She’s Here!

Dear readers, allow me to introduce you to Charlotte Marie Mount, born at 3:40 a.m. on March 4, 2011:

She weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and is 19 inches long, and she is practically perfect in every way. 🙂  Here’s how she came into the world (caution: lengthy and detailed birth story ahead):

I woke up with contractions around 2:00 a.m. on Thursday morning, started timing them around 3:15, and by 8:00 a.m. that morning I decided we should go to the hospital because I just knew I was more dilated than I had been the day before at my doctor’s appointment.  Turns out I was only 3.5 cm at that point, so they had me walk around the labor and delivery floor for an hour to see if I would progress  any more.  However, when the nurse checked me again, she pronounced me at “not quite” 4 cm.  She said they could give me Pitocin to try and get things progressing more but since I wanted to try for a natural birth, the Pitocin would only make that more difficult, and I agreed, so home we went.  I was really disappointed and also felt very foolish for going and then not being far enough along to be admitted.  I prepared myself for the fact that I still had a few more days of pregnancy left and hoped the contractions would subside enough for me to be able to take a nap because I was exhausted.

However, the contractions did not subside but continued for the rest of the day, becoming more intense and more frequent.  I tried to sleep but was unable to sleep through the contractions.  I took two hot baths, walked laps around the backyard with Stephen, and tried my best to use the breathing techniques we’d been practicing. Finally around 6:30 or 7 p.m., I talked to my mom, and she said I should go back to the hospital.  I was nervous to go because I didn’t want to be sent home again, but I knew I couldn’t stay at home forever with the way things were going.  We drove back to the hospital, and while we waited in the lobby of admitting for someone from labor and delivery to take me up to that floor, I had four contractions.  I was beginning to feel very worn down and emotional and hoped that I had made enough progress to be admitted.  And when the nurse checked me, she said I was now at 5 cm (after having contractions ALL DAY–good grief!).  I asked if I was going to be admitted, and she laughed and said, “Oh yes, honey, we don’t let people leave at 5 cm.  You are going to have this baby!”  I called my mom back to tell them I was going to be admitted and that she and my dad should come, but she told me she was already almost to Jackson!  She had left after we had talked because she “couldn’t take it anymore” (her words).  I was hooked up to the external fetal monitor and ultrasound that measured my contractions.  At this point Stephen and I just were thinking, “We’re going to meet our baby tonight!”  It was exciting and overwhelming all at once.

Within the next two hours, I went from 5 to 6.5, then 7.5 cm a little while after that. It seemed like the contractions were coming every minute, even though I know they weren’t quite that close.  I remember saying more than once, “I can’t do this anymore,” and I would think for a minute that I was nuts for wanting to do this naturally, but somehow I kept going.  Philippians 4:13 (“I can do all things through Christ”) was ever in the back of my mind.  I spent a lot of time standing beside the bed, gripping the handrail because that made the contractions much more bearable than just lying in bed.  I also had really incredible, uncontrollable tremors in my legs and arms, and standing helped me feel more in control of those as well.  When I had a contraction, Stephen would come and put pressure on my back, and when I would start to moan and feel overcome by the pain, he would remind me to breathe, and I would, and it really did help. Stephen was such a great labor coach; I could not have stayed as calm and focused if he had not been there. 

When the nurse came and checked me (I don’t know exactly when, but it was definitely after midnight) and said I was 9 cm, I was overjoyed because I knew that the end was in sight.  However, going from 9-10 cm seemed to take FOREVER, and I began to wonder if this baby was every coming out!  Finally, around 2:15 the nurse (who was absolutely fantastic through the whole process) said that it was time to push, and I was so relieved!  I would get to see Charlotte soon!

This sounds stupid in hindsight, but I had NO IDEA how hard pushing would be.  I had spent so much time thinking about how to get through the contractions that I didn’t fully appreciate how difficult pushing is.  I ended up having to push for about an hour and a half, and even though I felt like I pushed with all I had each time, Charlotte still wouldn’t come out.  Each time the nurse would say, “She’s so close, she’s almost here,” and then I would finish pushing and there’d be no baby.  I remember saying to her at one point, “You keep saying she’s almost here, so where is she?!”  I was closest to completely losing it when I was pushing, saying many times, “I can’t do this anymore,” but at that point I didn’t exactly have a choice.  I had to keep going.  My mom and Stephen were SUCH huge helps at this point because they supported my legs and kept encouraging me.  I am so thankful they were there with me.

Eventually the doctor came in, and then things sped up:  I ended up screaming at some point; the pushing seemed even harder; and then the doctor ended up having to use the suction to get Charlotte out because she was face up and wouldn’t turn.  The doctor used the suction several times while I pushed, and then finally, after being in labor for 25.5 hours, she was born at 3:40 a.m.!  I cannot describe how I felt at that moment.  I couldn’t believe it was over and that my daughter, for whom we’d been waiting and praying, was finally here.  I wasn’t able to hold her for twenty minutes because she passed a lot of meconium during labor and delivery, and the Special Care team had to come in and clean her up, but when I finally held her in my arms, everything else melted away but that sweet little face.

And now your reward for reading this entire post–a few more pictures:

Call me biased, but she is one beautiful baby girl. 🙂 

I will try and update when I can, but since Charlotte doesn’t like sleeping at night or unless she’s being held, we’re low on sleep right now (and if you have any tips for either of these dilemmas, please share).  I hope you all are doing well! 

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25 thoughts on “She’s Here!

