37 weeks in another 29 minutes. Yay! Officially not having a premature baby!
So, remember how when Avtalyon was born, I posted something like, "The labor in brief: I am never doing this without drugs ever again"? I meant it, too. I did it without drugs twice. I am officially woman, hear me roar, yes, very nice, NOW GIVE ME THE GOOD DRUGS.
Unfortunately, it's not that easy.
Some of you know I had an incredibly awful experience with Barak. Part of the awfulness was five--count 'em, FIVE--failed epidurals. They slipped, they fell out, they never worked, and one time the lidocaine ran out but the alarm didn't go off and... yeah. Anyway. Epidurals and I do not have a good track record together. Part of the the problem appeared to be that I have scoliosis. I had a back brace for several years and while the curvature has mostly been corrected, some amount of spinal rotation is still there, and this of course presents a problem when someone is trying to, say, insert a needle into your spine in just exactly the right spot.
When I was in L & D a couple of weeks ago with the shingles, I started having a little bit of, ah, post-traumatic stress. As in, I said "I'm getting tense just being here" and, er, started to cry. My midwife, the next time I saw her, suggested I call the anesthesia department and get a consult. I did talk to someone, and it was a good, informative, open talk from a very nice anesthesiologist who told me openly that he couldn't give me an answer on whether an epidural would work for me until he tried. I tried to give him only the bare bones of what had happened and it made me feel better that he sounded completely horrified. He promised me that I would not get a resident (part of the problem last time) and also said he would only try once. "I would say that it should work but I can't make any promises, especially given what happened last time. I think you should talk about other options for pain control." So I did, on Friday, and you know... there aren't many and they aren't that great. Demerol, yeah, but it doesn't work that well and like any other drug the baby gets some of it if you have it in you for long enough. And hello, it's labor--things happen unexpectedly. My labor with Avtalyon really was ok until the last 37 minutes. I remember this, because I looked at the clock when I said I needed to push and he was born 37 minutes later and it was the intervening period of time that even I can't quite summon up the words to describe.
My midwife, when I said this to her, tried to make it positive. "I know it's awful, but even with Avtalyon it was only 37 minutes. You can get through it." Which... well, it sounded good at the time, but, sorry, no. As I said to my husband that evening while relaying the conversation, "It's like someone saying to you, I'm going to start hacking you apart with an ice pick now. But don't worry! I'll only do it for 37 minutes, and then I'll stop and it'll be all over!" Not so reassuring really.
There's nothing I can do really but just see how it goes. I'd like to try to get through it without attempting an epidural. Part of what was so hard about having Barak was that I had tried so hard not to have an epidural and when I finally agreed to one I already felt like I couldn't take it anymore, I was throwing in the towel and I needed it to just. stop. hurting. And then having it not work, multiple times, was more than I could stand--harder almost than not even trying. IV drugs, well... yeah. Also not an ideal option. But getting hacked apart with an ice pick isn't so awesome either. Even if it's only for 37 minutes.