The following is the more complete version of her birth story. It is long, somewhat graphic, and not for the faint of heart. No puppies or rainbows here.
You’ve been warned.
No, really… make sure you really want to read all this. Here goes nothing:
Thursday, 10/31 I had an ultrasound to check my amniotic fluid level. It was down to 8 something, from 10 something the week before. My doctor told me that if it got below 5, they would induce me. She also reminded us that she was going out of town for two weeks, and begged me to still be pregnant when she got back.
So, of course at the next ultrasound on 11/4, my fluid was at a 4 something, and the on call doctor told me we would induce that night. I checked into the hospital at 8pm, and three hours later they gave me my first dose of Cytotec to dilate my cervix. I barely slept that night, because I was on the monitors and every time I tried to move to get comfortable they would slip and a nurse had to come in and adjust them to get baby girl’s heartbeat to register. She did not want to stay on the monitor–a theme that persisted throughout.
The next morning, they decided not to give me more Cytotec because they were worried about decels in her heart rate the night before, though the difficult monitoring had them not entirely sure. So they started Pitocin. At this point I was finally 1cm dilated (up from “a fingertip” the night before).
A lot of the next day and a half is kind of a blur. At some point Tuesday they told me I was about 3cm dilated, and I was feeling pretty good about that. The next check had me back at about 1cm, saying I must’ve been checked during a contraction which can skew it. I was really upset. The doctor then swept my membranes. That was by far the single worst experience of my entire life.
They consistently had difficulty keeping her on the monitor. Or if they had her heart beat, my contractions weren’t showing up properly. Lots of prodding and adjusting the monitors, much to my frustration (and the nurses’ no doubt). Even so, it became pretty clear that baby girl didn’t really like it when I moved around much. So since I was going to be primarily in bed anyway, I got an epidural, and finally slept. And slept. And slept some more.
Some time Wednesday morning, another cervical check had me telling the resident performing it “umm… I think that’s my butt.” That’s right, she was in the wrong hole. I had the internal monitor going, and a catheter, so she said she was just worried about interfering with those… but, yeah, she completely missed.
Wednesday afternoon I started shivering uncontrollably. Turned out I had spiked a fever of 103.3. I was still only 5cm dilated. So they gave me some antibiotics, and then did a C-section.
Caitlyn Emma was born 11/6/13 at 4:48pm, weighing 5lb 7.5oz and measuring 18.5 inches long. She had a little difficulty breathing at first, because she had a lot of fluid in her lungs, but she didn’t need the help very long.
They had also been worried about her heart from something they’d seen on an ultrasound, so they wanted to do an echo, but not until she was at least 24 hours old… and since she was born at almost 5pm, she wasn’t scheduled until Friday morning. And they didn’t want to feed her prior to the procedure, which contributed to her getting jaundice. The procedure came back fine, and so we finally breastfed and supplemented with formula to help the jaundice. She also received a few days of phototherapy for it (we called it her tanning bed).
I had tested negative for Group B Strep at 36 weeks pregnant, but when she was born she tested positive on her skin (but not in her bloodstream, because they’d given me antibiotics). Which meant the seven day course of antibiotics they’d prescribed for her because of my fever turned into a ten day course. So ten days in the hospital with a mostly healthy baby.
But she’s here, and that’s what matters. And we are so totally in love.