Thursday, April 29, 2010
The Story of Katelyn's Arrival
Tuesday, April 13:
8:00 p.m. - We arrived at the hospital for our scheduled Cytotec induction. Check-in goes smoothly and quickly; we are the only induction scheduled for tonight.
9:03 p.m. - First dose of Cytotec is on board and fetal monitoring is in progress. So far, only random irregular contractions and a healthy fetal heart tone racing along between 140-170. Cervix is "about 2" and thick.
Wednesday, April 14:
12:00 a.m. - Second dose of Cytotec is placed. Contractions more frequent, but still erratic. Cervix unchanged from previous exam. I request Ambien to help me sleep.
3:00 a.m. - Third dose of Cytotec is not given, due to nice regular contractions at 3 minute intervals. Contractions are notable, but I am still able to talk and walk with them, so nurse skips the cervical check in favor of the monitor which is showing nicely humped contractions every 3 minutes like clockwork. Still have not had any sleep and am starting to feel irritated at Jonathan who has dozed on his couch/bed all through the night.
8:00 a.m. - Sister Jill arrives at hospital. I am beginning to get excited, as I am having to breathe through some contractions and surely this means good things! Doctor arrives to check cervix and rupture water prior to beginning Pitocin. Cervix: "A good 2 and thick" with baby's head still floating around above the cervix. Doctor opts to wait on rupturing membranes and simply start Pitocin instead. Pitocin drip initiated at 12mL/hour. We are excited, as surely baby will arrive any time given my past labors! Oddly, doctor suggests we go ahead and get our epidural labwork and pre-requisite items handled so we can get the epidural as soon as there is cervical change.
9:00 a.m. - Epidural labwork is not done, but the anesthesiologist arrives to start epidural. I am giddy that this means good things and let him begin his work.
9:30 a.m. - Labor nurse insists I must remain flat now that epidural has been started. Foley catheter is inserted (as is normal for an epidural patient) and I continue to think positively. Katelyn should be joining us any time now!
1:00 p.m. - Jonathan and Jill go to grab some lunch while we wait for doctor to come reassess things. Once doctor arrives, he notes that I am comfortable and contractions have spaced out since his 8 a.m. visit, so orders various increases of Pitocin. Cervix: No change, baby's head still too high to rupture safely. Doctor says he will be back at the end of his office day to rupture membranes and so forth. I am totally agreeable. After all, I am not feeling any pain!
6:30 p.m. - Absolutely sick of laying on my back, I begin to get really pissed at our nurse who is clearly only trying to wrap up her day which ends in half an hour. There have been several "emergencies" which have required her to be gone from our room and I begin to feel really disgruntled about how I could possibly make any progress when I'm laying flat on my back, etc., etc.
6:50 p.m. - Doctor arrives. Cervix: Still no change, and baby's head continues to be high in the sky. Doctor asks me what I think about why baby isn't moving down toward the birth canal even a little bit. I tell him I have no strong gut instinct about it and I'm confused because I know I am 39 weeks without a doubt. I practically know the moment of conception down to the minute. Doctor's face gets serious and he says something random about how it would be a lot safer at this point if we do a Caesarean since Katelyn hasn't moved down after several hours of Pitocin running at a high rate. I ponder that suggestion and look to Jonathan, who has this "Holy *poop*" look on his face. I look back to the doctor and realized that the "suggestion" of a C-section wasn't really a "suggestion" but rather, a statement of what we are going to do about our non-descending baby. I begin to cry. A lot. No one said anything about surgery to resolve this pregnancy! How could I possibly need a c-section?
7:15 p.m. - I am wheeled into the OR, still sobbing. Thankfully, the anesthesiologist is the nicest woman I've ever met, and she helps me keep myself together. Epidural is unable to be boosted effectively; I am still feeling every pinch and pull after each test dose. The sterile field is complete, the drape to keep Jonathan and I safe from an uncensored view is in place, but Jonathan is still waiting outside the OR to be retrieved at the appropriate time. Dr. Harris (Anesthesiology) very quietly tells me that she is going to have to put me under general anesthesia. I nod in sheep-like agreement. Jonathan will not be able to attend our daughter's birth after all. I smile and tell Dr. Harris that at least Jonathan doesn't have to feel pressured into cutting the cord since he can't even be present, and then I begin bawling again. She strokes my face kindly and asks if I am sleepy yet. I tell her no, I do not feel sleepy and ask, "How could this have all gone so wrong?" I do not recall that she answered.
8:30 p.m. - I open my eyes and realize I am no longer in the OR. Nor am I pregnant any longer. I hurt. Badly. Where is Jonathan? Why does my stomach hurt so much? Nurses are rushing around now that they see I am awake. My mom and dad come in the room. Where is my baby? Where is my husband? Is Katelyn okay? I pat my "flat" stomach and begin crying again. This is not how it was supposed to be!
Long story short, Katelyn was born by C-section at 7:49 p.m. Wednesday evening. She weighed 8 pounds 15 ounces and measured 22 inches long. Jonathan was not able to be in the OR while she was born, but he was able to immediately accompany Katelyn to the nursery where it was found that she wasn't maintaining good oxygen levels. They placed her on oxygen, and she was able to maintain with that little bit of help. Unfortunately, it meant neither DH nor I would hold her anytime soon. God bless Jonathan, the only time he was offered to hold Katelyn, he told the nurse that he wasn't holding our daughter until we could hold her together. Love that man so much.
It was 3:30 a.m. Thursday before we got to see our daughter, hold her, examine her and make sure she was all intact. We have no lovely birth story to tell, only a nightmare. But it is a nightmare that ends in an absolute dream... with the arrival of our most precious Katelyn Rose. And that is really all that matters.