Due Date: July 23rd
1:30 am July 24th, water breaks. We stay and labor at home.
7 am, contractions finally start. We stay and labor at home.
8:30 am, my friend Kelly picked Joan up for the day.
12 pm, we arrive at hospital. I'm 5 cm dilated. Contractions are becoming difficult.
4:15 pm, only at 6cm but with strong and close contractions.
4:50 pm, contractions were very painful and I tried to stand up for relief. Charlotte's heart rate dropped and I was immediately given an oxygen mask and hooked up to the IV for fluids. Her heart rate quickly regulated. I was dilated to 8 cm.
5:00 pm, my mom and Jude got dressed for delivery. I started screaming, "I can't do this!" My father arrived at the hospital from LA.
5:15 pm, feeling the urge to push but still only at 8 cm
5:30-5:50 pm I was begging for "something! anything!" I was then about 9 cm but with a little bit of the cervix still there. My nurse had me push and she slipped the rest over her head. She then had to hold Charlotte in until the Dr. could come and "catch" her.
5:55 pm I gave a few pushes and Charlotte was born.
6:00 pm Charlotte immediately began to nurse and the Dr. started me on pitocin to help my uterus contract because I was bleeding more than I should have been. The bleeding finally stopped and we were in the clear!
Around 6:30 pm or so, Jude's parents arrived from LA and Joan was brought back to meet Charlotte.
I had an extremely easy recovery with no tearing and light bleeding afterward so we only stayed at the hospital one night. It was a perfect balance of pain and empowerment, and I could not have done it without the best coaching from Jude and the accommodations of my mom and my nurse. I hope to be able to do it naturally again in the future!
I lost my mucus plug early Wednesday morning, July 21st. My due date was July 23rd. Thursday evening Jude and I did laps around Lowes (the indoor walking track in town is boring).
I went for my 40 week checkup on Friday morning and I wasn't dilated. We scheduled my next appointment for the following Friday.
At 1 am Saturday (24th) morning, my water broke when I went to the bathroom. I wasn't having any contractions so we decided to stay home. We still called the hospital to let the staff know we'd probably be coming in later when contractions got bad. We tried to go back to sleep.
At 2:30 am, the hospital called us back and said that the on-call Dr. really wanted me to come in because my water had broken. I respectfully declined and said that my Dr was ok with me laboring at home even after my water broke.
Around 3 am or so, we couldn't sleep so we began preparing for the hospital - packing our bags and Joan's bags to stay with a friend of ours. My mom helped me wash my hair in the sink and shave my legs standing in the tub (I wasn't allowed to shower or bathe because of the risk of infection).
Jude passed the time by watching Battlestar Galactica on Netflix... I'm a great wife, by the way...
Around 7 am easy contractions finally started to come at around 2-3 minutes apart, but only because I started nipple stimulation (a natural way to bring on contractions). But as soon as I stopped stimulating the nipples, my contractions became irregular and more spaced out.
At 8:30 am or so, my friend Kelly came to get Joan for the day.
At around 10 am I called a friend to make sure I wasn't crazy for not going to the hospital yet... she said I wasn't (she also had a successful home birth two weeks after me).
Around 11 am, my mom picked up Wendy's for her and Jude. I ate a popsicle. Many popsicles. And cups of ice from Sonic.
By noon, my contractions were regular and difficult and I was becoming more concerned about not being monitored since my water had been broken for almost 12 hours. We went to the hospital.
I was 5 cm dilated when I got there and my wonderful nurse, Hannah and the on-call Dr were very accommodating to our wishes for a non-medicated birth. Because I didn't have an IV in and didn't have to wear the monitors for very long,we walked around the hospital to get things moving. I also kept up with the nipple stimulation - this was as good as being on pitocin!
At 4:15 pm, contractions were difficult, but I had only progressed to 6 cm. I was discouraged and debated going on pitocin. Jude encouraged me to not put so much emphasis on dilation and keeping going.
He was right, because in 35 minutes, I progressed to 8 cm. When I stood up to relieve some pain, she dropped more and her heart rate dropped as well. I was immediately given an oxygen mask and IV fluids. Her heart rate regulated and mom and Jude were dressed for delivery. (Hannah knew it wasn't going to take much more time).
I also started screaming, "I can't do this! I CAN NOT do this!" Transition was starting!
At 5:15 pm, I was feeling the urge to push and began squatting on the bed. I was checked, but still at 8 cm. Sometime around here my dad arrived from LA.
Between 5:30-5:50 pm, I begged for "something! anything!" But Hannah, Jude, and my mom talked me through it. I was 9.5 cm with just a sliver of the cervix still showing. Hannah asked me to push and she slipped the rest over Charlotte's head. (Did I mention that Hannah was awesome?!) All the while I'm screaming and breathing heavily and everyone's trying to help me calm down and breathe.
Hannah was holding Charlotte inside until the Dr. came in and with a few pushes she was born. It was the weirdest sensation - I just "knew" she wasn't going to fit through...
5:55 pm, she was born at 7.2 lbs and at 6:00 pm she started nursing. I was bleeding a lot so I was put on pitocin and given an injection of methergine to stop the bleeding. The nurses also had to massage my uterus a lot. But whatever they did worked because my recovery was so amazing. I didn't tear at all
Around 7 pm, Jude's parents arrived from LA and Joan was brought in to meet Charlotte. We stayed that night, Father John brought us communion the next day and were discharged Sunday evening to go home.
While it was the hardest thing I've ever done, it was also the most rewarding and empowering and I couldn't have done it without the best coaching from Jude and my mom and my nurse's support. I hope to be able to do it again - just not anytime soon...
Here's me pregnant, by the way. Some of the pictures loaded in a weird spot, but oh well.
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