We are proud to let you know about the birth of our beloved daughter,
Kaitlyn Leigh Davidson
Born Friday, August 18, 2006 at 12:13AM
Weighing 6 lb, 4 oz
19-3/4 inches in length
Kaitlyn Leigh Davidson
Born Friday, August 18, 2006 at 12:13AM
Weighing 6 lb, 4 oz
19-3/4 inches in length
Author's note: The following story is the birthing diary I kept during our stay in the hospital. I finished telling the story of the experience, but some of it was not typed until after the event. At the end I was busy participating rather than typing. The story is continued in Part 2, talking about Kaitlyns time in the NICU.
Wednesday, 10:43 PM
We're at the hospital and Kristi has changed into a gown. Not the hospital gown, because the nurse has agreed Kristi can wear her own for the night. Tomorrow will be a different story.
The nurse's name is Caroline and she seems friendly. In fact, I have been very happy with every staff member we've run into here.
I'm running into a bunch of trouble with Cingular's wireless card so far, so we'll have to see how long I can keep the birthing diary going.
Kristi has had a couple mild contractions, so mild she didn't know it until Nurse Caroline looked at the monitor and told us. Kristi's blood pressure is 146/83 and the baby's heart rate is steady at about 140.
Registration just called and I have to go down and fill out some forms.
Thursday, 12:10 AM
The contractions are coming pretty regular now that Kristi knows what to feel for (and I can see the peaks on the monitor). I'm sure this will make the doctor happy. In our meeting with the doctor she told us contractions prior to checking into the hospital would help the process go smoother.
Kristi has given blood, she is hooked up to an IV with saline drip only (no drugs), and the good nurse Caroline is having her sign a whole bunch of consent forms. I also received instructions on how to read the little monitor and Kristi's contractions are running four to four-and-a-half minutes apart.
We have our first request for pictures, but even though I have camera, I do not have any software to load the pictures. This will be a text only story.
Contractions are still going well, the nurse is asking a bunch of miscellaneous questions, and Kristi was just given Ambien to help her sleep.
So, in case you haven't figured it out, Kristi & I are in the hospital to deliver our first child, a baby girl. She is 37 1/2 weeks pregnant, which is full-term according to our doctor. Maybe later I'll write about why we're really here this week instead of waiting a bit longer for the blessed event.
Anyway, part of the "induced labor process" involves softening the cervix. For reference purposes, the cervix is generally thick and stiff like the end of your nose. During labor the cervix softens and becomes pliable like your lips.
We've been watching some video tapes of I Love Lucy and Kristi has finally turned over to go to sleep. I just received this email from Martha
You two get some sleep. You've got a long day ahead of you tomorrow and then the first night with the baby. This is your last night to get some sleep, take our advise.... HIT THE HAY! It will be years before you get the opportunity again!I've got some work to finish up so I'll be up for a bit more, but this is my last entry for the night. I'll talk to y'all in the morning.
Kristi just paged the nurse because her contractions, which are now varying between every two and five minutes are quite a bit more painful. I finally convinced Kristi to accept some pain medication. She's worried about the baby, but it seems to me that she and the baby will be better if there's less pain.
She did fall asleep for a minute while I was typing, but then the next contraction started and ... you can fill in the rest of the story from here.
Well the pain medicine didn't get administered until close to 5 and we've had a bunch of nurse visits since then. The pain medication has done wonders for Kristi and she has calmed down quite a bit.
The plan for when to introduce which drugs has been changed and the nurse has come in a half-dozen or more times since the medication started. The end result is Kristi has not slept for more than 5-10 minutes at a time yet. I'm done with my work for the moment, so I'll make the bed and see how much sleep I can get. At the moment, my expectations are pretty low.
Quick update... I woke up at 9:55 and a bunch happened while I was sleeping. The doctor has been bye to visit while I was sleeping (an hour ago?) and she is expected back any minute. Kristi is dilated to 1.5 cm, the doctor can feel the babies head(!!), Kristi is 80% effaced (I'll explain that later), and when the doctor gets back she is going to break the water sac.
The doctor is in the house...
11:45 AM - Quick
Kristi is doing great. Dilated to 3 cm. Epidural is in. She's about to take a nap.
11:46 AM - Long
I'll answer some questions from comments and emails a bit later.
Okay, so what's been happening since the doctor's visit? The doctor came in smiling and thinks Kristi is doing very well. The doctor said we're dilated to "a tight 3 cm." This is good because Kristi could not get an epidural when dilated less than 3 cm.
The doctor also broke Kristi's water during this exam. [Fluid was clear, which is good] The problem with this is contractions become significantly more intense (painful) after the water is broken. Pain before was rated a 5 or 6 or 7 before, it was rated a definite and tearful 10 after the water was broken. We only went through 3 or 4 contractions at the new, intense level before Kristi agreed to expedite the epidural.
Of course, it took some time to get the right people in the room and insert everything. Kristi did a great job and it struck me it must be more than the mind-numbing pain, but the whole idea that even as it lessens she knows it is going to come again in just two or three minutes. It adds a whole element of torture, the knowledge of impending pain, to the event.
