Two years ago a phlebotomist came into my room at 5 am. She inserted a needle into the crease of my elbow like someone had once every few days for the last two weeks. I was amazed they were still able to find a vein. Nothing stands out about that particular needle stick. It melts together with all the rest of the early morning wake up calls that involved someone standing over me with a needle and vacutainer.
Here’s what I was doing six years ago from today. When this picture was taken my water had broken, but I didn’t know it yet.
I’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking about all the ways I was disappointed in both of my experiences giving birth. I had been forming a post about it, yet again. Then I woke up and realized today is my best friend’s daughter’s fourth birthday, and reflected on that instead.
I wasn’t allowed to see him until after the mag was turned off. I was also not allowed to eat. Eventually I was at least allowed to have some sprite. At some point they helped me get from the bed to a chair. THAT was not fun. Not even a little fun.
I will give Duke credit, they were very onboard with trying an induction, and not jumping to c-section. Unfortunately Rowan was still sitting butt down, head up. So c-section it was. At the moment I was so so tired that I was resigned to this without too much internal struggle. They put yet another catheter in, and started the mag again. Around 8pm on the 28th I was wheeled down to the OR. They gave me the spinal block, which meant sitting on the edge of the table bent forward while they poked around next to my spine to find the perfect spot. Bonus was that the person who did it was clearly still learning, and they were maybe a little too eager about the fact that I have scoliosis. Listening to the head anesthesiologist explain to the person sticking needles in my back how to deal with the curvature, and listening to her discuss what she was feeling in my back was not really what I wanted at that moment. Then I felt like I was going to pass out. The nurse quickly braced me more carefully, and reminded me to breathe. Then it was done, and I was told to lie back. They shaved me, washed me, disinfected me, whatever the heck they were doing down there. Then I was told that the spinal was definitely working, because they just tested by poking me really hard, and that if it wasn’t working I would have jumped off the table.
It seemed like every few days something happened that made them start talking about delivery. But we would work it out with medications. Or they would be okay with whatever symptom because it was “just ____.” I was wondering how many “just” whatevers we could stack together before the pendulum swung. I had had headaches off and on that could be explained a million ways, but were making us all nervous. But they would eventually go away. I was never under any assumption that we would make it to 34 weeks. In my head I made 32 weeks my goal.