After the doctor left, my next contraction was bigger. So much bigger. And for some reason, I was no longer wearing the oxygen, and since I’d totally given up on working through anything, I refused when Frank tried to start breathing exercises with me. I just breathed deeply through it, and it wasn’t so bad. Then every contraction seemed to be stronger than the one before, by a lot. But I kept just doing my deep breathing and didn’t accept Frank’s help. I did let him massage my hands, but I did not want to do patterned breathing. I think it’s because in childbirth class, I had a tendency to hyperventilate a little if I tried patterned breathing because I did it too fast, so I resisted the thought of going there.
I tried to focus on listening to the music and breathing. And then this giant contraction hit me, my whole body shook, and I threw up all over myself. I’d like to take this opportunity to again recommend that you not eat anything, and most especially 2nd Degree Burn Doritos, when you’re in early labor. Even when you’re almost 30 hours into labor, this will come back to bite you in the… esophagus.
That’s when I decided I was over it. I gave up on natural childbirth.
The look on Frank’s face was very deer-in-headlights when the projectile vomiting started. He quickly recovered and frantically looked around the room for something. We’d had a nursing shift change at 7, but neither the new nurse (K) nor her trainee (R) was in the room at the time, so he ran out to find them, and they gave him a bowl for me to puke in. I put it to good use.
I started crying. “I want the epidural,” I told him. He didn’t argue, of course. Whatever I wanted was what he wanted me to have. When the nurses came in, I told K that I wanted the drugs.
I didn’t know it at the time, but Frank knew I was in transition. He remembered that projectile vomiting was one of the indicators of transition. Had I realized that’s where I was, I would never have asked for the drugs–just knowing that my cervix was making any kind of progress would have given me new energy and resolve. I assumed I was still sitting at 4 cm, because nothing had changed all day long before the doc broke my water. Frank regrets not telling me that he recognized transition, but he didn’t want to say, “Hey, let’s have the nurses check your cervix, because I think you’re in transition,” and then have me checked only to find out that I’d made no progress. He didn’t want to prolong my pain since he wasn’t sure. Also, he thought he was wrong about it being transition, because K said, “Yeah, there’s no reason to check you, because you haven’t made any progress all day.” He figured they would have recognized it and offered to check me.
Now we know for next time. Something else we know for next time: Epidurals don’t always work.
To be continued…