During this period we also changed nurses from Tara to a tag team of Julie and
I just had a mediocre panini sandwich for lunch. Kristi had a catheter inserted. She is only allowed to eat ice chips and popsicles, so she's a bit hungry right now.
Kristi's blood pressure is running high (143/72), but it is not very high compared to some of the peaks we've hit in the last 14 hours. Kristi has been hypertension medication for as long as I've known her to control her blood pressure. We spent a few night here in the hospital right at the end of June while she was 31 weeks pregnant due to her BP.
At the time the doctor was pretty sure we were going to be delivering the baby within days, a week at most. Of course the doctor's worry only added to Kristi's stress and BP, increasing the chances we would deliver early. To say I was frustrated at the doctor's mismanagement of Kristi would be a significant understatement.
Of course, it worked out okay in the end; by staying on strict bedrest Kristi was able to keep the bun baking for an additional six or seven weeks.
The doctor's due in a few minutes so I'll give you more info in a bit.
Sometimes I look at her and cry. I really do love Kristi. I know it drives her crazy that I don't show much emotion except for when watching romantic comedies (we don't see commercials anymore since TiVo), but looking at her sleep now, or watching her walk down the aisle, touch me deep in my heart. I don't know how to express it, but the catch in my throat and the tear in my eye will have to be enough.
Doctor update: Kristi is now completely effaced (cervix is soft), but she is only dilated between 3 and 4 cm. The doc upped the pitocin level to strengthen the contractions and increase the dilation. When asked when the baby would come the doctor said, "I have no idea." At least she's honest.
Next doctor visit will be a bit after 3 PM.
Okay, time for a couple more updates. I forgot to tell you the doctor can feel the baby's hair. Isn't that just cool?
Answering some questions: The drug we were given after we arrived to soften the cervix is Cytotec (PDF alert). Typically women get two treatments of Cytotec, four hours apart. To our nurse's surprise the doctor ordered three treatments for Kristi. Due to "life happens," she only received one treatment and then went on Pitocin at 6AM when I was just going to sleep.
To the people asking if I'm a dad yet, the answer is "No." But you can bet your bottom dollar I ain't gonna be blogging in the middle of that. I love y'all, but I'll be busy holding Kristi's hand not typing about the actual birth. And no, I will not attempt to do both at the same time; don't ask.
It's funny, Kristi would never let me bring in a camera crew, but writing about for the experience you and your neighbor is just fine. She doesn't get how wide the reach of blogs are. (As an example, old friend Nnamdi sent email congrats from Africa.)
And for those of you who are new to this "blogging thing" I recommend you click on the comment link below. Doing this will let you read the comments of other people and enter your own comments. I do get your emails, but this post and the comments will survive much longer than my email archive. *sigh*
2:45 PM - Quick
The nursing team just came in to insert an internal monitor just to make sure they get accurate readings of Kristi's contractions and the baby. Everything is looking good and we have 5 cm dilation.
3:45 PM - Long
Hmph. About 3:10 the nurseing team comes rushing in and surrounds Kristi. She had 6 contractions in 5 minutes and the baby didn't like that. By way of communicating the baby drops her heart rate from about 140 to the 80s. Right away the team is cutting off the pitosin and adminstering a shot of Terbutaline, or Terb. The baby calms down right away and while blocking my view they have put an oxygen mask on Kristi.
Kristi is thinking I need to get my mind off this keyboard and onto her. I'm wondering where the doc is and the nurse gets her on the phone (but not the phone in the room; is this a bad sign?). While the team is wandering around the doc says she'll come by the room in 10-15 minutes.
Kristi is holding up well and I'm holding her hand. The contractions have not stopped, but they have started coming at a regular frequency. The baby's heart rate is good again.
After reviewing the situation the doctor says it's time to restart the Pitosin and build up the levels slowly. Dilated 5 to 6 cm, which isn't enough yet. (Did I tell you the goal is 10?)
And while typing all of this I've talked to Fred & Sandy. They're leaving our house and going to head this way. Kristi is feeling the contractions a bit more and they have sent in the guy to give her a booster shot through the epidural. They don't want to give too much because they want her to be able to push when the time comes.
4:30 PM - Misc.
Kristi feels like she has spent the whole day sleeping, but I know my honey, and this is not a good sleep. She is up every few minutes with a feeling, a pain, someone's entering the room and poking or rolling or somethinging her.
Kristi is starting to get a bit pissy about me blogging instead of giving her attention. I do jump when she speaks, but between the micro-naps and interuptions I do this. I am wondering if the typing isn't a substitution for feeling. If it puts off anxiety I'm okay with the swap; what did anxiety ever buy anyone?
Uncle Rick says the dogs are going to fall from grace, which is so true as to not be worth mentioning it. With the exception that Kristi doesn't realize it yet.
My mother called from Town East Mall. She may have gotten the directions to the mall from Kristi, but there is no chance Kristi gave these particular directions in relation to the hospital or the pregnancy. Maybe we shouldn't have given the directions out so long ago, but Kristi was trying to prepare her parents and mine.
