Thursday, July 14, 2016

the day I birthed Sir Charles.

This is the birth story of my sweet, sweet Charlotte Rae. If the mention of lady parts and what can happen to them during pregnancy & birth makes you queasy, please be advised that I don't have much of a filter. AKA, by the end of this post you'll know more about my lady business than you ever dreamed you would. We're all friends here, right? Let's get up close and personal.

In case you have forgotten/were unaware, the birth of my first child, Jameson, didn't go exactly according to plan.  For those who need a re-cap, I was technically full-term (almost 38 weeks) when I delivered but there were some complications and my sweet boy's heart and lungs stopped working for a moment. He was life flighted to the NICU at Primary Children's hospital, and my husband & I were scarred for life when it came to having more babies.

Fast forward to January 2016. I was 8 months pregnant, and utterly miserable. I'm kind of a pansy anyway, but when it comes to being pregnant, that gets magnified by about 100,000,000. (in case you are bad with numbers, that should be 100 million. but I'm a sleep deprived mother so really it could be anything. but for the record I was going for 100 million.)

Before we go any further, I want to say I feel justified in some of my misery. I mean... this is what I woke up to Christmas morning...

^^Do you know what that is? That is boob nectar. Some people call it liquid gold, I call it a terrible Christmas present. Like, WTF, Santa. You OBVIOUSLY didn't read my Christmas list.^^

Back to January. I was feeling weird. I was 34 weeks pregnant, and having some major contractions. I had this moment of, "I know I'm not in labor... but something is wrong. I think I should go to the hospital."

I told my husband to skip class that day so he could take me to the hospital. He started to panic. "It's fine. I'm not in labor."

" why are we going to the hospital?"

"Something is wrong. Probably. I think. Really this is just for peace of mind. I'm having hard contractions. But I'm not in labor."

It's not that I was in denial. I knew I wasn't in labor. But I had this intense feeling that I just needed things checked.

We enter the labor & delivery ward, and I tried explaining to the nurse why I was there. I basically ended up telling her I *might* be in labor. My justification was if the contractions continued to get harder, I didn't want it turning into early labor. I did not want another NICU baby. She (the nurse) looked at me like I had just come from the psych ward, but led me into a triage room so I could be checked. 

After spending way too long in a hospital gown, a nice lady told me I had a yeast infection. And a UTI. Both of which are prone to cause contractions (especially if you have had a baby before).

I laughed. "I'M SO HAPPY!!" My husband and I did a little jig, and we were probably the happiest people to have ever been told they have a double lady infection. But hey, I wasn't in labor and we could go home. I was ecstatic.

A few days later I went in for my weekly appointment and was tested for group b strep. (google that if you need to. or don't. whatever.) 

At my next appointment, as I was getting my blood pressure taken, the nurse said, "And you are aware your group b positive?"

I looked at her. "What."

"Were you not positive with your first?"

"No. What does that even mean?" AM I GOING TO DIE?!!

"We just put you on antibiotics before you deliver to make sure it doesn't pass on to baby."

"...and if it does?"

"We try not to let that happen. If the baby gets sick... it can turn out really bad."

I went into my room and waited for the doctor. When he came in, I cried. "I swear I have good hygiene!"

He had no clue what I was talking about. I informed him of my recent trip to labor & delivery, the news they brought me, and the fact that I just found out I had strep b. After calming me down, he reassured me that yeast infections are common in pregnancy. I had never had one and thought that it meant you were unhygienic or something. So, naturally I thought skipping a day of showering had ruined my life & lady parts. He then proceeded to tell me that strep b can cause UTIs, so I felt a little better about that time I didn't shower.

I left the office and was on my merry way. I decided to call my husband to tell him the good news about strep b. He decided to google it, and... you know when you have a weird headache so you look on webMD and suddenly you have 15 days to live? It's like that. But with a baby. And a little bit of PTSD from the first go-round. He was pretty calm about the whole thing. Understatement of the century.

As the weeks grew closer, I grew more and more uncomfortable and the tears flowed more than usual. (remember. I'm a pansy, times a hundred million.) I was so, SO ready for baby to get here. Also I was stressing about going into labor early and passing strep b onto my perfect child and everything going downhill from there. And then the anxiety hit.

