***please note, the following posts are no-holds barred accounts of Marlowe's birth. If you are at all squeamish about that kind of thing, you may want to skip them. This means you, Stamatia.
When we arrived at the hospital, the ER was surprisingly quiet. The Obstetrics Check-In desk was closed, because it was the middle of the night on Saturday, and because SB and I had done our hospital tour such a long time ago (because we're keen like that) we couldn't remember what we were supposed to do then. We tapped on the regular Check-In desk's glass, and the gentleman who came waved us through to the elevators. Meanwhile, an ambulance crew was waiting to deposit a patient, and during this 2 minute interval they asked me approximately 8 times if I would like a wheelchair. Even though I told them no 8 times.
Once upstairs, we got all set up for the routine pre-admission fetal monitoring and check of progress. Our doula arrived, and SB went back down to park the car. (Because it was the middle of the night, he got a great spot!)
I became preoccupied by how hot the room was. I am hyper-sensitive to temperature in normal times, but my entire pregnancy I felt like a self-contained rotisserie. And my gown wouldn't snap. So we did the whole one gown the right way, one gown backwards trick so my ass wasn't hanging out everywhere, but this solution compounded the sauna-like state of the birth centre triage. We waited for what seemed like hours for the resident on duty to arrive, and when he did he looked like he had just rolled out of bed, into his hoodie, and walked from his dorm to the hospital. Which is totally possible, and maybe even probable. I don't remember his name, nor would I post it here, but let's call him Dr. Duh.
His check showed that I was 4 cm dilated, 80% effaced, but that baby was at -3 station, which means very high up there. Also, my membranes were still intact, so I guess I just had a slow leak all day long. I was a bit disappointed to hear how high up she was sitting, since I had assumed she was low and engaged given all the pelvic discomfort I'd been feeling. I was glad to hear how far I'd progressed, though, because if these pains were just practice pains, then grrrr. At this point Dr. Duh said "so, we'll get you admitted, and then you can get your epidural." When I said no, he was kind of like "what do you mean?" This did not bode well, but I just ignored him.
Once we were settled into our delivery room, our first nurse arrived. She seemed like a nice enough lady, and looking back, I feel like she was probably new. The first thing she wanted to do was get me hooked up on a fetal monitor. Since I had just spent five hours (actual time was probably 45 minutes, but it felt like five hours) laying on my back attached to a monitor, all I wanted to do was walk around the room a little. We asked why this was necessary since we had just been hooked up, and they had plenty of data for the moment. She then proceeded to explain that since the baby was so high up, and my waters weren't broken, I would have to remain in the bed on a monitor, since if my waters broke and I was walking around the cord could get washed out first and compressed.
Plausible? Maybe. However, I had been leaking fluid all day and walking around laboring at home, and if I'm willing to take the risk to have a better labor experience, then dude, don't argue with a woman squeezing out a baby. She then began her spiel about how I would also have to stay in bed so that the IV would be stable and safe, and oh, by the way, watch out, I need to put the bed rail up so you don't fall out of bed. (behind me I heard my doula whisper to me "when was the last time you fell out of bed?")
(Because I have a pretty major phobia of needles, and because I didn't intend on needing an IV for anything except an emergency circumstance, and because I know that if I needed one, it would be easy enough to install when it was necessary anyway, I was adamant about not being hooked up to an IV, nor a Hep Lock.)
She then asked us where our birthplan was if we wanted all these "special" instructions followed (don't get me started on how not wanting any interventions at all when laboring could be considered "special") - I had specifically asked my doctor about it at my appointment the Monday before and she said "it's totally not necessary, just tell the nurses what you are okay with and what you aren't, and they'll respect it. They are very supportive of whatever you choose." So I was not please with this nurse demanding to see one. Our doula quickly jotted one down, which I signed and gave to the nurse, who then said she still couldn't let me up to walk around without a monitor on.
I started to lose my shit about then, and thus began the argument that resulted in me yelling at the nurse "why are you still here arguing with me?" and "would you just go get the doctor already?" While my doula tried to politely say "I think we understand what you are saying, but she would just like the doctor to come check and see if maybe the baby has engaged?" Then the nurse fired us. FIRED US like it would hurt our feelings. I will never forget the tone of her voice when she said "Well, maybe I should just get you another nurse, then..." and I wish I could have seen her face (I was busy with my head buried in a pillow during a contraction) when we all three said "Yes, please, I think that would be a good idea."
Then she had her boss come back in with. I don't know why. She was back to trying to explain why I had to stay in the bed and why I would need an IV. At this point I turned off my ears. My head was about to explode off my body, and I felt I may leap off the bed and tackle that nurse. Eventually between SB and the doula they worked it out - the nurse left, we got a new one, and they sent for the doctor to check me.