It’s hard to believe she’s one year old! This has been one busy year, but Katie is the sweetest baby and I finally feel, one year later, that I’m getting back into some routines.
Since I wasn’t blogging at the time Katie was born, I thought I’d share her birth story today.
The day Katie was born was a rainy day. It was August 24, 2010 and I was scheduled to be induced that morning, one week before my due date. Before the sun rose, I called the hospital to see if they had room for me. “No, it’s pretty busy. Eat a light breakfast and we’ll call you when there’s room.” I was disappointed and figured the delay would be a long one given that they were allowing me to eat. What a pleasant surprise when they called around 10:00am and said to come to the hospital!
Grammy had stayed over the night before and took care of Emmaline, Micah, and Isaac in the morning. The plan was for her to take them to Teresa Meadow’s house once we left for the hospital and then meet us there later.
Trent and I arrived at the hospital shortly before 11am and were directed to a sitting area filled with families waiting to meet their new little brothers and sisters and grandchildren. It’s a strange feeling to be there at the hospital knowing you’ll be having a baby soon, but without any labor symptoms beyond the Braxton Hicks contractions you’ve been having for the past couple of months. The hospital staff was very courteous and apologized several times for the wait, but after the waiting we had with Micah’s induction, I was delighted with how quickly things were going. I filled out all my paperwork there including the consent form for the epidural. It’s so much easier to sign the consent for an epidural when you aren’t in need of one at the moment!
After a short wait, our nurse came and introduced herself and led us down the hall to the labor and delivery room. This section of the hospital had been completely remodeled since last time I had been here and the room was huge!
The nurse was friendly and told me about her twin girls. We joked about my having been here only a little more than a year before. She started my first dose of antibiotic and checked to see that I was almost 4 cm already. When Dr. Breit arrived at noon, he broke my water and started the the pitocin drip at a 1cc per hour. “I’d like you to go until four or four-thirty to get the second dose of anti-biotic in,” he said before leaving. The main reason for being induced was to be sure to get two doses of antibiotic in before the baby came.
Things seemed to be moving very slowly for a long while, though my perspective was a little off. My dose of pitocin was very low, and the nurse increased it by 1 cc every hour. My contractions were becoming more regular as evidenced by the nice bell curves pouring out of the monitor, but they weren’t feeling any stronger than my Braxton Hicks had. My mom came to the hospital after dropping off the kids and my dad arrived with lunch for himself, my mom, and Trent. I was allowed nothing but ice chips, but I was mostly okay with that.
We sat around and chatted about mundane things. I was still feeling good, but having a baby is always such a surreal experience that even conversations seem kind of odd. After a while a woman came in and introduced herself as the hospital’s “Birth Experience Designer.” It had come to her attention that my dad was part of the Florida Hospital Family and she wanted to let us know I’d be staying in the VIP Retreat after the delivery. Very nice indeed. When my nurse came by the next time, she leaned over and whispered, “I saw your dad with his hospital badge and he’s dressed like an executive. I didn’t know exactly who he was, but he seems important so I thought we should get you the good room.” Thanks, Dad!
For a couple of hours things seemed to me to be moving very slowly, though in reality the whole experience was very quick. The contractions were becoming stronger, but weren’t really painful yet. I told the nurse I wanted an epidural, but could wait. She left to let anesthesiologist know. There was only one anesthesiologist on duty that day and she was very busy; she would come when she could. I told the nurse that was fine, as I wasn’t in much pain yet. Over the next hour or so, my contractions became steadily stronger. This time I told the nurse I was ready for my epidural now. I was next on the list, but a couple of emergency c-sections had to come before me. By the time the nurse came to tell me about the second delay I was very ready for the epidural. I was still trying to listen to the conversations of my parents and Trent, but it was getting harder to concentrate on what they were saying. I tried to change positions in bed, but tethered to my IV, baby monitor, and heart rate monitor, the best I could do was lean forward in bed. I felt like if I could just get up and walk around or move more, the contractions would be more manageable, but since I really couldn’t, I just tried to get as comfortable as I could and look like I was listening. I was very glad when the anesthesiologist finally arrived. She was a youngish Indian woman and she had a lot of prep to do. She kept asking the nurse if Angela was coming, if she would be here soon, and should we wait for her. I was a little nervous since this doctor seemed a bit unsure of herself, and I was greatly relieved when Angela arrived. As soon as she walked in I recognized her as the wonderful anesthesiologist who had done my epidural when I had Isaac. I knew she had years and years of experience and a very comforting bedside manner, which was especially nice since a new hospital policy forbid Trent from being within ten feet of me during the procedure - in the past he had held my hands to distract me. At 4:30, I got my epidural, Angela verbally guiding the newer doctor through the procedure and soon I was feeling much better.
It didn’t take long before the epidural took effect and as I relaxed I realized how tense I had been before. Once the epidural started to work, the nurse sent Trent into the hall to wait with my parents while she put in a catheter and almost as an afterthought, she checked to see how far dilated I was. “Oh! you’re eight centimeters! I guess I shouldn’t have put that catheter in, I’ll just have to take it right back out.” She went over to the door and peeked out to ask my family, “Are you ready to have a baby? Because Allison is ready!”
The nurse put in a call to Dr.Breit who was monitoring my progress from his office across the street. As the nurse began prepping for the pushing stage she told me Dr.Breit had warned her that once I was ready I’d go quickly like that. Still, she wanted me to do a couple of pushes to get started before the doctor arrived. I was very hesitant to do this. “Are you sure?” I asked. “Can we just wait until he gets here?”
“It will be fine,” she answered. “If things are moving too fast we’ll stop.”
I was still not eager to begin pushing just yet, but at that moment Dr.Breit walked in still folding his umbrella from the walk over. Within a few minutes he had me start pushing. Trent was at my side and my mom had a seat next to the doctor. My dad stayed too but took a seat further back.
During the first push the nurse kept saying, “Don’t be afraid to push! Don’t be afraid to push!” I wondered if I wasn’t pushing as hard as I thought I was. Maybe I had forgotten how to push, or maybe for some reason this time was just going to be slower.
After the second push, however, the doctor and my mom were talking about Katie’s dark hair. They told me to rest and I heard Dr.Breit comment to my mom, “Look, she’s not even pushing and here comes the baby.” Pretty soon my mom was telling me how pretty Katie was and I grew nervous that I hadn’t heard her cry yet. I asked about it and Dr.Breit reassured me that she wasn’t ready yet. Again, this seemed like a long time to me, but it was really only a few seconds before I heard her cry and someone placed this beautiful baby on my chest. Katherine Ann Tuggle was born at 4:57pm. She weighed seven pounds and six ounces.
After I got a brief look at her, the nurse whisked her away to be weighed and measured and cleaned up a bit. Trent and my parents followed Katie and the nurse over to the heated bassinet while I watched from across the room. Then I heard a surprised voice say what I thought was, “It’s a boy!”
“What?” I asked from my place in bed, “Did you just say, it’s a boy?”
“No,” someone laughed, “It’s a void. She peed!”
Oh, I relaxed a bit. I think I would have been slightly disappointed if she had been a boy, but my first thought was, I don’t want to tell Emmaline!
The nurse brought Katie back to me all swaddled up in her pink and blue hospital blanket and Trent and I admired her and her beautiful dark blue eyes and pink, pink skin. She was alert and nursed a little while we were still in the delivery room.
Grammy and PopPop left at some point and later Grammy brought Emmaline, Micah, and Isaac to the hospital to meet their new sister. Emmaline had tears in her eyes as she hugged Katie for the first time, so very happy to finally have a baby sister.