly because I want to eat lunch before The Tyrant wakes up.
At least she's a cute tyrant.