Monday, April 22, 2013

Charlotte's Birth Story

Both babies are sleeping (yay!) so I thought I would take the time to put Charlotte's birth story down on 'paper'.

This is one for the records people.

Here goes:

I started having early labour contractions at about 2:30am on Monday morning (April 8th), they were not painful, just uncomfortable enough to keep me awake.  I hadn't really experience early labour with Harrison, and I knew it could last for hours if not days, so I really didn't think anything of it.

I guess I dozed off, because I was awoken around 4:00am by a very painful contraction.  I had downloaded a contraction timer the night before, so I started timing them.  This felt like the real thing, and I decided to wake Bobby after the next contraction - but I had to wait for the third strong contraction to finish.

I woke him up (he told me later that he was mad that I had woken him up - he forgot that I was even pregnant.  I guess that can happen...) told him I was in labour and that he should start calling people.  I then went to brush my teeth, I didn't want to offend our new baby with morning breath.

We had planned for a home birth so we knew we didn't have to go anywhere, it was just a matter of getting everybody here.

He texted my sister-in-law Nicole who was going to be our doula.  She didn't respond right away, so Bobby called her and told her I was in labour and to make her way over.  He then called my mom, this was around 4:20am.  The only part of their conversation I remember hearing was her telling Bobby to call the midwife right away.

Bobby paged the midwife  and when she called back he told her I was in labour and that the contractions were intense and close together.

Seriously, these contractions were so incredibly painful.  They were way worse than what I remember with Harrison.   I wasn't in as much of a 'zone' as I was when I was labouring with Harrison because there was no time to get into a rhythm.  I was trying to get through the contractions while keeping tabs on Bobby's phone calls.

Very shortly after Bobby got off the phone with my mom my water broke, and the next contraction after that, I had the urge to push.   Bobby, in a panic, called the midwife to tell her the new developments and find her ETA.  She was still about 15 minutes away, so she told Bobby she would call 911 and hopefully the paramedics would arrive before she did.  Thankfully, at this point, Bobby was able to shove some waterproof pads from our Homebirth kit underneath me, or else we would have needed a new mattress.

Knowing that Bobby and I were not prepared or qualified to bring this child into the world by ourselves, I was determined to slow things down till help came.

Well, my body had different plans.

The next contraction after my water broke, my body started bearing down and pushing - with absolutely no conscious help from me.  I started to feel a lot of pressure 'down there', and could feel something happening when I felt with my hand.  I still had my underwear on at that point so Bobby ran to the kitchen to get some scissors and took care of that little problem.

She was crowning, and it was still just the two of us.  Holy smokes.

With the next contraction, her head was out.  I remember reaching around to feel what was happening, and couldn't figure out what I was feeling.

I asked Bobby what I was feeling, and he yelled 'It's her face!!'

Again, still just the two of us.

At this point, Bobby realized that no one was going to make it here before the baby was born so he ran to wash his hands.

Bobby later told me that this point was the most terrifying for him.  With just her head out, he didn't know if she should be breathing or not.  Why would we ever need to know that!  That's what the midwife is for!  FYI - it is totally normal for a baby not to be breathing when just the head is out.

I don't remember Bobby saying a whole lot during this time, but after her head was out, I remember him saying/exclaiming "Dez, what do I do?! What do you want me to do?!"  He wasn't sure if he should be pulling her out or not, but I told him that we needed to wait for the next contraction.

With the next contraction, Bobby caught our daughter and handed her over to me.

The first photo of Charlotte taken by Amanda
Charlotte Grace C. was born at 4:45am on Monday April 8th, 2013, welcomed into this world by her amazing Daddy.  She weighed 7lbs 4oz, and was 20 inches long.

As soon as Bobby handed her over, I remember thinking 'Ok, she has to start crying'.  I rubbed her chest, and cleared out her nose, and after what seemed like forever (but was only about 30 seconds) she started crying, and it was the most beautiful and relieving sound ever.  She was ok!

Once she started crying, Bobby went to the front door to wait for someone, (anyone!) to arrive.

The first people to arrive were my best friend Amanda (who had agreed to take labour and birth pictures for me) and our friend Dave, who is a Doctor in Australia and just happened to be in town and staying with Amanda and her husband Matt just up the street from our house.  Bobby had called them about three minutes before Charlotte was born and told them to get down here!  Just in case something went wrong, it was nice to have Dave so close by!

Thankfully both myself and Charlotte were fine, so Dave didn't have to do anything (thank goodness, that could have been weird).

And then the onslaught of people arrived.  One minute we were all alone with our brand new baby girl, and then our bedroom was full of people!

The midwives arrived at the same time as the paramedics, and then shortly after that Nicole, my mom and step-dad arrived.

Charlotte's labour and delivery still boggles my mind when I think about it.  Under an hour people!  It's amazing what the body is capable of!  We are so thankful that everything went smoothly and there were no complications,  I know the possibility of things going wrong weighed really heavily on Bobby during the delivery.  God blessed us with a healthy baby girl who was eager to make her way into the world!

Adorable baby feet!
After the midwives checked everything over and cleaned things up, I was able to relax in my bed, in my own home, with my daughter.  I can't describe how nice it was to be at home in the comfort of our bedroom.

Even though this was not exactly how I envisioned my homebirth going, it ended up being an incredible experience.  One we will not soon forget.

Bobby went from not wanting (but being forced to be) in the delivery room with Harrison, to delivering his daughter.  He is still recovering.

Oh, and Harrison slept through the whole thing and didn't wake up until his usual time.  Sleeps like a rock, that kid.

When Harrison was up, and had his bottle, he got to meet his little sister.  He seemed slightly interested.

There was definitely a few attempts at poking her face.  Poor girl, just a taste of whats to come in the future, I'm sure.

Our first photos of our little family of four!

We are so happy that Charlotte is here now, and that we all survived her crazy quick birth.  

The midwives joked that if we decide to have a third baby, they will have to move in during my 38th week!


  1. Congratulations Desiree and family! Wish you guys all the best as you adjust to your newest addition, Charlotte.

  2. Congratulations, I laughed and wept reading your birth blog, surely God's hand is in this. Praise Him.

  3. Omg dez your amazing thanks for sharing this is an amazing story

  4. Loved this post Dez. I've heard (and told) this story so many times, but it doesn't compare to reading it here! Beautiful.

  5. Dez Congrads on both of your children. I started reading the post which Nicole posted. Then I saw pictures of you and I was like Wow. I didn't know you had a son let alone having another baby. What a touching story and a amazing team your husband and you make. God is amazing.

    Take care and God Bless
    Jane Bell

  6. What an amazing story, even though you told me in person, reading it here brought tears to my eyes! As a mother with weird birth stories I appreciate your open honesty. Thanks for sharing!!