I’m talking about the cervical check. Here’s what happens: You’re in real deal labor. Then someone comes up to your vag and sticks 3 fingers in there as deep as they can go. Then they like bend over a little so they can get even deeper in search for your cervix to poke and prod. Stuff in there just wants to come out and it does NOT want anything to go in. It’s not like a normal ob/gyn check. The pain that comes along with this is blinding, mind numbing, eyes crossing scream inducing. I’m not a screamer. I’m good with needles and pain in general. With The Awful, I screamed. A lot. I cried, tears. And after that, I get The Awful’s results.
Midwife: So you’ve been in labor now for about 12 hours.
Me: That is something I am very aware of but good looking out.
Midwife: And you are not dialated
Me: Wait. You mean like, not FULLY dialated?
Midwife: No, not dialated. AT ALL.
Me: (PANIC) then cry.
Turns out when you are dehydrated from voming every 25 minutes, contractions feel “escalated”, as they put it. When in reality they are baby ones. I think someone in that room may have used the term “practice contractions” and I may have thought the term “bloody ax murder lasers in your face”. At this point they then told me what I really didn’t want to hear: I had to go over from the birth center to the hospital because I wasn’t progressing. This felt to me like defeat. But I had no strength to fight it. We woke B up from his nap time and drove to the hospital.
Princess the nurse (that’s her name swears) hooks me up to the fetal monitor. I can now walk in a 1ft by 1ft radius. No more special contraction positions. No more going to the bathroom on my own. Now I have to puke in a bin and get help to pee. No more moving around to stop “practice contracting” and get to the real shit. I’m now officially plugged in. Next step is Cervidil. Picture a tape worm. That’s what it looks like. Now shove it up your crotch and leave it there. Yes more things up and 0 things out. This was used to soften my cervix and move shit along. Fine. Let’s go with it Princess.
I had to stay laying down in bed with the Cervidil for 2 hours. Laying down was the most uncomfortable position for me. It was the one position that made me want to die. But I didn’t have the choices I had anymore at the birth center. This was Princess’ castle and I was her pregnant wench.
Ok 2 hours passed. Thank god. Now we can get things going! SUPER WRONG. I smile big at the new nurse (Princess went home) all proud of myself and remind her that 2 hours are up and now I can move around and take out the tapeworm! (It had made contractions pretty intense and I felt like things were finally moving along). She says casually, “oh no dear. We’ll check you in 12 hours”.
TUHWELVE HOURS THEY WILL CHECK ME.
but no one told me that before they gave it to me??
At this point I cry. I sit down, in defeat, face in hands and cry. I’ve been in labor for almost 30 hours. And they are telling me that in 12 hours they will check my progress and THEN maybe give me pitocin to keep things going. New nurse tells me that I could be there for 3 more days. I don’t say this often on the blog, but all I could think was FUCK. SERIOUSLY FUCK.
Birth and labor is such a mental game. When people tell you that your contractions are in the “early stages” or put a number on your dialation, or tell you to expect to be there in complete horror bloody murder pain for 3 days, you don’t know if you can take it. I know I didn’t. I felt totally defeated and I felt like I had brought this on myself with all of these interventions instead of letting nature take it’s course when it was good and ready. But to be fair, I was also thinking that a banana walked in the door at one point, so my thoughts were minimally credible.
To get through the next phase, I did accept pain medication. So I took Stadol, which is injected into your IV and makes you dream about an all-kitten rock band and a society of floating heads. You still feel your contractions but you kind of float through them. This helped me mentally. Then it was time for The Awful AGAIN.
I told myself, noscreaming noscreaming you’re a big girl you can do this. And then I screamed. And cried, and shook. Oh the shaking. From this point on I didn’t stop shaking. From head to toe.
ONE CENTIMETER DIALATED.
But they told me that Plankton’s head was so low he was in the pushing position which is why things felt so intense. My cervix was just not interested in this horse and pony show.
Things happened then fairly quickly. I started bleeding more that I should, Plank’s heart rate slowed, my pain increased and my dialation stopped all together. That’s when the doctor told me what had to happen…..
Part 3 next. Last part with lots of pictures.