She’s Here!

Madeleine Claire arrived September 25, 2019 at 2:55pm. Weighing 7.1lbs & measuring 21.5″ long, she came into the world with her cord wrapped around her neck 4 times (!) and in just 3 pushes.

I’m finally sitting down to write about Madeleine’s birth story and I’m not sparing any details, so let’s do this!

Tuesday, September 24 at 4pm

Hubby and I went to my OBGYN for our regular weekly checkup. It has been a busy day of “nesting” and I already had slight contractions when I went into my appointment. My doctor had promised me that at this appointment, we would determine an induction date for our baby. No, baby wasn’t overdue, but according to our 32 week ultrasound, she was measuring in the 90th percentile. My doctor felt that we could minimize the risk of emergency C-section by inducing me at 39 weeks pregnant. I was game! I had been extremely uncomfortable since 37 weeks and the though of continuing on was unpleasant. During the appointment, my OBGYN gave me a “membrane sweep” which involved gently lifting the detal membrane from the cervix and lower part of the uterus. This “sweep” releases chemicals that help soften and open the cervix for delivery. With Charlotte, it resulted in natural labor just 1 day later. During the procedure, my doctor noted that I was already having contractions, so hopefully the “sweep” would speed things along.

Tuesday, September 24 at 7:30pm

After putting Charlotte to sleep, my contractions increased in urgency and frequency. I had been getting false labor pains since about 36 weeks, so I tried the best I could to ignore them. Hubby and I ordered Lebanese food, and by the time it arrived 30 minutes later, I could barely eat one bite because the contractions were so intense. I decided to start timing them. After 3 hours,  the contractions were coming every 3 minutes and lasting about 1 minute. We called the caseroom at the hospital and they said to come in! Hubby had been painting a dresser for Charlotte’s new room, so he asked me to wait 30 minutes while he finished, showered, and called his mom over to watch Charlotte. At about 10:30, my mother-in-law came over and by 11pm, we were in a taxi on the way to the hospital.

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Settling in for the night with the baby’s heart rate monitor & contraction monitor

Tuesday, September 24 at 11:00pm

We arrived at the hospital and there was nobody in the maternity ward! I was the only pregnant lady. VIP service! The nurses checked me out and noted I was about 3CM dilated, and decided to admit me. They put an IV in (IMHO it’s the worst part about giving birth!) and I cried because Pat had gone to fill out the paperwork and I was alone. Once we were settled in, we called my mom to come to the hospital. She was there for Charlotte’s birth and I needed her in the room for this one too. My mom is my biggest cheerleader & advocate, so I needed her with me just in case. Plus, I love my mom beyond words and wanted her to witness her second grandaughter being born! So my mom shows up, with my Dad in tow because my Dad is a total sweetie and wanted to wait in the waiting room until I gave birth. We all thought that baby girl’s arrival was imminent…

Wednesday, September 25 at 2:30am

Labor stalled. As I tried to get some rest, I noticed that contractions were few and far between. I was annoyed. I had rang the alarm and nothing was happening! The nurse poked around me and had me bounce on the birthing ball and walk around…but nothing was happening. And because there was no doctor in the ward that night since it was quiet, I had to wait until 8am for any kind of physical intervention (drugs, breaking water, etc) as only a doctor can do it. So, we waited…hubby slept on a vinyl pull-out chair that was too small for him, my mom slept in a rocking chair, and I slept in the bed feeling guilty as hell that I was inconveniencing everyone. Such a mom feeling!

Wednesday, September 25 at 8:00am

Doctor arrived! Hallelujah! Let’s get this show on the road. After yet another hand up the V, he agreed to induce me a day early. I was already scheduled for a Thursday induction, so I basically skipped the line by getting admitted early. So it was determined – Sept 25 will be baby’s birthday.

The nurses started me on a really low dose of Oxytocin to get the contractions going again. And then we played the waiting game… The contractions were really subtle at first, like a period cramp. The nurse kept increasing the dosage steadily, and I could breathe through them, or walk, or rock, or bounce on the birthing ball. From the beginning, I had made my intention of an epidural clear! I wanted those drugs. So, around 10am, I was about 5CM and had enough, so I asked for the anesthesiologist. Good thing I did! He was on his way to two emergency C-sections and ran into our room.

