12.03.2015

Charlie Beth's Birth Story

The beginning of Charlie Beth's birth story really begins at my 39 week doctor appointment on Monday, November 2nd. I was checked and told that I was 1cm and 50% effaced, the same as the week prior. My doctor was on call on Friday, November 6th, so we went ahead and scheduled an induction for that day. The plan was to arrive at the hospital on Thursday night to start the induction process, and then start on Pitocin first thing Friday morning. I left that appointment confident that I would have a baby on Friday.

With a plan set in stone I started out a "to-do" list of last minute things I wanted to finish before Charlie Beth's arrival. Steven and I also wanted to get in one last date night before becoming a family of three, so we made plans to go out on Tuesday night to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our baby girl. Steven came home from work on Tuesday and gifted me a beautiful pair of earrings that signify Charlie Beth's birthstone. They are gorgeous! After putting on my new earrings we headed out the door for dinner. All evening I was feeling a bit "off," but I didn't think too much into it. I was having some cramping and back pain, but it was nothing timeable. I tried to put it out of my mind and enjoy dinner, but by the end of the night I was hurting pretty bad. We came home and crawled into bed to watch tv and I drifted off to sleep hoping the pain would subside by morning. 

Around 11:00 that night I woke up to some pretty severe back pain. I noticed the pain was now coming in waves, so I started timing. They were coming every 4 to 5 minutes. I decided to walk around the house and pack the last of my hospital bag, just in case, while I continued to time the contractions. I decided if the contractions picked up in intensity by midnight that I would wake up Steven. I knew he had a full day at work the next day, and I didn't want to wake him up for a false alarm. Midnight rolled around and the contractions were still very much there. I decided to give it a little longer and would wake him up at 1:00 if they didn't taper off. Well, by 1:00 the contractions were starting to hit hard. They were all in my back and they were getting incredibly painful. By this time they were coming every 3 minutes.

I decided it was time to wake up Steven. I rubbed on his arm and told him I thought I might be in labor. He shot out of bed and insisted we get to the hospital immediately. I was terrified that we would get to the hospital just to be sent home, so I was hesitant to go in. As soon as a couple more contractions hit, however, I agreed that it was time to put the bags in the car and head to the hospital.
When I got to the hospital I was checked and it was confirmed that I was still only 1 cm dilated and about 70% effaced. I wanted to cry right then and there. The nurse gave me two options: I could either get a shot to manage the pain and she would check me again in a couple of hours, or I could walk the halls to see if it helped things progress. The nurse told me if I was truly in labor then walking the halls would speed things along. I agreed to get up and walk, so for the next hour I held Steven's hand as we walked up and down the halls of labor and delivery. After the first hour passed I felt that I could continue on, so again we began walking the halls trying to get things moving. It was during this time that the contractions started getting too painful to walk or talk through. I was having back labor, so the contractions were predominately in my lower back. When I felt one coming on I would stop walking, bury my head into Steven's chest, and close my eyes until the pain passed. After about 45 minutes of this I decided I could no longer take it and headed back to the room to get checked.

When the nurse checked me she told me that I was almost 2cm and about 90% effaced. I was making progress, but it was very slow progress. At this point I decided to go ahead and get a shot to take the edge off the pain and relax for a little while. Around 6:00am the shot began to wear off and the pain was increasing in intensity. The nurse checked me again and let me know that I was 2cm and 100% effaced. She said the doctor would be making rounds shortly and she would decide whether to admit me or to send me home to labor on my own for a few more hours. I was praying that they would admit me, and thankfully the doctor on call decided to do just that. It was time to have a baby!
The doctor came in around 7:00am Wednesday morning to break my water. By then I had already progressed to 4cm. Things were definitely starting to progress and quickly! At this point I was still being held in a triage room because every room on the labor and delivery floor was full. Thankfully they were able to quickly discharge a few patients and get me into a room. As they began to move me into a birth suite I remember telling the nurses that I wanted an epidural as soon as possible. Back labor is seriously no joke!

The anesthesiologist came into my room shortly after they got me set up and gave me an epidural. I'm not going to lie, the idea of an epidural has always terrified me. Something about a huge needle in my spin just really freaked me out. At that point, however, I wasn't scared at all. I just wanted the pain to subside. The anesthesiologist was fantastic. He calmed all my fears and my adrenaline took over. The process was quick, and it didn't take any time at all for me to start feeling relief. I had what I would consider the perfect epidural. I was still able to feel and even move my legs, but I couldn't feel any pain. When it came time to push I could feel the pressure telling me when to push, but again, I couldn't feel any pain.

