For those who have read me back in the good ol’ days (aka Life & Times), you know one of my biggest pet peeves are those who must have an epidural yesterday. You know, labor and birth are as old as dirt so I can’t imagine any woman these days who didn’t know going into this that labor was going to hurt. Hello, people! What were you expecting?
I recently was asked (or rather, demanded) when was “my epidural was getting here?” Huh? I didn’t realize it was on order. And by the way, when you say “your epidural” you must mean the human being that was highly trained commonly known as the anesthesiologist to place said catheter? Um, ya, she will come give it to you when I can safely prepare your wussy ass for this intervention.
Ok, so I didn’t really say that. What I really said was something like this: I need to do several things to get you prepared for the epidural. First I have to start an IV and run a liter of fluid into you. However, I can only run that liter of fluid over 20-30 minutes, at the most, because too much fluid too fast can cause problems. We also have to get the results of your blood count, because an anesthesiologist will not place an epidural catheter until they know what your platelet levels are. Your labs were ordered stat so I hope to get the results in 30 minutes. I’m doing my best to move things along so you can get an epidural.
Needless to say, irony has a funny way of working itself into these sorts of situations. Well before anything was ready, this woman became fully dilated. She fought and argued that there was no way she was pushing without an epidural. “I can not do this without one!” is what she yelled. The doctor said something like, “Well, you have no choice.”
Now, had the attending been someone else, say one of the docs who isn’t so forthright, she would have got the epidural. I have seen some who fight their body’s own natural urge to bear down so that they can get an epidural. In the time it takes to prep them, get the epidural in, and then for the time it takes to work, they could have had a baby, breastfed, and taken a nap already.
But hey, to each his own, so they say. Unfortunately for her, this woman did not get what she wanted but she did have a baby 10 minutes later, and spoke nothing of the epidural after.
p.s. before you all get your noses pushed out of joint over “wussy ass”, keep in mind that this was being asked by a woman who came in in early labor and was still able to talk and breathe easily through contractions. We originally thought she was going to be one of the women that would be sent home after having confirmed false labor.