Thursday, September 19, 2013

Welcome Charlotte!

The short version:

Charlotte Yvonne was born on September 3rd at 7:18pm after almost 8 hours of labor. She weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces and was 18 inches long. She had a mild heart arrhythmia, slightly low blood sugar and some jaundice. All which corrected themselves shortly after birth. She's been a great baby!

The long version (if you don't want details, just look at the pics):

I was scheduled to be induced at 11am. I got Dawson off for his first day of school. He was excited to go, and to be coming home to grandma at the end of the day. He was also excited to be wearing his new Mario shirt.
 Waiting by the door
 He got to the bus, turned around and yelled "take another picture, mom!"
 On our way out the door. We went to Ihop for a nice big breakfast. Was nice to spend some time just the two of us. Especially since it was also our anniversary! I didn't want to start the day hungry and I knew it would be a while before I got to eat again.

We got to the hospital at 11am and got all settled in. My OB came in at 11:30, just as the nurse was finishing up all my admissions stuff. My IV was in, and was very sore. She had some trouble getting it in, despite my good vein. The OB asked if she can break my water. My first thought was NO! With my other inductions, it was hours before they did that. But I'd also never gotten to the hospital at 3cm dilated and thinned out either. She said I'm already skipped ahead to the point where she can easily get to it. It's amusing that while I realized I was in there and wanted her out, I was hesitant to jump right in and get to the painful stuff. It was always uncomfortable before when they broke my water, but it was painless this time. I stayed in bed for about 20 minutes, turning side to side, trying to get most of the water out so I could get up and get things going.

We had a really great nurse, my doula said she's one of the more laid back nurses on the unit. She put me on a portable monitor so we could walk around. We walked the halls for quite a while. The nurse had me lay down to be monitored more every now and then, but I mostly was able to walk around. The contractions really picked up quickly as I was walking. My doula, Amie, got there around 1pm as planned and walked with us. She is a friend I've known for several years and became a doula a couple years ago. Her website is, if you're interested in her services or want to know more about what a doula is. It was nice having someone else to talk to while walking. It really passed the time quickly. I'm really unsure of the time past when she got there. I didn't want to focus on it at all, the other 3 took 14+ hours and I didn't want to be discouraged.

They checked for dilation around 4:30 I think, and I was at a 4. I was a tad bummed, but not surprised. We decided to stay in the room after that. Amie had me rock in the rocking chair, which was quite comfortable. We watched the news, which wasn't too exciting, but it was something to watch for a while. Being in bed during contractions was more painful. By this point, they were getting more painful and much closer together. I don't know what natural contractions are like, I've only heard that Pitocin induced contractions are much worse. They were getting pretty painful, and Amie told me they were about as bad as they'd get. She was wiping my forehead with a wet rag that had some soothing scent on it, and then had me breathe it in after the contraction, that was very helpful. She also had me stand up, lean on her and swayed back and forth during tough contractions, which also helped quite a bit.

I was getting pretty sore back muscles and things were harder to work through, so she had me soak in the tub for a while. I did that once earlier in the day and it was nice. So I got in the tub and it felt so good on my muscles. They have a renovated birthing unit, so the tubs are all new jetted whirlpool tubs. It was nice to relax (as much as one can while having contractions) and enjoy the tub. After not long at all, I was feeling some pressure. I had an epidural with my other 3, so this was all new to me. I got it when things started getting tough, and it was smooth sailing from there. So I was trying to figure out if it was pressure on my tailbone, or if I was needing to use the bathroom, or if I was starting to feel urges to push. My tailbone has been causing me pain since Tyler broke it during his birth and it gets worse during pregnancies. Amie was also asking me what I was feeling. With the next contraction it was more obvious. She told me to get out of the tub once my contraction settled down. I started to get up and there was another one right on top of it. I heard her tell Dan "if we don't get her out of this tub...."  I jokingly asked her if they allow water births here, and she said no. So I ended up fighting the next contraction and getting out of the tub. I did another contraction on the toilet before moving to the bed. I was so focused on getting to the bed without injury that I barely noticed Amie offer me my gown. I got to the bed and they checked for dilation. 9 1/2.

Amie told me I should get back up out of bed and work through the next 1/2 cm. I was feeling unsure about this, since I was feeling so much pressure. But I figured she knew best what she was talking about. So I stood up just as another contraction hit, and I leaned on her for support. Almost immediately after it started, I was pushing, really hard! I couldn't even stop myself. I told her I was pushing and needed to get back in bed, so I got back in and laid down. The nurses were still standing around looking doubtful. I was pushing again with the next contraction also. A nurse peeked and saw her head crowning. Then people started moving. One urgently said to get the Dr in here, while the others were throwing on gloves and looking nervous. Everything was all a blur at that point. I saw a bunch of nurses standing around, but mostly I was concentrated on the baby and where she was. I had heard it helps to visualize where the baby is. Then I switched to being focused on how much it was going to hurt and then sudden anxiety about tearing, and what it was going to feel like, and how bad it was going to be since nothing was numb. This made everything much worse and the anxiety was taking over. I was fighting the pushes and that hurt even worse. Finally the Dr spoke up and had my attention. She said "you know you have big babies, so you need to push harder!"  So I focused and decided she just needed to get out so this could all be over! It was uncomfortable, because they never had time to break down the bed, so I didn't have a place to put my feet/legs. Once I focused, I think I had her out in a few good pushes. It really didn't take long! They said the whole pushing process took under 5 minutes.

