Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coke zero + sweet pea=the following birthing story

I used to drink a lot of caffeine in the form of diet soda.

I still drink a ton of diet soda, but now it is mainly caffeine free.

But I seem to forget from time to time that I no longer tolerate caffeine late into the evening anymore.

Case in point.

Last night I drank a 20 oz Coke Zero at 10 pm. Normally no biggie when my tolerance is higher.

But last night I found myself awake until 2 in the morning, my mind racing a million miles a minute and my body itching to jump out of bed and clean something.

But I forced myself to stay in bed and eventually I drifted off into fitful sleep.

Only to wake up again at 3, and then at 5.

It. Was. Not. Awesome.

But as I lay there, I began to think about my use of the term sweet pea when addressing my children.

It is a term of endearment for sure, but I have been using it for so long that I kind of forgot when I started using it.

Until last night, when my overcaffeinated brain sat and pondered over many things, including the birth of my oldest child 12 1/2 years ago.

I gave birth to Kate in a little town, in the same hospital where I was born.
They don't see a whole lot of births compared to some of the other hospitals I have delivered my children in, lets just say that.

When the anesthesiologist arrived it took him 4 tries, yes 4, to get my epidural in.

It's hard enough to sit there for one try while your body is wracked with labor pains, but 4?

I had a scar like someone had stabbed me with a fork for quite a while.

After the blessed medication finally began making it's way through my body, I noticed it wasn't doing anything on one side. (I now know this is normal and they just roll you over to allow gravity to pull the epidural medication to the other side).

My doctor, however, did not know this. She said "Well, I guess it isn't working, shut it off"


Of course, being 23, and kind of timid anyway, I just said, "ok", and let the pain take over.

And mercifully I started pushing not much longer after that.

I should, however, have known I was in the Twilight zone when the labor and delivery nurse kept saying "Amy, Amy, you need to calm down" or some cr*p like that as I pushed and screamed out my 9 lb 6 oz baby.

But luckily, I had no idea it could be any different, so I felt I had the best experience ever. (It wasn't bad, I just learned with subsequent deliveries, that it could in fact be MUCH better)

We welcomed all the family in to see Kate, we spent that evening at the hospital, and then headed home with our little package the next day.

Well, as I began the recovery of sore bum, bosoms, and general fatigue, I started getting a head ache that kept building and building.

It got to the point where I couldn't even sit up without my head literally feeling like it was about to pop off my body.

My mom mentioned she had experienced that same kind of heachache with one of us and that they gave her caffeine for it, so she brought over a case of diet pepsi.

And though I was grateful for the month's supply of soda, it did nothing for my headache.

Finally, by day 2 or 3 of this, my wise, smart sister-in-law Amy tells me this isn't normal and I should go back to the hospital.

So she drives me the 1/2 mile to the little county hospital, and I walk in, bent over so that I don't experience more of the excruciating pain.

When I get there, they have the same anesthesiologist take a look at me.

He tells me that in the process of my epidural (you know, when he stabbed me repeatedly) that the needle went in too far, causing a small hole that was allowing spinal fluid to leak so that as the spinal fluid leaked, it was literally pulling on my brain, hence giving me a massive headache (that's why it hurt so much to stand up).

So to fix it, they would have to take blood from me, place another tube in my spine, and patch the hole up with my own blood.

Perfectly simple, right?

Well, once again, the Dr. Pain proceeds to not be able to find the right spot.
As the nurse holds me steady while I sob from the pain, he pokes me another 3 or 4 times before he can get the needle in.

And the whole time he's saying "I'm so sorry sweet pea, I'm so sorry".

Which at that moment was oddly comforting.

Even later when he told me the problem was with the curvature of my spine (which weirdly enough, 5 other anesthesiologists never had a problem with)
even then, I still liked that he called me sweet pea.

And even as he stuck me repeatedly and made me wish for a quick death,it stuck with me as a comforting, kind thing to say to someone. I am so weird.

Now, after 5 more children, I have learned that it is my body, my baby, and if I don't like something I can speak up. I have also learned that cities like Provo, Ut (where Julia was born) and Orem, Ut (where Henry was born) with the same birth rates as third world countries have the best anesthesiologists anywhere. They had 4 assigned just to labor and delivery. And Henry and Julia were my least stressed, most pain free experiences.

And I left with not a fork mark in sight.


  1. You're a brave girl, Amy! And obviously not too much gets you down! I think sweet pea is, well, sweet.

  2. Hey there Sweet Pea,
    Great story! My neurologist husband wants to know if the blood patch gave you relief or not : )

    I had my first at Utah Valley and it was the numbest I have ever been but I am here to tell you that being that numb isn't as good as having a 'walking epidural' where you can get up and move but the pain is bearable. So ask for that with your next one (?) and stay away from Dr Pain!

  3. how FUNNY! Now when I use that term I'll think of you pushing out a ginormous first baby. :)

  4. ooohh-- I did the first 3 natural (8x4; 9x11; 9even) and took the epidural for Dana...I see the wisdom in no epidural, but am SO proud of my womanly strength to do 3 without any help.

    NO man could bare a child ~ they are wimps!!

  5. Kelly-

    The blood patch did give me relief, I guess I should have said that :) And in Orem was the best for me. I could still feel my legs, still feel the urge to push, but I was relaxed and calm and not in pain.

    My 4th, Anne Marie, was completely natural, but not by choice. That's a whole other story. Giving birth to each child was so unique. That could be because only two of them were born in the same hospital. But after having pain versus no pain, I feel like I am at least in the club of having felt what childbirth is really like, yet would always choose an epidural.

    I am a whimp when it comes to pain, I admit it.

  6. Poor Amy! I didn't know that about Kate, or maybe I just don't remember. I do remember visiting you when she was a few days old, and you just kept calling her "sweet baby girl". Unlike Kelly, I much prefered the spinal block as opposed to the "walking epidural" - the only kind they give at the hospital where our last 3 were born. Which, btw, even though it's only a partial, our hospital will not allow you to get up anyway - totally defeats the purpose, I think. Maybe that's why I didn't like it as much as the spinal block. Briar was born in Provo, and it was AWESOME! Charlie, our biggest at 9'13" was completely au natural and it was a horrible experience. I opted out of the epidural b/c my "walking epidural" was of no use in the final stages of birth anyway - yeah, BIG MISTAKE. I can't believe you went on to have 5 more children after experiencing that kind of pain...I swore I was finished after Charlie, but Heavenly Father had other plans. This last time, I was undecided, so I had a doula along with the epidural option in the back of my mind. I opted for one at some point, and all was blissful for a while - UNTIL IT STOPPED WORKING. And, as luck would have it, the one and only anesthetist on call was in surgery. We found out later, after they almost gave me a c-section, that the needle was not inserted properly and had fallen out. I find it hilarious that my word verification is "legin" today.

  7. Whoa, Amy! I am hurting after reading this story. This is why I have never had an epidural. I am just too chicken! (Based on the possibly erroneous notion that "better the pain you know than the pain you don't know") Heck, after the fourth baby (10 lbs) I figured it was all downhill from there, which has been absolutely true. I don't know any other way anymore. Have a great day, Sweet Pea!
    p.s. sweet peas are among my favorite flowers.

  8. I wanted to cry for you after reading this. I am sorry you had to hurt so much. What a great thing for you to have more kids after that first experience. I dont think I could have done it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...