Do They Give Epidurals In The Parking Lot?
I have always known that I wanted to be a mother.
The only problem? I am a wimp.
A wimp as in no threshold for even minute amounts of pain. Really, I'm one of those whiney, sniveling, complaining wimps that is a total party pooper. Or labor pooper, but really that's a whole different birth story. (I just totally went there.)
I'm not the strong, womanly type that you picture sweating through labor.
I'm more of the put-on-makeup-knock-me-out-and-wake-me-when-it's-over type.
I remember asking my ObGyn how soon I could get drugs in my system once I discovered I was in labor. Could they meet me in the parking lot with a wheelchair, an epidural and some painkillers, I wondered?
Those women who sweat through labor with no drugs? My heroes. Seriously.
I wanted my drugs in the parking lot. I am not kidding.
As terrified as I was, I decided that I wanted to let my sweet baby arrive on her own. You know, the whole exclamation of "it's time!" while I am gasping for breath seemed kinda romantic to me - just like you see in the movies.
Seriously. I am so naive.
I ended up being 42 weeks pregnant when my ObGyn insisted that I be induced for fear that the placenta would stop doing it's job. Apparently 42 weekers aren't common anymore because of the large amounts of women who get induced and schedule c-sections. You should have seen the look on the admitting nurse's face when I waddled in on a Thursday night and announced that I was 42 weeks pregnant and was there to be induced - labor still hadn't started. Oh, and look, I brought my own pillow!
The next morning around 6 am I was induced. Around 9 am the contractions were mildly painful - like bad tummy cramps - so I asked for Advil. The nurse reappeared with some clear liquid in a syringe, and started injecting it into my IV. As she was halfway though, it occured to me to ask her what she was doing. She said "oh, these are the painkillers you requested! I called your doctor and he said to go ahead and give you this..."
There was no way that stuff was advil. That's exactly why I love my ObGyn. I didn't get my drugs in the parking lot, but whatever that stuff was it was was awesome. I was touched that he had remembered.
Anyway, that's the last thing I remember before they woke me up around 1:15 pm to give me a walking epidural - my doctor had gone ahead and ordered that once I was far enough along too. I was terrified of the epidural, but the medicine had made me so sleepy that I really didn't care what kind of needle they stuck in my back, so long as they let me go back to sleep right after.
Come to think of it, I really should write my Ob a thank you note for that day.
I was 7 cm dilated at that point.
At 2 pm I woke up and asked for my makeup bag. By 2:10 pm I had put on a full face of makeup. What?! I didn't want to look horrid in all the photos!
I calmly told my nurse around 2:15 that I was ready to push, and she didn't believe me. Then she checked me and well, I've never seen a woman move so fast.
Within 5 minutes that room was swarming with baby nurses, my nurses, and it was so freakin' bright that I felt like I was about to perform an Opera, not have a baby.
My doctor showed up at 2:25 and did the things doctors do, and at 2:32 he told me I could push. I remember thinking that he coached me much like an exercise teacher - telling me to push harder, that I could do more, to give it all I had. I guess it worked, because at 2:39 pm they handed me my sweet daughter after only 7 minutes of pushing. She was perfect and healthy, and she took my breath away.
So I guess in the end, they don't really like to give epidurals in the parking lot. However, the next time I saw the parking lot of that hospital, I had new fears, and new challenges. Could I protect her and keep her safe? Could I give her everything she would ever dream of? Suddenly, the pain of birth seemed like a dull and distant memory.
I had better things to think about now.
Tune in to the new unscripted series "One Born Every Minute." Premieres Tuesday, February 1 at 10 pm et/pt on Lifetime.