Labor: Part 2 "Pins and Needles"
The Good Doctor says if he never heard the term "pins and needles" again, his life would be complete. I told him I was dedicating a whole post to that 90 minutes of my life where all I could talk about was pins and needles. I would just copy the words "pins and needles" and then paste them into the post 8 thousand times. Because that's about how many times I said "pins and needles" in a 90 minute period. Pins and needles. Pins and needles. PINS AND NEEDLES. Punctuated by, "Oh my God, pins and needles."
"Babe, I'm feeling pins and needles."
"You know, that feeling when your foot falls asleep and then it wakes back up? Pins and needles!"
"All I feel is pins and needles from the knees down."
"I hate these pins and needles."
"Babe, what can we do about these pins and needles?"
"I can't get a break from these pins and needles."
"These pins and needles are worse as the labor pain."
"I have constant pins and needles."
"Dude, WTF with these pins and needles?!??!?!!?!"
"You know what I'm talking about right? Pins and needles? I have pins and needles."
"It just won't go away. This pins and needles sensation."
"I'm dying. These pins and needles are killing me. Slowly."
"You have to help me. I can't have these pins and needles."
"It's been an hour of pins and needles. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE."
"AUUUUUUGGGGHHHHHHHH PINS AND NEEDLES."
Apparently it was some really weird effect of my epidural. Some of nerves were blocked--the ones that allowed me to get a reprieve from feeling the full intensity of every contraction. But some other nerves, the "pins and needles" nerves, were in OVERDRIVE.
You get the picture. After proving to him that I was not hallucinating and that, yes, in fact, the pins and needles were subsiding, The Good Doctor suggested we go for a shot of Fentanyl. It's sort of like an all-purpose magic bullet for anyone who's already super numbed up but is having some other random issue. Like, oh, say, PINS AND NEEDLES.
So the anesthesiologist gives me a shot of Fentanyl and guess what? No more pins and needles!
But I'm starting to feel my contractions again, as the epidural is waning just a hair. Right around 930PM I get a bolus--another shot of meds to ease the pressure.
BUt right around 10PM, I feel the urge to push. The doctor and nurse check and sure enough, my cervix has dilated to 10cm and it's go time.
Problem is, I'm all weak from the bolus, so my pushing is not as strong as it could be. I push with each contraction from about 1020PM to 1130PM. Each push is like taking 2 steps forward and 1.75 steps back. Progress, but slow progress.
The nurse suggests we take a break for 20 minutes. I agree. By 11:45PM, I'm starting to feel the epidural waning again, and I think I'm going to be able to push harder. Or at least it will feel that way now that the meds aren't so strong.
We start pushing again at 1145 and I start to feel some action. The pushing goes like this: you wait for a contraction, then take a deep breath, hold it, and push while the nurse counts to ten. Rinse and repeat with the next contraction.
Things are advancing. People seem excited. They're seeing something. The baby is moving down the canal.