Katherine Shirley Lange
Born: 1:19am Thursday January 5, 2012
Weight: 7lbs 13oz
Length: 19 1/2 inches
Wednesday January 4, 2012
I had a regular doctors appointment this morning. I was concerned that the OBGYN would talk to me about inducing labor as I was a bit worried about my fluid levels and I also hadn't felt the baby move much in the past couple of days. I asked Hilton to come with me because I wanted another opinion if the subject of inducing came up and also because I was worried that something might be wrong. After dropping Matthew off at preschool, we headed over to the doctors office. I remember chatting to Hilton in the car about what would happen if they did actually find the baby in some distress and we had to have an emergency C-section.The doctor checked me and told us that I was 4cm dilated and she also stripped my membranes. After chatting to the doctor a bit, she said that she'd like to do a stress test to check that the baby was moving enough. So we were led into another room where I got to sit on a comfy chair and be hooked up to monitors to check contractions and baby's heartbeat and I also had a button to push every time baby moved. I had one small contraction while lying there for 20min, and I also felt the baby move about 4 times. The doctor took a look at the results and decided that we should just do an ultrasound to check that the baby was doing the correct breathing motions and to check my fluid levels. At this point Hilton and Emily left to go and pick up Matthew from preschool, while I stayed behind to get the ultrasound done. The ultrasound showed everything was fine with baby and so we were told not to worry, and sent home to await her big arrival. Little did we know that her arrival would happen so soon!
At home that afternoon, Hilton went back to work and I spent a quiet afternoon with the kids because I was feeling quite sore and crampy after the doctors appointment. The evening proceeded as normal with no indication of what lay ahead!
The evening as were getting ready for bed at about 11pm, I started feeling some pretty painful contractions. They weren't regular though and they didn't last very long or intensify. So I assumed that like previous times, it was something that would fade. I even mentioned to Hilton that I would have to be 100% sure that it really was labor before I woke Holly up in the middle of the night and dropped off our two sleeping kids. I was waiting for that first really painful contraction that would signify to me that this was the real deal. So we lay in bed chatting and reading with me occasionally commenting that I was having a contraction that was sore, but not sore enough that I couldn't talk through it. At about 11:45pm, I had a really painful contraction. The type that I knew was real, but I told Hilton that I thought we should wait for another one before we woke up everyone, possibly for a false alarm. I then lay down to go to sleep since it seemed I wasn't going to have another one. As I was lying on my side, I had another really painful contraction, I felt a distinction "pop" and then water gushed between my legs. I gasped and then if I remember, I said to Hilton, "crap, my water just broke!" I managed to roll out of bed (to protect the mattress!) as Hilton went to fetch towels. I was in a lot of pain, I remember telling Hilton a number of times to get dressed, get dressed! It was now 12:20am on Thursday January 5, 2012.
Hilton went to wake up the kids, and surprisingly they both woke up immediately and were really awake and responsive and completely understood what was going on. I phoned Holly, her husband answered and laughed when I told him I was in labor, but said, 'come on over'. I also phoned the hospital to tell them we were on our way. We rushed to get the kids into warm jackets and get the car started and warmed up. I was having really painful contractions every few minutes, but the break between them was long enough that I was still helping out and getting the kids ready. It was raining really heavily that night as we rushed the kids into the car and drove to Holly's. I managed to carry Emily to the front doorstep between contractions, and as I was standing there, on the front porch, I had water running down my leg. I remember leaning against the door frame in pain, and apologizing to Holly for waking her up in the middle of the night. We left almost immediately after a quick goodbye to the kids and headed for the hospital. The rain was really coming down hard and Hilton was driving as fast as possible, while my contractions were about 2min apart. Parking at the hospital and getting out the car to the elevator was a painful process. My contractions were really strong and I now had water gushing down my legs. I almost couldn't walk, the pain was so strong and frequent. Hilton checked me in, while I was doubled over in pain at the nurses station. A nurse came out immediately to show us to the room - no intermediate room to check if I was in labor, like we had had for Emily's birth - straight to the delivery room. I had to pause a few times on the walk to the room because of the contractions. The nurse asked me if I wanted an epidural and I immediately answered "yes!". So she said they would get someone to come and give me one. As we were on the way to the room, we heard a lady screaming in another room, and the nurse said, "that's what a natural birth sounds like!". At the time, I had no clue that I would be in the same situation as her!
In the delivery room, trying to get into the hospital gown was a challenge, my pants were dripping wet and there was water all over the floor. I finally got settled into bed where the nurse checked to see how far along I was, and I just remember here saying, "Ah sweetie, you're 8-9am dilated, I will try and get the IV in for the epidural, but I don't think there will be time" What a shock...
I remember little else from that time on. I had my eyes closed and was clutching Hilton's hand as one contraction after another came. The nurses were talking about getting the doctor here as soon as possible, about telling her not to go to room 2, but to come to us immediately. They told me not to push, but to breathe through the contractions. I remember moaning and whimpering through some really, really painful contractions and realizing that I wasn't going to get any pain relief, that I was going to have to do this naturally. It was a difficult thing to come to terms with. Hilton was so calm the whole time, he just kept saying to me over and over again that I was doing great, that I could do this, that it was going to be fine. The urge to push got stronger and stronger, until I was begging the nurses to let me push instead of waiting for the doctor to arrive. They got my legs ready, and told me to start pushing. The doctor walked in and I heard the nurse say to her, "get your gloves in and come catch a baby". I think I pushed about 3-4 times, it felt like nothing I could have imagined. But I was very aware of when Katy made her entrance into the world. It was painful and sore, but it also felt good to push and was almost a relief in a way. I guess it's what your body is designed to do. The nurses and doctor then called out, "open you eyes, open your eyes" and I opened them just in time to see Katy being lifted into arms. I held this wet, squirming bundle, amazed and in shock at what had just happened. Just under an hour from water breaking to Katy being born at 1:19am.
I had no tearing and no stitches. The placenta was delivered easily and the cord blood collected for donation. Hilton got to hold Katy while my body adjusted to everything that had just happened and I was shaking all over. Katy had the normal tests done and all that, while Hilton and I looked at each other in amazement - what had just happened!
Hilton then sms'd parents while they cleaned Katy up and brought her back to me. I let her feed a bit before she was taken for her bath. I was suddenly starving, so the nurse brought some sandwiches and a salad, which I devoured. I couldn't believe how hungry I was!
At about 3am, Hilton left to go home and get some sleep before having to pick up the kids the next morning. I was finally taken to my new room at about 4am, where I got an hour and a half of sleep before being woken for all the various checks they do at the hospital.
What a night, what a story to tell, what an adventure! I'm so glad we got to experience all that (although at the time, I was certainly not!), and even more excited that it resulted in a beautiful baby girl for us to get to know and love.