Hannah Catherine's Birth Story By Kim Print
Birth Stories - C-Section Birth Stories
Friday, 16 January 2009 09:04
I don't know where to start...

My husband, Gerard, and I decided in May of 1998 that we wanted a baby and on July 17 (2 months later) found out that we would become parents in March of 1999 (my due date was March 26). My pregnancy was pretty uneventful - which is a good thing. We read everything we could get our hands on about pregnancy, labor, delivery and parenthood. Actually, I spent countless hours reading birth stories and they helped prepare me so much...I hope this helps some 1st timers out there. Anyway, I had plans to work right up until the big day and it turned out just that way.

On Friday, March 12, I went to work just as I always did and headed home to get ready for my baby shower on Saturday (I know it was very late but that's the way things go in our family sometimes). The shower was great but after such a full day I was miserable and started to cry saying that I just couldn't work two more weeks. That was really the first time I had felt miserable and blue. On Sunday I got this burst of energy (nesting) and put all of our gifts away and finished the final touches on the room and then drifted off to sleep...

I woke up at around 4:00 a.m. (Monday, March 15) to go the bathroom (you all know how that is) and just as I started walking back to bed I felt a warm trickle of liquid. I sat on the toilet and tried to figure out what to do. I knew what was going on but I just couldn't believe it was really happening...and every time I went to stand I would trickle more and more. Before waking Gerard I went into the baby's room and snatched a diaper; and then I woke him. We called the doctor and were instructed to go to the hospital to be checked out. I took a quick shower and as we were standing in the bathroom together I turned to him and said, "we're not coming home without a baby...this is it." We left for the hospital with my bag of essentials, a cd player and way too much other stuff (powder, socks, books and so on). We even stopped at Kroger (a 24 hr. grocery store) to buy film and get some cash from the ATM.

When we got to the hospital I was taken to triage and then promptly taken to my room - it was about 6:30 a.m. Eventually they started me on pitocin but no contractions...the nurse said, "just wait, you'll feel them soon." I was starving and instructed my husband to get me something to eat which was, of course, against the rules. I wanted an egg sandwich and he came back with Ho-Ho's (go figure). Oh well, at that point I didn't complain too much and ate the chocolate goodies.

Finally at around 10:30 or 11:00 I started feeling the contractions and they quickly got to the point where I needed to breath through them. Although we had taken Lamaze classes, when the real thing hit I forgot all about the breathing techniques and just started squirming and moaning. Debbie, our wonderful nurse, stayed with us and talked me through several contractions and got us on track with the breathing and focusing. For the next several hours my wonderful husband stayed by my side watching the monitor. He would let me know when to start my breathing and then he'd let me know when it was at it peak and when it was almost over. I had a Celtic instrumental cd playing over and over. When a contraction would start I would close my eyes, breathe and concentrate on the music. I would focus on the different instruments...anything to keep my mind off of the terrible pain.

My mom, dad and a few friends of the family were in and out of the room during this dreadful labor. I had completely lost all concept of time. At one point I looked at my mom and said, "I could really lose control!!!!" Come to find out, she thought I had lost it hours ago.

My contractions were 1 to 2 minutes apart from about noon til 6:30 p.m. when I finally got the epidural. Before I got the epidural I was only 5 cm and almost immediately after I went to 8. What a relief! What a miracle drug! I wanted to go natural but I just couldn't take it anymore. The pain was unbelievable. Of course, they say that the pitocin makes labor much tougher. After the epidural I looked at a friend who had told me that contractions are like really bad cramps and asked her what the hell kinda cramps she had because the pains I had felt like someone was holding on to my pelvis and trying to pull me apart.

Anyway, at around 9:00 p.m (about 17 hours into labor) the doctor came in and told me that although I had gotten to 9.5 cm, my cervix had started to swell and he didn't think I would be able to deliver vaginally. We were not upset one little bit about having to go with a cesarean (at that point we just wanted what was best for me and the baby...and the birth plan had gone out the window almost immediately anyway). I later found out that my parents were pretty scared and upset. Anyhow, the anesthesiologist came in and told us what he was going to do and asked me again when and what did I eat last. Remember how I had the Ho-Ho's? I didn't tell him about that (oops). They gave me something to drink to settle my stomach but it actually made me feel kinda sick and I kept telling them, "I think I'm gonna get sick." I don't know if they weren't listening or what but they sure didn't take me serious until they were wheeling me into the o.r. and I grabbed a nurse�s arm and shouted that I was going to get sick NOW. I got a bed pan and guess what...everybody found out about the Ho-Ho's and boy did they give me hell for not telling them.

My husband was finally brought in and they started the procedure. It all happened so fast and before I knew it they told my husband to stand up. He says that at that point they had the baby's head and chest out.

When they took it all the way out our doctor said, "well dad, what is it?"

He said, "it's a boy!!!"

Then I heard the doctor say, "You'd better look again dad."

"Oh my God, it's a girl!!!"

I said, "Gerard, what is it?"

It was a beautiful baby girl. In all of the excitement he had just shouted out boy because we were convinced it was a boy (low heartbeat).

They only let me look at her for a second before taking her across the room to be weighed and measured. Gerard followed her over there as I laid on the operating table pleading for someone to let me see my baby. A very nice doctor whispered that although he wasn't supposed to that he would pull the drape back a little so I could watch. I could just get the smallest glances at her but I could hear her cry and I thought I would die before I got to hold my beautiful daughter. My husband was very good though, he kept shouting things over to me like, "she has blue eyes, she weighs 7 lb. 3 oz., she's 19 inches long...Kim, she's beautiful." Finally Ger got to pick her up and hold her. It was fascinating to watch - he just danced around the room with her and he sang the Liverpool soccer anthem to her (You'll Never Walk Alone)...what a sight. Although she knew her daddy's voice and responded, she was still fussing and wouldn't open her eyes...Then he put her in my arms and I started talking to her. She got quiet as a mouse and opened her eyes when she heard my voice. I instantly fell head over heels in love with this little girl. She is now five months old and she's rolling over and smiling, laughing, reaching, playing and making our lives a complete and utter joy.

Thanks for letting me recount the most special day of my life,