With A Mother Like That, Pain Tolerance Is Through The Roof

, , , , , , , , | Healthy | August 10, 2018

I am seven months pregnant, and my friend picks me up for a girl’s night. We watch movies, eat junk food, etc., until she falls asleep about one am. At two, I’m still up, unable to get comfortable. I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the last couple of days, but tonight they’re just relentless.

I consider waking my friend up to take me home; however, she has epilepsy, often triggered by exhaustion and lack of sleep. She’s a bit of a worry-wort, and I don’t want to have her be tired, panic, and end up having a seizure, especially while we’re on the road.

About six am, I get a hold of my mother, and she agrees to come get me. By this point, the contractions hurt, and I can’t really sit or stand. But I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill, so I just grit my teeth and breathe until they’re over. Once there, my mom tells me that she doesn’t really know how to help me, but that she’s going to take me to the hospital, just in case there’s a problem.

When we get to the hospital, I have to stop every couple of steps to breathe and crouch over. My mother comments, “You don’t have a very high pain tolerance, do you? You’ve never really been able to handle pain.”

I ignore her comment because she’s been saying this since I was a kid. Once we finally make it to labor and delivery, the nurse — who has a really cool tattoo sleeve — tests for leaking amniotic fluid, and checks my cervix. She makes a less than promising face, then tells me that she’s going to grab another nurse for another opinion.

She comes back with an older lady that doesn’t even look at me. They go to the counter and I hear the nurse with the sleeve showing her the amniotic test. “It’s faint, but I definitely see a line.” The older nurse glances at it and quickly dismisses her, “No, no. It’s definitely negative.” The sleeved nurse says, “No, I think it’s positive for fluid. Can you at least check her cervix? I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I think it’s close.” The older nurse rolls her eyes, “It isn’t close to her due date, but fine.”

The older nurse then turns to me and goes to check my cervix. Her eyes widen, and she turns back to the nurse with the sleeve. Unfortunately, I have another contraction and only manage to catch a couple key words of their conversation. Then, the older nurse leaves. The sleeved nurse gently talks me through the contraction, and then tells me what’s going on:

At 29 weeks, I am in labor, already eight centimeters dilated, though my water hasn’t broken. The baby could come at any time now, but they are going to try to give me some medications to slow it down. She says that she is going to call the doctor to get approval on some pain medication for me.

Six hours later, I give birth to a healthy baby girl, who is rushed off to the NICU. I silently labored for almost 12 hours, and almost had my baby at my friend’s house. After everything calms down, I am bewildered at my mother’s “low pain tolerance” comment, and I wonder what would’ve happened if I had only seen the older nurse and not had the sleeved nurse to stand up for me. The sleeved nurse was the most amazing healthcare professional I’d ever had, because for the first time, she took what I said seriously. My daughter is doing well, and will hopefully be able to come home soon. My mother still believes that I’m over-dramatic and wimpy when it comes to pain, but at least I can say I went through most of my labor without medication or complaint.

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