oh, Lofty, I just cannot imagine. Your poor friend. And what an amazing amount of stress at what should be a happy time. You are being a wonderful friend just being with her and the babies.
Nemesis - I feel so bad for your family and doggie. That is just terrible. Give your kids some extra hugs from me tomorrow.
bec - I was giggling the other day when you talked about how hard kite flying was. We'd spent that same afternoon having a similar experience trying to get a kite in the air! Of course for a while I just sat on the stoop and watched my 12 yr old try to help his 6 yr old sister and her 7 yr old friend. Then I went to "help" them, and was a spectacular failure! The kids had a great laugh, though!
Oy, standardized testing. Makes me crazy. My kids actually test great, and learn very little at school.
Geo - Good thing you are in OH, if you ran next to 1jooj, she wouldn't realize she needed to shower! I'm envious of your running partners and workouts these days. We'll have to do another half together so you can dust me
RR - had a down week. I'd intended it to be a light week anyway, but between being on call and putting Easter together, it ended up being more of an off week. I ran 4 easy on the treadmill tonight, but hadn't run since Wed before that. I did get to take an extra guts and butts class on Fri, though.
NRR - Had a stressful and wonderful day all in one. My hospital has had a de facto VBAC ban for a while. Then our new OBs wanted to start doing them again, so we wrote a new policy to allow them, but making it pretty hard on everybody (OB, anesthesia and a surgery team must sit in house while a VBAC labors.) I haven't been able to do them for a while, since my OB back up doesn't exactly want to sit around for hours while my patients labor (and it's hard to blame him, really - he can't even bill for it, so it means hours of sitting in the hospital out of the goodness of his heart.) I had a client, though, transfer to me late in pregnancy when she moved into the maternity home I do care for. She was already 34 weeks, and had previously had a normal vaginal delivery, then a cesarean for fetal distess after abdominal trauma in late pregnancy, then a successful VBAC. She really didn't want a repeat cesarean (and who could blame her, as she had no indication for one.) So my OB back up agreed to back me up, although he requested that I induce her during the day if possible. (In my opinion, not the greatest idea, especially since it slightly increase the risk of uterine rupture.) So, I discussed it with the client and she refused induction, which was fine with me (and fine with the OB if it was the client's choice.) Then, her due date came and went. And went. And I'm getting ready to go out of town. Now I hate the induction because the doctor is out of town thing - but, no one was willing to cover her for me. So, finally the client and I had a big talk, and decided on induction for today if she hadn't had the baby. She was 9 days over today.
So, she came in, and was fortunately very favorable, 2-3 cms dilated, 50% effaced, so I just broke her water. My OB back up was settled in for the day in surgery and his office and happy to cover. Then anesthesia pitched a fit, not wanting to pay a nurse anesthesist to stay possible a few extra hours becuase the last case in the OR might finish before she delivered. Then the managers of surgery and OB got in a fight. Then then called the chief nursing officer. All of these people are having a fit, and meanwhile, I'm trying not to let my client know anything is going on at all. Finally we all sat down and agreed that she was already here, already in labor, and we had to accomodate her. Anesthesia calmed down, and just asked me to not start any pitocin if needed until they were done with the biggest case they had that day.
Unfortunately, by after lunch, she still wasn't having any contractions, even though her water had been broken for 4 hours. We decided to start some low dose pitocin. She had with her several women from the maternity home, and a doula who is just starting and is doing her certifying births and offered her services for free. The doula and the client walked the hall for hours. I canceled my afternoon office hours once she started having contractions and stayed with her the rest of the afternoon.
It took about 2 hours before she could even feel contractions, but finally by about 3:30, she was saying she had "period cramp" type pain. She was still mostly walking, sometimes rocking in the chair, and still smiling. The new doula had brought a whole bag full of goodies - massage oil, etc, and she never really got the chance to get much out. Around 4:45, she talked about maybe having some pain medicine, but really, she still wasn't breathing with contractions and we couldn't even really tell when she was having one unless we looked at the monitor. I was afraid, actually, that I'd check her and she'd still be 3, so I encouraged her to try to hold out a bit longer and she felt she could make it for a while. She went for another walk in the hall, and then parked herself on the toilet.
Once there, she didn't want to move. Her nurse and doula sat in the bathroom with her and she rocked and finally started to breathe through contractions. She was able to empty her bladder and move her bowels, and then things really seemed to kick into gear. After 30 min or so, the nurse came and got me and said she really wanted an epidural. I came in and we all helped her finally get up from the toilet and make it back to the bed so I could check her and call for her epidural. She couldn't stand to lie on her back, so after several false starts we managed to make it to lying on her side. I told her I could just check her on her side, but every time she'd try to lift her leg up for me to check her, another contraction would start. After 3 or 4, she said she thought she needed to push! We'd shut the pit off by then, trying to get her a longer break between contractions, and finally she was able to let me check her.
I told her at this point that I had good news, and bad news. The good news is that we were having a baby! The bad news was that it was too late for an epidural, or any pain med. Her doula and nurse tried to help her pick a comfortable position, and we got ready for a baby. She couldn't make up her mind between lying on her side and half on her back, so she sort of rolled back and forth from back to side. She only pushed a few times, with no coaching, and the head was crowning, and her baby boy was born into my hands at 5:53 pm, not 5 hours after the pit was started and only about 2 hours of regular contractions. He was 8 lbs and 4 oz, and born over an intact perineum. He came so quickly in the end that I didn't even get my sweater off, or a drape under her. My nurse turned to me as I put baby on her bellly and said "sure glad the whole hospital got in an uproar over that!" meaning that the birth itself was so simple and undramatic.
So, lots of stress and I think anesthesia is going to push for us to go back to a no VBAC policy, but my client never really knew about it, and she had a lovely birth with a brand new doula (who was pretty flabbergasted at how little I do at a birth. she couldn't believe a doc would just sit and knit all afternoon, and then just sit on the edge of the bed and catch. I don't generally do any of that breathing coaching, or counting baloney while a mom pushes, or tell her to hold her breath, or get mad, or move over here and open your legs or whatever.) Baby definitely looked postdates - no vernix and already peeling everywhere, but tolerated labor just fine and looked like a million bucks once he was out. I left the mom and baby happily snuggling and the doula still amazed at the whole thing (she's only attended births in big hospitals before this.) I always say docs have to have broad shoulders, so I guess I can put up with the stress to help a mama have a nice uncomplicated birth and avoid a surgery she doesn't want!