Birth Story (Part two)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

This post is very long and no pictures at all... you may find it boring! Part two involves lots of Luke's journaling which I will color code that in red font and then all of my commentary will be done in black :) Alot of this is very medical and detail oriented, so if it bores you, I promise part three will have lots of pictures and stories :)

5am- We are awake, though sleeping wasn't very successful. Kathleen tossed and turned all night. Around 3:30 or 4:00, I threw in the towel and tried, unsuccessfully, to sleep on the floor. I even tried to sleep on the comfy carpet in the nursery- no dice!
I just ate cereal, and did some push ups to get my blood flowing. Kathleen is in the shower. Kathleen's parents have yet to stir. Perhaps I will have to wake them up.  
Getting in Luke's jeep, knowing that the next time we would be driving in it with our children was such an exciting thought! It was 5:30 am and I was talking loudly outside as we stepped in the car, and Luke had to remind me that neighbors were still sleeping, but I was SO EXCITED I just couldn't help it :) The drive to the hospital took about 10 minutes or less, especially with the wide open expressway on a very early Saturday morning. It was still dark outside, we entered the hospital through the Emergency room, as the main entrance was still closed for the night. I walked in and they greeted me with the normal greeting I had been getting for weeks...something along the lines of "OH MY GOODNESS YOUR BELLY IS HUGE!!!" "IS THERE MORE THAN ONE IN THERE?" or "YOU LOOK LIKE YOUR GOING TO POP!" I had become so used to these responses and was never really offended... I am sure my belly was a shock to people seeing it for the first time. I explained to them that I was here for my induction and they promptly got me a wheelchair. We waited for Luke and my parents to park their cars, and once they entered the ER, we began wheeling me up to the fourth floor, labor and delivery!
7am- We're all set up in the hospital room. Kathleen is covered in medical accessories (BP cuff, IV's, etc.) and is uncomfortable but in good spirits. Greg and I returned just a minute ago from Starbucks. 
The morning is cool, with a gentle breeze. Outside of our window, the clouds accent the rising of the sun. 
Kathleen is attended currently bu two nurses, Anne (leaving) and Bethany (coming on). The shifts are changing. We are told that doctor Johnson will be in around 8am. 
I remember the nurses using ultrasound jelly and monitor straps to find the babies heart beats. I felt so bad for the nurses because as soon as they found baby A and baby B and got both straps detecting their heart beats, one of the babies would move and we would loose the heartbeat. They finally got them in place, so I had one strap around my belly for each baby and then a separate strap monitoring my contractions... three total. I tried VERY hard not to move so they wouldn't loose the monitoring, but laying on my back was EXTREMELY uncomfortable at this point.  
7:45am- Kathleen's blood pressure is really high: 170/108. The nurses have made some comments about C-section.
I couldn't believe how high my blood pressure had gotten just since my doctor's appointment, just 4 days prior. I had asked the nurses how high it would have to get before they would talk C-section, and they both looked at each other and said "well, its really high right now" I was so bummed to think of this as a possibility and was hoping that they could give me something to bring it down. I knew Dr. Johnson would be there soon, with a plan, so I remained optimistic.
8am- Dr. Johnson just came in and set us at ease. He told us the C-section was not necessary for high blood pressure and also that there was a medication they could give to bring her pressure down. Finally, the epidural would be started soon. 
I was so relieved to see Dr. Johnson. He always has such a laid back, easy going demeanor that just makes you feel like everything will be okay. He was getting ready to go to a meeting at his church so he ordered for an IV push BP reducer to be given and he said that they would go ahead and start the epidural because that would bring my pressure down as well. He said he would return in a couple hours to break my water...

More about our doctor...
We came to find doctor Johnson by mistake. I had been seeing two other doctors for fertility and pregnancy confirmation. On the day of my first ultrasound (at 8 weeks pregnant) they called and told me that Dr. Foley would be out of the office today but they could get me in with Dr. Johnson. We found out that day we were pregnant with twins, and so when we met him, he informed us he was a twin! I thought he was really nice, but the next appointment I had, I went back to my original doctor. But after the next visit with my original doc, I realized that lots of these doctors were kind of scared to deliver twins. I had even been asked at 12 weeks pregnant if I wanted to go ahead and schedule a C-section! A vaginal birth was so important to me, and there is no reason they can't be performed assuming the twins are in the appropriate position. I went on to the practice's website and read more about each doctor on their little "personal profile" section. I read that doctor Johnson enjoyed high risk pregnancies and enjoyed being involved in his church. It was so important that our doctor would be a believer, and the fact that he was, enjoyed high risk pregnancies and was a twin himself, we definitely knew God had placed him in our lives to bring our little twinks in the world! We then saw Dr. Johnson for every appointment for the rest of the pregnancy. He was amazing. He wanted me to have a vaginal delivery as bad as I did, and told me that as long as baby A was head down, he would still do a vaginal delivery no matter what position baby B was in (some doctors will only do a vaginal birth if both babies are head down) Our baby B (Jack Henry) was transverse so it was so great to know he would still avoid a C-section at all costs. Dr. Johnson had also heard about the death of my husband's brother and called my cell phone to offer his condolences and prayer... how incredible! Usually when delivering a baby, you get whoever is on call and there are 12 doctors in my practice, so it made me so sad thinking I would only have a 1 in 12 chance of having Dr. Johnson deliver me, but about half way through my pregnancy, he expressed the desire to do my delivery and gave me is cell phone number to call him with any questions, and to call when labor would start. We were SO BLESSED with him!

