The receptionist in the Emergency Department took one look at me, recognizing me from the previous night and called for OB admittance before she took my information.
Back behind the doors, an emergency room nurse exclaimed that she thought I was going to have this baby on the way upstairs. Another nurse told her that’s what she’d thought LAST NIGHT. I interjected: “This time it’s for real. Babies in my family are born on significant days – and I’m not waiting until the new year!”
Like the night before, I elected to walk to labor and delivery. Unlike the night before, this time we had to stop for contractions. I leaned over the rail in the elevator, Daniel providing counterpressure with his fists while I mooed my way through a contraction. The nurse held the door for the contraction to end. This time was definitely different.
The triage nurse was quick and efficient. Get the important information. Pause while I contract, this time on hands and knees on the exam table. Somehow, between contractions, she got me checked (5 cm dilated, 70% effaced), got a hep lock in, and monitored baby.
The resident arrived, read my birth plan, said he was on board with it. He clarified that I didn’t want routine pitocin after birth. Would I be okay if they hung a bag in my room in case there was an emergency, only using it if I did start to hemorrhage? I affirmed that, yes, that would be okay.
My nurse introduced herself, reminded me that she’d taken care of me when I was hospitalized with Louis. Of course, I remembered Liv – and I was thrilled that she would be my nurse. She, too, clarified about the pitocin.
The anesthesiologist came in to do his education. He informed me that since I’d already had two c-sections, I was going to end up with another one. He’d do a spinal, just like with the other sections. I was so glad when the next contraction hit and I could moo right over the sound of his voice, so confidently informing me that everything I’d worked for would be for naught.
He told me that, from here on out, I was not to eat or drink anything. My contraction over, I informed that I was going to drink what I wanted to. I muttered out the phrase I’d been practicing: “Feel free to document noncompliance.” The anesthesiologist grimaced as he admitted that, yes, my doctor let his laboring women have Gatorade. It was obvious that the anesthesiologist did not agree with this course of action.
The anesthesiologist left and Mary, Liv, and the resident all rushed to reassure me. “Pay no attention to him,” they said. “He does this to everyone. You’re going to rock this labor and have this baby normally.”
And then we labored, much like we’d been laboring at home – except with Mary holding my hands and reminding me to keep my vocalizations low and Liv unobtrusively monitoring baby with a Doppler.
We tried using the rebozo around my hips. I waved it away and gestured that I needed the counterpressure again. We tried Mary’s massage tool. Nope, that wouldn’t do. Mary tried to give Daniel a break, but she was a hundred pounds too light to provide the pressure I needed. Daniel would only get a break when I did.