Friday, April 22, 2016

Charlotte's Birth Story

As I mentioned in the last post, we thought Miss Charlotte would be joining our family in early March. James was a big baby and it was too stressful for my body, so it was important to me and my OB that we try to avoid having another big baby. Originally his plan was to strip my membranes starting at 37 weeks. Unfortunately my body wasn't even remotely ready, and so we were stuck waiting the old fashioned way. 

We finally decided to do an induction the night before Charlotte's due date. This was a date that I had picked to be most comfortable with. Because I was neither dilated or effaced at my 38 week appointment, I was worried an induction would result in a C-Section. I also didn't want to go over my due date because I worried she would be too big or we would have other complications.

So, that night I ate my "last supper" at Olive Garden with my mom, James and Rob. Little did I know at that point that it truly would be my last supper for the next month! After dinner we headed home to get James settled to go to bed and then pack our bags for the hospital. I was scheduled to be induced at 8 pm, with a hospital check in time of 7 pm.

Before leaving for the hospital I was given a blessing by Rob and our friend, Jordan. It was so comforting to me to have a blessing before we left and to have peace that all would go well with the delivery.

Checking in to the hospital went fairly quickly, we got a room and waited for my doctor to come. When he checked me I had dilated to a 2, was 90% effaced and was actually having contractions on my own! So we skipped the gel and headed straight for the pitocin. Anyone who has been induced knows it is a long process, so we all knew we would be in it for the long haul. Rob turned on CNN to catch up with some politics, and my doctor hung out with us as well. (He's the best OB in the world).

 It was a long night and to be honest I can't remember much about it. In order to speed things along they decided it was time to break my water. We decided it was best to get the epidural prior to breaking the water just in case the contractions came on too strong. Getting the epidural was quite the painful ordeal- it was just so different from my experience with James. The anesthesiologist made me get it sitting up in the C-curve position, and he put it more in my side than in my spine. With James I got it laying down and it went right in the middle of my back. My left leg went numb for about 10 minutes and then all of my feeling came back. I told them I didn't think it was working and so they gave me more medicine, but nothing was happening.

At this point my contractions were coming on quite strong and I felt a HUGE urge to start pushing. My doctor checked me but I was only dilated to an 8 and so I wasn't allowed to push. Have you ever tried to go against the urge to push?! It's impossible! There was a lot of screaming (thanks to a horrible epidural) and crying as I tried my best not to push for what seemed liked hours. Finally I was fully dilated and allowed to push. The room was packed with nurses and doctors because there was some mecuonium in the water when they broke it, and they needed to make sure Charlotte hadn't swallowed any once she was born. We pushed for a few hours and it felt like nothing was happening. She would come out a little bit and then slide back in. She was in a crooked position and was "sunny side up" as they say- with her face presenting first instead of the back of her head. My OB rotated my body a couple of times as we tried to get her to turn, but nothing helped.

 Rob kept telling me to use the mirror because he felt like I did better with a mirror when I delivered James, but for some reason I was being stubborn and kept telling him no. Finally I gave in and used the mirror. Once I could see her cute little head and dark brown hair I pushed with everything I had. It was so much more painful than my delivery with James, but shortly after using the mirror our little Charlotte was here! She came out screaming and angry and I have never been so happy to hear a baby cry! It was a huge relief to know it was all over! They let me give her a quick kiss before the NICU team took her to suction her out. 

Miss Charlotte Adeline Starling arrived at 5:20 am, weighing in at 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and 20.5 inches long. She is perfect in every single way. Rob and I got about an hour to do skin to skin with her in the delivery room before we moved to the mother and baby floor. 

It is crazy to me how different my experiences were between James and Charlotte. Charlotte was definitely a harder birth, but I was more prepared to handle it because I already had James. My dad flew in the night before and so my parents were able to watch James and spend time with him while Rob and I were in the hospital with Charlotte. It was so nice knowing he was in good hands while we adjusted to this new baby girl. The hospital I delivered at was under flu restrictions, which meant no one under 16 was allowed to visit. Poor James had to wait three whole days to meet his baby sister and it was so hard for him! He wanted nothing more than to meet her, and he was so excited when we finally got to come home.

Charlotte had a little bit of Jaundice so we had to take her in for color and weight checks for the first couple of days we were home, but other than that she was perfectly healthy!

(right after she was born- don't judge me, I am not one of those women 
who looks beautiful while giving birth!)

Enjoy the photo dump:

In the week after Charlotte's birth, we enjoyed lots of snuggles, celebrated Easter, and more special dates for James.

Meeting his baby sister on the first day home:

Rob took James to see Zootopia, which James calls "Zooptia" or the "bunny rabbit show."
He thought it was the best thing ever and asks to watch it every day! It clearly will have to be one we purchase when it comes out!

Decorating Easter Eggs:

James also thinks eating a happy meal inside Mcdonald's is the best thing in the world. 
Especially when hot wheels cars are the prize! This little guy loves his cheeseburgers!
This was another special daddy/James date while we were in the hospital with Charlotte.

 Opening his Easter basket- he was SO thrilled to get a new hat!

We have been blessed with the most wonderful little family in the whole world. They are my everything, and I am so grateful to have such an amazing husband by my side to raise these two kiddos. We had such an amazing few days at home with both kids before things took a turn for the worse with my health. 

Up Next: Ulcerative Colitis

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