  1. AWww, she's beautiful mama!!! Troy had meconium in his lungs too (10CC's to be exact), so I couldn't hold him for about 20 minutes either. Hearing his cry was the most beautiful thing ever. What worked and still works, for Troy and sleeping w/out being held is the swing. He has a hard time in the crib (maybe he likes to be up right?) but that has worked wonders for us. We put it on the highest speed too. Good luck and welcome to mommyhood!

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  2. Don't let her sleep all day, only 3 hours at a time, so she doesn't get her nights and days mixed up. She needs lots of comfort, b/c it's a big, scary world for her. And she needs to be comforted a lot.

    The Baby Whisperer helped us cope with all those sleep issues. And now Nyla can go to sleep on her own, a big thing we wanted from her. My suggestion, get that book, if you don't have it already. It saved our sanity!!!

    Erin, she's gorgeous. And bravo for going natural, wow! I love all that dark hair. I hope you enjoy every minute with her!

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  3. Oh Erin! I enjoyed every minute of reading your birth story! Birth is such an AMAZING thing!! You are seriously my labor and deliver hero 🙂 And how sweet that Stephen was such an awesome support!! Enjoy every minute of these next 2 weeks, she will change SO FAST!!! As far as advice…just give her some time…she is just trying to adjust to a COMPLETELY different “atmosphere”…she will even out in a week or so….and get herself on a consistent schedule….her world has been turned around as much as yours…but I do also recommend the Baby Whisperer book….it was a great read…but just remember…all methods don't work for every baby, so don't stress over it. PS: I absolutely HIGHLY recommend the Miracle Blanket! She might be a little small right now, but in a few pounds or so it will become a moms BEST FRIEND!!!

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  4. Great story! I went natural as well and relate to several parts of your story. Ecspecially hanging onto the bedrail as tight as I possibly could hoping it would some how relieve the pain. Charolette is beautful! And someone already mentioned this but the Baby Whisper is a good book and not letting her sleep all day is key in them sleeping all night. wake her up to eat after three hours. hope your enjoying these days with you sweet little one!! -stacy preston

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  5. Wow, you went natural? Much respect. Ouch.

    She's gorgeous! Congrats to you guys!

    (As for the sleeping, we held Cooper while he slept for months; he just didn't want to sleep in the bassinet. Eventually we found out that he would sleep in his car seat for longer periods. Did that until he was six months!)

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  6. So glad to hear of your natural and smooth birth. Kudos to you for waiting until C was ready to be born and following her natural birth timeline.

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  7. Yeah, I don't think she's ever slept more than 3 hours; I feed her every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. For whatever reason she just seems more alert at night after a feeding and doesn't want to go right to sleep, especially in her crib.

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  8. She is absolutely perfect, Erin! Congratulations! Great job on going natural! It is such an amazing feeling, isn't it? To be able to look back and see what you've done! I felt the exact same way about pushing with my first. I pushed for an hour and kept thinking, “Why do they say he's almost here every time?? Where IS he?!” It was exhausting, but so so worth it.

    I hope you are able to enjoy these sleep-deprived days. The thing that helped me the most with a newborn was making sure he got a full tummy at each feeding, and then not letting him go longer than 3 hours between daytime feedings. But really, the most helpful thing was talking to other moms and getting advice. If you ever just need to talk out the new baby confusion, please call or FB me! You are not alone! And you are going to do great!! 🙂

    Hannah Svebakken

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  9. She is so beautiful!! I would definitely like to know more about the natural birth process; I've been thinking about going that route but I haven't decided yet.

    Congratulations mama!

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  10. I'll throw in my $0.02 of advice. With Nyla, she would be up for a while at night the first few days. Finally, at about the 4th or 5th day, we made sure during the day our windows were open so that she was exposed to some natural light. Basically, we were helping her figure out what was day and what was night. That seemed to her sleeping patterns quickly.

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  11. Congrats, she is absolutely beautiful. You are really blessed! Now the real fun can begin. I feel like I'm learning so much through your experiences and observations.

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  12. Erin, I seriously teared up reading this. It brought back a lot of memories for me. I am so happy for you that you made it through naturally. You are awesome and should be so proud! I tried and failed, in part because I had back labor. But I know better know how to prepare for next time, God willing there is one. I hope everything is still wonderful (I'm sure it is)! I hope she's a good eater, too:) but I know that can be exhausting sometimes in those early days. Just hang in there and sleep when you can!

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  13. Beautiful family! Congratulations! God is amazing! About the sleep–we ended up letting our newby sleep in his boppy between us during the night for a few weeks–I think he got chilly alone in his crib. THen we slowly moved him into his crib with the boppy, then eventually he was able to sleep without the boppy.
    You will be a great momma! The first six weeks are sleepless and hard, but you can do it!

    She's beautiful!

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  14. congratulations! charlotte is so beautiful erin!!! i know you are so happy to have her here! that is awesome that you had her naturally! did you have a midwife or a dula? a lot of people up here get those. i would love to hear your thoughts on natural birth since you've been through it!

    blessings to you and your sweet family!

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  15. Awe… This brought tears to my eyes.. Scarlett-Marie Sue was born on the 17th, and I ended up having an emergency c-section.. I remember pushing for what seemed like forever, aka 30 minutes.. and all too much of it is a blur.. Leaves me a little jealous that you recollect so much from your day!
    It is so weird sitting here thinking about that day… My water broke at 6:20 AM, at the hospital by 8:13 AM.. 3 almost 4 cms, SECOND epidural at 2:50 and c-section at 3:08 PM… I only know all this 'cause my cell phone was in hand and I was typing it. LoL. Between 10 AM and 2:50 PM I was in so much pain I didn't have anything written..

    I am excited to catch up on your blogs!
    <3 (I'm Jordan from wte!)

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