And I mean all the details. If you are "faint of heart" you should just skip this post and know that everything turned out beautifully.
So, my last post before she was born just said that we were on our way to the hostpital. We got to the hospital about 6:30 p.m. I was having contractions all the way there about 4 minutes apart, but they really weren't painful. My cervix hadn't changed any since my appointment that morning, so the doctor gave instructions for me to walk around the hospital for two hours, returning to my room to be monitored every half hour. John and I did three half-hour walking tours of the third floor (my feet were killing me) and returned to be monitored for about ten minutes each time. The baby was doing great, but after the third round, there was a dip in her heartrate after one of the contractions. Normally, I don't think this would have been a big deal, but it happened with Mitchell and he ended up having a knot in his cord. So, John and I kind of got uptight.
The nurse checked me again, and I still hadn't made any progress. She put a call in to the doctor, who decided to go ahead and keep me there (they had been planning on sending me home if I didn't make any progress) because of the dip in the heartrate. We definitely felt like it was a two-edged sword. On one hand, we didn't want to see that dip because of what it could mean. On the other hand, we were glad to be going ahead with labor and delivery.
Meanwhile, the kids were with friends and my parents had flown in to town and picked them up. They took them home and put them to bed and we promised to keep them updated through the night.
They finally started the pitocin (to get the contractions going stronger and more regular) about 11:00 p.m. We started the epidural process about midnight, and by 1:30 I was feeling no pain at all. John got comfortable on the couch and promptly went to sleep. I slept a little on and off, but I was being checked pretty frequently.
At 2:00 a.m. I was at 4 cm.
At 3:00 a.m. I was at 5-6 cm.
At 4:15 a.m. I was 7 cm. and my water broke as the nurse was checking me.
At 5:00 a.m. I was complete and the nurse had me do a practice push. I didn't really put alot into it because I didn't want to deliver without my doctor there. So, the nurse counted to 10, then told me to take a deep breath and start pushing again. So this time, I "wrapped up around the baby" and put some effort into it. She said "One ... two ... okay you can stop pushing and I'll go call the doctor. You really moved the baby down with that."
The doctor arrived about 5:10 a.m and started "gowning up." They removed the bottom of the bed and put my calves in the supports. The doctor got into position and then started talking to John about our recent vacation. Then she looked at me and said, "Okay, well, here's the head if you want to give a little push."
So I started to push and she immediately said, "Okay, stop pushing." John looked down and said, "Wow, lots of hair, and she's face down!" (Babies are supposed to be born looking at the floor, but our last two have been born looking at the ceiling. I would have put money on this one being "sunny side up" as well.)
So then, she just slid out and there she was, all covered in vernix (since she was only 37 weeks) and pink and beautiful. She did have lots of dark hair and she was so tiny!!! John cut the cord right away.
They put her on my tummy and dried her off, then took her to the warmer to do the assessments and clean her up. Her 1-minute APGAR was 7, the 5-minute was 8. Meanwhile, the doctor was marvelling at the cord. Apparently, it was "hyper-coiled" meaning it was coiled more tightly than most cords. This can result in smaller babies as it inhibits their growth. The doctor commented about the large amount of blood in the amniotic fluid and, once the placenta was delivered, found a small tear on it. She called this a "possible partial abruption", which is pretty scary, since an abrupted placenta can be serious for both mom and baby.
At that point, my doctor said, "Let's just say I'm glad we went ahead and delivered this baby." Yikes!
John held her for a bit, then I held her for a few minutes, but she was working really hard to breathe, so we kissed her and sent her off to the nursery for a little assistance. She did great and we had her back in our room within four hours.
Charlotte is nursing great and we go to the pediatrician tomorrow to see how she's doing. She lost weight down to 5 pounds, 10 oz. by the time we were discharged, so hopefully she's gaining it back now. Tomorrow I'll try to post pictures of her with the siblings, who are completely enamored with her.