Caitlin Comes Next By Catherine Darbyshire

After the birth of my son Will (See Wills Fast Entrance) I returned to work as a practical nurse at an OB/GYN/CNM/Birthcenter practice when he was 10 weeks old. There was a babysitter on site and I could nurse him when I needed to. We were pretty content with our girl & boy but I still wanted more babies, but later!

At the end of August in 1986 we took a long road trip to New Jersey to attend my MIL’s re-marriage. At the reception, when I sipped a glass of Champagne for the toast, I noticed that it didnt settle well and made me a little queasy. After our long trip back I figured out my period was about a day late and went in to the practice where I worked and did a preg. test – negative. I figured it was the stress from travelling etc. This was Sat. & I was due to go back to work on Tues. so I didnt think much about it.

On Tuesday I went in and set up another preg. test and left a note next to it saying “test for Catherine’s neighbor” in our little lab. The day started off with a bang and I almost forgot about it and went back to see and the other nurse that worked with me said “Oh, by the way, your neighbor’s test was positive”. We were surprised, but happy.

I had an ultrasound at one point and we were delighted to be having another girl. The technician told me “She is a regular little ballerina” and Caitlin has always enjoyed sports of all kinds. After Will’s 3 hour labor & delivery the midwives told me to plan to get into the birth center quickly once I thought I was in labor.

The night of June 3rd was warm. I got the older kids settled in, my husband came home and went to bed and I couldnt sleep. No contractions, just felt different. At about midnight I started to notice painless contractions so I just rocked in my chair and waited to see if anything happened. I finally called my midwife at about 3AM and she said to head into the birth center which was 30 minutes away. We called a friend to come and stay with my sleeping children and when I got to the birth center I was 4 cm. The midwife went in another room and went to sleep, my husband went to sleep next to me and I lay there having mild to very moderate contractions about 5 minutes apart. I was very relaxed and sleepy. It wasn’t very uncomfortable at all. At 6AM, I was checked and was 6cm and the midwife broke my water and went in to get some more sleep. Within 15 minutes I was telling the assistant that I needed to push, she went and woke the midwife who was looking at her watch saying “I’ll check you, but its only been 10 or 15 minutes”. Her face lit up and she said “Catherine, you never cease to amaze me(and to the assistant) she’s complete!”

They began to scurry around setting up the birth stuff and I began to push. 30 minutes later at 6:45 AM, only 3 hours after arriving at the birth center, 8lb. Caitlin was born. My other babies had been blondies and she came out with jet black hair, which later fell out 🙁 . I think her dad was 1/2 asleep.

After I delivered the Placenta, I began to bleed a little more than the midwife felt comfortable with, but a shot of Pitocin fixed that up. Caitlin & I took a bath together and after our friend brought Caitlin’s 9 yr old sister & 2 yr old brother to meet her, we settled down to sleep for awhile. I had been up the entire night but other than that felt good. No tears!

Caitlin latched on and nursed right away and continued for hours. At one point, the midwife saw that she was still nursing and commented “she’s a regular little Barracuda,isnt she?” My daughter Carrie thought it was so funny and for several years Caitlin had a nickname: Cuda!

We all went home around 4PM and my friend was there and made us dinner. Caitlin’s birth was so easy, that was to get me rested up for the lively one that she is! She is now a delightful 14 yr old and I thank God for her.