Sunday, August 21, 2016

Charlotte's Birth Story

Before I get into the details of Charlotte's birth I thought it would be fun to do a comparison of the 5 kids births.

K- on due date, induced, epidural, 8 lbs 8 oz
L- 2 weeks early, on his own, epidural, 8 lbs 3 oz
E- 1 day after due date, on her own, unmedicated, 7 lbs 9 oz
A- 6 weeks early, planned c-section due to vasa previa, 5 lbs 6 oz
C- 4 days early, on her own, epidural, 7 lbs 8 oz

So as you can see we've been all over the place with when and how our babies come.

Now, onto Charlotte's birth...

I'd always wondered how in the world women could bounce back so quickly after having a baby because it always took me a really long time to recover. I thought maybe they were just tougher than me or something. Since having Charlotte I've realized I just had really crappy deliveries and recoveries with the others.  This recovery has been a piece of cake compared to those ones!

The times I was in the most pain were a result from me feeling great, doing too much and crashing.  With Kaylee (my first) it took more than 6 weeks to be able to sit without pain. My second wasn't much better.  My third was easier, but I still had a lot of pain (plus, the after-birth contractions were awful!). My fourth was a c-section and recovery was horrid! Especially after being on hospital bed rest for nearly a month and then not truly being able to rest after the c-section since my baby was in the NICU for 3 weeks and Joel had to go back to work pretty quick (he'd worked from home the whole time I was in the hospital). That was rough. With Charlotte I was up and walking around, feeling great the day I had her.

I was actually really nervous about labor and the recovery afterwards, which seems ridiculous since it was my 5th.  The epidurals with my first two made me super sick, so I didn't want one this time, but unmedicated with Emma hurt pretty darn bad and I wasn't feeling prepared for that, either. And I was worried that I might end up needing another c-section and that also freaked me out (I reacted horribly to the anesthetic last time and didn't want to go through that again, plus the recovery is awful from those).  Basically, I couldn't figure out any good way to get this baby out and it was giving me anxiety.

I finally settled on doing it unmedicated and began prepping for that. Then I mentioned it to my doctor and he told me that while it was ultimately up to me, he strongly recommended having an epidural in case there were complications with the VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section).  This was when I was full-term and could be having the baby any day. Yeah, that didn't help my anxiety.

I went back and forth on what to do and ultimately decided that I'd make up my mind depending on how the labor went.

Thursday, May 12th I had a doctors appointment. He stripped the membranes, so I was hoping something would happen, but didn't want to get my hopes up.  I'd had false labor 1 1/2 weeks prior and when nothing came of it I was bummed for 3 days. I didn't want that to happen again.

I started having cramping and then contractions that day, but they'd go away as soon as I'd lay down and relax. I got ready just in case. Good thing I did because I woke up at 2:00 in the morning with lots of contractions. I figured it must be the real thing since I had been sleeping and they were still coming.  I couldn't sleep, so I got up, had some toast and timed the contractions. They were every 2-5 minutes apart.  I woke up Joel and told him we'd better call his mom to stay with the kids.  She got there and we got in the car. I had a contraction as we were pulling out... and then we were halfway to the hospital and I realized I hadn't had any more.  I was leaning back in the chair a bit, so I put it up and immediately had an insanely strong contraction that lasted a long time, so I laid back again and didn't have another until we got out of the car and were walking into the hospital.
Ready to leave for the hospital! This is in-between contractions, of course. Joel got a picture of me during a contraction, which I will not be posting.
They got me into a wheelchair and took me up to labor and delivery. My contractions had basically stopped! I had another small one while getting checked in. Then they took me to a room and in the few minutes it took me to get the gown on I had 3 HUGE contractions! And then they basically stopped when I got on the bed. The nurse checked me and I was at a 4. So stuff was happening, but not much.

My doctor was there that night and said that he was fine with breaking my water if I wanted. I decided to first try walking around to see if that would do much.  Joel and I walked the halls for 30 minutes. That got the contractions going, but it was exhausting, both physically and psychologically! It was 4 in the morning, neither of us had slept much and the contractions were awful. I decided we'd break the water.

They got us in our room and I decided I wanted an epidural.  The contractions felt much stronger this time than with Emma when I did it without anything. Plus I was exhausted and didn't feel like I could do it unmedicated this time.  I told them of my epidural fears and they said all of their anesthesiologists were great. And they gave me two bags of something to hydrate me before doing the epidural. The nurse said this makes a huge difference. I told the anesthesiologist about my bad reactions in the past, so he gave me a low-dose.  I hated getting the actual epidural (ouch! And the sensations are so awful), but once it was placed it worked great!  I now understand why people like them! I could totally move my legs (with the other two they'd flop off the side of the bed and someone would have to put them back on) and I didn't get sick this time!!!

I just laid in bed totally relaxed, watching Gilmore Girls on tv. It was really nice, actually.  My doctor came in and broke my water about 45 minutes later. I was at a 6 1/2 at this point. Within just a few minutes of him breaking my water I felt a ton of pressure, probably 3 different times in 15 minutes. I told Joel that it felt like I could reach down and touch our baby.  When our nurse came back in I told her that. She checked and the baby was right there!  She told me to be sure I didn't push before the doctor got there.

Dr. Seale came in, they got everything ready, I pushed 2 or 3 times and she was out!  It was awesome!  The nurses were gushing over Charlotte's dark hair and her two huge dimples.  We did skin to skin for a long time before they took her stats.

Seriously tired
First family photo
Going home wearing the same outfit her four older siblings also wore home from the hospital. 

I wrote that awhile ago. Charlotte is now over 3 months old, so I guess it would be good to finish this (I figure having 5 kids is a pretty good excuse for being behind in life, right?).  

I'm trying to decide what else there is to add.

One thing I want to remember was that she was covered in vernix. She looked white and purple when she was born because of it (we thought we had a picture of it, but can't find it). They handed her straight to me, so she was still covered and it was seriously so thick. Like someone had slathered sunscreen on her without rubbing it in.

She was born at 8:43 am after about 7 hours of labor. It would have been faster if I didn't have to wait so long for the epidural and then for my water to be broken.

She was born on Friday the 13th. Joel is thrilled.

Her middle name is Maia. It's a city in Portugal Joel served in on his mission. You say it like the name "Maya."

I trained her to take a binky the first night. My last two wouldn't take one, so I was determined to get her to like it. Luckily, it worked.

I've also trained her to only sleep while being held or lying next to me. Whoops. I couldn't help it. She's so sweet I just wanted to hold her all the time. I still want to hold her all the time, but I'd also like to get stuff done. Oh, well. This stage will pass (which makes me want to both cheer and cry).

I had symphysis pubic dysfunction (SPD) during the pregnancy. It's where the ligaments around the pelvic bone get too soft, too soon. Seriously painful! It hurt to walk (especially up and down stairs), roll over in bed and push grocery carts and strollers. Pelvic pain was actually my first pregnancy symptom. I thought maybe I had a kidney infection or UTI. When tests came back negative, Dr. Google was leaning towards uterine cancer. Thankfully, the nausea hit a few days later and I knew it was pregnancy.  The pain went away after she was born.

Charlotte's dark hair with a tinge of red is now definitely auburn. So cute.

She is the sweetest little girl and we are so happy she is part of our family!

No comments: