Monday, November 2, 2009

And Now I Know What a "10" Feels Like

When you're in the hospital, the nurses like to keep tabs on your level of pain or discomfort. They use the universal, "On a scale of 1 to 10... 10 being the worst", method of documenting a patient's pain.

Ten days ago, I finally learned what a "10" really feels like. For reasons still unknown, my beloved, coveted, twice-administered epidural failed to work.

Well, I take that back. It worked for the first several hours and only stopped providing pain relief when I got to eight cm.

Otherwise known as the really hard and painful part.

I can honestly tell you that I have never, EVER experienced that level of pain in my entire life. The sensations that accompany an unmedicated labor and delivery are almost too intense to put into words. And because my epidural worked so flawlessly with my son's delivery, I was completely unprepared for the experience.

No breathing methods to fall back on, no coaching skills for my hubby to recall. Just a lot of praying, panicking and pushing.

I wanted to scream, "TEN! It's a TEN!"

For the first time in my life, I understood the full measure of pain that my body could tolerate.

And then...

It was gone. And there she was - a perfect eight-pound little girl. Screaming, wiggling, wonderfully healthy. So tiny, so beautiful.

The nurses got busy working on her, cleaning her up, discussing numbers and ratings that I am not qualified to understand. I overheard her APGAR scores being discussed from across the room at one point.

"Eight and Nine" they said.

But I wanted to shout, "TEN! She's a TEN!


Christy said...

ooooooooh she's so cute! That happened to me with L. The nurse told me I was SUPPOSED to feel all of that! I was like, "Why did I get the epidural then?"

Two Shades of Pink said...

What are the chances that we could experience the exact same thing during labor? My epidural was administered twice and failed at the end too. And I hated that question because a number could not quite relay the pain I was having. Kelly and I joked that the greatest gift you could give a first time mom at her baby shower is a hoola hoop with paper flames all around it and a note that says...this is what it feels like. We deemed that pretty insensitive to those who are incredibly brave to go natural but I am not ashamed to cling to the epidural like a life line during labor. If it only had worked. But one look at that face and it never matters...until you tell your funny labor story later.

Surviving 4 said...

Ah yes, the "ring of fire". Such a benign phrase, until it's YOUR who-ha being streched and set aflame by the vollyball-sized head working it's way through a 10 CM OPENING. Really, the question should be "On a scale of 1 to 10 - 19 being the highest - how's your pain?"

But there is no doubt, dear friend, that your little girl is indeed a 10. SO, so beautiful. Makes my uterus ache, just a little. :)

LOVE that full head of hair.

Jencharvey said...

She is so beautiful Jenny. Isn't it worth every single ounce of horrible pain? I have to tell you, I did it 3 times, no drugs. Well, sort of drugs with Bella, but that is a long story. I have this ridiculous thing about giving birth. I absolutely love it. I hate being pregnant, oh, do I hate it, but giving birth I could do it over and over again. I'm totally not normal. That pain is so satisfying and gone in one second. Isn't it weird how quickly it goes? Well, until the needle comes to sew you up. Oh, that hurt worse than anything with Jackson. ok, this was probably way too much information on a blog comment. I really want to come and see yoU!

Cheryl said...

The EXACT same thing happened to me with Ryleigh. Did you all deliver at Morton Plant? If so, I am getting a little suspicious of them :) Anyway, my epidural was flawless with Brianna...I felt nothing, so when that happened with Ryleigh...let's just say it wasn't pretty, and Justin, tough police officer Justin, was scared to death of me :) But, as we all know, every ounce of pain is worth the JOY of holding your precious baby! She is so sweet, Jenny...I could just eat her up :)

The Design Girl said...

She is DEFINITELY a 10. Look at that little cutie!