She’s FINALLY here! Yes… I did capitalize, italicize and bold that on purpose. I’m just so excited that our little one finally decided to grace us with her presence!
Don’t worry, I won’t go into the weird, awkward details of child-birth. I’m one of those people who find the birthing process one of the strangest functions a human body can perform. I am not one of those people who thinks the birthing center at the State Fair is cool. I find the words uterus and placenta kind of gross, and when it comes to the miracle of life… I’m more of a “it’s just the way it is” person than an “oh my goodness, it’s a miracle” person. But I’ve gotten a lot of questions, so I’m willing to share how our October 6th went from just an ordinary date on the calendar to the birthday of our beautiful little girl! Also, this post is going to have lots of pictures. Oh look, here comes one now…
Don’t worry, that’ll happen a lot in this post. Anyway, so the thing about Charlotte is we had a lot of false alarms with her and because Sophie was such a quick labor, I had nightmares that Bean 2 would literally be born in the car, somewhere between our house and the hospital. Just straight up nightmares. I was having intense false labor as early as two weeks before Charlotte’s due date. No. Fun. So, you can imagine my surprise when I not only made it to my due date… but I actually passed it as well. Cue a major whop whop effect. I was so ready to not be pregnant anymore. Pregnancy does not look good on me. Nor does it like me very much.
At my final doctor’s appointment, they scheduled me to be induced after I had hit 41 weeks. I was dilated to a 4 (on a scale from 1 to 10) and 80% effaced, but I had been at the appointment previous to this one also. Lame. So I waited
patiently anxiously for Friday, October 7th to roll around and for my induction. Surprise, surprise… just like Sophie, Charlotte was going to come on her own terms.
On the 5th, around 5 o’clock in the evening my contractions started up again. Again, they were kind of intense, but I was not getting my hopes up. Tim and I went with my family out to dinner that night (at Tin Fish… I’m so sad it’s closed for the winter now) and had grand dreams of “walking out” my contractions around beautiful Lake Harriet. But contractions + my silly waddle = no dice on walking. So instead, Tim, Sophia and myself headed home after dinner to hang out. Sophie went to bed around 8 o’clock and Tim and I stayed up to watch an episode (or three) of 24. We went to bed around 11 and I just sort of expected to sleep off my contractions, like I had done
a million a couple of times before with my other Braxton Hicks incidents.
I woke up on the 6th at about 4 o’clock in the morning with pretty steady contractions still. I grabbed Tim’s iphone and used the contraction tracker app (yes, there is one!) and learned that they were about 4 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. For those who don’t speak “pregnancy” it means it was time to call the doctor. I phoned the hospital and sort of lied… I said that I had been tracking for about an hour and a half and that they were getting closer together (in reality I had been tracking them for about 15 minutes and they were pretty steady). They told me to come on in. I know it’s wrong to lie… but I figured they’re going to induce me tomorrow anyway.
So Tim and I got ready to go. Sophie was already at my mom’s so we were lucky. I wasn’t really worried about not being admitted since I was already dilated. I figured that if nothing else, we were hurrying the induction process along. There’s nothing wrong with that… right? Right?
We arrived at the hospital around 6 in the morning. If you’re wondering why it took us nearly two hours to get from our apartment to the hospital… we just sort of took our time. We both took a shower, cleaned up a little, put baking soda on the big shag rug we got off of craigslists the day before to get rid of the smell of dog pee… you know… normal stuff. Once we got to the hospital, the nurse did a quick check and I was 6 cm dilated. Boom! Staying at the hospital. She showed us to our labor and delivery room, checked on the baby’s heart rate, and did some vitals on me. The doctor came in and said hello at that point. Because I was Strep B positive, they had to give me a dose of antibiotics, which needed four hours to take full effect. So, the doctor said that they would wait to break my water until the second round of antibiotics, if it hadn’t broken before then.
Thus, we were forced to wait. My contractions had backed off to 5 minutes apart and honestly weren’t that painful. Tim and I did some laps around the labor and delivery floor (stopped at the nursery for some motivation), watched Inception and part of Harry Potter 7 Part I. All in all, it was pretty nice hang out time for us. And I know that there are a bunch of women now really angry at me because they have really hard labors, and I basically just sit mine out. Sorry ladies.
The doctor got called into a C-section so my water didn’t actually get broken until around 11. Instead of the quick progression we all were expecting, it wasn’t until about noon that my contractions finally kicked it into high gear and started intensifying. I got into the jacuzzi tub (I love our hospital) shortly after noon and tried to relax with the warm water and jets. It sort of worked. I was only in there for about half an hour before even the tub wasn’t doing anything to ease the pressure during contractions. When I got out, the nurse checked me and I was at 8cm dilated. I knew that Charlotte was coming soon and at that point reminding myself that each contraction brought us closer to meeting her was the only thing getting me through each one. There wasn’t much time to think about that though…
Suddenly, after about three more contractions, I felt this incredible urge to push. The only problem was that it was just Tim, myself and the nurse in the room. The doctor was supposedly on her way back from the clinic attached to the hospital. The nurse said that the baby was coming with or without the doctor and she and Tim helped me get into position, I pushed and out she came. Seriously, it was that quick. Suddenly there was Charlotte, being placed in my arms, she was real and she was finally with us! I’ve never felt such and incredible sense of relief. I think even more so than when Sophie was born. When it’s your first child, I think you’re kind of blissfully unaware of what labor is like. The second time around, you have plenty of time to dread, get nervous about, and fear the labor process… no matter how fast or slow your labors go. To know that it was finally over was amazing. And of course, at the end of everything you have a beautiful child to hold in your arms and love.
So there you have it! That’s how our little one came into this world. We had a great two night stay in the hospital, getting to know her a little bit and spending some time just the three of us. Sophie came and visited us every day but stayed with my mom and my aunt during the evenings. Speaking of Sophie, she has been absolutely amazing with her. She brings diapers to me when it’s time to change Charlotte, she is always asking if “Baby ok” when Charlotte starts to fuss, all in all she’s pretty great. Charlotte is doing great. She’ll be two weeks old tomorrow and she’s already holding her head up for long intervals and focusing on objects close to her. We’re just waiting for the sleeping-through-the-night phase to start. As much as I love waking up three or four times a night for feedings… I choose sleep. I think Sophie was about three months old when she started sleeping through big stretches of the night. Lord have mercy. Maybe Charlotte will best her sister and start sleeping through the night before she’s a month old! A girl can dream.
Speaking of two weeks old, I’ve also received some questions about what we’ll be doing to document her growth. Well, after obsessively “pinning” my life away on Pinterest I found a great idea. As much as I loved the fabric once a month, I wanted to switch it up a bit and try something else. Observe:
Clever, right? Every month I’m going to take a picture of Charlotte with the calendar as the back drop. Hopefully this will allow for a little more versatility with photos since it won’t matter if she’s facing the camera or not, or for that matter, if her arm is covering her stomach. I’m hoping that this will allow me to capture her personality a little bit more. We’ll just have to see. So here she is! Born on October 6th. Stay tuned for her one month photo shoot with the calendar (if it can stay clean for that long… my oldest really likes to rip paper up into tiny bits). Maybe she’ll be walking by then! Just kidding…