1. Charlotte was breech
2. I had a version preformed to flip her
3. She flipped back
When I last left off, I was waiting on our planned c-section. I had a list of things to do and by the Thursday before her Saturday arrival, nearly everything was finished. All of our school work for the semester was complete and all of the laundry in my house was washed, folded, and put away. The only major family thing I had left to do was packing. I never got around to packing.
Thursday afternoon I noticed I was having about 4 contractions an hour. I paid no attention to these because in my previous pregnancies, I had weeks and weeks of contractions prior to actual labor. This pregnancy, I had NO "practice" contractions. I just assumed it was because she was breech and so there was nothing to get ready for. My cervix was also closed at every appointment in the last weeks which is also not normal for me. I normally am between 3-4 cm before I go into labor. So back to the few contractions, I just assumed these where the ones I had been without for the last 6 weeks.
I started cooking dinner on Thursday night and got about halfway through cooking when I felt the first painful and long contraction. It was at 5:15. From that point on, they were coming every 2-3 mins without stopping and lasting over a minute. They went from 0-60 immediately. I couldn't finish making dinner so I really have no idea what the kids ate that night. Rick walked in the door at 6 and I asked him to take Kate to dance and take all of the other kids with him. He asked if it was "time" and I said, "No, I just need to try and make them stop." I had 2 times with Luke where I had similar contractions prior to labor that lasted 2 hours and then stopped. I was assuming that's what was going on here. So from 5:15-9:15, I walked around my house, laid down in my bed, took 2 baths, but nothing was stopping them. It was the same pattern, 2-3 mins apart and lasting from 1-2 mins. I wasn't getting any relief or downtime in between contractions. At some point during this 4 hour period, Rick picked Kate up from dance, printed and folded the bulletins for Sunday, and took them to the church.
I told myself if they were still going at 9:15 that I would call my doctor. My doctor told me to come on in and get checked out and that they would probably keep me overnight to monitor me and decide what to do early Friday morning. I still wasn't sure if I was in labor or not and really didn't want to go and then get sent home so I was relieved that they were going to keep me and that Charlotte would probably be born the next day when my doctor was on call. (He delivered all 7 of our other kids.)
I texted my sister to come stay with the kids and started packing my bags. I always wondered why people packed their hospital bags early. I thought you would have plenty of time in between contractions to get what you needed. Haha! I ended up at the hospital with 6 shirts and 1 pair of shorts. :) I guess I really was in pain.
The ride to the hospital was horrible. Every bump magnified the pain. The contractions didn't slow down and that was when I finally realized that I was actually in labor. It took us about 45 minutes to get to the hospital. I think we arrived around 11:00pm and I was taken to triage to get things checked out. I had never actually been to triage so that was something new. They monitored me for an hour and I had to lay on my back that entire time. That was horrible. I'm pretty sure you are not meant to lay on your back without pain relief during labor. :) They also did an ultrasound to check her position and she was in fact, still breech.
Around 12:20am, Friday morning, the doctor on call came in said it was time for Charlotte to be born and that we couldn't wait any longer. My contractions were not stopping and my cervix was opening. From that point on, everything moved quickly and slowly at the same time. The anesthesiologist came in and said I would be getting a spinal because they couldn't wait for an epidural to work. He told me all of the side effects but I'm not really sure what he said. I had to sign about 20 pages of release forms and they I was wheeled off to the operating room while Rick waited in triage to be called back.
I remember the operating room being very, very bright and there were a lot of people in there - I think 10. I'm used to the quiet dark delivery rooms with just one nurse and the doctor so this was a change. I moved from the triage bed to the operating table and was given my spinal. I do remember the anesthesiologist saying that if the spinal didn't take for some reason that they would immediately knock me out and that when I would wake up I'd have a baby. I was hoping that didn't happen. He poked my arm with some kind of sharp object and then would poke on my stomach to make sure I didn't feel anything. The first 2 times he did it I felt it but by the third time, I couldn't feel anything. At that point Rick was let in the room and they began. They had been prepping and draping me during this time as well. Charlotte was born at 12:50 am. She was born toward the beginning of the surgery and it seemed that the bulk of the time was spent getting stitched back together.
She was immediately shown to me over my drape and then taken to get cleaned up a bit. About 2 minutes later she was brought over to me and placed on my chest and I held her for about 5 mins. She was then taken away (in the same room again) to be weighed, etc and Rick went with her. She was then brought back to me all bundled me for a few kisses and then Rick was able to carry her to the recovery room to wait for me. I was in the recovery room for 2 hours and during that time my parents came up to see her. I was able to nurse her which was great. I was also given a pump for my pain medication. The nurse sacred me because she told me to push the button every 8 mins and to stay on top of the pain. She warned me not to fall asleep because if I did and then woke up an hour later, I would not be able to handle the amount of pain I would be in. It was 2:00 in the morning and I was drugged up on morphine and she was telling me not to fall asleep! I guess it worked because I didn't sleep until later that morning, after the pump was turned off. :)
I was in love with her from the moment I saw her. My main concern with having a c-section, prior to having it, was that I would somehow feel like I missed out on the birthing process. I never felt that way. I carried her for 9 months and she arrived in the safest way possible for both of us. It was perfect. The only thing I was sad about was that my doctor missed delivering her by 5 hours. However, that was the Lord's will too. He was on call all weekend so he checked on me everyday while I was in the hospital. C-section recovery is painful. That's all I want to say about that. I just want to remember the hours and minutes before, during, and after her birth. I am thankful for every moment of it.