When my second dose of medicine was administered, the doctor found that the first dose hadn’t dissolved completely. So, I got the equivalent of one and a half doses at once. An hour after, there was no more card playing, and I was in so much pain that I couldn’t sit still. I had hoped that I would be able to deliver Cora without an epidural, because of the potential side effects it could have had on her, but that didn’t matter anymore. Emotionally, I was already devastated, and your emotional state during a delivery greatly affects pain. And when you’re being induced medically, often your contractions don’t have a break between them. Mine never stopped. I got no breaks. Eventually, after lots of back rubbing and quite uncomfortable wiggling (and crying, let’s be honest), the doctor can in to give me my epidural. She had some trouble with it, and I still have a sore spot on my spine as I write this. It took her four tries to get it in, over an hour of me sitting as still as I could on the bed, trying to not move. It was not a comfortable experience, especially because I had to sit still for such a long time through contractions.
But, once it was in, I felt like I could relax. We had had such little sleep all week, first from worry and then from grief, that after I got the epidural, I slept. Even though I was in labor, I slept (sort of). When Mom and Husbandman were out of the room, my nurse stayed with me. I cried with her, and we discussed God’s goodness, and how I wouldn’t be able to handle this without God’s grace.
I woke up about every two hours, and my medical staff were merciful enough to let me sleep, trying be as quiet as possible when they came to check on me every hour though the night. God quieted my thoughts as I waited, and I’m thankful for the mental rest that He gave me. I couldn’t think past a few minutes from what I was experiencing right then, and if my mind had wandered further than that, I think I would have been consumed by fear and anticipatory grief.
That night, when I woke up, all that filled my head were hymns. Old hymns that had been sung at my childhood and teenage years, hymns that I’d sung with people that have been absent in body and present with the Lord for a long time. Although my voice to sing was choked with grief, my heart sung praises to the Lord when I didn’t know what else to do.
My nurses changed shifts at about 7:00 AM, and by that time, I had a feeling that delivery wouldn’t be long. My nurse that day reminded me of my girl friends from college. I was thankful to be in good hands that felt familiar that day, because things were about to start moving much more quickly than planned.
Throughout the month of October, I’m writing a series titled “Hopeful Grief” with a fabulous group of writers, doing the Write31Days challenge. To catch up, or see new posts, click here. Interested in last year’s Write31Days posts? Click here.
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