I expect to see Fred & Sandy, Mom & Jill in the next 30 minutes or so. I know Sandy was worried this morning. She called right when Kristi was feeling one of the contractions where pain was dialed to 10. I can not yet imagine what it would be like to hear your daughter crying from pain in the background, but it gives me pause to even consider the thought.
The doc won't be back for another visit until 5:30 or 6.
All the visitors are here and we're sitting around gabbing. Well, Kristi's half-asleep, but the rest of us are chatting away. The doctor's due soon. The 5PM BP medication is stuck downstairs in the pharmacy so the nurse is on an errand to get. Nothing big, just keeping you up to date.
The visitors have gone off to have dinner and they'll come up for another visit afterwards. The doctor was here for about 10 minutes. Kristi and the baby are still doing great (her word), but Kristi has not dilated any further past 6 cm. The new order is to restart the pitosan (which I thought we did last time) and build up to the same dosage level we had previously. The doctor does not plan to be back for another 2-1/2 hours, but is somewhat hopeful the baby will arrive between then and 12 midnight.
Kristi is napping, and if the interuptions slow down a bit it just might be a good one this time. I probably won't post an update for a bit unless something changes.
Just a comment, but it pisses me off when the nurse throws the door open and loudly asks, "How we doing?" Everyone tells us she should get more rest, but she is besieged by events that preclude a good rest. I know I am being protective here, but couldn't the nurse walk in and check to see if the patient is resting? And then maybe checking the machines and charts without waking her?
Author's note: The following two updates are recreations of lost updates.
Hey, this new nurse, Amy, is all about the business. She just walked in and told Kristi we're going to have a baby tonight. Gotta change my shirt.
We're gonna start pushing, might have a baby in two hours, gotta run...
Author's note: All the updates below this point were written after the fact. I've tried to keep the timline, events, and thoughts true, but I'll ask for a little forebearance if some unintentional license was taken.
Dilated to 9 - 9.5 cm (still). The room is changing as they take apart the bed and get it set-up for delivery.
Q: Where's the doc? A: At dinner
We're in a slight holding pattern; still not dilated enough yet. Seems like we're going to wait for 10 cm after all. Kristi is yelling at me about the computer, again. I wasn't even looking at it!
Q: Where's the doc? A: Dessert??
Doc is in the house. We're close enough to 10 cm that the next time we have a contraction we're going to push.
I can see why men were not allowed in here. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm trying to encourage Kristi, but I know her and she has already tuned me out. Really. Like she just put her hand over my face and switched half-way through the contraction to putting her hand across my throat. I guess she doesn't want my encouragement. :-)
Uh oh. Kristi is ready to give up. She says it hurts and it's hard. (No shit, they call it labor.) They count to 10, or almost, because Kristi doesn't push past 6, sometimes 7 in the count. Seriously, she can do it, but they need to push her more. She won't listen to me.
She hurts. She says it every time. The pain is up on her left side. They don't want to open another bag of epidural solution because is $500 per bag. Like I care.
I think you have to be numb to people's suffering to be a nurse. Really. They just don't seem to care about her pain. It's a practiced indifference. Like the rest of the day they were just acting when they acted concerned.
We have another nurse. She's the head nurse tonight and I don't remember her name, but as far as Kristi's concerned, we can call her Nurse Ratched. She just had a talk with Kristi. Now my wife is pushing to 10, sometimes 11.
Kristi wants Lee. Anything for Lee. She really wants some more drugs. The real issue is, if you make her too numb, she will not have enough control to push. Honestly, she calls for Lee like a lost lover. It's kinda funny.
The doctor shows me the baby's head. It's sticking out and I can see her hair. I want to cry. This is so special. I cannot show my tears to Kristi; they'll distract her from pushing.
The doctor plays with the baby's hair while Kristi is pushing. She's pulling little bits of stuff out of the hair with her gloves on. It's pretty funny.
I say it seems like time is flying. it does for me, this is exciting. The doctor and Nurse Amy look at me like I'm the spawn of satan. Kristi doesn't even notice me.
Nurse Ratched wants to have the baby tonight. Apparently she promised this to Freddie out in the hallway. We went so long I kinda want 12:01AM. I'm not sure why, maybe because it's a cool time of day.
Doc asks if Kristi wants to use the vacuum to pull the baby out. Kristi asks me what I think. Nurse Amy asks me why I get a say in the matter.
11:40 through 11:50 PM
They just called in half the hospital. Two more people just showed up and started getting the baby bed with lights all ready with blankets. Here comes Lee, the doc makes him stand away and out of Kristi's sight (haha). Here's comes another one. This is gonna happen.
We're going to have just a couple more pushes. The hospitals clocks are all off. They match the computers but the computers are slow. What the heck?
Friday, 12:03 AM
Let's use the vacuum. It's time to get the baby out.
Friday, 12:10 AM
"Get the camera, get the camera!" Everyone's shouting at me. I just wanted to hold onto Kristi. Damn, where's the camera?
Friday, 12:15 AM
I'm taking pictures with one hand. Holding the phone up (speaker-phone mode) in the other so the grandparents can hear the baby cry.
They can hear my baby. That's my baby!
Author's note: And thus ends the first part of my story. You can find the next part of the story here.