It's been awhile, like the end of December of 2010. I suppose I should start my 2011 posting, ahem.
For starters, our family became a party of five...
And for the birth story....
On Saturday, February 5th I woke up with contractions. They became as close as 7 minutes apart. Sean, I fear, called his sister too early and when she arrived, they sort of fizzled out to every 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. Completely random and not at all in any pattern at that point. Totally not her fault, it just stalled me out. She stayed the night thinking it would happen overnight. But, alas, it didn't. She went home the next morning and we putzed around the house. Contractions were about 15-20 minutes apart all day. It was cold that day, so we just stayed in. We even skipped mass on account of the contractions.
So, that Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday. Pittsburgh Steelers versus Greenbay Packers. We're Cleveland Browns fans, so we naturally turned in to cheer for the Packers. ;) Around 9:30 pm, I noticed that my contractions were starting to pick back up. When the game ended, my contractions were about every 8-10 minutes apart. I decided to take a shower, knowing that if it was the real deal, the shower would not slow these contractions down. So, I hopped in the shower and the shower did not slow my contractions down. The shower felt great though! After showering, I decided I would go to bed - thinking I'd be awake early in the morning. When I laid down, I noticed the contractions were coming every five minutes. After three contractions, I jumped out of bed because it was too much to be laying down. I continued timing my contractions and around 11:45 I called the midwives answering service to page the midwife on call. The person who answered the call told me that Erin would be calling me back shortly. The contractions were coming even quicker at this point and Sean asked me if he should call his sister, I told him yes. By midnight, contractions were one on top of another. Sean called his sister who said she was on her way. Despite the fact that my midwife still hadn't returned my call, I went outside to be ready for his sister. She arrived around 12:10 am. I would say that I jumped into the truck, but between contractions and being hugely pregnant, I'm sure it actually took me a few minutes just to get into the truck. Sean drove quickly to the hospital, briefly stopping at the two red lights before running them (one was a right turn, so not as bad as the left turn he ran). I could not sit in the truck so instead I sort of kneeled. Sean said if the window would have been down, I'd have probably jumped out.
Thankfully, the hospital installed an entrance with an elevator directly to the OB unit when they remodeled, so we went directly to the OB unit and didn't have to make our way through the ER or any other part of the hospital - which was a very good thing. We made our way to the third floor and we started walking towards the nursing desk. But, every time I had a contraction, we'd stop and I'd hang on to the rail on the wall. We got halfway to the desk when a nurse came and found us. And then another nurse, Marianne, came out of triage to see who was in labor in the hall. She left a stable, only 4 cm dilated patient in triage and came to help Hannah (who was in her first week of night shift!). Marianne sort of took the lead, getting me in a gown and on the bed to be checked. I was 8 cm dilated. Marianne asked what I was feeling. Between loud groans, I told her pain from the contractions and pressure. Boy, did that get some movement. Right away, she was on the phone with the midwife, Erin (who was on her way due to the patient in triage). Erin informed her that I was a VBAC, which seemed to freak out both Marianne and Hannah until I informed them that I'd already had two VBACs since my c/s. One of them went to the OR to find out how soon the c/s would be over to see if the house Dr would be available to catch the baby.
And then, despite Marianne's urging me to blow through the pushes and my best efforts to do so(haha!), 18 minutes after I arrived at the hospital, at 12:38 am, our baby girl, Charlotte Jane (nn Charlie) arrived after just a few pushes. Marianne got to catch her first baby and Hannah got to see exactly what happens when you're short staffed, the house Dr is doing a surgery and no other person is around to handle an imminent delivery. At that point, Marianne and Hannah began to do things like start an IV (just in case of a hemorrhage to push pit), draw blood and ask general intake questions.
Erin, the midwife, arrived about ten minutes later, just in time to deliver the placenta. She also ordered the pit for me at that point because I was losing too much blood. I had a second degree tear (right on that old, unneeded episiotomy site), so she stitched me up. Erin had never returned my page, but I learned that she got a blank page and called back the patient in triage thinking it was her again. They had problems the next morning with the answering service when they called every midwife but the one that was on call (they do 7am to 7pm). Erin felt horrible because she felt like she could have prevented me from tearing. She said that she hardly ever has to do any repairs because she prevents nearly all of them.
Here's the proud papa, who started calling people to let them know Charlie was here.
When he called his sister, she thought he was calling just to let her know that we had arrived. She was shocked that he was calling to say we'd had a GIRL!
She was 8 pounds, 2 ounces at birth. She dropped five ounces after 24 hours, but rebounded by an ounce in the next 24 hours. My milk came in quickly, I've nursed long enough now that my body remembers exactly what to do. ;) Here's Charlie, all cleaned up and sleeping:
As of breastfeeding support group Wednesday night, she was 9 pounds, 6 ounces - at 16 days old. Yes, she met and way exceeded the goal of back to birth weight by two weeks old. She's a nursing champ! So far, she has a sweet disposition, just like her older brother Josh. :)