Today is my youngest daughters birthday (Catherine). She was born at almost 11pm, so I am trying to time this post in relation to her actual birth. Her tale is not as dramatic as my other daughters. Catherine only took one day to make her appearance into the world.
Funnily enough, I can't seem to remember the particulars as much as I can with my older daughter. Maybe already having a toddler when I was due with my second made my mind overwhelmed. I do remember first going to my doctors office around noon. She determined I was in labor and at about 3 cm and sent me to the hospital. We arrived there around 2:00pm. My sister left work and met us there to take Carley to her house. It was sad watching Carley go, she had never left us before.
Just as I was getting settled into my hospital room, my water broke. That was a very weird experience. I had already had an epidural when my doctor broke my water with Carley, so being "un-numb" and having it spontaneously happen was weird. And slightly alarming. But we hoped it was a good sign that things would move quickly along. Unfortunately that was not going to be the case. Since I had an epidural with Carley, I wanted one with Catherine.
Oh and here is a little aside: I had an amnio at 20 weeks so I knew I was having a girl and we had already named her Catherine. No big surprises for me at the birth. I like to plan ahead.
Anyway, I wanted an epidural after my water broke. So they got the anesthesiologist. He came in and looked at my back. "Have you had back surgery" he asked? "Yes, I had a spinal fusion", I replied. "Oh, well you can't have an epidural then". Witness Donna melt-down. Hello? My OB knew I had surgery on my back. She never mentioned I couldn't receive an epidural. I panicked. I didn't think I could do this delivery thing "au natural". But I had no choice.
My doctor needed to put an IV in me because I tested positive for Group Strep B. The nurses wanted to put an internal monitor on the baby, but that would've confined me to the bed, and since I wasn't getting an epidural, I wanted to be up. Thankfully my doctor didn't care what the nurses wanted, she let me be up. Which was interesting seeing as my water had broken. I had to carry a pad between my legs as I walked around the room so as not to leak.
So things progressed and at about 5:00pm I was checked. Still at 3cm. Uh oh. She wanted to give me pitocin. Without an epidural. I wasn't pleased with that, but since I wasn't progressing, she felt maybe I would just need it a short time to kick start things. So the pitocin was added to my IV. Yikes. Glad I didn't have to feel that with my first or may not have had a second. It really was extreme pain.
Between 5:00 and 7:00 (times are approximate), I progressed to 6cm, so my doctor said she would stop the pitocin and see how things went. Well, all things stopped again. What the heck is wrong with my body?
I think it was around 7 or 8 she started the pitocin again. I remember things in a dazed sort of way. I really went into the pain zone for a while. All I could concentrate on was contractions and pain. It's kind of like everything around me was a blur. I had a great doctor though. She didn't abandon me and leave the nurses in charge. She was there most of the time. She even ordered a pizza with my husband 1/2 way through the day. (Luckily I was in pain and not paying attention, otherwise I might have been miffed that my hubby and cute doctor were going off to share a pizza together).
I remember her checking me again around 10:30pm. I was at 8cm. Seeing how the progress had been the rest of the day, she figured maybe another hour or two before I would be at 10cm. About 5 mins after that, I remember feeling an uncontrollable urge to push. It was like something else had taken over my body. I told the doctor " THE BABY IS COMING!" She said she can't be coming, I'm only at 8cm. I said "NO SHE IS COMING RIGHT NOW!"
So she quick checked me and sure enough I was at 10 and the baby was right there. Nothing was ready. Everyone had been taking their time. All of a sudden it was a big commotion. The bed comes apart so I can get my feet up. Lights come out of the ceiling, someone runs off to get the isolette for the baby. And then I start to push. I didn't feel this kind of pain with Carley. I think I only had to push about 5 times to get Catherine out. But there was no time to numb me "down there" or to give me an episiotomy. So I tore. And it felt like someone had held hot coals to me "down there". Ripping flesh is not a pleasant experience. But then baby was out. And she was perfect. So Catherine Ann Clasen was born March 6, 1997 at 10:55 pm.
This picture is of me and my doctor with a little bundled up Catherine just after she was born.
Then I had to deliver the afterbirth, and boy did those contractions suck. I really must have had a lot of residual epidural effect with Carley. These pains were all very new to me. And then of course my doctor had to stitch up the tear. And by now it was close to midnight and I was hungry and tired and just wanted everyone away from my body. But one good thing about skipping the epidural was that I was able to get up and walk right away. It felt good to be up. And someone, somewhere in the hospital, found me a turkey sandwich at 12:30am because I was starving.
Below is a picture of my step-daughter Raina holding Catherine and Carley is kissing her head. This was the day after Catherine was born, we were still in the hospital.
And here is Catherine at about 2 years old
And here she is now
Isn't she lovely.........