Ok, now..where were we? Oh yes, we left our heroine in a chilly, waaay-pre-dawn triage room in the awesome new birthing center of her local hospital. The nurse was really nice, but things otherwise were going downhill. Yeah, I was learning the hard way that my arrogant "women who get epidurals are WIMPS" pre-labor stance was. Um. EMBARRASSINGLY STUPID. And ARROGANT.
BOY OH BOY did I want drugs. I didn't even care what they gave me -- opiates, rohypnol, a clonk over the head with a rubber mallet. If only they would take away the pain. Readers, I can't lie to you. Hard-labor contractions (I think they call it "transition") were the worst, ever. In a word, it was, for exhausted, hungry, humbled me, unendurable. Every time I tried to move, my body walloped me into submission. At about 7 am, an orderly wheeled me to labor and delivery, a lump of blankets contracting every minute or so, breathing in this crazy HEE HEE HEE HOO...HEE HEE HEE HOO rhythm that was the only thing keeping me connected to earth. The only way I was marginally comfortable was crazy gripper-sock'd feet on the floor, elbows on the bed, swaying my hips back and forth and back and forth and going HEE HEE HEE HOO through my contractions.
After a few hours of this delightfulness, I sorta, well, totally, bullied my doctor. The birthing center is part of a teaching hospital, so one of my shift doctors was actually a resident. A very sweet woman who is now Little A's doctor at our family practice, and I hope to god she doesn't remember me as the sweaty grouchy woman who would simply not allow her to do another exam because seriously if anyone else touches me before I get my goddamn epidural and you make me have another contraction I will snap your neck.
So I didn't actually say that last bit -- I was actually quite civil outside my own head -- but it was, shall we say, strongly implied. So. I went unexamined. And finally, the blessed deliverer of bliss aka my anesthesiologist arrived, and slid a needle into my spine. A few moments later, all was WONDERFUL. Seriously, I have never known a better high than the simple lack of pain. I was flying. I sent out probably about 50 texts, canceling all the meetings I had scheduled for that day, telling everyone that the little one was On! Her! Way! I called my brother, who asked if I was drunk. I said No I am on drugs and it's the best thing ever wheeee. The nurse came in and gently chastised me -- honey, you are supposed to be resting..you know...quietly.
So I rested, and the FYC ran down to the caf. We had a couple of hours of just hanging out. He napped. I continued texting everyone I knew on the sly. But then our reverie was broken. Since I hadn't allowed my doctor to examine me prior to the great lower-half-numbing, we hadn't realized that I was actually fully dilated and probably should have pushed the wee one out then. But it was decided that we could try now. But, guess what? We still had many. Many. Hours to go.