I promised myself that when Baby Charlotte arrived I would get back to blogging regularly so as to document life's happenings as a mother of two. She's 5 days old and currently enjoying a milk coma, so I thought I would take advantage of the time to write about quite possibly one of the most terrifying and downright crazy nights of my life.
October 14, 2012
With our scheduled induction to take place Monday morning, Luke and I enjoyed a weekend of time with his family and a dinner date to Johnny Carino's. We visited a pumpkin patch with all the kids and took in the beautiful fall weather. We watched Notre Dame win and the Colts lose (a pretty normal combo this football season), and we tried to soak up as much time with our sweet Noelle as we could. We knew we were down to the final hours of being a family of 3, which was part exciting and part sad.
I wasn't feeling great on Sunday morning, partly because I was up from about 1-4 a.m. feeling a lot of back pain and pressure. Charlotte was very active and agitated, which prevented me from sleeping and causing me to question every little move of hers. I was finally able to get myself relaxed enough to sleep, but the restlessness took its toll on me and left me at home while Luke took Noelle to church with the family. It took me a few hours that morning to get up and moving, feeling sore and achey and more than a little whiney.
I managed to find enough energy to go out to Luke's parents' house for a bit. After a few hours, we were all exhausted and ready to settle in for our last night as just the three of us. We stopped to pick up a quick dinner at Noodles and Company and made our way back to our house.
It was about 6:30 p.m. and my tailbone was really hurting, so I decided to take a hot shower and see if I felt better. An hour later, I was already in bed and trying to kill the pain with a hot rice bag. After laying down for a while, I started to notice a little pattern in the spasms I was feeling in my low back. It did seem that they had a certain rhythmic timing-- starting around 6 minutes a part.
I had downloaded a contraction timer app on my phone a couple months back when I started having Braxton Hicks contractions all the time. What I was feeling on Sunday night were nothing that I recognized as contractions. After all, I have experienced true labor contractions before and would certainly know them when I felt them...right? Well, I was amused by the pattern of this back pain, so I started to log the waves of spasms in the contraction timer. By about 8:15, these "spasms" were getting stronger and coming about every 90 seconds to 2 minutes.
Then it hit me.
I was in labor.
Luke would come in to check on me and I would be just a little more uncomfortable each time. Finally, he walked in on me rocking back and forth on all fours on the ground, and he knew it, too.
Panic hit me pretty hard as I realized that we needed to leave for the hospital immediately if we had any chance of having the baby in Indy. Luke's mom was due to arrive at our house to stay the night so we could leave for our induction the next morning, but she wasn't there yet and Noelle was fast asleep. As we were frantically throwing last minute necessities into travel bags and exchanging wide-eyed and panicky looks with each other, the pain began to get so intense that my main emotion at that point was fear. Fear that we wouldn't make it to Indy. Fear that we wouldn't even make it to Ball. Fear that I was going to have this baby in my own house.
I made a call to my mom and dad at 9:00 and told them to get to our house now because it was time. In the 5-8 minutes it took for them to arrive, we loaded the car and went back and forth with "Are we going to Indy or do we need to go to Ball?" As the pain and INTENSE pressure worsened with every minute, I told Luke we had to go to Ball. My parents arrived and we exchanged very few words. We simply got in the car and drove to Ball...the place I was avoiding throughout my entire pregnancy. I wasn't avoiding it for any reason other than the fact that I didn't want to be put in the vulnerable position of giving birth in front of any of Luke's colleagues or directors or anyone else he knew. Not to mention we really wanted our original OB to deliver Charlotte. That, and the fact that Community North is basically a luxury hotel and nothing compares aesthetically.
However, none of that mattered in the 5 minute ride to the hospital as I turned into your standard screaming, laboring pregnant lady. I remember screaming in pain, yelling things like "I'm scared" and "Help me" and "We aren't going to make it." I know this sounds dramatic and silly, but to be honest, these were my truest feelings at the time. I can't even put into words how incredibly scared I was.
Luke called ahead to the labor and delivery floor to tell them we were coming and to be waiting for us with a wheelchair. We pulled into the circle drive of the emergency room entrance and two nurses and one of Luke's fellow residents were there with a chair waiting to transport me to the 4th floor.
They knew the urgency and literally sprinted me through hallways and to the elevator as fast as they could, asking me various items of information along the way...my social security number, my blood type, my allergies. People waiting to be seen in the ER stared as they raced me past, and I had never been more relieved to see the elevator.
We made our way to the floor and they took me to the room. I didn't even know that Luke hadn't been with us. He was parking the car and doing his own race through the halls to get to me in time, hurdling a few chairs along the way. Thankfully, he came in behind us and was able to be there for the birth of our baby girl, which happened approximately 5 minutes after.
More panic hit me as I realized that there would be no chance for an epidural and I would be doing this the old fashioned way. I remember saying how I couldn't do it and I remember everyone saying that I could. I did do it...a true testament to the fact that you will do what you have to do in the moment to get the job done.
It hurt. Not gonna lie.
About three good, hard pushes was all it took to give life to my second daughter-- a far cry from the four hours of seemingly endless pushing with Noelle. From start to finish, 25 minutes was it...from the 9:00 phone call to my parents to the 9:25 delivery. I don't think we even left our house until 9:10 and didn't arrive at the hospital until 9:15. I can't decide if those were the longest 25 minutes or the shortest 25 minutes of my life-- probably a little bit of both.
Waves of shock hit us both as we looked at each other in disbelief. "Did that really happen?" I managed to say multiple times, along with "It wasn't supposed to be like this." And it wasn't supposed to be like that. She was supposed to be born the next day. We were supposed to have her in Indy. She was supposed to have been delivered by Dr. Ertel. I was supposed to have an epidural for the love of God. However, for as much that went "wrong" or not according to plan that evening, so much went right.
Charlotte didn't have to spend any time in the NICU (unlike Noelle), which meant that I got the moment I always wanted to have-- they put her on my stomach seconds after her birth, and Luke got to cut her cord. She was never taken out of our room following the delivery, and we bonded with her right away. These things were luxuries to us-- things we didn't get to do the first time.
I am so incredibly thankful for those two nurses and Dr. Anderson who were there to help us that night. I am thankful that we didn't try to head to Indianapolis only to have our baby on the side of I-69. I am of course so thankful for Luke who was always calm and never showed any fear if he had any.
And tonight, I'm thanking God for another beautiful baby girl who will no doubt have a life full of adventure and spirit given her entrance into the world.
Charlotte Scout, we love you and your sister so much.
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