Saturday, April 5, 2008
We found out during the summer of 2004 that we would be expecting our first child in March. The pregnancy followed the text book to the T. We learned at our 20 week ultrasound that we would be having a girl. We were so excited, as were my parents - my mom practically jumped on me while I was still laying on the table. All went well through the rest of the pregnancy.
My official due date was March 21st, which happened to be the Monday of Spring Break for my hubby, Scott. I woke up the morning of the 19th (which was Saturday) around 3:45 needing to use the bathroom. For those of you that have been pregnant, you know how often you have to go. So there was sitting on the toilet and all of a sudden my water broke. I swear I must have sat there for what seems like 5 minutes before I could actually get up without the fluid continuously flowing out. I woke Scott up and said "it's time" and he practically flew out of bed. We got dressed and grabbed out packed bag and made the drive to the hospital. Unfortunately the Kaiser nearest our house didn't have a Delivery Ward, so we had to drive to South Sacramento. Thankfully we were driving during the very early hours of the morning as it could have been a REALLY LONG drive with traffic. We called the hospital on the way so they would be ready for us. I also called my parents and asked if they felt like making an early morning drive. I'm sure that they were in the car within 30 minutes. We arrived, got brought into our room and things progressed from there. I got my epidural, which I had asked for as we walked in the door. The contractions started to slow a little so they gave me some pitocin to get them going again. I had been in labor for about 15 hours when I was told that I was dilated enough to start pushing. Well....I pushed and pushed and pushed!!! We were told that Caitlyn was face up instead of being face down as she should have been. The doctor mentioned doing the vacuum seal to help get her out, but after examining things, he said that that just wouldn't work. So after 3 hours of pushing, the doctor said that they needed to do a c-section. I was all for it, as I was totally wiped out. I don't know how some mom's can pull off 30+ hours of labor; they are amazing!
I was brought into the room and prepped for the c-section. Scott was allowed to come in and the doctors started. Caitlyn was born at 8:34 PM weighing in at 8 lbs 3 oz and measuring 18.5 inches. Scott went with the nurse to get Caitlyn cleaned up and the doctors went to work on stitching me up. Thinking back on the whole experience, I now remember the doctors asking me how tall I was. I thought to myself "what a funny question to be asking me" but didn't think anything of it. I was then brought to a recovery room, and joined by my mom. I have absolutely no idea how long I was in there, as I was pretty doped up from the c-section. My mom asked if I had seen Caitlyn yet and I said no. So she went to find out where she was. Scott came in with one of the nurses and she just came right out and said that they believed that Caitlyn was a dwarf. I didn't completely understand what she was telling me and especially in the state that I was in. She left the room and it started slowly sinking in. Of course I was crying as I had just been dealt this news and I hadn't even been able to hold my daughter yet. Caitlyn was finally brought in to me and I finally was able to hold her. Her beautiful face just looked back at me.
During our stay in the hospital (we were able to go home on Tuesday the 22nd) we went through an array of feeling as most parents do when they are dealt a different hand of cards than expected. We met with a Geneticist that confirmed the diagnosis through blood work and an xray, Achondroplasia. We set up another appointment with him which would be in 2 or so weeks. We learned that we would be meeting a Genetics Counselor named Ericka, who is a little person herself. We were discharged from the hospital and headed home. Once we were home our parenting skills just started falling into place. However the thought of Caitlyn being different crossed my mind more times a day than I could count. I kept asking "why us" and seemed to be crying most of the time. However the days went by and she just brought more and more joy to our lives. We passed the news along to family and friends and go such encouraging messages back from them - "Well, I can't think of a better mom. She will undoubtedly be loved." - "She's beautiful, Jaime, Achondroplasia or not." - "I know that it may be hard at some times but I also believe that God does not give you more than you can handle. I have found myself praying for you guys a lot, because I can only imaginge how heart wrenching it would be to find out that your child will have difficulty in some areas and aspects of life. But at the same time, she will bring so much joy to your lives." We've just taken one day at a time.
We met with Ericka when Caitlyn was about 2 weeks old . To be honest, Ericka was the first little person (LP) that we had ever met. Dwarfism does not run in our families . 80 % of LP's are born to average height parents, you can read more about Dwarfism here. Ericka set us up with a Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic that is run at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, CA. We first visited the clinic when Caitlyn was 3 months old. Please click here to read about our Clinic experiences. We also joined Little People of America (LPA) around this same time. However we didn't attend our first even until she was about 6 months old. More to come on LPA events. Through Ericka I was able to meet a few other local LPA families. They have become people I feel that I can call if I have a question. Sometime during the first couple of months after Caitlyn was born I was searching around on Yahoo and came across a group called Parents of Little People (POLP). It has been such a great group to belong to - it's a place to post questions, read other parents stories, etc. One day while searching through the newest members I found a mom, Melisa, that lives about 20 minutes from us. Her son was also diagnosed with Achondroplasia. The greatest thing is that her son is only 6 weeks younger than Caitlyn. They will be friends for a long time!
This pretty much sums up the first few months of Caitlyn's life. There is so much more to tell, I hope that you will return to follow along with my blog.