Expecting0207: Jamie Caitlin's birth story
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 12:35 PM
At my 36 week appointment (1/12/07) I found out that I was 2cm dilated and 100% effaced (and the baby was breech). At my next appointment was five days later, I had progressed to 3cm. That morning I had some minor, irregular contractions, but when I was hooked up to the monitor, I didn’t have any. In the days prior, I noticed I felt gassy and bloated and had loose stools. I was convinced something was going to happen soon, but several older women told me that I was just experiencing the joys of the last few weeks of pregnancy.
On Thursday night, 1/18/2007, I felt very uncomfortable, like a balloon was being blown up inside me and I just wanted it to pop. That day I went into full ‘nesting’ mode and did all the laundry, vacuuming, and dishes and went to bed around midnight.
On 1/19/2007, at 4:33 I awoke for the second time that night to pee and while I was in the bathroom my water broke. At first I thought it couldn’t be my water, that I just had to pee more than I thought since my due date was 3.5 weeks away. After a few minutes, I realized that it really was my water breaking! DH was not home (he was on call at a different hospital) so I called him and then called my doctor’s office. The on call doctor told me to head to the hospital, so I called my parents, took a shower, finished packing and we left. I felt some contractions, but they were still about 7-9 minutes apart. (By LMP I was 36w6d, by my ovulation date I was 36w3d.)
I got to the hospital around 5:45am, changed into a gown, and had an exam. The resident confirmed my water broke and that the baby was still breech. I called my husband again and told him to hurry up. Due to staffing numbers at the hospital, he needed to wait for someone to come in so he could leave. At that point they inserted the IV (after 3 tries).
They checked me one more time around 6:45 am and said they were going to prep the OR and that my c-section would be at 7:30!! I was not fully prepared to go that fast! I definitely thought it would be a couple hours, so I called my husband again and told him to get to the hospital NOW!
Around 7:20 or so I walked down the hall and into the operating room. At this point, I was emotionally a wreck – nervous, excited, anxious. I sat on the table and they gave me the spinal and then gave me something to ‘take the edge off’ which immediately relaxed me and I think I was out for a few minutes. I have no recollection of the catheter being inserted. The next thing I remember is my husband walking in the OR in his white scrubs. During the surgery, I was told my eyes were open and I was awake but it’s very hazy to me. I remember them saying ‘her butt is out’, ‘she’s almost out’, ‘she’s out!’, and remember feeling like it was taking a long time. Jaime Caitlin was born at 8:07am and was 5lb 15oz, and 19.5 inches long. I do remember hearing her cries after they suctioned her and watching my husband walk over and take pictures. She scored 8 and 9 on her apgars.
I was taken back to L&D to recover and sat with DH and my parents. Jaime’s blood sugar was very low and she was having problems regulating her body temperature so she was temporarily in the NICU being given glucose. I didn’t actually get to see her until around 1:30 but it really didn’t seem like that long. Immediately after the surgery I had the shakes and felt jittery and emotionally overwhelmed. I was given painkillers through the IV and was pretty comfortable considering the circumstances.
Eventually I was taken to a room (the hospital had a baby boom right before we got there and we were waiting for other moms to leave to free up a room for us), I got a tray of clear liquids to eat, and they brought Jaime in after about 45 minutes.
The next morning (Saturday), I got a full breakfast tray and then had the IV and catheter removed. Two nurses helped me out of bed and I sat in a chair for about 20 minutes before standing. I was tender, but it was not that bad. They helped me to the bathroom and I was able to take a shower. I started the shower seated (I was shaking again) but by the end I was able to stand up and wash my hair on my own. I recommend taking your own toiletries to the hospital – it’s just so much better showering with your own stuff. My hospital also only provided soap and toothpaste, so it was good I brought shampoo. I would also bring an old, dark bath towel next time. The hospital towel was way too small and didn’t even wrap around me, and was pretty rough.
The rest of that day I just got up to use the bathroom and tried to sit in the chair for several hours. My incision was tender and I had some gas pains, but it wasn’t unmanageable. I took Motrin in the afternoon and Percocet in the evening and have been on both around the clock ever since. We left the hospital Monday and each day I have been feeling dramatically better than the previous day. Even the first day I went up and down the stairs about four times.
While in the hospital I had the nurses take Jaime to the nursery each night around 11 (she is being bottle fed) and I will definitely do that again. Also, my husband did the feedings on our first night home. I think having four nights of semi-uninterrupted sleep has helped speed along my recovery.
Jaime had lost weight and went down to 5lb 9oz at her first pediatrician appointment, so we changed bottles and went back a few days later and she has gained one ounce. She will need to be weighed again in about five days to make sure she is still progressing. We also have to take her for a hip ultrasound next week to check for hip dysplasia. Risk factors for that are being female, being breech, coming early, and heredity, and she has three of the four risk factors. We are hopeful that nothing will be found at the ultrasound, but if there is a problem, she will just have to wear a brace for six weeks – no surgery is required.
Jaime Caitlin is now one week old and I have fallen in love with her. I didn’t feel any real maternal feelings right away, but over the first few days my connection with her grew. It’s tough and very tiring to take care of a newborn, but when I get up to feed her in the middle of the night, just looking at her little face makes me so happy. I still can’t believe she is mine and that she was in my stomach! She’s only been with us one week but I already feel like time is passing much too quickly. I am looking forward to the future, but trying to cherish this time with her. It’s quite a learning experience, but we are getting by.
(written at one week post partum)