04 April, 2012

Charlotte: A Birth Story

It's hard for me to believe that exactly a week ago yesterday I was in labor and getting ready to meet this precious little one that had been growing in my belly for 9 months. Now she's a part of our little family and making it known. ;-)

Last Tuesday, we woke up kinda early (for me, anyway) and called the hospital to see when we could come in. Just my luck - they told us to call back around noon. At first I was a little irritated, but then I was relieved because I wasn't quite ready. The extra time allowed me to calm the heck down and finish packing our bags. {Procrastinate much?} Just as we were getting ready to have lunch before calling the hospital, they called. When I told them we were getting ready to have lunch, the nurse told me just to go ahead and eat and then come in. So we ate lunch, finished packing, took Jasper over to the neighbors', locked the keys in the house, broke into the house {like really? this is when this happens?!}, loaded the car and hit the road.

Cue tears.

I made the mistake of texting a few family members... Because when we got to the hospital they were full again. Fail. We spent about an hour and a half waiting to be admitted. Fortunately, we were there long enough that I got hungry and had Joe get me a snack. As soon as I finished my snack, there was a nurse saying they were ready to admit me! And in case you don't know, no more food after they start inducing. Sad face.

It took a little while to get things started, but by about 4:00 they had me admitted and started checking me out. Around 5:00ish, they determined I was 2cm dilated and about 50% effaced at -2 station. I was {and still am} super thankful that I had dilated a little bit on my own. Then came the fun stuff: they put a catheter in my cervix {OUCH OUCH OUCH} to help me dilate and a little dissolvable pill called to help thin things out. A couple hours later - about 8:00 - the catheter came out and I was dilated to about a 4/5 and having some irregular contractions, but contractions nonetheless.

Once the catheter came out, the contractions started coming pretty hard, but still not really regular. It felt like it was taking forever, but looking back it went kinda fast. Somewhere around 10 or 11, a doctor came in to break my water. I was under the impression that this was going to hurt as badly as the catheter from earlier, but I was totally wrong. The only part that hurt was the cervix check {as usual}. I didn't even feel the little thing they broke my water with...although it did look a little scary. =P By this point, I was dilated to about 6cm. Woo for being over halfway there!

This is when things started getting serious. The contractions were more painful and getting harder to breathe through. Yeah, you read that right. No pain meds at this point! Although they hadn't checked me, I'm assuming that I asked for pain meds at around 7cm. I got a shot of nubane {not sure on that spelling} that worked like a charm for a little while.

I don't know what time the nurse came back in to check on me, but by this point the contractions were pretty much back to back and I was ready for something else. Although I didn't realize I was ready for something else. =P The nurse told me that the anesthesiologist was about to go do a c-section for someone else so if I wanted the epidural, it would be a good time. Well, between contractions I finally decided to get the epidural... And the nurse came back to tell me he'd already gone into the OR. =( Somehow she was able to convince my doctor to get me another shot of nubane even though it'd been two hours. Initially it worked great, but it didn't do much to take the edge off. I'll never forget the feeling I had when Charlie walked in to give me that epidural. I don't know if I vocalized it, but I definitely thought "Thank You, God!!!" This guy was probably my favorite person of the day. It took him about 5 minutes to get it in, but I didn't feel a thing thanks to some pretty powerful contractions. And, oh, sweet relief when the meds kicked in! Not feeling the first contraction after that {other than some pressure} was pretty stinkin' amazing. Joe got a pretty good kick out of it when I said, "I think I'm having a contraction" and smiled. If he only knew!

After they put in my catheter, someone {I really can't remember who} came in to check my cervix... I was at 9/9.5cm! Almost baby time! About 2:30am it was time to start pushing. At first it was just us and the nurse in the room pushing, and now I totally understand why. It kinda takes forever to push a baby out. =P When I started pushing, my contractions decided not to come so close together anymore so they started me on pitocin just to get things going. Not much since my body was doing pretty well on its own, but enough. After a little while, they noticed that Charlotte wasn't tolerating the pushing too well. Not badly enough to be worried, but they did put me on an oxygen mask and kept rolling me onto my side. I'm pretty sure they wanted me to push on my side, but it was way too difficult. Sometimes they'd make me wait out a few contractions just so Charlotte could recover a little bit from the last one. This meant a little bit more work on my part when I did push, but it was worth it.

The nurse and doctor I had in there were really phenomenal. They coached me through the whole thing {as they should, really} and really advocated for both of us. The doctor was determined that I could push her out on my own even though one of the midwives didn't seem so certain. It was pretty comforting.