At this point, I hadn't felt a SINGLE contraction and couldn't believe I'd be getting an epidural and essentially never feel a labor pain! I didn't know what to think of it... did I want to feel one? I didn't really know, but I was ready to just proceed with the next step!
8:30 am- Kathleen is 3-4 cm dilated; 80%effaced. 
9:30 am- Kathleen just received her epidural- I witnessed it. It was intense, but the woman administering it was very calming. Everything went well. Kathleen is now lying down and the nurses are trying to place the monitors that track the babies heartbeats. 
Getting the epidural placed wasn't bad at all. I remember the hardest part being how far they wanted me to bend over. My belly was SO big, it was hard for me to do so. I tried getting my back as straight as possible. I remember the weird clicking sensation the epidural gave in my spine. They described it like getting a shot in the mouth at the dentist, and that described it perfectly. It took about 20 minutes and wasn't bad at all.
9:35 am- Kathleen mentions that she is feeling nauseous and light headed. The nurses make adjustments and give her a wet cloth on her neck. Blood pressure is now 106/58.
 I remember feeling like I was going to pass out because my blood pressure dropped so quickly. It only was for a few minutes, and when my body stabilized, I felt much better. The epidural began to set in and I felt AMAZING. I felt sleepy and numb. I didn't even feel pregnant... just completly comfortable. I felt like I was in heaven and closed my eyes as Luke played worship music and some Allison Kraus... ahhh :)
9:50 am- BP=120/73 ...Good :)
9:55 am- I made a run to the car to get my overnight bag.
10:05 am- Attempt at a catheter. Two nurses needed so Bethany called for help as Kathleen is so swollen. (Yes, I was swollen everywhere, even down there)
10:15 am- Catheter is successfully placed. Kathleen now needs to sleep and rest. 
11:10- Dr. Johnson just returned and broke Kathleen's water (Just Hadley's sack. He also placed a scalp electrode on Hadley. Kathleen is measuring a "good 4cm" Dr. Johnson said he would be back to check at 1:00.
Water breaking wasn't as crazy as I thought. I had extra fluid inside so I thought it would be some crazy gush! It was a lot but not as bad as I had imagined. I also got to loose a belly monitor since they placed the monitor on Hadley's scalp. 
11:45- We're all sitting in the room, including my parents, Kathleen's parents and Ashley. Kathleen's BP is 139/89.
12:55pm- Bethany just did a cervical check. Kathleen is at 5cm, -1 station and 90% effaced. More water came out.
1:10pm- Dr. Wolfe came in (he is the on call doc) to place an IUPC. It measures (more accurately) the strength of Kathleen's contractions.
With the internal monitor for contractions, I now just had one belly monitor which tracked "baby B's" heart rate.
2:25pm- Bethany just checked and found that she was 7-8cm dilated! -1 station. They are calling Dr.Johnson!
2:50pm- They just made everyone leave the room because Kathleen's blood pressure is really high. This makes her upset and emotional, which keeps her blood pressure up! Catch 22. They brought in blankets to pad the bedrails for "seizure precautions" this makes us very uncomfortable. Kathleen hold back tears. We pray for God to intercede. Ashley and I are the only ones in with Kathleen and will be the only ones from now (with the exception of Kathleen's mom who is getting lunch) through the delivery. 

Next in part three... PUSH time and LOTS of pictures! 


  1. OH TEASE!!!! I was so ready for some delivery action in this post :) I'm loving every detail so far! This is exciting and fun.

  2. Don't leave us hanging too long :). You could write a book Kathleen, and I would totally buy it. Can't wait to hear about the rest of the birth!! Love it.

  3. not boring at all! and too long? i say not long enough ;-) i just love seeing blog updates :)

  4. Agreed, where's part three!?!?!? I follow your blog, I want to know the rest of the story!


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