By the twenty-eight-hour mark my midwife said that we needed to get this labor going. I wanted to resist, but I didn't want to be selfish. The most important thing was to have a healthy baby. The rules had to be written with that in mind. Still I was sobbing as Rob held my hand and we took the stairs from the birth center to the labor and delivery floor.
They started me on Pitocin, a drug that stimulates contractions. Once the Pitocin was in, I couldn't move about as freely because I was dragging the IV pole. They also put an internal fetal monitor in my baby's scalp so they could see how he reacted to the contractions. Powered by Pitocin, the contractions were really slamming me. They call these contractions "camelback" because they are two-humped, one right after the other. They gave me Stadol, a drug that was supposed to take the edge off my feelings of despair, but it affected me horribly. I panicked. I kept saying to Rob, "Is something wrong? I feel like something is going wrong." The pain was unbearable.
I needed an epidural, a steady drip of painkillers that block the transmission of pain up the spine, so I could get some rest between contractions. The pharmacist's daughter welcomed that. The anesthesiologist got the dosage just right, thank God. He blocked the pain, but I could still feel my feet, which allowed me to squat when I pushed. Still I couldn't escape my panic no matter how much reassurance I got. I didn't want anyone from the hospital staff to touch me then. I didn't trust anyone but Rob. Every decision made to get me on the hospital's schedule took away a bit of what we wanted for this birth.