I haven't really said much about him yet, but Joe was amazing through the whole thing. He hardly ever left my side and reminded me to breathe through every contraction and held my hand through the really tough ones. He told me over and over again how proud he was of me. He got me ice chips and helped me beg for drugs when I needed them. When it came time for pushing, he held one of my legs {which I couldn't feel or hold up thanks to the epidural} and watched our little girl come out. In fact, he had to tell me when her head was out because I was so focused on pushing. Haha!

Pretty quickly after she came out and started crying, the doctor put her on my belly and we got to meet our baby girl. It was a priceless moment I'll never forget. I think I cried about as much as Charlotte did, only for different reasons. {Side note: I don't know how anyone wouldn't want their baby on their tummy immediately after, "dirty" or not. There was a girl in our child birth class who was totally grossed out by this. I don't get it.}

In all, I pushed for about 2.5 hours. Miss Charlotte Ann made her appearance at 5:06 am on Thursday morning. She weighed 5 lbs 5.4 ounces and measured 18.5 inches - my little bean!

Getting all cleaned up!

Joe stayed with her while they were cleaning her up, and oh did she ever do some crying! So much so that I started crying! Ah, hormones. Thankfully it didn't take too long and I had her back in my arms.

Joe took this shot without me knowing. I like it. =)

Daddy finally got a chance to hold his little girl!

I don't know how long it was after we got moved into a mother/baby room, but our pastor and one of the deacons stopped by. =/ I was a little irritated that they came without telling/asking us, but we got our first family photo out of it so I guess I can't be too upset.

And there you have it - Charlotte's birth story. =) Full of medical intervention, but ending in a completely healthy little girl and mommy. 

I'm healing very well, probably mostly because I didn't tear - praise the Lord! {Well, I had one itty bitty tear on the inside that required 1 whole stitch.} That was one of my biggest fears going in and God totally answered that prayer. I had/have some scrapes and scratches, but mostly I just feel bruised. Charlotte is doing great, even though she had a bit of jaundice in the hospital. She was doing great with breastfeeding, but since my milk came in {read: my boobs got super huge} she's had some difficulty latching. She does eventually latch and she eats well enough to have plenty of diapers, but it's frustrating for both of us.

My MIL got here Saturday and has been a HUGE help to me even if all she does sometimes is encourage me. Joe does the same thing, but it's kinda different because she's been there and gets it. I still need him, too, but it's just different. =)

All in all, we're doing well and just adjusting to this change in our lives. Forgive me for not posting so much, but I get to hang out with this cuteness all day - frustrations or not.

Be back soon!


JG said...

Cuteness is right! She is the most adorable little girl!

Erinn said...

She is cuuttee! Congratulations!

Heather said...

So cute and so tiny and sweet!!!

Isn't having your newborn baby on your chest the best feeling in the world? I didn't get that experience with my first due to some complications but I did with my second!

Lou said...

So happy for you CONGRATS again, she is adorable!! What gorgeous daughter you have been blessed with!! A wonderful journey ended and now you have a whole new one!! So excited to watch you guys grow!

Jen said...

Congrats! She is absolutely beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! She is absolutely precious :)

Angie R. said...

Charlotte is absolutely beautiful!!!

ROXY said...

Congrats! She's so tiny...

Jamie said...

Congrats she is beautiful!!! My epidural worked with my first son and did not work at all with my second son who was a whopping 10lbs! lol that is nice they gave you nubane though, I am at Ft Bragg and they give you absolutely nothing but an epidural! lol! Enjoy your little one - they grow SO fast! xox

Jessica said...

Congrats!! She is just so adorable!!!

Katy said...

Congratulations! Charlotte absolutely is totally adorable :) Glad to hear that mommy is doing well too. Keep at it with the breast feeding. I had plenty of frustration with my first as well. You'll both get the hang of it soon enough!

Chantal said...

Oh I've been waiting for the birth story!! Yay!

I will say that Penny had a few issues once my milk came in too - the boobies were too big! Just be patient, try different positions, and she'll figure it out.

heather said...

yay i have been checking to see when you would post about her. she is just too cute. i can't believe how small she is since you had gd and all.

the breast feeding thing oh man oh man. brennen wouldn't latch on to me for nothing. little did i know giving breast fed babies a passy is the wrong thing to do. they get a taste for the plastic, so i had to nurse with a nipple shield( they sell them in target by the bottle nipples) and it worked wonders. it also helped save my nipples, tmi i know. but i had no bleeding or cracking. so that might be something you look into. i know im def doing that this time around no matter what... can't wait for more pictures :)

Steph said...

Oh congrats! She is beautiful!

Jen said...

Congrats! She's lovely!

Southern Roots and Combat Boots said...

HUGE CONGRATS!!! She is so beautiful and just perfect:)

Amanda said...

Awe she is such a pretty little girl! Congratulations again lady!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Glad to hear that you are doing well! Congrats! She's adorable!

*Katie* said...

So cute... Congratulations!