Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Today is the day I finally write down some memories about Charlton's birthday! I think I mentioned it previously, but about a week before he actually came, I thought I was going into labor and sent my kids off to their grandparents for the night, which was quite embarrassing when nothing ever came of the contractions I was having. But hey, the kids always love a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's, and I got some sewing in the next morning that I really needed to get done for Halloween.
But fast forward a week, and I'm five days overdue. Once again, I'm having contractions that feel like the real thing... (even though I'm not quite sure what the real thing feels like since my water broke with all three of my previous pregnancies). The kids were already tucked in for the night, and even Will had crashed (it was only 9 or 10pm, but such is the life of an early-morning seminary teacher!).
I considered waking him up to tell him that I thought the baby would come that night, but instead decided to finish up what I was doing at the computer, and then see if I could get some rest. I didn't get a lot of rest that night as I'd wake up every ten minutes or so with a decent contraction. My one wish for this delivery was that it not happen in the middle of the night. I really didn't want to have to call and wake up one of my friends/neighbors or my inlaws. I hate phonecalls in general... but phonecalls in the middle of night? No. thank. you. So, there I was, laying in bed, very worried that the baby was going to come soon, and that I needed to stay laying down. I thought the second I stood up and started walking around I'd be in serious labor (I had that experience when delivering Juliette). So, the few times I needed to get up to use the restroom, I literally ran to the toilet and then ran back to bed.
But alas, I made it until Will's alarm went off at 4:30am. I told him that he'd better find a sub for seminary because this baby was coming! I could tell he was really excited. Will showered and got ready for the day, while I continued to stay put in bed. As much as I wanted to take a shower before I went to the hospital, I just couldn't get myself to stand up for that fear that the baby would come--it was still too early in the morning for me to want to call someone to come be with my kids! At around 6am, I finally gave Will the go ahead to call his parents, and I was thrilled that they were already up for the day. I told Will to tell his parents to hurry because I really thought my labor was going to progress quickly once I got out of bed, even though my contractions were still about 8-9 minutes apart at this point. Ha! While we waited for a half-hour or so for Will's parents to arrive, Liam woke up at around 7am and crawled in bed with me.
"I'm going to have Charlie today," I told him.
I think I surprised him, and he immediately lit up and simply said, "You are? I'm excited!"
Before long, Will's parents arrived, and all the kids were awake and sitting on the couch. I kissed them each goodbye, and off Will and I went to Silverdale to hang around the hospital. I wasn't quite ready to actually check in, so we decided to walk (or in my case, waddle) around Trader Joes. We had a yummy muffin sample and tried to find some donuts to buy. I was craving donuts. The contractions were still coming, but I didn't feel like they were getting closer together, which was starting to worry me. Was this another false alarm? I refused to entertain that thought. We were going to have this baby today, gosh darn it!
Next, we hit up Albertson's because we knew they'd both be open and have donuts. I picked out a chocolate cream-filled one, and as we were paying, Will started getting some phone calls for work, so he headed to the car to get some paperwork he needed, and I told him I'd meet him out there. I still wanted to walk the aisles and get this labor going more! I walked back and forth and up and down each aisle probably three times, slowly eating my donut (which ended up being all I ate until dinnertime that evening--not the smartest decision I've made!). I eventually headed out to the car, again feeling like this labor was being so weird! I strongly felt the baby was coming soon, but things were progressing way slower than I was used to. This was my fourth child, for heaven's sakes. Wasn't he supposed just fly on out of me?
Next stop, Goodwill. I still needed to find Charlton a pumpkin costume. Juliette had decided to be a pumpkin princess for Halloween and she really, really wanted Charlie to be a pumpkin with her, and I have a hard time saying no to my sweet Juliette! Actually, all the kids were pretty bought into the idea of Charlton being a pumpkin for Halloween. Isabella was going to be Laura from "Little House on the Prairie" and we'd also just finished reading "Farmer Boy" together. There's a part in that book where Almanzo enters his pumpkin into a contest at the fair and wins, and the secret to his winning pumpkin, was that the pumpkin was milk fed. And so the joke at our house was that Charlie would be a milk-fed baby pumpkin for Halloween! So, anyway, at Goodwill I bought a little newborn-sized pumpkin costume, and then I told Will that we might as well head to the hospital. I was getting frustrated that my contractions were still so far apart.
