Thursday, January 24, 2013

Caitlin's Birth Story

For those interested, and my own memory

Background: When my due date came and went, and knowing that given my status as an older mom that the perinatologist preferred that the pregnancy not go past the 41st week, an induction date was chosen by our midwife and us.

So on the morning of the induction I called the hospital to find 'no room at the inn' and was told to call back later in the morning.  Actually around 11 am my midwife called to say 'Come in but bring lunch since nothing would probably happen until the afternoon', so we packed a lunch and headed in.  

Around 1pm I was given a dose of Cytotec and after an hour I was beginning to feel stronger contractions, that I needed to focus on breathing through, but my cervix was essentially the same so we ( midwife, Charlie and I) decided to try low dose Pitocin ~ as the baby heart rate monitor was showing the occasional decelerations.

So around 4 pm the Pitocin was started and the contractions did become more regular and stronger, was doing okay with breathing & relaxation but when at 6 pm my cervix was barely changed know that it was going to be awhile opted for an epidural.  Luckily was able to catch the anesthesiologist between cases and by 7 pm was mostly comfortable and all was calm until just after 9 pm when whatever had been occasionally effecting Caitlin's heart rate caused it to REALLy drop for a bit ~ so followed a nerve-wracking hour as I flipped side-to-side, and was given oxygen, and first the midwife and then an OB tried to place internal monitors (he was successful).  This was all very reminiscent of my labor with Liam ~ a period of high anxiety with me worrying about the baby and at what point would the decision for surgery be made and wishing I would just dilate already (!), followed by an eery calm as the baby's heart rate returns to a reassuring pattern and everyone takes a deep breath.

I loose the timeline here a bit, by 10 pm I  think everything had calm down again and I believe around midnight the Pitocin was restarted ~ I know around 12:30 I gave up on trying to sleep and started watching Friends as I was feeling the contractions and a bit 'pushy' and was trying to figure out if I indeed was feeling to urge to push or simply was aware of stronger 'Pit' contractions.  Finally after a half-hour or so I mentioned to my nurse and she went to get my midwife to check and...(cue angels) it was indeed time to push ~ and after approximately 3-4 contractions worth of pushing at 1:26 am out came Miss Caitlin, revealing a nuchal cord and arm (both the umbilical cord and her arm were wrapped around her neck) solving the mystery of why she was occasionally so unhappy with the contractions. Happily with just a bit of drying and stimulation she was willing to cry and in every respect behave as a happily transitioning newborn! (Funny aside: with everyone focused on drying and stimulating the baby, and her laying facing away from me, after a couple of minutes I finally just asked Charlie if we were welcoming a boy or girl.)  

Following the usual immediate postpartum business of placenta delivery, and her being 
dried, footprinted and ID under the warmer came the lovely quiet of a longer snuggle, 
attempt at nursing and marveling that once again we had ridden the labor roller coaster to a successful completion and were cuddling the newest blessing in our lives.


  1. Awww, she is so cute! My third baby's heart rate dropped after the epidural, and it was so scary that I said I would never get an epidural again. I had babies 4 and 5 without pain meds, but after that last birth, now I am saying that I won't go natural again. So how can I have a non-epidural not natural birth?? It's a dilemma!!

  2. Glad it all went well at the end...I hear ya with an anxiety producing labor...Glad the pit worked for you!! She is beautiful!!!

  3. First of all, she is just adorable!!!
    Secondly, I'm so glad that you shared her birth story. I just love reading them. All the details from what you watched (I always find that interesting for some reason) to having to ask if you had a boy or girl (too funny!) are just so special. And I'm so glad that those worrisome scares ended up being not a big deal.

    Anyway, hope you're healing and recovering well! Can't wait to read more Caitlin updates :o)

  4. I love this. And I am incredibly impressed with how calm you sound.

  5. So precious! Congratulations again! Your labor with her sounds a lot like mine with my first from the stalled labor to the drop in heartrate, tossing with oxygen, pitocin, and epidural. Hope you both are doing well!!!

  6. "Older mom?????????" You will always be that little girl I grew to love on L&D! Congrats to all of you!