Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Birth of Charlotte

Really I feel like this story starts the day before.  I woke up Monday morning, April 25th, exhausted.  Acid reflux had kept me up almost all night.  I encountered a great deal of stress over the course of the day and many tears were shed and prayers were prayed.  When I laid down in bed Monday night I was having mild contractions and I prayed, "Lord we're all exhausted.  I need sleep.  The girls need sleep.  Jesse needs sleep.  Please can we just have a little sleep?  Please don't let me go into labor tonight."  And I drifted off.
Zoe joined me in bed around 1:30am and by 4:00am she was ready to start the day.  I pleaded with her to sleep and noticed a couple of contractions.  Finally at 4:28am I wrote down a contraction and convinced Zoe to go hang out with grandpa.  I laid in bed timing contractions for roughly 30min before getting up to drink, take a magnesium and read my Bible.  I'd already had a few false alarms and was kind of expecting this to be another one.  By 5:30am, after timing contractions for an hour at 6-7min apart, I gave my midwife a heads up.  She asked a few questions and asked if she should come.  I told her I wanted to wait another hour to see if things would fade out.  Two more contractions and I text her back saying maybe just give it 30 more minutes.  Two more contractions and I told her it may be best to head my way.  I reached out to the rest of my birth team and they all headed my way, the midwife being the farthest away.
After everyone was contacted I let the girls wake up Jesse.  He came out and immediately knew it was the real deal.  I was still a little in doubt.  Him and my dad did some quick cleaning until I made Jesse stop to fill the pool.  Gosh the water felt wonderful.  I got in before anyone arrived.  I had learned with Zoe that I did not want to wait until things were too intense for me to enjoy the water.
Susan, my doula, was the first to arrive.  She immediately took her place right beside the pool.  April wasn't far behind.  The birth photographer and Samantha showed up.  Times and exact order of arrival are a little fuzzy to me.  At some point Carolyn, my midwife, asked that we time my contractions again.  They were now 2-4min apart.
April reading to the girls.
At 8:15am my midwife arrived.  I think we all breathed a sigh of relief that the baby had not come before her.  Although my relief didn't fully come until she checked me and told me I was 8cm and would be having a baby soon.  I was so glad that I had not called everyone out for a false alarm.  She asked me to try to get out and use the restroom.  Not fun.  I couldn't wait to get back in the tub.
It wasn't long until I could feel myself starting to loose it.  I declared to everyone that I was done and that I did not want to do this anymore.  I yelled and begged and told them all NO! when they tried to encourage me.  Of course this was transition.
Shortly after I realized I was pushing.  Carolyn checked me and cleared me to do so.  I felt desperate for it to be over.  I did at some point bite Jesse.  He was shocked I lasted that long.  He's a trooper.  Thankfully, despite a nuchal hand/elbow, it was over soon and at 8:58am I got to exclaim "I had a baby!" which of course made everyone laugh.
The girls watching their new sister be born.
Sweet relief.
We all quickly realized she was a chunk and were eager to see what her stats were.  My older girls were 7lbs 5oz and 7lbs 4oz.  I was shocked when her weight came in at 8.57lbs or 8lbs 9oz.  And she has a head full of hair!  She just looks so different to me than my other girls did.
I'm still in awe that I delivered such a good size baby, in only 4.5hrs, with a nuchal hand/elbow and didn't tear at all.  With my history, had I followed medical advice instead of my intuition I would be telling a very different birth story.  I'm so grateful I stepped out and trusted God and my body.
My whole world.

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