We visited my sister in Hilton Head on the weekend, then three days
of doctors appointments, and by Wednesday night Cathie was exhausted. She
began to feel very uncomfortable. And we still had another appointment
on Thursday, and our first prepared childbirth class on Thursday night.
When we visited our family doctor on Thursday, she said go home and REST
- don't do ANYTHING!
So, we were bummed out about not getting to go to the class, and I made
supper that night. When I helped Cat out of her chair, she stood up and
said, "Oh no! Now I've lost control of my bladder!!!" She was
standing in a puddle - her water had broken. From then on it was straight
out of the movies. I was running back and forth, thinking I might lose
them both. Cathie, who had been reading up on the subject, unlike me, knew
that she had made it almost to 30 weeks, and that our baby had an excellent
chance of surviving, even though she would come 10 weeks early. She said
to me, "We're going to have our baby tonight! Then, I knew everything
would be ok. I know I drove over 100 mph on the way to the hospital, with
Cathie on the car phone first to her parents, then to mine. We made it
there - to Lexington Medical Center. I don't remember anything else until
we were settled in a nice "home-style" maternity room where we
would spend a very long night.
We were as comfortable as we could be under the circumstances. Our nurse
was very pretty and nice, and checked on us regularly. Cathie was fitted
with a uterine monitor, and we could watch the baby's heartbeat. She was
doing fine. Cathie was given a steroid injection which was supposed to
help the baby's lungs develop rapidly and prepare her for the next step.
The doctor wanted to put off delivery as long as possible, but he indicated
to us that he did not think they could hold her off for very long. We finally
settled in for the night, and about 11pm the nurses changed shifts, and
we met our new nurse, Denise. Denise was very capable, but she was different
- she had a facial difference - which I do not remember the name of - which
we got used to seeing, quietly checking on us during the night. We lay
there, not speaking, each letting the other sleep, each knowing that the
other was wide awake. Watching the monitor, all night.
The contractions started in earnest about 5 am. Denise came in, made
sure the monitor was ok, and began timing Cathie's contractions. By about
6, the doctor had been called, and Denise told us that our baby was ready
to come! Cathie told her not to forget her epidermal, and Denise said,
"it's too late for that - she is coming now!" She rushed Cathie
into a surgical delivery room, throwing a pack of sterile clothes at me
and telling me to get dressed and HURRY! When the doctor arrived about
7, Cathie yelled at him for being late, and then he told her to push. Denise
held one hand and I held the other, and she whispered intently into Cathie's
ear, telling her things I'll never know, things which soothed her. When
the next pain came, Cathie screamed loud enough to wake the whole hospital,
I think, and he told her to put all that energy into a push next time,
and she did, and our baby was born.