I decide to count down the mins as a time waster but to show progress. “hey sweetie, 7 mins down”. It only delivers a minor comfort relief and I dread counting to zero knowing that nothing happens on time in the medical system ever… I was right, 40 – 50 mins later, Anna is back. So much for 20 mins
We have been signing forms in advance and its time to take the shot in the spine. Mrs I is sitting up on the bed, hunched over as requested and we are in a kind of rugby scrum pose (if you know rugby) and I am holding her tight as another huge contraction rocks through her. Anna completes her prep and tells her to stay still no matter what as this jab is tricky but crucial. Get this wrong and you have a big issue, which is interesting as I thought we were currently having a big issue anyway. A calm enters the room, but so too does another huge contraction and Mrs I and I huddle together really close like we are in a field and only have each other as protection from a category 5 cyclone hitting us, (she is Helen Hunt and I am the other cute dreamy guy) . The contraction hits, as does the needle, Mrs I does not flinch. Not that I ever had a doubt but it is now confirmed, this women is made of granite, steel and concrete. She is a rock. She somehow refrains from shifting at all as this tidal wave of pain passed through her. The contractor monitor goes skyward, we are huddled cheek to cheek and there is only us around, and there is zero movement, zero comment from Mrs I, and complete awe from me. I have no idea how she did it.
Both needle and the contraction come and go. The sun comes out, the pain is going, the contractions start to feel less painful. You can see Mrs I doesn’t trust that pain can just go that easily. She sees the rise and fall on the contraction monitor, but she is feeling less pain. A smile appears, the storm appears to have passed, (actually, I was thinking we are in the eye of it, but keep those thoughts to myself).
The nurse appears for a cervix check, fist first. It’s around 1.30am now. In 3 hrs her cervix is up to around 6-7 cm’s. Wow. Everyone is impressed at how fast things have progressed. 10cms and you get a prize, sorry THE, prizes. The nurse can’t believe it and has another nurse check, and she agrees, whooska!, fist first. Another nurse walks in and wants a go. Geez – I feel like going down to dunkin donuts in the lobby and asking them if they want a go. This vajayjay is sacred turf here people, take it easy, but it looking like a luck dip stall at the fair or a calf birthing session on the discovery channel. It doesn’t matter. This is big news. One nurse leaves to call the doctor, another nurse hangs around. Having fisted my wife, she is looking or for something else to do to keep her amused I suppose. So I drop out a question, “so how often does the Dr not make it and you have to deliver”… “more than you would think actually, but I want him here for twins”. Well, good to know we are all in violent agreement on that front.
Time slows, the room darkens, the nurses leave us, Anna has come back sheepishly to see that she hasn’t killed my wife through any adverse reaction to the needle (after nearly doing it in co-horts with the nurses through some form of extreme pain challenge). All is forgiven, the drugs are flowing and the world is good. Everyone leaves us. Mrs I is chatty. We replay the events, the horribleness of it like it’s the morning after. I look down, I see no kids, so this tea party ain’t over. I don’t raise it, enjoy the break. We snooze for a few hrs.
The actual sun comes up. Around 6.00 the fisting crew turn up again for another round of fun. 8cms. No sign of the Dr but no pain, so no worries really. The contractions charts still looks like a roller coaster even if there is no pain. (Roller coasters: The official theme we have had to date around this whole fertility challenge, why stop now.) 6.30. Dr Hoff arrives, says hi, asks Mrs I how she is and digs in a fist. What an intro. 8-9cm’s. ok. Nearly. He leaves. He is in his scrubs and looks ready for some hard core action, but there is no kiddie crap setup in the room, (the kid toaster that they use to warm them and all that stuff lies dormant in the corner.) Nothing is happening soon by my count.
7.00 and he’s back. He digs in another hand and he says “ok push”. She gives it a push, and ok it’s her first, so hardly a pushing vet and remember, no pushing class training due to 10 weeks on bed rest, so we have no clue. He isn’t impressed. She can’t feel the pain enough it appears. He turns to the nurse, “turn off the epidural please”. The nurse turns to Mrs I with a look of shock, she looks at me with a certain degree of horror, I look back the same and a dread sets in across the room. Dr Hoff leaves, the drip is turned off, and the storm on the horizon rumbles back to life and fast.
7.30 Dr Hoff wanders in casually, Mrs I is hanging from the roof worse than before. “Wow – that wore off fast!” he drop out there “Push and count to 10 on the next contraction and do that 3 times”. It’s on. and Mrs I is unbelievable. It dawns on me that I have what I think is a really lovely necklace in my bag as push present. Witnessing this it feels completely inadequate. I should have bought her a house, or small Caribbean island as fair compensation for this pain.
Time flies. Every 2 mins or less is another mind bending contraction. I wouldn’t know of course, but there is no faking here. People rooms, no suburbs, away must be dreading what they are hearing. A call comes from someone in Toronto who hears the noise and asks what is going on. This is a hurculean effort. My wife: What. A. Fucking. Legend. I: am useless. I take over the counting. I even take full responsibility of this predicament (isn’t that the punching bad role I am supposed to play?) and tell her so (when all of us know the true culprit is Dr Schoolie). “Don’t look at me – I just spoofed in a cup” is not going to wash here and now my friends. The Dr is measuring at every push, he is saying very little. He can feel a head he announces, but beyond that are we close or are these kids still some where up around Mrs I neck with a loooong way to go?
Finally he speaks after what feels like 3 mins, but must be over an hr. “I feel a little movement”. Oh boy. There is one really bad word in that sentence. It is not missed. “Little??? You are fucking kidding me” comes the feedback and it wasn’t said with love and affection. “Yeah I won’t lie to you, I won’t make you go three hours, but you should still keep going”. I instantly just wonder if that is not one of the hardest 1 liners Mrs I will ever hear in her life. All this effort, for what? The Canadians call back, are equally as shocked, and offer support. A debate rages between pushes. We keep going, but boy it’s getting very very hard for Mrs I and very very hard to witness, (how can those blasts transferred 8 months ago cause this much havoc!!!). “How about now, can I stop now”… “soon – a little more”. We talk weights of the kids between volcanic contractions. Clearly at 6-7 lbs this should be doable in the Dr head. You can see him thinking this over. Everyone wants to be somewhere else, but through all of this Mrs I never cries. No once. Frustration, yes, you could say she has that in spades, but not 1 tear. Unbelievable. The question is – how are these kids going to make their grand exit.