I expected to labor most of day as I know that it's a long process, especially for first time moms, so I was surprised when the doctor came in around 9:00am and told me that I was 6cm dilated. Things were progressing fast! I knew I still had a ways to go, however, so I decided to put on a little makeup rest up. It wasn't long after the doctor left when our family arrived at the hospital. I was happy for the distraction, and Steven and I spent the rest of the morning socializing with our parents and waiting for things to progress.
Little did I know, however, just how quickly things were progressing! The nurse decided to check me again around 10:00am and I was already 8cm dilated. Things were happening fast! After checking me my nurse started prepping the room for delivery. I couldn't wrap my head around how quickly things were happening! By 11:30am I was hugging our family as they hurried out of the room so I could start pushing. Just 12 hours after waking up to my first contraction I was already starting to push. With Steven and my mom by my side and a supportive and motivating nurse, I began pushing.
Pushing was by far the longest and most exhausting part of my labor experience. After just a few pushes the nurse informed me that baby girl was "sunny side up" and therefore it was going to be harder for me to push her out. Babies who are positioned correctly come out face down. This allows for the back of their head, the soft part, to squeeze between the pelvic bone. Charlie Beth, however, was face up. This meant that every time I pushed, her forehead was getting stuck on my pelvic bone. I pushed for well over an hour with the nurse trying to manually turn her the entire time. She would get her slightly turned, and then a contraction would hit and Charlie Beth would turn herself back into the face up position. I remember at one point the nurse telling me that Charlie Beth would most likely be born with a cone head and a big bruise on her forehead due to her positioning. I was thankful for the forewarning, but all I cared about was my baby coming out safe and healthy. Finally, after about an hour and a half of pushing, the nurse called the doctor in so he could attempt to turn her. One push is all it took and my amazing doctor (who I had never met prior to delivery day) was able to turn her into the correct position. He informed me that I was doing great and he would be back in a little bit to deliver her.

Turning her into the correct position was all it took because three pushes later and our baby girl was crowning. The doctor was back in the room much faster than he anticipated, and our sweet girl was getting ready to make her way into the world! Once the doctor was set up I pushed through one contraction and our beautiful baby girl came out screaming! I will never forget the emotion that I felt when the doctor placed her on my chest. Tears started pouring down my face. I couldn't believe that she was finally here and she was mine. I have waited my whole life for that moment, and it was everything I could have imagined and more.
Charlie Beth spent a couple of minutes on my chest and Steven was able to cut the cord before they took her to the infant station on the other side of the room to clean her off and take her measurements. Throughout my pregnancy most of my family and friends had predicted that I would deliver a big baby. After all, I was nearly 9lbs and Steven was 23 inches long at birth. Needless to say, when the nurse went to weigh her our eyes were fixated on the scale. But just as I had predicted, she weighed 7lbs 11oz and was 21 inches long.
Charlie Beth was born with a low grade fever and her breathing was faster than the nurses wanted to see, but after an hour of skin on skin time with mommy, her breathing had regulated and her fever broke. Steven and I were able to spend well over an hour bonding with her, just the three of us, before our families came back to meet her. That time alone was so special for the two of us as we just stared out our beautiful daughter in amazement.
After 48 hours we were discharged from the hospital and sent home to start our life together as a family of three. Time is already moving far too fast, and I can't believe my little lady will be a month old on Friday! We are enjoying every minute with our baby girl. I am so blessed to have experienced such a positive (and quick!) labor and delivery. The experience was everything I could have wished for and more.
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17 comments :

  1. Love, love, love. The epidural is the scariest part for me!! Hope it goes as well as yours did :)

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  2. Awwww I love birth stories. I started tearing up at the pictures of her arriving. So sweet!

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  3. Sounds like you had the perfect birthing experience with that precious little girl :)

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  4. You look so radiant in your pictures, and Charlie is just so darn precious! Congratulations to your sweet family!

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  5. Aw, my heart is melting over here. This is so beautifully written and thank you for sharing your birth story :). Congrats again. She is truly precious.

    http://dogmomchic.blogspot.com/

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  6. Love all the pictures!! I'm nervous about the epidural too....I just need to not look at the needle! I won't even look at the needle when I have to get shots or blood drawn...should probably get over that before the whole labor thing! haha!

    Oh little Charlie- she is just adorable!

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  7. I just love reading this! I am so excited for both of you and that your little girl is finally here! I'm so glad your labor went so quickly and you're all happy and healthy!

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  8. OMG! You had such an awesome birth. It's amazing that your family got to spend some time with you! I'm glad it wasn't too bad.

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  9. Birth stories get me every time! Glory to God! What a beautiful story and blessing!!! xx

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  10. I've been waiting to read her birth story :) You made me cry! I'm so happy you had a positive experience. She is so precious. I'm glad she came on her own timing and everything worked out.

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  11. Hi, I'm crying over here! Love reading about a positive birth experience. I feel like most natural births are horror stories! Haha. She's absolutely beautiful and I cannot to read more about her!!

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  12. I'm glad it went so well! And I'm glad that things finally picked up for you :) Love the pictures!!

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  13. Ahhh this is so precious. So sweet. Cue the tears :)!

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  14. I love reading birth stories! I went into mine dead set on not having any pain meds, and then the back labor started. I was induced so I think that made it worse because the contractions came on so quickly and at short intervals. But holy crap back labor is no joke. I knew it was time to give in and get the epidural when the pain was so bad it made me cry and I couldn't catch my breath between contractions. Best decision ever. You look so pretty for having just given birth! I looked a mess...totally didn't think about bringing makeup haha. Maybe next time :) Congrats again and I'm glad everything went well for y'all!

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  15. You really were blessed with such a quick labor, that is amazing! Posts like this give me faith in myself when it comes to labor ;) She is the most beautiful little gal, and your family is precious!

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  16. I blame my pregnancy hormones for tearing up so much reading this! I loved reading about your experience and seeing the pictures of Charlie Beth's journey into the world! You handled it like a champ and your little girl is just so perfect (I knew she would be!). Congratulations!

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