Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Charlotte's One Week Photo Shoot

My sweet friend and visiting teacher, Heidi, gave me the best give ever- a photo shoot of sweet Charlotte. Here she is at one week. Thanks Heidi- they are gorgeous!

              Just a little disclaimer: I had not planned on being in any photos... As Grandma Jewkes would say, "I should've had my face on". :)

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Charlotte Part II

                                 The kids enjoying the wonder of having a new sibling.

                                               So happy with her "I'm a big sister" sticker.

She looks so different now! As I am posting this she is almost unrecognizable. So chubby and swollen in this pic!

Could Jason be any prouder? On Friday (the day after she was born) he wore a pink shirt to school and this "Its a girl" pen. How sweet and proud!

Our first family pic. I don't wanna talk about it. Ok, I will. I am so...well, fluffy. And let me just say, that one week later, my ankles and legs are STILL retaining fluids from all the stuff they pumped me with.

                       Leaving the hospital at 6lbs 14 oz. And on Tuesday she had already agined back all of her birth weight. Sore? Yes, the child LOVES to eat. All I can say is "OUCH!". Yes, I look like I have been hit by a train. A train named Charlotte.

                                             Her first bath at home. NOT a fan of that.


Post- bath with all of her "fluffiness". FYI- Fluffy with Charlotte is a great thing. Check out her fluffy hair!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Welcome to the world Charlotte

                                                 39 weeks pregnant and the last pic taken

The Birth Story (warning: no details spared)
         My first run-in with "false labor". Ok, that's a lie. The last month of my pregnancy was in a word-horrible. I had cramping (from dehydration I guess) and contractions the ENTIRE month. I lived off of tylenol. I didn't sleep a lot and bascially I was on the internet daily figuring out ways to induce labor. I was miserable. So this was the Saturday before I had Charlotte. I was in labor and they stopped it. Why? Still a mystery to me. And just becasue I can't resist I have to put it out there that this is NOT normal pregnancy behavior for me. I hate complaining about pregnancy. I told my mom "I am sick of hearing myself complain" the past I have glided into labor with practically no probs...and even natural childbirth. Just sayin'.
           Four days later, here I am again. Even in worse shape. It all started at about 11 am on Wednesday morning. I was out and about trying to ignore my cramping. Nesting of course. Trying get things done. I was actually at Hobby Lobby with my friend, Kara. All the sudden I had a horrific back ache. I tried to ignore it for about an hour and a half, carrying on conversation and playing at the play place at Chick-fil-A with our kids. Well, once we went our separate ways, the moaning began. There was the most intense pain in my back that I have ever felt. I have serious empathy for people with back pain now. I had NEVER really suffered that way. I had taken 1000 mg of tylenol and it was not touching the pain. Luckily Quincy was in his room (screaming none-the-less) NOT napping like he was supposed to be. There have been very few times in my life where I am have been in so much pain to where I have completely neglected my children (by neglect I mean totally ignore). This was one of those times. I just laid there moaning and crying for about two hours.
        I finally called my OB practially begging for an emergecny C-Section (I was going for my third VBAC). I asked snidely, "At what point does my pain become an emergency to you?". That's exactly how I felt. In a state of emergency. They said take it easy and con't taking tylenol and the classic, "your body is just getting ready for labor" line. Let me just tell you how sick of that line I was. I had been hearing it for a month. Thus, my hesitancy to call in the first place. I knew they wouldn't do anything. Anyway, after calling Jason several times in tears he came home to take care of our poor children. And with Grandma Jewkes on the way, around 6 pm (so SEVEN hours later) I told Jason (using one naughty word), "I don't care what the *crap* they say, I am going to the hospital and they are getting me out of pain. Labor or no labor". Off we went.....again. My good friend Kara came to the rescue and sat with the kids and embarrassingly saw what my house looks like when I feel like crap for days on end. Then our neighbor Steven relieved her family around 8 or 9 and stayed until Grandma came at midnight. THANK YOU kind friends!!!!!!!!! And Grandma!!!!!!!
          Of course they hooked me up to monitor the baby's HR and my contractions ASAP. Baby was happy as a lark in there but I was having contractions...about every 3 min. apart. Hard ones. Funny thing is I couldn't even feel them because my back hurt so bad. They told me they weren't totally sure I was in active labor but was going to admit me, again. I was having flashbacks of Saturday. I was going to punch someone out if they even attempted to stop my labor this time. At about 8 pm, my contractions were getting closer and they assured me that one way or another, we were going to have the baby. At a pathetic three centimeters dilated I found myself BEGGING for an epidural. The contractions were not bothering me but my back was KILLING. Luckily someone noticed the crazed look in my eyes and relented.
          Relief. Sweet, sweet relief. I have never felt releif before like when the medicine from the epidural started working. I profusely thanked the anesthesiologist and was almost crying with joy. Seriously. I felt like I had been suffering for about a month. At this point I could not WAIT to just go to sleep. I had not slept in about two nights b/c of cramping. I was looking forward to that. Unfortunately, the nurses and baby had different plans. They noticed I had a temperature and that Charlotte's HR was all over the place. The came in every 5.3 minutes to take my temp. and to put another blanket on my shivering body. I could not stop shaking. Even after tylenol I still had a temp. They discovered that not only was I dangerously dehydrated (from having a temp) but I had some sort of infection...which, come to find out was a kidney infection. They gave me an UNCANNY amount of fluids. One of the nurses said she had never given anyone as many fluids as they had given me. Great. Elephantitis legs, here I come.
          The infection was a concern for them. But not as much as the baby's HR. Nurses in and out all night long. Several times they told me, "if this does not improve in the next ___, we will have an emergency c-section". Without fail, every time it would improve. Only to jump or dive minutes later. Finally at around 5 am they came in to check me. Afterall, I had been having hard contractions 2 min. apart for nearly 10 hours. I was only at a FOUR!!!!!! They deduced that Charlotte's head would not come down and so was prohibiting my cervix from changing like it should with the contractions. (AHHHH...the answer to why my cervix did not change like it should have when I went in on Saturday and they sent me home).
           So, the OB on-call decided to break my water as a last resort. She said if if didn't help me progress, with the baby's HR so erratic, then we would do a c-section. Breaking my water, the on-call Ob noticed that there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. No bueno. Finally, my cervix started slowly changing. Incredibly slow though complared to Quincy who I had in two hours! My OB showed up around 8 and said I was at an 8. Then left and said to call her if I got to a ten and she would be back around probably before then. At that point I started to feel pain again. I didn't want to complain and it wasn't TERRIBLE. I tried to ignore it for a little while. It only got worse. Finally, when I was wincing and moaning through contractions, I told the nurse. They were surprised. The anesthesiologist came back in to administer another kind of pain killer via IV that was supposedly stronger than an epidural. It worked for about 15 min....sord of. At this point I am at a 9 and my epidural had completely worn off. I had been in pain for about an hour. Ob came back and confirmed I was almost complete but the baby's head was still VERY high. She prepared me an extremely long delivery. She said it could possibly be hours of pushing. I would have to push her head down into the birth canal. Back to the pain situation. They had to get the anes. to come back, again. We all know how long that takes. He said the catheter carrying the epdiural medicine had slipped. He would have to administer another epidural or, given that I was already at a 9, I could just bare it. With the potential of hours of pushing? NO. No freakin way. I sat up and through contractions at a nine, got a second epidural. About ten minutes later, another wave of sweet relief.
        My gi-normous ankles. This pic does not do it justice. I told Jason to put his ankle by mine for a frame of reference. I think my entire lower body had doubled in size, each leg felt like it weighed 200 lbs. It was really cute. About thirty min. after the epidural the OB told the nurses to prepare for delivery and to have me start pushing the head down into the canal. She would come in when the head was down and the baby was ready for delivery. After only two really long and hard pushes, Charlotte obediently descended into the birth canal. Hallelujah. Dr. Morgan-Gibbs came in to finish it off. I told her about my concern with ripping. She wanted to see if Charlotte would come out on her own along with the contractions. Sure enough, three contractions later, Charlotte came into the world. No ripping or tearing. I love you Dr. Morgan-Gibbs. They whisked Charlotte away to make sure she didn't swallow any meconium that was in the amniotic fluid with that first gasp of air. I hardly even saw her.

