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Wednesday

Baby Charlotte's Birth Story

I was up in the wee hours of Wednesday, April 13th -- another night of very little sleep. I was 41 weeks pregnant (again...!) and my mind was racing. An idea crept into my mind that I just couldn't shake ... I wanted a date night. Bad. And soon. I told myself that when it was an acceptable hour that morning, I would reach out to a neighborhood sitter and see if we could get her to come over for a quick dinner date that evening. Something just told me not to put it off.

I also put out a request in our neighborhood moms group to borrow someone's trampoline that day and try to bounce the baby downward. :) Someone responded that we could use their backyard trampoline, and Camille and I spent some time bouncing that Wednesday morning!

Luckily, I was able to secure a sitter for that evening, and Ian and I ate at Bricktops -- the last nice place we ate before our first daughter Camille made her arrival. We ordered the deviled eggs again and I had a delicious mocktail with my meal. 


I went to bed that evening and woke up feeling rested but having a contraction (this had been the case for the past several evenings -- waking up to a mild contraction was nothing new). It just felt like my belly muscles were really tight, but it was painless. I took note of the time -- 2:15am -- and the next contraction came five minutes later. At that point, I opened the contraction timer app on my phone and noticed that the next one was also five minutes later, all lasting for about a minute long. Classic labor symptoms. I just knew that it was "it." After having a long, painful, pitocin-fueled induction with Camille, I was SO excited to go into labor on my own this time.

I snuck out of bed and headed to the den where I sat on the yoga ball, monitored contractions, and put in a call to my OB's office to tell them I thought I was in labor. The nurse I spoke to let me know that when I was panting and puffing through contractions, it was time to head in (I'm less than 10 minutes from the hospital).

Around 3am I called my mom and she climbed out of bed and hit the highway to drive up to our home. She lives about an hour and fifteen minutes away.

Right after 4am, Ian walked into the kitchen, looking very confused (I had decided to just let him sleep). He saw me setting out Camille's Cheerios and cereal bowl to make it a little easier on my mom, and he said, "Hey ... what's going on?" He seemed truly perplexed.

I said "Babe, we are going to have a baby today."

Not long after this, he drew a warm bath for me, and I spent about 30 minutes laboring in the warm water which felt really nice. Contractions were definitely starting to get uncomfortable.

Mom arrived at 5am, and by this time, I definitely could not talk through contractions. I was getting ready to head to the hospital -- applying some makeup and curling my hair, which my mom could not believe I was doing, but I knew we had a long day ahead and it was one small thing that made me feel "like me" and helped to get my mind off of the discomfort. It was a welcome distraction.

By the time I wrapped up getting ready, contractions were as close as two minutes apart (!!!) and I was getting through each one by bending over with my head and arms on the bed in silence or by kneeling on the cushion of the big chair in our room, facing the back of the chair. My mom was really concerned at the closeness of the contractions. Ian and I left the house and reached the hospital right around 6am.

The lady at the front hospital desk was asking me some questions, but I was having to be silent and let Ian answer for me whenever contractions would hit. We went to the elevator, were taken to triage, and filled out the appropriate paperwork.

When the nurse checked my progress, I was already 6cm dilated ... she said, "Girl, you have been doing some WORK!" Darn right.

At that point, I had to decide whether to get an epidural or not. Part of me thought -- you're already at 6cm - you can do this. And the other part of me won out. :) I so enjoyed my labor with Camille when I had an epidural, so I decided to repeat this with our second baby.

The anesthesiologist had me in a blissful state by -- I think? -- 7am. The nurses we had were fantastic.





They checked me again every hour or so, and I jumped from 6cm to 8cm to 9.5cm. By 10:30, they were bringing in my midwife and said we would start pushing soon. When it was go time, I pushed through the first contraction, then stopped when the contraction stopped. During this time, we could actually see the baby's head (I opted to use a mirror again for the delivery). During the second contraction, I pushed again and the baby's head came all the way down and then we had to pause -- the head stayed there, and that was the most uncomfortable moment. Luckily, the third contraction came not long afterwards ... I pushed, and the baby was here!