They put her on my chest and I noticed her face was bruised. Tyler's was also, so I figured she was pretty big. She wasn't even fussing much, she was just looking at me and I was looking back at her in awe. I was also so exhausted that I was feeling a bit shaky and out of breath from it all.

  The Dr told me it was time to cut the cord. Dan has never wanted to, so I decided it would be neat to do it this time. But she was laying on my chest, and I really couldn't see over her, and I was still trying to catch my breath. I told them I couldn't see it and someone else could. Dan decided he would. So he cut the cord, and then when it came time to trim it shorter, they asked if I wanted to do that part. I'm glad we both got to do it. She even helped me by grabbing the handle of the scissors with me.
 Finally some time with less people around. She still hadn't left my chest. She had nursed perfectly and settled down to cuddle some more.
 Got her put on the scale and checked out. 8 pounds, 15 ounces. 18 inches long. She also had an EKG for her heart, she was born with an arrhythmia and they often will wait and see if it goes away, but I told them I'd prefer checking into it now instead of waiting. The Dr on call was from our small clinic, so he knew who we were and ordered one up for us. They found nothing concerning, and within a few days they didn't even notice it anymore. Many just correct themselves with maturity after birth. So glad it wasn't a big deal. It's hard not to be worried about things after we've seen so many things wrong with babies while we were in the ICU with Tyler. So we are very thankful that she looks great! Her blood sugar was also a tad low, so they waited to bathe her and we had to test her before she ate. That was frustrating, because when baby wants to nurse, I want to be able to feed her. Instead I had to wait longer than we should for the nurse to come in and test her. For not being busy on the unit, they really take a long time to even answer the call button! Thankfully by morning her levels had gone up to normal and she didn't have to be poked anymore.
 Daddy and Charlotte
We had a bath together in the morning. She loved it! Got her all cleaned up and then let her soak and enjoy herself for a while.
 So relaxed and happy. You can see how bruised she was! Her whole forehead and her right cheek and the outsides of her arms. Poor baby.
 She loves having her head rubbed. I can often get a smile when I do this, even the morning after she was born I did!

Cuddling with me the morning after she was born. She's such a snuggler and so calm. She only fusses if she needs something.
The picture lady came in, so we got to put her in pink! So fun.

 My mom brought the kids to visit the day after she was born. Dawson was excited to meet her and wanted to hold her right away.
 He gave her hugs and was very happy with her. Gabriel checked out the room first. There was water outside and he wanted to see boats.
 After Dawson was done, Gabriel came over and held her. He likes babies.
 He was very excited to have a baby of our own

 Dawson kicked off his shoes and made himself at home. It's just what we do, right? He was confused about leaving, though didn't object.
 The next day we got to bring her home. They look so tiny in the car seat as newborns!

Gabriel has absolutely loved having a baby in the house. He cuddles her every day and gives her lots of kisses. Every day I let her hold him on the boppy by himself and he gets so excited. He's very gentle with her too, it's the cutest thing ever! She was 3 days old in this pic.
Baby cuddles! She had gone to the hospital for a lab apt to check for jaundice. She was a bit jaundice at first, so we had a couple appts to check, but it has gone down without needing extra care.
We went to my sister's wedding when she was 4 days old. It was so much fun dressing her up! She went through a few dresses that day.
 She's still dark from bruising and jaundice. I love those chunky cheeks.
 She prefers sleeping on her side. I love the positions she comes up with.
 She had some tummy troubles, which I'm pretty sure is a dairy intolerance, so I cut dairy from my diet and it has been much better. For a while she was only comfy on her tummy. I'm glad I figured it out quickly. She is otherwise a very good, calm baby. She even sleeps well at night, only waking up a couple times to eat and goes right back to sleep.
 A common sight. Gabriel loves giving her "head hugs" when she's sleeping. He also likes petting her head. He grins so big when he gets to cuddle her.
First bath at home. She loved it.
 She wasn't a fan of getting out though.
 Thankfully this towel is very soft and comfy!
 Another dress! I don't think dressing her is ever going to get old. ;)
 1 week old, in her swing.
 Napping on mom, her favorite spot. I don't mind at all! This cuddly newborn stage is going to be over too soon. Makes me sad already!
 Her face is getting lighter
 She has some hair in the back too. So soft!
Gabriel and Charlotte in the rope swing at ECFE class. She is 2 weeks old here. Gabriel was so happy to have her join him in the swing. Was very cute.
 This was her tonight. She is liking this seat. I think it's her new favorite spot (other than me). She had her 2 week checkup 2 days ago and she weighed 10 pounds even and was 22 1/4 inches long. She looks older already, looking back on her pics. They grow so fast! She's in the middle of a growth spurt now. We had an appt today and she had gained 8oz.

I am feeling awesome. I had no tearing so I didn't need stitches, my first time for that! It's a huge difference. I was able to do much more and didn't even need many pain meds afterward. At only 2 weeks I noticed my maternity pants were about falling off me! No complaints there. I got out my regular clothes and it's so nice to see them again! Usually it takes a couple months before I'm able to get them out. I'm loving having a new baby at home and thrilled that the boys are doing so great with her!

1 comment:

Misa D. said...

Congratulation on the baby girl! I am happy for you! =) I will continue to read all of your future posts! ^_^