Wednesday, September 25 at 10:00am

I have a profound needle phobia. They really are the only thing I’m truly terrified of…so the epidural was a huge fear. With Charlotte, I was delirious with pain, so I think I blocked out the entire experience. But, this time, I wasn’t quite in tremendous pain yet, so I remember the entire thing clearly. I wiggled my way to the edge of the bed, and braced myself for impact. For epidurals, you have to curl your chin to you chest and CAN NOT MOVE (even if you’re having the worst contraction of your life). I remember telling the Dr, “Let me know when you start!” and he said, I’m already done. Epidurals are blissful.

Wednesday, September 25 at 11:00am

At this point, I was stuck on the bed, and not feeling any pain but feeling a lot of pressure with each contractions (guess this was the baby moving down into position). The contractions were steady, but I wasn’t moving past 5CM, so it was water breaking time. That was a weird experience. With Charlotte, my water broke naturally, but this time, the doctor broke it with what looked like a giant knitting needle. I felt like a giant balloon was deflated inside of me…it just kept going and going. Afterwards, the contractions changed and there was more pressure, but still, relatively pain free. Thank God.

Wednesday, September 25 at 1:00pm

The nurses had been monitoring the contractions and the baby’s heart rate from the beginning and noticed that her heart rate was dropping significantly with each contractions. At first they thought it was because the monitor (or baby) had moved, so they kept shifting it around on my belly, but ultimately, they determined that she wasn’t liking the high dose of Oxytocin I was getting at this point (I think the max was 120ML?)

They took me off the medicine, and waited to see if my body would start contractions on its own. It felt like nothing was happening and I was starting to get a little frustrated with the whole process. Was she ever going to get here?

Wednesday, September 25 at 2:00pm

I started to feel this weird pinching in my uterus, like someone was pinching me from the inside – almost like a runner gets a stitch in their side. With each contraction, it would get more and more uncomfortable. I wanted to get up and switch positions, but couldn’t because of the epidural. I could only roll from side to side.

Wednesday, September 25 at 2:50pm

Something didn’t feel right. The pinching was unbearable and suddenly, I felt huge pressure in my bum. That’s the pushing cue! Once the pressure moves from the front to the back and you feel the urgency to go poop, that’s how you know you’re ready to push. I called for the nurse, who immediately looked between my legs and yelled for the doctor. According to hubby, she yelled for the doc down the hallway and said “Dr, you don’t have time for those C-sections, she’s crowing!” At which point, the entire room mobilized and was flipped into a delivery room – lights on, stirrups up, crash cart, baby bassinet, doc in scrubs & mask.

The second my legs went up in the stirrups, I could hear my mom exclaim “I see her head!” The baby was literally THERE! I barely had time for 3 pushes and she was out. Well, that’s not true, at 1.5 pushes the doctor told me to STOP! She had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck 4 TIMES! That’s what accounted for the drop in heart rate. Because I had a lot of water, and an abnormally long umbilical cord, it was able to wrap itself around the baby’s neck, so with each contraction, it was getting tighter and tighter. The doctor said he had very rarely seen this in non-C section babies (of course I have to be the special case LOL). Anyways, he expertly cut the umbilical around her neck so as to unwrap it, and then 1.5 more pushes and there she was in my arms.

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Our first moment together. I was sobbing hysterically – I couldn’t believe she was real!

Wednesday, September 25 at 2:55pm

I was in shock. I remember sobbing hysterically saying, “she’s here, I can’t believe it! I thought she’d never come. Is she real?” After every delivery, there’s a flurry of activity and I remember looking over to the nurses holding her and noticed she looked a bit blue. The nurses rubbed her down and gave her a bit of a smack and she let out the biggest WAHHHH, and then was silent. So quiet that I thought something was wrong and began to cry louder. Thankfully, it’s just her little personality, because as they put this tiny little skinny thing in my arms, her eyes searched for mine. Love at first sight.

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My little long & lean baby – 7 pounds, 3 ounces of perfection.

The hospital where I delivered is a big breastfeeding advocate, so they allow for skin-to-skin with mama for an hour or so after delivery so baby doesn’t get measured/weighed right away. I was dying to know how big she was. She looked identical to Charlotte – my little stretched out rubber chicken, so long and lean. She took to the breast almost immediately (it’s funny how your body remember what to do). And there you have it…Miss Madeleine’s arrival into the world.