Slimy little worm. With lungs all cleaned out she had the sweetest, softest cry ever.

Check out that double chin! CHUBBA!!!!! So darling. She was so chubby in the face but just skinny every where else. The first things I noticed was that she had tons of light brown hair, a huge mouth, and tiny little swollen eyes that could hardly take it all in. She was so extremely alert right there in the delivery room. And above all, extremely content and peaceful. She was just looking around (as best she could with her swollen eyes) and taking in her surroundings.

Love at first sight. I thought I would maybe be a little angry or resistent because of the difficulty she had put me through. Hello! 24 hous of labor! How inconsiderate! :) But alas, all was forgiven. Haha. :) Thank goodness for such an easy delivery.

Jason taking her to the nursery for her first bath and weigh-in.

She weighed 7 lbs 4 oz and was 20 inches long. Perfect.

One of the sweetest things after having a baby is introducing your brand new angel to the other siblings. There is no experience quite like it. I am getting teary-eyed typing this now. These siblings have missed each other! They knew each other before and they have been patiently waiting for Charlotte's arrival! It was so apparent the immediate love and connection they had with her. They came right as they got out of school the day she was born. I could not wait. They could not wait. They each came in and with adoring eyes drank in her perfection. Lincoln could not stop talking about how cute she was. Ella loved her tiny "doll-like" size. they both wanted to name her Sarah. :) And Quincy (who I was especially concerned about) just wanted to stroke her tender little face and kiss her. He did try to curiously poke her eyes a few times too. They all embraced her immediately and welcomed her into the family. We are so lucky and blessed to have her sweet spirit in our family. She is angelic. Its so easy for me to forget what a special experience it is welcome one of Heavenly Father's very own into our home. I am so grateful for that reminder....a reminder of the important things in life: family.
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