When we got to the hospital, I felt pretty sure we needed to go to the ER so that I could get admitted. Daddy Jedi dropped me off at the front door. While most would want a wheelchair, I knew walking and staying on my feet would help me cope with the contractions. I walked down to admitting while Austin ran ahead to find someone that would have some idea of what we needed to do. It was around 5 am, so, needless to say, there were few people around.
I was approaching the ER, I heard my husband getting irate. Apparently, someone in the ER was not being very nice. I walked in and the man started asking me questions slowly, while I continued to moan and scream, depending on where I was in the non-stop contractions. I think I would have happily punched the man repeatedly, except I think he quickly realized that I needed help immediately. He got a nurse, who insisted I sit in the wheelchair. She wheeled me up to L & D.
We arrived at the nurse’s station, and an older grey-haired woman was standing there. She explained they would have to triage me to verify that I was, in fact, in labor and that my water had broken. There was the snarky part of my brain that had to wonder how many pregnant women they get, screaming, who were, in fact, not in labor. It’s like the warning on Preparation H not to take it internally. It wouldn’t be necessary unless someone had actually done it before.
I was to the point of screaming and stomping very hard during the peak of every contraction. The grey-haired lady was named Maggie, and she was Scottish. For me, that was a blessing from God. Considering my Scottish and Irish ancestry, it was like having a wonderful friend in a time of pain and torment. She was firm but kind, allowing me to stand and stomp and scream when I needed to. She paged a Resident, who would need to do a pelvic exam to confirm everything. My midwife ensured I was in good hands and that they had a copy of my medical records before saying good-bye. When he arrived, he kindly got everything ready before I laid down so that the pain wouldn’t be intense for long.
And guess what?! I was in labor. It wasn’t Maggie or the resident’s fault. Policy sucks. Anyway, they paged anesthesia and got an IV placed, despite my dancing around screaming. They took me to a room, which I felt was back away from everyone else due to my screaming. Maggie left to find out about the epidural, which meant poor Daddy Jedi was left alone with his crazed screaming wife. I couldn’t lay down so I instead gripped the IV pole for dear life and screamed and stomped my right foot as hard as I could. It seemed like hours before Maggie came back to let us know that anesthesia had an emergency intubation in ICU which meant I had to wait. I wanted to cry.
I begged her for something, and she said she could give me an injection of Stadol to take the edge off until anesthesia could get there. Never in my life have I been that eager for drugs. After the injection, I was loopy and felt great. I could lay down, relax, and stop trying to stomp my way to China.
I honestly don’t know how long it was before the anesthesia nurse came. I was in a happy place, though the Stadol was wearing off when she did arrive. She was another blessing. Her name was Sharon and she was amazing through my whole hospital stay. She was getting me setup for the epidural when the anesthesiologist arrived. I honestly can’t remember his name, but he actually put me before his other pages and got the line placed in just a few seconds.
After he left, Sharon stayed to make sure the epidural was working well and to explain the button to give myself more if I needed it. Daddy Jedi was immensely relieved. He had his wife back. He suggested calling and having my mom come down since I was no longer at home and screaming. And I actually wanted her. He called her and let her know. She told him she would get ready and head down immediately. I asked for something to eat and enjoyed munching on orange Popsicles and being able to carry on multi-word conversations with my husband for the first time in hours.
Stay tuned for part 3 . . .