Thursday, June 12, 2014


The newest member of our family, Charles (Charlie for short).

Charlie decided to take his time entering the world. We had thought since Will had been a few days early that Charlie would follow in his big brother's footsteps, especially since subsequent babies usually come sooner and faster than their older counterparts. Charlie had other ideas though. He decided that he wanted his birthday to be a few days after we expected him, and came on May 21, at 6:49am. He was 8lbs, 4oz, and 21 inches long. He entered the world very quickly, we were only at the hospital for 45 minutes before he was born and didn't even get checked in until after he arrived.

I woke up with contractions that were pretty close together at around 4:15 in the morning. I went to the bathroom and noticed how close they were together, but they weren't lasting a super long time, and they weren't super strong yet, so I tried to go back to sleep but couldn't. Then I decided to start timing them because they were coming so often. After timing them for about 15 minutes and they were averaging about a minute and a half to two minutes apart for about 40 seconds a piece I decided to wake Jake up. They had also intensified a little bit over that time, but weren't too bad yet. Jake watched me have a contraction and agreed with me that we thought it might be a little longer than it took to have Will, and decided not to worry about rushing to the hospital. We slowly got up and started getting the last minute things packed and called my parents around 5:00am to come into town to stay with Will while we went to the hospital. Jake told them not to worry about rushing, and at that point my contractions were starting to get a little stronger, and I almost added to tell them not to meander either though, but I decided against it.

As we waited for my parents to get to our house we finished getting everything packed and my contractions continued to come at intervals of about a minute and a half to two minutes, but they started lasting closer to a minute each time, and were also getting much more intense. I tried to eat a banana to have a little food in me, but I was only able to eat about half of it before the contractions were close and strong enough that food did not sound good at all, so I just drank a little water in between contractions. By the time my parents arrived at our house around 5:45, Jake and I both knew I was in transition and that we better get going pretty quick. Even my parents could tell, and my mom admitted afterward that she had been concerned about us even making it to the hospital. We left pretty shortly after my parents arrived, we just had to give them a few general instructions first and then we headed out to the hospital.

It was already getting pretty light outside by the time we left around 5:50-5:55, and it was a nice cool morning. On the way to the hospital we texted our family and friends who would want to know that it was baby day. I continued to have strong contractions but they weren't quite as close together on the way there, and I just grabbed the hand bar thing on the ceiling of the car as each one came and peaked. It only took us about ten minutes to get to the hospital since it was early and there wasn't really much traffic to deal with yet, and when we arrived Jake dropped me off at the ER and then went to find a spot to park. I went in and waited for the person in front of me at the ER window to finish and then walked up. I was happy to see a girl that I went to school with behind the window, so while I was having a contraction she was able to look up my information without having to ask too many questions and call down to the labor and delivery that I was on my way. Jake came in shortly after I got to the window and was able to answer any other questions they had while I gratefully took a seat in the wheelchair that they had brought out, I had no intentions of walking down there this time like I had with Will, I was exhausted from all the contractions.

Once we got down to L&D the first nurse we saw we quickly informed that I had a history of fast labor. They had me change into a hospital gown and then they checked me. I was already 8cm and 100% effaced so they went to call my doctor. Neither of us are entirely sure what time we got to the hospital, but I would guess that by the time I was in my gown and checked that it was around 6:10-6:15. While we waited for my doctor to get there they tried to put some cordless monitors on my belly to monitor Charlie's heart rate, but they were having a hard time with them. They eventually gave up on them and just monitored him with a corded one for a minute or so to make sure everything was okay. They also put in my hep lock (the needle that would attach to an IV if I were to need one) during this time. To be honest I was not very fond of the nurse that put it in, all the other nursing staff I interacted with were very kind and friendly, but when I asked her to wait until my contraction was over she told me that my contractions were too close together and that she would never get it in if we waited, which I am not completely convinced was true. She blew the vein in my left hand as soon as she stuck me, so then she looked at my right hand but knew that she wasn't going to be able to get it in there either, so she went back to my left hand and put it in the side of my hand just beneath my thumb. It wasn't the most comfortable thing in the world, but I was glad to finally have it in and have that nurse out of my room.

Shortly after getting the hep lock my doctor came in my room. It was fairly obvious that she had hurried over; she even told us she was in the shower when they called so she had jumped out and gotten dressed and headed straight over. She checked me while she was still in her normal clothes and said that it was time to start pushing. I protested that my water still hadn't broken yet, but she said that was just a formality at this point. Everything started happening very quickly then (as if it hadn't been going quickly enough already), they wheeled in a big table with a lot of instruments on it, my doctor put on those shoe cover things and dove into what can best be described as a hospital snuggie, while my nurse broke down my bed so that I could push. I did not feel ready to push yet, the intense and close together contractions had really tired me out, but I didn't really have much of a choice at this point, Charlie was coming whether I was ready or not.

The next part of the story is the part that makes me feel the most ridiculous. I was physically exhausted, and so when my doctor told me to push I did, but I also screamed like a banshee. Seriously, they had been in such a hurry that I'm pretty sure the door to my room was open, and I feel sorry for any woman who was in there with me and already dreading giving birth, I am positive that I was not an encouragement to her. After a couple of screaming pushes my doctor got up in my face and told my that all my energy was coming out of my mouth and that I needed to pull it together and stay quiet to push. She reminded me that I wanted a natural birth and that I could do it. While I was still tired, that talk was what I needed at the time, and so on the next push I tried to stay quiet and focused in order to push with all my energy. I did still make noise, but it wasn't nearly as loud as I had been, and I was focusing better. After a few more pushes Charlie's little head showed up and then on the next push the rest of him entered the world too. I was so tired and leaning on Jake, who had been sitting behind me supporting me while I pushed, that I just kept saying "I can't" over and over. They told me that I had already done it, which I knew, the "I can't" was referring to how I couldn't see him because I was so tired I couldn't lift my head or open my eyes to look at him for a couple of seconds. He was quickly placed on my chest though, and then I saw my beautiful little boy for the first time. His hair was much lighter than Will's had been when he was born, and he didn't have a crazy cone head like Will either, but beyond that I did think he looked kind of like his brother when he was born too. In all my labor was about 2 1/2 hours and we were at the hospital about 45 minutes before I had him; I know, I apologize to all the ladies out there who have crazy long labors.

After letting me hold him for a while and Jake cut the cord they took him to get his measurements. I was surprised to hear that he was bigger than Will had been because he looked so small. Once he was weighed, measured and wiped down a little bit and wrapped him up and brought him back to me and I held my sweet little boy for the second time. He wasn't interested in nursing right away, but he caught on pretty quickly, and became a pro in no time at all. In fact at his two week check up he had gained a half pound over his birth weight and grown 3/4 of an inch. I don't see him staying tiny for a long time like his big brother did. They also did all of the checking in and signing of release forms at this time since we hadn't had time to take care of that beforehand.

Later that morning my parents came up and brought Will to meet his new brother. While he didn't seem thrilled to meet him he also didn't seem jealous either, mostly just indifferent, which was fine by us since we had expected the worst. It also helped that our room was right next to the heli-pad, so Will got to see the helicopter take off while he was there.

We got to leave the hospital and come home the next day shortly before noon. Since then we've just been adjusting and learning how to change from being a family of three to a family of four. While it hasn't been the easiest thing in the world it has gone much smoother than either of us had really even hoped for, and we're looking forward to seeing what life looks like as the boys continue to grow up.

***I apologize if any of this narrative was confusing or disjointed. I'm pulling the running on little sleep and not enough coffee card***

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