Sunday, April 7, 2013

Days go by...

I can't believe how fast the time goes by with Charlie boy!  He's grown and changed so much over the last two and half months. It's sad to see the little newborn days slip away, but exciting to see him learning so many new things.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Charles Philip: Jan. 19, 2013

Apologies for the long hiatus, we've been busy with our new little guy!!! :)  I find it somewhat ironic that my last post mentioned how snug he was, only to have him show up less than 24 hours later.  It's been a crazy two and a half months since he arrived.  Adjusting to life with a baby, hosting several rounds of visiting family, celebrating friends' graduation, making new friends and saying goodbye to old ones are just a few of the things that have been happening here.

Since some people have asked for it (coughcough*Kaley*coughcough), I thought I'd share my birth story. *Warning: The following is rated R for sex, language, blood and gore, nudity, strong language, and a birth scene.*  At 37.5 weeks I went in for an ultrasound to make sure baby was head down.  He was and the tech estimated that he was about 7.8lbs.  The following day I had my OB appointment and was at 0cm, 25% effaced.  Since I was starting to get just a little bit uncomfortable (hmm... that might be a slight understatement...) I decided I might as well do my best to walk that baby out!  Eva and I spent every morning walking the bike trail nearby, in the hopes that it would encourage Charlie to make his arrival.  At 39.2 weeks, Jan. 18, I went in for another OB appointment.  Apparently, all the walking had paid off, since I had progressed to 2cm and 75% effaced.  Since I was only a few days away from my due date (Jan. 23rd) my OB went ahead and did a membrane sweep.  This often helps get labor started, and she estimated a baby within the next 72 hours.  I decided that would be great, since my mom was flying in the next day.  A baby by Sunday or Monday would be perfect!

That afternoon Phil and I went grocery shopping, and stocked up on enough food for the next two weeks.  We walked around most of the afternoon at various stores, and while I had some "cramping" throughout the day, I didn't think much of it.  As we watched a TV show that evening, Phil asked if I thought we'd have a baby that night and I told him no.  Silly me.  I went to bed around 10, and left Phil upstairs putzing.  I dozed for a little bit, but the "cramps" were a little bit painful and made it hard to get comfortable.  At 11pm I had a particularly hard cramp and felt a sudden trickle of water.  I decided I might want to go to the bathroom and check it out, and upon arrival in the bathroom, my water broke the rest of the way.  We called our birth center and they told us to have me lay down, time my contractions and call back in an hour. As soon as my water broke, the contractions were very regular, 1-2 minutes long, 4-5 minutes apart.  At midnight we called back, and they said take a shower, grabs your bags and come on in!

We checked in at 12:30, and  I was at 3cm, fully effaced, and unable to talk through the contractions.   They told me I could walk around the hospital if I wanted, but I wasn't really feeling up to it, so I just paced in the room, and bounced on the birthing ball for a while.  I ended up getting really sick and spent a lot of time puking into a bucket.  Phil, the sympathy puker, was awesome.  He held my hair and the bucket, mopped my brow and brought me water.  I was a hot mess, but he took amazing care of me!  After I had been monitored, thrown-up everything I had, and made it to 4cm, I decided to spend some time in the shower.  The water was definitely the best place for me, as it helped me relax the most.  Since they could monitor me with the dopplar in the shower, I was able to spend almost two hours in the water.  By the time they needed me to come back to the bed for monitoring the contractions were getting really hard and painful.  I felt like I was reaching my pain level, and I was very, very tired.  When they checked I had progressed to 5cm, which was good, but seemed really terrible when they told me.  At that point we decided to go ahead and try a narcotic.  I really didn't want to get an epidural, since I wanted to try and have as natural a labor as possible, but Phil and I had talked about narcotics as an option, since they were just given through an IV drip, only last an hour, and worked to just take the edge off.  Sometime around 4:15 I got the pain-relief, and it really helped me to relax.  I still felt every contraction, but was able to breathe and rest a little more in between   Once it wore off they checked and I had progressed another cm, to 6cm.  I decided to try one more hour of the pain relievers, just to see if I could get a little further.  Usually the first dose is the most effective, but in my case the 2nd dose proved to be the best, and I was able to nod off between contractions, waking up to squeeze Phil's hand and breathe through each one.  At about 6:40 when the second dose wore off they checked and I had progressed to 10cm!!  By 7am I was given the ok to start pushing, which was such a relief.  The contractions were still super painful, but at least I could do something, instead of just suffering through them.  Towards the end, I had to hold back on pushing, since my OB hadn't arrived yet, which was definitely tough!  Once she arrived, it took a couple hard pushes to get him out, since his fat little noggin didn't want to come out, but once his head was through he slipped out all in one push, and he arrived Jan 19th at 8:01am!!  They immediately put him up on my chest, and we had a chance to do skin to skin.  It was amazing and wonderful to hold my little boy after thinking about, talking to, feeling him move, and loving him for 9 months!

Unfortunately I had a weird little muscle that ran vertically through my lady parts, called a septum, that tore as he came out.  It was bleeding quite heavily, and on top of that I had a third degree tear, so I ended up hemorrhaging. They had to move pretty quickly once he was born to get things fixed up, so they delivered the placenta on the next push, and the OB cut the cord right away.  It took her almost two hours to get me all stitched back up, but I couldn't really tell what was going on down there, and was just wrapped up in our new little man.  Our hospital was great, and didn't intrude on our bonding with tests, baths, or anything else.  They weighed him and measured him, but only after we had spent time together, and they eventually sponged him off, but not until much later in the day!  He was 9lbs, 1oz, which surprised everyone.  I had no idea I was pushing out such a chunky guy.  He measured 21", and had a 14" head.  I held him for a while (just recovering!) once they handed him to me, while he let us know what a strong set of lungs he had.  After a little while I nursed him, and he latched on right away and nursed like a champ.

My mom arrived that evening, just 12 hours after he was born,  Although I was sad she hadn't made it for the birth, I knew it would be hard to time her arrival from the east coast and had prepared myself for the fact that she might not be there.  She stayed with us for two weeks and it actually worked out very well that she was there for so long afterwards, since I had a tough recovery.  I ended up getting two blood transfusions and staying longer at the hospital to make sure my blood count numbers were ok.  Thankfully the OB removed the unusual little bit of muscle that tore, so I won't have to worry about that next time!

For a first baby (and a large baby!) my labor wasn't that long, and I only pushed for an hour.  I thoroughly disliked the entire labor process though- the contraction pain was horrible and pushing was tough, but I would do it again in a heartbeat!  We love Charles more than we could ever imagine, and we can't wait to add to our little family!