Charlie’s Birth Story.

September 26th, 2019.

In the early morning hours (around 4:30am), I woke up to Juniper barking.

Strange, as she never does that in the middle of the night. So, thinking nothing of it I let her out and took her downstairs to potty. 

I was still half asleep, but as Juniper and I headed back upstairs, I faintly remembered the dream I had before Juniper’s bark. I had dreamed of giving birth to a baby girl. Then, as soon as my head hit the pillow, BOOM. A pain I had never felt during this pregnancy hit me a like a ton of bricks!

It was enough pain that it made me (TMI) have to go number two, so off I went back downstairs to use the restroom. As soon as I completed my business another pain came again. Strange. I calmly asked myself, “are these labor pains?” Mind you, this was a Thursday and we were supposed to be induced on Monday. I had shown no signs of contractions prior. 

Hmmmmmm…..if these are contractions, I told myself, then I have some time before anything goes down. Or at least that’s what they tell you in birthing class. You”ll have time to take a walk, watch Netflix, or nap. So, I hopped in the shower to see if that would make me feel better and more relaxed. Well, the pain kept intensifying. And I thought, shit. I am definitely in labor. 

I got out of the shower, put some pj’s on, hobbled upstairs around 6am to wake Bret up to tell him I think I’m in labor. At which point I started bawling. Maybe the hormones or the fact that I felt so vulnerable and needed his help. He calmly said, “Okay, let’s get ready to have a baby.” 

We walked back downstairs where he made coffee and fixed me something to eat (slice of toast with peanut butter and banana) because I basically pooped everything out. Seriously, I had been worried about pooping during labor. Anyways, I was breathing through contractions that stayed three minutes apart, and I attempted to “get ready for the day” by blow drying my hair and finishing up packing my hospital bag. Again the only reason I did this was because they told you in birthing class you will labor at home for a long time. 

Mother TRUCKERS were wrong. 

By 8:30am I was breathing hard. The only thing I could do was sit on something hard like a dining room chair or the toilet to get me through the contractions. Laying down was not an option. By this time, I could barely talk. Bret called the hospital and told them we were headed their way. 

So by 9am I had been laboring for about five hours. The car ride to the hospital was intense. Every bump Bret went over was painful. I felt so bad for Bret because when I am in pain I go silent. He was asking me if I am okay and the only way I could respond was with a thumb’s up or down between contractions. 

We arrived at the hospital (Rose Medical Center) and I looked at Bret, “I need a wheelchair.” So we valeted the car which is an awesome perk for all the labor patients and they wheeled me up to the third floor. Still breathing and quiet as a mouse the nurses took me to an exam room thinking I was a first time mom and not acting theatrical I’m probably 2cm dilated. Um, NO. The nurse checked me and wouldn’t you know it, I was 6cm dilated! They were stunned! 

They kept asking me, “are you sure you are okay? Most women come in at 2cm and are screaming for an epidural. You are a rockstar lady.” I don’t know if rockstar is what I would call myself!! We were admitted and by this point I was effing exhausted. I told Bret that I didn’t know if I had enough fuel in the tank to make it to the end. So, after about 45 minutes in the labor room, I decided to have the epidural. 

BEST DECISION EVER! 

As soon as they gave me that bad boy everything became much more calm and relaxing. From about noon to 3:30pm, Bret and I Netflixed and chilled in the labor room. We watched Cobra Kai on You Tube, listened to podcasts and chatted about all the crazy adventures we had together. 

With the epidural, it did slow down my laboring for a bit so they actually broke my water around 4pm to help speed things up. It took me until 5pm to become fully dilated which actually worked out great because my OB wasn’t on call that day but was finishing up work in her office so she stopped by to check on me. By the time she arrived I was ready to push. 

I could still feel my legs, but nothing in the who-ha area. Being a first time mom, I didn’t know what to expect when pushing. The charge nurse walked me through how to push and told Bret to grab a leg. So there we were – my OB front and center, the charge nurse (who was wearing a fanny pack that said “push it”!) holding my right leg and Bret holding my left leg. I told Bret he didn’t have to be down there because you can’t unsee that situation. He looked at me and said, “I’ve got this.” 

And then I started pushing. Everyone counted and then we relaxed. Since our OB is our neighbor we caught up on life in between pushes. I pushed for about an hour and the plan was to have Bret announce the sex of the baby once the OB pulled the baby out. Well, Bret was sure it was a boy and I had been sure it was a boy, too, up until that morning with the dream. One final push and the baby came out screaming.

My OB held the baby and told Bret to tell mom what it was. Bret was looking for the twig and berries and there was no twig and berries. He looked at the OB and said, “I don’t know what it is.” Laughing a bit, my OB said, “Dad, you have a little girl.” She placed her on my chest and Bret started balling. He eventually said we have a little girl to me and it was priceless. We were both so surprised and beaming that we finally had our Charlie. 

Side note: we’ve had our girl name picked out for almost ten years. We added Charlotte at the last minute to give her the option to run for president some day or if she didn’t want to be called Charlie. Marie is my Aunt Joan’s middle name. In case you were wondering we were not going to use Charlie as our boy name. We had a separate name picked out if it was a boy. 

We marveled at her for about an hour while I got stitched up. I had a minor tear, and I also ended up having a membrane bleed that was a concern for a hot minute. Thankfully they were able to stop the bleeding and everything was fine. Which is why I am so glad I got the epidural because I didn’t feel a thing. I got to concentrate on Charlie on my chest the entire time. 

After everything calmed down they shipped us upstairs to recovery. Since a majority of the postpartum rooms were under construction, and apparently they had a lot of babies born that afternoon, we got upgraded to the Six North Suites. These suites are not on the normal birthing tour, but they should be! It was like staying at the Fairmont Hotel. We had a huge walk-in shower, closet view of the mountains, a private chef, our own nurse and Bret had is own queen-sized bed. Spoiled to the max! 

If we have another kid, I want to stay there again because it was like a mini staycation. We all snuggled, watched TV, and tried to rest after the past 24 hours. Overall, the entire labor process was less terrifying than I had imagined. A large part has to due with Bret and his calmness, the staff at Rose, who were incredible, and trusting my body to guide me through what it needed. Feeling blessed to have a healthy child, a loving husband and this new found zest for life. Plus, isn’t Charlie just the cutest?