So - a recap: I'd been in hospital for about 24 hours. I'd had a McDonalds. I'd had a cannula put in my hand. Despite what the lawsuit says, I had not punched a member of the medical team. And whilst I'd fully planned to send TheBloke (TM) home for a good night's sleep, it began to look like things were kicking off big-stylee, labour-wise. We knew this because my swearing went from Slightly Sweary ("Oh Jesus Christ") to Really Very Sweary Indeed ("For fuck's sake, fucking, fucking, fuck bucket!"). This meant TheBloke (TM) was denied his opportunity to go home. Luckily he had already set the cat food timer so Monty Cat wouldn't starve.
I had had diamorphine. I was feeling OK-ish, though contractions still hurt and I still wanted an epidural. I just couldn't articulate it anymore. Luckily, it was all in the plan, and eventually a) an anaesthetist and b) a delivery room became available. At this stage of the story, I have to rely on TheBloke (TM)'s narrative, as my sense of time is a bit warped from all the drugs, and I'm not sure if the dancing gerbils were real or not.
So apparently, before they give you an epidural, they generally give you an enema. My memory of this is the midwife showing me a massive syringe and telling me she was going to shove it up my arse. At this stage I didn't care. "You will probably need to go to the toilet in about 30 minutes," she said, "and your husband will need to take you."
This would have been a tad embarrassing, but luckily TheBloke (TM) and I have never been one of those couples who is shy around each other. I have friends who say that they have never farted in front of their significant other. Christ, if that were the case and TheBloke (TM) had never even heard me fart, the next twenty minutes of his life would have been nothing short of fatally traumatic.
Amongst the things that childbirth has taught me is that I have quite an efficient bowel. I reckon it was no more than two minutes later that I said, "I need to go to the toilet. Now." There was no time to walk down the corridor to the toilet. A bedpan was fetched. And that, dear readers, is how I ended up squatting over the hospital bed, shitting my guts out into a bedpan.
And once (fast asleep because of the morphine), shitting myself in my sleep, and having to ask TheBloke (TM) if what I thought had just happened had actually just happened. There's nothing like romance when you have to ask your life partner if you have just shat yourself. He wanted to take photos, but I used some of the language referenced above and he refrained.
As I was squatting over the second bedpan, in came the very posh epidural doctor, who practically fainted at the sight. I swear she needed smelling salts. Actually, anything to take the smell away probably would have done. She excused herself and came back five minutes later, asking the midwife to take away the bedpan.
Ah, the epidural. Lovely, lovely epidural. I don't remember much about the injection, other than having to keep still (tough during a contraction), but I do remember not being that bothered about contractions after that. I had a nice conversation / debate with the midwife about science versus arts, and TheBloke (TM) finished all the levels on Angry Birds.
At about 6 in the morning, a doctor came along to see how dilated I was. Apparently I was 8 cm. Yay me! He broke my waters, and told me there was meconium in it. This can be a sign of baby distress, as it means the baby has opened their bowels before they've been born. Apparently it meant we needed to get the baby out sooner rather than later, and the baby would have to stay in for 24 hours after the birth for observations in case the baby had inhaled the meconium, but there was no massive emergency. They put me on a hormone drip to speed things up. So far, so good.
Every hour or so, the midwife would top up my epidural. According to her, the epidural shots were £250 a time. Now, I pay quite a lot of taxes, so every time she asked me if I wanted more pain relief, I just saw it as a way of getting some of that back. About £1500 worth of epidurals later, the midwife shift changed, and I was assured we'd have our baby within an hour or so - she was already halfway down the birth canal so I'd avoided a C-section.
This labour thing - other than the random shitting - really wasn't that bad!
Next time: McDonalds - the return (and not in a good way).