Sunday, July 17, 2011

Charlie's arrival

I thought I should write about Charlie's arrival while it is still fresh in my mind.  There is so much happening in the beginning...so much to store away for later or cherished among my husband and I, but there is also so much that I want to remember before it gets lost in these other details as we get accustomed to life as a family of four.  I will spare each of the details, but wanted to just share his awesome entry into the world.
On July 12th we went in for our weekly appointment.  I told the midwife that I was hoping that the baby would make his arrival in the next few days.  She gave us some insight into the "natural" ways of inducing labor and assured us that she thought he would be coming within the next few days based on the fact that I was 3cm dilated (though I had been for over a week).  As she was leaving the exam room, she patted my belly and said that the real trick to starting the labor process was the "touch of a midwife".  Little did I know, that just might have been the trick :)
I went on to have one of the busiest days at work that I'd ever encountered, which left me little time to think about when this baby might choose to make his arrival.  When I came home from work, my husband, mom and I decided to get some Chinese food to help jump start things.  We went to Charles' parents house and Charles took Julia for a swim while my mom went to get the food.  I remember thinking that I hoped that it wouldn't happen anytime soon because I wouldn't want my "last meal" to be curry chicken.  As we were watching Julia swim, I started noticing the contractions.  I say "noticing" because I had been having contractions on and off for about a week and a half.  I started timing them in my head and began to realize that I was really uncomfortable every 2 minutes.  I could no longer concentrate on anything else going on around me.  By the time my mom had arrived with the food, I was really uncomfortable and pacing through my in-laws house.  Interestingly, everyone else around me thought that this was a great time to enjoy their Chinese food while I was wondering if I was even going to make it to the hospital.  Finally, my mom brought me back to our house while Charles packed up Julia.  Throughout that 45 minute stretch I was so intent on having Charles time my contractions, but by the time we were organized enough to do this, we realized that they were every 1 1/2 to 2 min and this meant we should probably head to the hospital.   Charles pulled the car around to the front of our house and I proceeded to have a contraction that brought me to my knees in the front lawn.  In that moment I found it hard to believe that I was going to be able to sit in a car for the 25 minute drive to the hospital.  The grass felt like a perfectly good option.  We have this great image of me in the front lawn and Charles trying to coax me into the car.  Finally, he gave up and decided to take a few pictures.  I told him that this would be the last of any "labor" pictures and finally worked up the strength to get into the car.  The next 3 hours feel like a blur.  We made it to the hospital and had to wait to get evaluated.  We were finally rushed in after a nurse observed how quickly the contractions were coming.  I labored in a random room for an hour before we could be admitted to be monitored.  I remember asking the nurse if this baby would hold out until his due date, the 13th (at that point it was about 9pm on the 12th) and she nicely responded that this baby was obviously going to do whatever the heck he pleased.  She thought that he was going to come pretty quickly.  We were able to finally secure a bed in Labor and Delivery after a few hours of winging it in the evaluation unit and I was beyond relieved.  After about 4 hours of active labor I opted for an epidural, though it didn't take effect.  After a great deal of debate, an hour later, I recieved a 2nd epidural.  I wish I would have discussed this more with the midwife because at that point things really slowed down and I lost touch with the process of labor.  As painful as it was, I could at least take an active role in what was happening.  It is much easier to make that assessment when you are not in those active throws of labor and so I can't be too disappointed.  After some time, the midwife came in, announced that I was 10cm and he literally was delivered within those 4 minutes of my water breaking.  My precious little boy literally came flying into the world!
I remember having a conversation with a friend who discussed being in the moment and enjoying the process of her child's birth.  I was conscious of this desire to take in every part of labor and I recall saying several times throughout labor, "I can't believe that this is happening."  Once he arrived, it seemed like time stopped for a while.  The room was a buzz, but I just remember soaking in every sound and surveying every ounce of this new life.  I loved announcing his name as Charles held him and feeling this great sense that it fit him from the very start.  We loved him during the pregnancy, but seeing him solidified this overwhelming love that I have only encountered when Julia arrived. 
Charlie's birth was so different from Julia's.  Since the moment that he was born, there is a greater sense of certainty that everything is okay in the world.  Things may be uncomfortable, but everything feels a bit more natural.  He is so content and when he is awake he looks around with these curious, deep eyes.  He makes it easy to relax in his presence.  I would have to say that this is a great quality in a baby!  
And as much as labor can feel like a blur, I realize already that the first few days are an even bigger blur of activity and visitors and adjustments.  We documented on video the moment that Julia met him.  She confidently walked in the room with her hands in her pockets and stopped next to the bed.  She was initially a bit overwhelmed, but about 10 minutes later was teaching him songs and wanted to tickle him.  She has adopted her baby brother into every part of her day and talks about him non-stop.  She wants to see him as soon as she walks in the room and is anxious to hold him with some help.  We opted to come home on Thursday the 14th, which was about 30 hours after Charlie's arrival (as soon as we possibly could!).  Julia had come in that morning, but was home having lunch when we pulled up to the house.  She came running down the walkway and proudly yelled, "Happy Mother's Day!"  Yes, it does feel like mother's day, what a great way to capture the joy of bringing home a new baby. 
Here are a few pictures of these moments throughout our first few days with Charlie.  We are excited for our family and friends from near and far to meet this little one!
July 12, 2011 - our last appointment
 8 hours later - the one and only labor picture
And a whole lot happened in the 6 hours between thse two photos, but he's fnally here!
Proud Mimi
Big sister's first meeting
Julia, Charlie, and their Grandpa
First photo as a family of 4 (5 including Scout)

Happy unofficial Mother's Day :)

1 comment:

  1. You are so amazing Lucy... I love you so much!

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