We got checked in, and the nurse told me I was only dilated to a 3! I was shocked. All those contractions all night long and no progress whatsoever. I was at a three at my most recent doctor appointment! She then went on to say that I wasn't in active labor and that normally they don't check you into the hospital unless you're at least at a 5 or 6. Were they going to send me home??
"But we're not very busy today," the nurse said, "so I'll call your doctor and see if we can admit you. It looks like you had your last baby in four hours, which is pretty fast, and you're exhausted from having contractions all night. So, hang tight, and I'll see what your doc says."
I could have kissed her when she came back with the news that my doctor gave the okay to admit me, and that she would come around noon to break my water. Well, between about 9:30am and noon, my contractions started getting a lot closer together (about two minutes apart), and I was finally in "active labor." I was so glad to go into active labor on my own--proving to myself that I wasn't completely lunatic for being at the hospital to begin with. At around 1pm, my doctor arrived to break my water and after that, things really progressed quickly. I remember it getting really intense and feeling like I was losing my mind a little bit. I didn't feel like I could answer anyone's questions, and I was feeling a little panicky. During one really intsense moment I told Will I was going to need some encouragement, and I will never forget the look on his face. I think he felt pretty helpless, like he didn't know what on earth to do. A look like, "Uhhh, I didn't read any of those books you've been reading. Tell me what to do!?" He started looking a little panicky himself. haha
"Just tell me that I can do this." I told him, feeling kind of silly.
Which I'm sure he did, but like I said, I was having a hard time even thinking straight at this point.
The nurse checked me, and I was at a ten.
"We're having this baby!" she said as she picked up the phone to call the doctor.
Doctor Hebard arrived really quickly, got things all set up and then I just started pushing with each contraction, even though I didn't have any urge to push. But I push I did! And I got that baby out fairly quickly, but tore quite a bit in the process. I wonder if I'd waited for my body to naturally want to push, if there would have been less pain and stitches? But yeah, at that point I just wanted him out! I couldn't believe how badly it hurt since when I delivered Juliette naturally, my first thought afterward, was literally, "that was it?" It was so easy (relatively speaking). The delivery of Charlton, though, yeah, it was tough and quite painful for me, but I got through it! And oh my goodness, Will and I both couldn't get over how cute he was, and the fact that he had a little bit of hair. Our babies don't have hair! We couldn't figure out who he looked like, either. All we knew was that he was one very handsome little boy and that he had a nice set of lungs. His cry was so cute! I saw Will get emotional as he watched the nurses weigh him (whopping 8lbs 11oz!) and get him cleaned off. It was so sweet.
It's hard to put into words how it feels to welcome a new life into your arms, times seems to slow down, and it feels surreal in a way. I'm always awe-struck and amazed. I think I could have ten more babies, and still be smitten by the miracle that childbirth is every single time. Charlton is a dream come true. I always wanted to have at least four kids, and here we are. I love him so much. We all love him so, so much.
Honestly, we've never had so much excitement in our home for the arrival of a baby. Each of the kids could hardly wait for him to get here. We've been calling him by name for months and months. And having him here in our home? It feels like a gift. Every single day. Each time Isabella sees him, she asks to hold him, so she holds him constantly throughout the day. The first thing they each want to do when they wake up is find him. I can honestly say there has been no jealousy issues. They just love this baby. Juliette will come into my room at night and say something like,
"I need to tell you a question, Momma."
"I weally, weally, weally love Charwee. Your baby is so toot (cute)."
And then during prayers, she's always saying, "Thank thee that our whole famuhwee is here."
Liam is always calling him "Charlie boy" or "Char Char." And if I ask him to sit next to him on the couch and protect him, he takes the responsibility so seriously and does it with such pride. He's got a brother! And Will and I have another beautiful son.
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