Our Birthing Saga, Chapter 1: Oh How We Hate Night Nurses

Ok, so, when last we left, Kristin was scheduled for an induction on Wednesday night because her blood pressures were so high. We went out for our last baby-less meal (extra spicy Indian food still trying to get labor started w/out pitocin) with some friends and talked all about babies and baby stuff. Wednesday Kristin’s blood pressures were even higher but we didn’t go to the Ob emergency since we were going to be induced that night anyway. We slept in, made and froze some more meals for the post-partum experience, re-packed the hospital bags (again) and practiced the hypnobirthing techniques.

At 6 PM, as we had been instructed, we called Labor and Delivery, only to be told that they were so busy that they had cancelled all scheduled inductions. We tried explaining to the Attending OB that this was NOT an induction for our convenience, but rather one that was medically necessary. Dr Condescension told us that if Kristin’s blood pressures were really as high as we said that we should come in, but that they were probably going to be sending us home anyway. We called Dr. Blue Eyes’ answering service and when we explained the situation to them, they called her at home and connected her to us. She told us to go in, that there was no way they were going to send us home with those bp readings, and that she would see us in the morning. So we went in and spent 3 hours in OB triage with Kristin’s bp readings fluctuating from 130/72 to 160/107 (sometimes those disparate readings were within minutes of each other) before a room opened up and they agreed to go ahead with the planned induction.

So, the triage nurse walked Kristin over to her room and I ran to get our bags from the car. When I came back, they were busily hooking Kristin up to monitors and placing an IV. Now, we had planned on hypnobirthing, and we did not want an IV unless it was necessary. We understood that with Kristin having an induction, they would need to place an IV, and so, though Kristin wasn’t happy with it, she allowed the IV to be placed, thinking that they were going to start the pitocin drip. Not so. We sat there another hour before we saw the Dr Condescension, who, I should say, was very sheepish when she saw us, saying how busy they were, but how glad they were that we had, in fact, come in. The nurses were not so glad. All of the nurses that attended us (or didn’t attend us as the case may be) were very obviously put out that we had dared to come in on a night that they were so busy. Every time one came in, she complained about how busy they were, how they didn’t really have any time for us, and what was that we needed again? Kristin needed to be taken off the monitors so she could go to the bathroom? Couldn’t you figure out how to take the monitors off and on yourselves? How many times in a night does a pregnant woman have to go to the bathroom anyway?

I was lying on a cot that had been made from a tombstone, finding it impossible to sleep. Kristin’s entire arm was aching from the IV and the fluid push they were giving her made her need to pee every half hour. Finally Dr. Condescension came in and checked her cervix and decided to place a pill behind the cervix to help it dilate. She spoke to us like we were 4 years old, “Now I’m just going to slip my little hand in and put some medicine in you and when the medicine is all gone, a little stork will fly out your pussy with a baby just for you!” Everyone on the night staff treated us like we were mentally handicapped children. When Kristin complained about the IV and how she didn’t see that it was necessary (nor all the fluids they were pushing into her – if she was dehydrated, no one bothered to tell us) we were told that we were horrible baby-killers to be so upset about the IV that could, possibly, save our baby, maybe, if something really, really bad were to happen. Of course, they would have had to notice something bad happening first, and since they never checked on us or really paid any but negative attention to us, I still don’t see how the IV would have helped since both Kristin and the baby would have been long dead and buried before I could get anyone’s attention. If we asked for help getting the monitors on and off (or needed some ice or whatever) we were informed that if we had wanted attentive help then we shouldn’t have pushed our way in there when they were so busy. Yet, on a trip to track down some ice for Kristin, I passed 2 other empty rooms. They may have been overwhelmed when we called, but by 2 am all was quiet in L&D.

They had told us that they would start the drip at 4 am. Because I have a difficult time sleeping on slabs of engraved marble, and Kristin has a hard time sleeping while her bladder is exploding through her hand and her back and legs are aching from the abnormal positions we were unable to get the bed out of (those beds are made for laboring women, not sleeping women, one of our caring and sympathetic nurses comforted us by saying), we were both bright eyed and bushy tailed when 4 came and went with no sign of a drug-bearing stork. We were still alert at 5 when we gave up on anyone coming back to help us (this will be a common theme during the nights of our hospital stay). Finally, at 6, the doctor and nurse came back in and started the drip. The doctor also did a pelvic exam and in the course of it broke Kristin’s water. I was a bit surprised with this since I thought we would be extensively consulted about such a maneuver (I know Dr. Blue Eyes would have talked with us first) but it was done, and since we were definitely going to have a baby by the afternoon (no way in HELL were we going to let Dr. Condescending deliver our baby when she came back on shift that night) we weren’t too, too upset.

The drip set, Dr. Condescending and Nurse So-sympathetic-I-want-to-puke-on-her-shoes left us to our labor. I slapped our hypnobirthing sign on the door and put in Waiting For Guffman to while away the time. Kristin’s contractions began within a few minutes, and though they were strong, it took about 40 minutes before they settled into a pattern.

OK, more after my nap. You know, sleep when the baby sleeps and all…

Posted by Trista @ 3:47 PM

Read or Post a Comment

Hi, I saw the news of your baby on Anne Haines' blog and I just meant to say congratulations but then I started reading your posts and couldn't stop.

We also had our baby on a night when everybody else was also having a baby.

Also one of our night nurses wouldn't come into our room any more when she realized we were lesbians as she thought it was likely that I would want to have sex with a mean nurse I didn't know while in my flannel jammies, having been up 48 hours and in the same room with my girlfriend who'd just had a baby and of course the sleeping newborn.

I thought the shelf-shortening project to make room for the fridge was brilliant and it looks just fine to me. . .

Posted by Blogger Garbo @ 6:23 PM #

You mean you didn't want to have sex with her? I mean, I seduced every single nurse who came within my zone of perfidy just because I could...

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 11:24 PM #
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