Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Labor & Delivery

Everything after that happened really fast. I was placed in a private L&D room, which was fully equipped to handle just that – labor and delivery. I think that it was good that it all happened so fast, because I didn’t have the time to think about what was actually happening.

I was hooked up to the monitoring system again and an IV was placed in my hand. The IV is probably the worst of the pain that I had felt at that time. It hurt so bad! Dr. P finally came in and explained what was about to happen to me. I was to be put on magnesium sulfate to slow the contractions for 24 hours at least. At that time, I would be reevaluated to determine the next course of treatment. The nurse warned me that the mag would make me feel miserable in the beginning, like I was having tremendous hot flashes. She wasn’t lying – I was miserable. I had never felt that hot before, I felt like I had a temperature of 120! I was also given a shot of steroids in my rear (the second most painful event of the evening). The steroids are administered to women in pre-term labor to assist the babies in more rapidly developing their lungs, in case they were born soon.

My nurse told me that I was only allowed ice chips and was not allowed to use the bathroom. Yes, that means that I had to use a bedpan the whole time I was in L&D. Let me tell you, when you plan on having a baby, you need to check your modesty at the door, because there is no way to avoid some of the awkward situations you find yourself in. And everyone sees EVERYTHING. I was uncomfortable, embarrassed, hungry and scared and I just wanted everything to be okay for my girls.

A little later in the evening, I was given a shot of morphine to help to alleviate the pain of the contractions. The morphine caused an immediate reaction for me, I felt like my throat was closing and that someone was lifting my chin and choking me. It only lasted about 30 seconds, but it terrified me. After that, I couldn’t tell if and when I had a contraction. This lasted for almost 24 hours! But I still couldn’t get any sleep because I was constantly being monitored and my vitals were being checked every hour on the hour.

J stayed the night with me because we were still uncertain if the babies would be delivered that evening or soon after. But eventually, my contractions went from every two minutes, to five minutes, to 10 minutes and finally every 15-20 minutes. I was on the mag until Wednesday morning, when they took me off the IV because four contractions an hour was controllable with an oral medication. Later that day, I was transferred to Antepartum, the division of the Birthing Center that houses the women with high-risk pregnancies and pre-term labor.

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