I had a couple random thoughts I wanted to mention before this latest birth becomes a blur. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. I forgot to mention in my birth story post some of the other oddities about this labor. One was that the doctor made me wear those ted hose that prevent blood clots while I was laboring. That is the first time anyone has ever even suggested them before! Back at one of my first OB appointments, the nurse-practitioner I saw made a big deal about the blood clot I had in my arm back in 1993. How weird that in this pregnancy, people have focused on the blood clot from almost 20 years ago, when I haven't had any clotting problems whatsoever during the first 8 pregnancies! Anyhow, the hose were annoying but not too bad. When I was in bed, however, I had to have them hooked up to this pump thing that inflated them every so many seconds! Now THAT was annoying, especially during those really bad double-peaked contractions, where I was really trying hard to concentrate and relax.
2. I have used calcium pills before in other labors, but I have never tried liquid calcium, which is what Kim, a mother of 11 recommends. This time I found a bottle at Walmart. I drank some maybe at 3:00 AM or so. I waited because Kim says wait until a good labor pattern is established, and the contractions just weren't that painful for most of the labor--I could hardly feel them. So I waited. I don't think the calcium really did anything to mitigate the pain of the really hard pit-induced contractions, but really, how could it compete, LOL? Where I noticed a HUGE difference was in afterpains. I have had very intense afterpains the past several births--these tend to get more and more intense the more births you had. Well, I was expecting earth-shattering ones this time, but I hardly felt any. Any at all! It was amazing! So if there is a next time for me, I definitely plan on taking the liquid calcium again. It is worth it, even if all it does is help with the afterpains!
3. I have never worked harder during a labor, trying many different positions, making sure to change positions every half hour or so, trying many asymmetrical positions, and so on. I don't know what you should do when there's so much fluid that the baby just doesn't move down though. Maybe I'll email the spinningbabies lady and ask her what she would recommend. I do think everything helped though--once Drew did decide to move down, he was obviously in a good position. I didn't stall during transition, like I did with Grace, and Drew didn't get stuck, like Grace did, even though he was bigger than she was. I really felt like I learned so much during this labor. Has any doula ever had so much chance to practice stuff on herself, LOL?!
4. Another thing that was different was that after I delivered Drew, while they were worrying about getting all the clots out of my uterus, they inserted a Foley catheter, because, as they said, a full bladder can prevent the uterus from clamping down as well. Okay. I've never had one of those either! I didn't like it, and I had to have it in for 12 hours after delivery. I was literally counting down the hours, and I frequently reminded the corpsman, when he came in to check on me, how much time was left, LOL. I still felt like I needed to pee, the tube got caught on stuff, and blood dripped down the tube whenever I stood up. Blech.
5. Speaking of corpsmen, I had 2 take care of me, one on Friday, and one on Saturday. They both were 19 or 20, but really nice and competant. I have always liked the people I've had take care of me at Bethesda, even if I thought they were making weird decisions (ted hose *cough*), LOL. Anyhow, it was weird to think that these guys were only a few years older than Nathan! It's hard to imagine Nathan working a post-partum ward in 4 years, taking out Foley catheters, giving moms fundal massages, etc! They also took vitals on the babies, and I am sure Nathan has had more newborn baby experience than either of them had before they did their training and started working up there on the ward!
6. I always try to bring a good book to read during my hospital stay, and this time I was really looking forward to my book, especially since I have basically had no time for any leisure reading since the end of July. I read The Midwife, by Jennifer Worth. It's the book that the PBS show "Call the Midwife" is based on, and in fact, when I looked up the book on Amazon, I found that it was republished in August under the new title of Call the Midwife. It was an excellent book--very well-written and gripping. I could hardly put it down! Her description of a breech delivery was riveting and enlightening! She also wrote a lot about stuff other than pure midwifery--the culture of the poor Docklands area, along with a lot of the problems that the people dealt with, like abuse, prostitution, the workhouse (that was quite a draining story). Definitely a book that left me with a lot to think about. I highly recommend it! She wrote 2 other books, but they were not so directly about her midwife experience. The second one is called In the Shadows of the Workhouse, and I just don't know that I can read that one. The institution of the workhouse in England seems like such an incredibly horrible and cruel "solution" to poverty, and I just don't know that I can read any more stories about it!