After the nurse announced that I was already dilated to 6 centimeters, the room was suddenly filled with nurses and medical staff. They tipped my bed so that my feet were up and my head was down, trying to remove as much pressure off my cervix as possible. An I.V. was started with various drugs to try and stop the contractions. The effects of one of the drugs and also having my head down so low was that I quickly became very hot. My face felt like it was on fire. The nurses put wet cloths on my face and neck to try to keep me comfortable, but I could barely feel the coolness of the water.
During one quiet moment when the room is mostly empty, my sweet nurse finds a hospital staff member who holds the priesthood, and he and Clayton give me a blessing. I wish I remembered more of what was said, but the Spirit that I felt was comforting and reassuring that everything would be ok.
The rest of my stay in Tooele's hospital is a bit of a blur. The doctor kept talking about transferring me to Salt Lake City, to the University of Utah hospital. I don't know if I quite understood the urgency at this point. I was envisioning a quick ride to SLC in an ambulance so that the doctors there could work their magic to stop my labor. I had no idea what was about to happen.
"Nope, no ambulance," said the doctor when I asked. "You're going in a helicopter."
Sooo . . . maybe things are getting a little serious if they're talking about helicopters.
More time speeds by. Clayton has called both of our parents to let them know what was going on. I casually mentioned to him that he should let my sister Mona know that I probably wasn't going to be able to make it to the movies with her tomorrow like we had planned.
Contractions are starting to become quite painful at this point, and for some reason, seem to be coming closer together. Weren't those drugs supposed to stop my contractions? Turns out that that wasn't going to happen.
The helicopter arrives. Several very kind and competent nurses and medical staff from the helicopter came in and hooked me up to their various monitors and I.V.s
I am on a gurney, being wheeled out of the hospital, Clayton anxiously following close behind. In my fear, I ask the helicopter people if I get to ride inside the helicopter or if I have to be strapped to a board outside the helicopter, like on M*A*S*H*. Everyone but me laughs.
Well, I've never been on a helicopter before! The only ones that I've closely examined are the ones I've seen while watching M*A*S*H*, and those patients clearly ride on the outside!
I might be getting a little irrational at this point.
There is some kind of difficulty in getting the gurney loaded onto the helicopter. I nervously hope that this is not an omen of things to come. Clayton is unable to ride with me, and so we say goodbye. After I am safely loaded (inside the helicopter, not outside, which is nice since it was probably like 10 degrees or less in the frigid January weather), I get a large set of earphones placed on my head to protect my ears from the loud noise of the propellers. A nurse sits next to me and monitors things while we take off. She's busy doing her job, but all I can think about is how scared I am, and that I really want someone to hold my hand during my contractions. I wiggle one hand out from underneath where I have been strapped to the gurney, and plead for her to hold my hand.
Contractions hurt. I'm almost embarrassed by the painful noises that I'm making, but it hurts too much for me to care what I sound like. Plus the helicoptor people are all wearing headsets, so hopefully they can't hear me anyway.
Soon after we take off, I feel a sudden gush of liquid between my legs. "Ohh, so that's what it feels like when your water breaks," I thought. Seriously in panic mode now, I yell to make sure that the nurse hears me. "MY WATER BROKE! MY WATER BROKE!"