And now that she’s here…life will never be the same.

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Cute right from birth 🙂

REAL TALK: How was your birth story? Magical? Traumatic? Share below!

Charlotte Adele

Introducing…Charlotte Adele

She arrived quickly on June 2nd, at 2:35PM. Weighing 7.1oz, 20.5cm long and completely stealing our hearts, our baby girl took only 6 hours to deliver! Read on for all the details…

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Our New Little Family – Charlotte at 1 Day Old

Our due date was May 30 and I was positive I was going to deliver on time (haha rookie move!) At my doctor’s appointment that day, she asked if I’d like to have my membranes stripped…for those uneducated in preggo-lingo, this is a more “natural” way to induce labor. The doctor gently separates the bag of water from the side of the uterus near the cervix (I totally just googled that). It basically feels like a ton of pressure on the inside but not painful, in my case anyway.

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Trying to relax in backyard at 40 week, 2 days

I spent the rest of the day walking, bouncing on my exercise balls, eating spicy food and hoping that labor could come soon. At this point, I was SO uncomfortable! It felt like a bowling ball was sitting on my pelvis! When labor didn’t come the next day, or the next, I was discouraged. The last thing I wanted was to be induced at the hospital. I felt down in the dumps and kinda flu-ish, so I spent the day on June 1st hanging out at home, watching Netflix and feeling sorry for myself.

At 5AM on June 2, I woke up thinking I peed myself – except I was pretty sure that I hadn’t lost ALL control yet…so I guess this is my water breaking?! When it continued to leak for the next hour, I was equally grossed out and excited! It was finally happening, baby girl was about to make her appearance.

Hubby insisted that I shower (because who knows when I would again) and have a bite to eat. I couldn’t sit still – the contractions began right after my water broke and they were already 7 mins apart! After calling the caseroom at the hospital, we called an UBER and off we went (poor Uber driver had no idea what was happening LOL).

It was important to me to have my mom with us in the delivery room – so she met us at the hospital once we got settled in around 8am. Then came the IV…I have a needle phobia so this was the part I was dreading the most (that and pooping on the delivery table – which I didn’t by the way, YAY!) My contractions were becoming more irregular at this point so the doctor suggested we start an oxytocin drip to speed things along a bit. And boy did it work! I started off at 2cm dilated at 8am, then 4cm by 10 am, and 6cm by 12pm. Needless to say, I was screaming for the epidural.

My regret was not asking for it sooner! I figured as a first time mom that my labor would be long and I thought that if I took the epidural too soon, it would wear off by the time I really needed it. NOPE, NOT TRUE! Ladies, if you want the drugs, get the bloody drugs. By the time the anesthesiologist got there, I was cursing like a sailor, ripping out my IV, and screaming “save me, help me!” Once the needle went in, it was bliss. Pain was bearable and I was ready for the next step.

I should pause here for a moment and mention that my husband was a complete champ. He was supportive, loving, calm and funny. We joked he was in charge of snacks, timekeeping and entertainment, but obviously his role was much more important. There’s something transformative about seeing someone you love so vulnerable and helpless. If possible, you love them even more for this sacrifice they are making for your family. He was so proud of me, and I wanted to show him how much I love him by bringing our baby into this world. I get all teary just thinking about it…

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Minutes after baby was born. Thank you Mom for being an excellent photographer and capturing this moment!

By 1:30pm, I was getting an intense desire to push. At first the feeling is a bit abstract – “how will I know I’m ready?” Trust me, YOU WILL KNOW! After 45 minutes of pushing, I could feel the excitement in the room. The nurses cheers were a little louder and Pat’s grip was a little tighter. Suddenly, the doctor yelled “Stop pushing!” Um, how do you stop a train going 100mph? The umbilical cord was so long that it had wrapped twice around the baby’s neck, so the doctor needed some slack to loosen it – which he did in one graceful move.

The rest is a blur. I remember looking down and there she was. My eyes were as wide as saucers! I couldn’t believe this perfect little creature had been inside of me the last 9 months. I didn’t cry, I was too shocked and trembling like a leaf (childbirth is traumatic!)

“Hi Charlotte, welcome to the world. I’m your mommy and this is your daddy, and we’re going to love you forever.”

Want to share your own story? Need someone to commiserate with? I’d love to hear from you! Send your comments below!