I talked to my doctor about my first birth, and we both agreed that one of the best things for baby would be to keep mom calm on delivery day. We decided on an induction to ensure I got the antibiotics needed to keep baby safe.

January 29, 6:30(ish) AM

I had been awake for what seemed like an eternity. It was Christmas morning all over again! (Except this time I had the good sense to keep my son asleep- like he wanted to be.) My phone rang, as expected. It was the hospital telling me to come in at 7:30. I got ready in my cutest maternity clothes because I was never going to wear them again and I wanted to look good for the camera. Also, it was delivery day ("it's coronation day!") so my excitement got the better of me and I forgot to take a picture.

My brother slept over so he could be a familiar face for Jameson to see when he woke up. (Awww, good guy, Alex, to the rescue.) But we ended up being so noisy making dinner and going in and kissing our son good-bye that he woke up much earlier than anticipated. Also we weren't making dinner, we were making breakfast. It was pancakes. Except I was having a baby that day so I had a light bowl of cereal. (Cry all of the tears. I'm still so bitter about missing out on those pancakes.)

We showed up to the hospital and they took us to my room and handed me a gown. I danced and jumped around and my husband wondered why I had been faking being so miserable for so long when I was perfectly capable of doing gymnastics in a hospital gown. I decided I should probably continue my misery act for the nurse, so I waddled myself and my naked bum over to the hospital bed so we could get this show on the road.

I didn't end up getting hooked up to the pitocin until after 9:30. My husband and I needed a good way to pass the time, so we set up the tablet and played some Lego LOTR. (because what better way to birth a child than by starting off with some LOTR video games? Priorities, people.)

Unfortunately, the battery died and we didn't have an extension cord to plug it into, and the screen was too far away from my bed for me to see. Minor details. (boring details, whatever. this is my story.)

As time went on, my contractions started to get harder. They were still bearable, but I didn't love them. My nurse asked if I wanted the epidural. 

"Mmmm, I think I'll wait until they break my water first."

I was waiting for the doctor to come break my water when I thought, "You know, I'm having difficulty breathing through these contractions. Maybe I should get the epidural."

So I told my nurse, and she went to find the anesthesiologist. 

She came back saying he had a few people ahead of me but would get here as soon as he could.

"I REGRET EVERYTHING!" - I literally said that.

So, we waited for the doctor to come break my water, and we waited for the anesthesiologist to come stick a giant needle in my back.

I waited, and around 1:40 the doctor came in and broke my water, then left for lunch. I was having difficulty living through my contractions. I maybe thought that each one would kill me. It was probably the best time of my life. 

A few minutes later the anesthesiologist came in. I was shaking from nerves and was afraid if I twitched, the meds would go straight to my brain. Luckily, I happened to have a life-threatening (maybe just regular) contraction right before he stuck the needle in so I really don't remember any of that happening. But it did, because soon enough I started cackling. 

"WHY. DID. I. WAIT?!" I laughed. I felt so good. 

"Alright," the nurse looked at me, "I'm going to go do something or other, and sometime in the next few hours you'll feel some pressure down there like you have to go to the bathroom. Just page me when that happens."

"Okay!" I said. "Sounds good, thanks!"

She opened the door to leave. Suddenly I felt a very intense pressure.

"Oh! Umm... hey, nurse?"

"Yeah, honey?"

"You know that pressure thing you were just telling me about? I think that's happening. Right now. Really bad."

"Oh! Well let me come check you."

She checked me. "Okay, darlin'. I want you to roll to your side and close your legs. I'm going to page that doctor of yours. It's time to have a baby!"

I rolled to the side and tried to twist my legs closed. With each contraction I was sure my baby was going to shoot right out of me. Meanwhile, my husband was pacing.

"it's time? Right now? Are you sure? She can't wait a little longer?"

He looked like he was going to throw up. (Granted, the last time he did this, he watched the life drain out of our son. So he was pretty justified in his apprehension.)

We waited and waited and finally around 2:45 the doctor showed up. We got everything set up, and before I knew it, they were telling me to push. Two contractions later, my beautiful, perfect Charlotte entered this world.

Charlotte Rae Cox
7lb 11oz
20 inches


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