Hi there! I hope that you are having a great week so far! If you saw my post on Monday, I’m taking you on a look back with me as I reminisce on my sweet baby boy’s first year. His second birthday is coming up in April, and since I started this blog at the end of last year I thought it would be nice to document his newborn photos and birth story on here. On Monday I shared some of my favorite images from my maternity photo session. And today I am sharing a few of Charlie’s newborn photos. It is hard to believe he was ever this little!! Where does the time go?!
I apologize in advance if this post is long, but I want to remember his birth story. As I mentioned in Monday’s post, my pregnancy was smooth and pretty easy for the most part. Around week 35 I went for a walk in my neighborhood, as I had been doing throughout the pregnancy. But this time the weather was so hot and humid, when I came back from my walk my hands and feet were puffy and swollen enough that Jordan and I decided to put a call into the nurse at my OBs office. She assured me that swelling is completely normal toward the end of pregnancy and to just try to take it easy and elevate my feet for while.
A few days later, at 36 weeks on Wednesday April 4th, I went to my OB for my routine appointment. Jordan went with me for the first few appointments early on in the pregnancy and for the sonograms, but this was just a routine appointment so he was not with me. In fact, he was in Canada on business. When the nurse took my blood pressure reading it was so high (she tried taking it a few times) that she told me the doctor would probably not let me leave the hospital. Say WHAT???? Sure enough when I was seen by my doctor and she proceeded to take yet another blood pressure reading (which was still high), she told me that I needed to stay at the hospital and check into the labor and delivery wing (I wasn’t even able to go home and get anything) to be monitored and that I would most likely be having my baby that week. I was shocked and so scared! We were still 4 weeks out from my due date. Everyone kept telling me that first time babies are usually past their due date. There was still SO much to do (my hospital bag was not even packed yet!) AND my husband was out of town!!
The first thing I did when I got into the hall outside the doctors office was call Jordan. He calmed me down and I proceeded on my way to the labor and delivery wing. When I got there they hooked me up to the fetal monitors and put a blood pressure cuff on me. We had been planning all along for my mom to be in town when I went into labor. And since she lives in a different state, the next thing I did was call my mom. She immediately booked a flight for the next morning. And my mother in law came to the hospital to be with me until Jordan got there that night from Canada. I had a 24 hour urinalysis done to see if there was protein, which is a symptom of Preaclymsia. Preaclysmia is very dangerous to both a mom and unborn baby, and high blood pressure can lead to Preaclysmia.
I was so relieved when Jordan got to the hospital. He was so sweet and stayed there with me that night. The next morning I saw my regular perinatologist for a sonogram and he assured us that everything with the baby looked healthy and on track. In fact he looked developed enough if I were to deliver early that there were would not be any major concerns (huge relief!!). By mid day my mom made it into town and I was even more relieved that my full support system was now with me. But I was still terrified of having my baby early.
When the results of my urinalysis test came back normal late that afternoon the on-call doctor (my OB was off that day) let me go home on bed rest. I was so happy!! I was extremely relieved that my high blood pressure was not the result of preaclysmia, I was excited to head home and I thought I was in the clear of having the baby so early. The following morning (Friday April 6th) the nurse at my OBs office called and apparently my OB was not so happy with me that I had left the hospital (oops!). I was instructed to stay on complete bed rest and monitor my blood pressure at home.
Okay sure, well that proved to be slightly easier said than done. With my mom and mother-in-law both at my house, and my slight panic mode to finish nesting for baby I would say I rested but did not fully abide by the “complete bed rest” orders. That evening, Jordan was grilling chicken for dinner and his mom (who was now back home at her house for the evening) asked for an update on my blood pressure, which we had not taken in awhile. Jordan took it for me and it was very scary high again. He called my OBs office and they said I needed to get to the hospital immediately. We quickly packed our bags, kissed my mom and our dogs and left the house without ever eating our dinner that Jordan had just grilled. When we got to the hospital it was about 9:00pm, they took my blood pressure and called my OB and told us I was going to be checked into labor and delivery and would be having the baby in the morning. They were going to induce me! I was dialed to about 1-2cm when I was checked in. They hooked me up to fetal monitors, blood pressure cuff and gave me cervidil (which helps you to dilate). I was SOOOO nervous and scared that I was shaking. And I hardly slept a wink that night. I have never been so terrified or excited for anything in my entire life! It was my first baby so completely knew and unknown to me and I was not at all expecting to be induced. Doesn’t every pregnant woman have this fantasy that they will feel contractions at home, get to the hospital and quickly push out a beautiful and healthy baby naturally.
The next morning the labor & delivery nurse started me on pitocin (the IV drug to induce labor) at about 7:00am. I saw my OB around 9:00am and she broke my water. I wanted to feel contractions and still try to carry out my wild hope of delivering my baby naturally. But my doctor warned me that when you are induced it makes the contractions come on quicker and stronger than if they occur naturally on their own. She also told me that the pitocin could raise my blood pressure. I was also unable to move around, I had to stay in the bed laying down. Therefore, I was liking going to need an epidural. Jordan and I watched Sex and the City episodes on DVDs. Around lunch time the contractions started getting stronger and more and more uncomfortable. My mom came in to see and I was in a lot of pain. I remember feeling incredibly painful lower back and hip pain and I kept asking Jordan to massage my lower back for me. Shortly after that we decided it was time to get the epidural. Cue my shaking again…. I was terrified!!
Once I got the epidural the pain subsided and I got really tired. I think I fell asleep for a bit. And a little while later they told me it was time to push. Yay!! Or so I thought… I was COMPLETELY numb and could not feel anything. I was also exhausted and could barely stay awake. I’m convinced it’s because the epidural was so strong. I ended up pushing for 3 hours!!!! It was so long that even Jordan said at one point that his feet were hurting from standing up for so long. Uhhhh…sorry babe! Sorry you were in such pain. Next time I’ll trade places with you 😉 It finally got to a point where my OB told me I had a few last chances to push this baby out or I was going to need a C-Section. The only thing that I was more terrified of than being induced was having to have C-Section. Somehow in my tired and numb fog I FINALLY pushed him out!!!!!! I cried I was SOOOOO incredibly happy that he was finally out and healthy!! That sweet sweet newborn cry was music to my ears. They immediately put him on my chest and his tiny little hand wrapped around my finger. It was by far the most incredible, surreal and amazing moment ever!!! I could not believe that I was finally meeting the little baby that Jordan and I created together, that had been growing, kicking and hiccuping inside of me for the last 8 months was here and in my arms!! It is by far my very favorite moment ever!! And I hope that I always remember it! I am beyond blessed to be his mom.
Our healthy, sweet, beautiful baby boy Charles Joseph was born at 5:15pm on April 7, 2012. And our lives have forever been filled with more love and joy because of him! He was 7 pounds when he was born at a month early. So I always joke that I cooked him on convection. I think that my blood pressure got high because he was ready, and it was my body’s way of telling us it was time.
Thank you so much for reliving this happy and memorable moment with me.