I had family in town visiting. They had come in on April 18th which is the day we hoped the birth would happen but Miss Margaret and God had other plans. Each day ticked by as we anxiously awaited her arrival and getting to learn if she was a she or a he as we chose not to find out during pregnancy.
Finally on April 28th, the day before my family was scheduled to leave, the day for her to be born came. As is normal for my body, my labor began in the early morning. At 4:54am I was jolted awake by a very intense contraction. After a second contraction I woke up Jesse and told him that while they had just started, they were intense. He asked for ten more minutes of sleep. Exactly ten minutes later another contraction began and I told him to get his butt out of bed. A couple more contractions came a little over ten minutes a part before they jumped to five minutes apart. I never really settled in to a super consistent pattern. They jumped around from 4-5 minutes apart to 7-8 minutes apart. At 6:16am, after only ten contractions, I called the midwife and told her I thought it was baby day. I still had my doubts so we agreed to just have her assistant come check me. I also let Susan know and she asked I keep her updated.
While waiting for the assistant I had five more contractions and decided to text the assistant and have her tell the midwife to go ahead and come. This was at 6:42am. I also reached out to the birth photographer at this time.
Six more contractions came and went before the assistant arrived. As soon as she walked in the door I asked her to check me. We waited for the next contraction to pass and I was already 8cm. This was at 7:17am. Cue shock. A mere 22 contractions and I was already almost there. I text Susan who was thankfully already on her way. I also text my mom and told her she could come. After texting everyone I went ahead and got in the tub. The midwife arrived as I was climbing in and was also surprised to learn that I was already 8cm.
After I got in the tub details got fuzzy. I quit timing contractions or even looking at my phone. Everyone had been notified and I could just sit and enjoy the water. Shortly after everyone arrived I remembered that I needed to postpone the birthday party that was scheduled that day for my two year old so I did hop on facebook for a bit. Time seemed to stand still. I know I wasn't in labor long but I had no point of reference for time. I just let the contractions come and go until I realized I was feeling pressure and wanting to push.
I lightly pushed with a few contractions before I switched from leaning over the side of the tub to sitting on the seat inside the birth tub. I let them know I was feeling pushy and asked to be checked again. The assistant gave me the clear to push. I love how everyone just trusted my body. No one tried to count or direct. I pushed when I felt like it and didn't when it didn't feel right.
My main goal for this birth was that I wouldn't freak out when pushing and be able to catch the baby myself. I did hit one rough spot where I began to plead. Susan re-centered me and I put myself back together. To get through I reached in to feel for a head myself. It was such a surreal experience. I hit a point where I just wanted her out and pushed with all my might. Once her head was out the assistant checked for a cord around her neck, there wasn't. As her shoulders came out the assistant reached down to check her and I panicked and snapped at her to not touch the baby. It burned and I was afraid if she touched the baby it would burn more. As her body slipped out I was able to reach down and at 8:52am she came into the world and I pulled her up to me. It was absolutely amazing. It was so worth it and so emotional. I'm not usually emotional in the moments after birth but I totally was this time. Maybe it was that I knew it was the last. Who knows. I was just so in awe that I caught my own baby by myself.
The big girls were in the room, right beside the tub as she was born. Charlotte came running in from the other room and leaned over the tub and said, "Hi baby, I'm Charlotte." Everyone's heart melted.
|"Hi baby, I'm Charlotte"|
After the placenta was delivered we moved to the bedroom. We let Emberlynn and Zoe cut the cord.
Other than some blood sugar issues the day of birth and ears full of fluid from allergies, the recovery has been smooth which I'm so thankful for. We're all still adjusting and also preparing for a military separation so emotions are high. Charlotte is struggling a little with not being the baby anymore. But overall we're doing great.
It's still so surreal that we have four children and that our family is now complete. There are no plans for any more babies. Which is bittersweet. Sometimes I tear up just looking at her and knowing I won't ever have a baby this small again. It's so hard to believe she's already four weeks old today. More and more the cliche proves true, the days are long but the years are short. Time is flying by and this mama heart can't help but feel all the feels. Motherhood is such a roller coaster but it's the best thing.