You know that feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night with an agonising cramp in your calf muscle, causing you to flail in a panicky daze out of bed, crashing into the nightstand, howling in pain and hopping up and down in an attempt to ease the knot? If not, then lucky old you. If so, then you'll appreciate what's coming next- hold that thought.
Wednesday- sometime in the morning:
The drip has ramped up for a short time when I start feeling a wee bitty uncomfy in my right hip. Ever since my days of torturing my joints during adolescent ballet classes, I have had something of a problem with my...whatchamathingme- hip flexor? The best way I can explain is that from time to time, particularly after exercise or lying in certain positions, I need to "pop" the joint. All this entails is lifting my leg up to a certain height, like a dog watering a fire hydrant, and it releases the tension or whatever it is that bugs. Sort of like cracking a knuckle. I'd been doing this a lot during the pregnancy- at least three or four times a night-, since all that lying on the left side caused a general ache in my whole body, including said hip.
So, I begin to feel an overwhelming need to pop my hip. However, this is not easy when strapped, as I am, to the bed with a variety of tubes. I fidget for awhile trying to get my leg up. Then my mother and Three come to help and tries to raise it. I get myself onto the left side and together we work at contorting my limbs into various position, but without success.
The discomfort is becoming considerable. It feels like somebody reaching into my pelvis and slowly twisting something in a gruesome vice. The pain comes in waves. The epidural has absolutley no effect on this. Ack. Ack. I don't know how much longer I can put up with it. I look at the clock. The doctor is coming in a short time to exam me again, so I breathe deeply and figure that I'll soon be heading for my C-section, so I can hold out for just a little longer.
Except as the minutes tick by...not so much. It's become like that middle of the night leg cramp feeling, only in my hip. And by the time the doctor comes in, I am literally writhing in agony.
It is therefore unfortunate that the doctor in question has the bedside manner of, say, fungus, and is only interested in the state of my cervix rather than my overall wellbeing, which at that particular moment is not so fucking well at all.
It all gets a bit hazy at this point. Three tries to give me some gas and air to ease the pain. I take two or three frantic gulps before swatting it away, wailing,"It's not working! It's not working!" The doctor is standing there blankly, ready to get on with the exam. I can't believe that we are actually contemplating carrying on with this induction- it is unfathomable that I might have to stay in this position for another minute let alone several hours. I hear somebody screaming, "Why are you doing this? I cannot fucking lie here any longer," and realise it is me. The doctor tells me, coldly, that if they don't do the exam now, they will have to do it later. Eh? Whatever. The pain eases for a second and I tell her to get on with it.
It turns out that I have dilated to 4cm. Apparently, this is considered to be significant enough progress to warrant carrying on with the induction. Only I beg to differ. As another wave of pain hits, I am screaming that I want a C-section and I want it now. (Later I will be embarrassed at all the unseemly screaming and indeed about saying "fucking" in front of my mother in such an unlady-like fashion. But I mean, really- what's childbirth without a certain amount of profanity? Exactly.)
"No," Dr Fungus commands, "You are 4cm. You cannot have a section. We will carry on with the induction. " And she leaves without further discussion. I freak out and it all gets really really hazy.
Several things then happen in quick succession. Three cleverly realises that the pain in my hip is linked to the contractions on the monitor. The upshot: as the baby is descending, she is pressing on a nerve or something- so basically I am feeling the full force of each rocket fuel contraction in my hip. She summons another Drug Doc to come and adjust the epidural accordingly. I don't remember much about this apart from that the Drug Doc is very nice, calls me sweetheart and gives me lots of morphine. Soon I am feeling nothing in my hip, not to mention my entire lower region- my legs are totally numb. Bless.
It takes awhile for the SuperEpidural to kick in, and in the meantime, Three grabs the gas and air nozzle and stuffs it back in my mouth. "Breathe like Darth Vadar," she orders. Somehow this makes sense, and I do and...ah, wait. That's better. That's much better. That's gooood. Um. Yum. Pain- whapain? Gash and ayr is lovelygoodgood. They should bottle thish stchuff up and shell it at nightclubadubdubs.
My mother takes pictures for posterity. Oh, the hilarity. Suffice to say I am not looking my best. And we have four more hours of drip, drip, drip to go.