Charlottes birth story is not at all how I imagined it would be. I expected a fairly quick labor like I had with Jonas, if not even faster.
But it went more like this:
I was 38 weeks 1 day and 3cm dilated according to my OB checkup. I had been having Braxton hicks pretty regularly for weeks. I would time them once in awhile to see what they were doing, but they always seemed to go away by the time I sat down to relax for the evening.
Tuesday night, February 11th, however, they continued even after all the dishes were done and the boy was put to bed. I decided to time them, they were 10 minutes apart for a long time. I bounced on the exercise ball all evening in hopes that it might get things goin. We went to bed at midnight, but at about 3am they were waking me up and I decided I should time them before hitting the pillow again. 9 minutes apart. They were also feeling more like a cramp then the usual tightening I was use to. However, it wasn’t anywhere as intense as I remember when in labor with Jonas.
I decided to get up and have a snack because I was starving and the tightening kept waking me anyway. Also, I think I was feeling to excited to sleep. I knew labor was just around the corner, although I wasn’t convinced it has started. But, by 6am I thought that , maybe, I needed to head to the hospital.
My doctor had advised me to go when contractions were 10 minutes apart because he was convinced things would move quickly based on my last pregnancy.
So we rounded up all of our gear and headed to Wills parents house to drop Jonas off. We stopped at Starbucks for coffee and oatmeal on the way to the hospital and sat in the car for a bit because I wasn’t positive it was really time to go. Then, we parked pretty far away from the hospital so I could walk a bit before we checked in.
Once they checked me into the labor and delivery room I was sure they were going to send me home because I went for 20 minutes without even feeling one contraction.
Apparently I was having them!
They were just so mild that they would sometimes go completely unnoticed by me. My nurse did a cervix check and I was 5cm. They admitted me, and I was relieved I had made the right decision to get to the hospital. By 10am I was between 7 and 8cm so I called my mom to come down.
From there the three of us sat and starred at each other wondering when the real labor was going to kick in and I’d need my support crew (Will and my mom).
All this time my contractions were still no closer than 5 minutes apart, some 8 minutes. I walked the hallways because if I sat in the bed I didn’t really feel the contractions.
At about 1pm I was 8cm, almost 9cm. My doctor recommended I have a small dose of pitocin to kick some stronger contractions into gear, and although I didn’t love the idea, I was bored waiting around and ready to meet my little baby love. So he broke my water and did just that.
At that point I wasn’t allowed out of the bed, but sitting was bothering my back so the nurse suggested I lay on my side. That instantly changed my contractions! I had the urge to bare down and it seemed to have moved Charlotte into place!
After that I went through a handful of tough contractions (the kind I was expecting all along!) and my mom and Will were finally put to good use!
At 1:38pm after a contraction and a half of pushing, Charlotte was born, 6lbs 15oz, 19.5 inches long. She decided she wanted to keep her arm up upon arrival and caused me a small, one stitch, interior tear.
All in all the labor was easy! Longer then my labor with Jonas, but virtually painless until pushing time. I am so thankful everything went so smoothly and I am in awe of this little miracle God has entrusted our family with.
We had lots of family come and visit us the day she was born and then some friends the next day at the hospital. We just finished 2 weeks of showing her off to friends and family who brought us meals and came along side of us to make the transition of adding a new little one to our family much easier.
I am so grateful.
Anyone who has brought us a meal, a snack, stopped by to chat and visit, brought flowers, gifts, groceries, these are the hands and feet of Jesus in my life. You all have loved our family in such a tangible way.
I want to be more like each one of you.
I want to be more like Jesus.
I want to love people like I have been loved by all of you, like I have been loved by Jesus.
I don’t think I can go through as big of a life change as we just did without reflecting on the experience.
Here is my take away:
God is good, loving and kind, and we are his hands and feet here on earth. You all showed me this, and even though I’ve experienced this kind of goodness before, It struck me in a whole new way this time around.