Ian was the one that told me, "It's a girl!"

Charlotte Smithwick was born at 10:45am and weighed 8lb, 3oz (Camille was 8.2) and was 20.25" long (same as Camille). Ian and I have always loved the name Charlotte, and it has special meaning to us since it's where we met. Smithwick is Ian's middle name and it is the last name of his paternal grandmother. We called her the next day, April 15th (her birthday), to let her know that Charlotte shared a name with her and she was nearly moved to tears. She said it was the best birthday gift she'd ever received.










We had some visitors during our two night stay in the hospital including my parents, my mother in law, my sister, and some girlfriends. 



Charlotte was snuggly from the start and just such a sweet baby. Nursing has been going really smoothly, and she and I passed all of our tests (including the glucose tests since I had gestational diabetes this pregnancy). 







She wore the same coming-home outfit that our first daughter did -- a pink gown and a white lace bonnet made with love by my mother.



And thus began our story as a family of four.

We love you so so much, Baby Charlotte.

28 comments:

  1. So I am somewhat of a post partum hormonal mess- but reading Charlotte's birth story brought tears to my eyes! I am so so happy you were able to experience the labor and delivery you were hoping for and that Charlotte and you are perfectly healthy!! Thank you for sharing such a precious, momentous event with us!

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  2. So sweet! I absolutely love reading other people's birth stories and yours was a treasure! My own Charlotte is 16 months old and your writing brought back so many wonderful memories of her birth. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Birth stories give me goosebumps- what a great one! I hear ya about that epidural decision- I made it at 9 cm and still said sorry, gotta have it! hah But it sounds like the same as for me, it allowed you to have the beautiful welcoming party for Charlotte that you wanted! I'm so happy you were able to have such a great experience. Charlotte is just precious.

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  4. I love this story!!! You are a beautiful mother inside & out! I can't wait to see baby Charlotte grow up along side baby Winn!

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  5. Beautifully written and lovely family addition!

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  6. She's so beautiful! Well done, Mama!!

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  7. Goosebumps and tears myself when you share her middle name and calling your husband's grandmother. Such a beautifully written birth story. Congratulations to you and your beautiful family!

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  8. What a beautiful story and a never more beautiful little girl! Congrats!

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  9. Loved reading Charlotte's birth story! She looks so much like Camille and is beautiful. Also, I'm glad your story didn't have to include Walmart ;)

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  10. This made me tear up! Such a beautiful story- congratulations on another beautiful baby girl!

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  11. What a beautiful story!! Sounds like the perfect birth! Charlotte is beautiful and looks just like Camille! Enjoy this special time :)

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  12. Such a sweet story! So happy for you and your family. Charlotte is so beautiful!

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  13. Such a beautiful story! She is such a precious little thing! So thankful for y'all!

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  14. Such beautiful photos and memories! So happy for your family!

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  15. Yay so glad she is here and everything went smoothly!

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  16. Beautiful!! I just love your writing style. Thank you for sharing!

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  17. Congratulations! She is so precious and she looks so much like Camille!

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  18. Such a beautiful story and an even more beautiful girl! And girl - I cannot believe that you only had to push through three contractions!!!! You lucky thing!

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  19. Wow, you did amazing, girl! Only three pushes, that is awesome. You sure have a beautiful baby girl & I love her name. :)

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  20. Wow! What a special story! Thank you for sharing! Congratulations on your new, precious bundle of joy!

    P.S. I used your wedding regisrty advice that you sent me! Thank you!!!

    -Ami
    www.becomingthebehars.com

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  21. glad it went so well! She's adorable.

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  22. congratulations! she is beautiful! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  23. This is so very sweet and beautiful! I especially love the picture of you with her immediately after she was born. SUCH an amazing moment in motherhood. Congratulations!!!

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  24. Sooo sweet!! Looking like a model while in labor... I am not surprised! Xoxoxo

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  25. Aww I love it!! I hope & pray my next pregnancy delivery goes similar to yours! I too had a long, pesto coin induced labor which made recovery much harder. So happy for y'all!! Charlotte is beautiful!!

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