Four years ago tonight, I was just beginning my first (and so far, only) hallucinogenic experience. In my mind, everything was Crayola colored, and the toys of my childhood (Big Wheel, Sit-n-Spin, CandyLand) swirled together, danced across my eyes, and turned into Muppets and back to toys. It was breathtaking, exhilarating, exhausting. Which is ironic, since the nurses had administered it to help me sleep.
I was on our third attempt at inducing labor, and we (our doctor and Shaun and I) had decided to stay overnight this time, in the hopes that an overnight Pitocin drip would make the magic happen. But nobody in labor really sleeps all that well, so they gave me Stadol to help. As soon as the medication hit my IV, the wallpaper started moving, just before Shaun left to go let the dogs out. I kissed him goodnight and got the giggles. For the next six hours, I swung from awe at the images I was inventing to sheepishness: everytime the nurse came in to check my blood pressure, I felt like a drunk kid stopped by the cops who had to pretend she was sober when she obviously wasn't. Mostly, though, it was fun. I knew that it would wear off in 4-6 hours, and my nurse said I could have another dose then, if I wanted. For the first 5 hours I was sure I would savor that second dose. I hadn't been able to take anything stronger than Tylenol in 41 weeks, dammit.
The nurses made it clear that whatever it did to me, it would do to the fetus, and when I wasn't having technicolor Tonka trucks spin through my brain, I tried to figure out what she must've been seeing in her psychedelic experience. Was she reliving her zygotehood? Did she have fond memories of that Thai food we ate at week 28?
By 3 am, the excitement was wearing off, and a kind of paranoia set in. I felt guilty for enjoying myself so much when I should've been just trying to get this baby born. So I lied to my nurse: I told her I slept beautifully and didn't need more rest. By 4 am, I was back to feeling contractions, and waiting for our daughter to agree to come out.
She held out for another 15 hours, until the doctors went in after her. Of course, that's a story for another day.
But that last night before I became a mama? It was a helluva ride.