Our Sweet Charlotte’s Birth Story
Last Wednesday was just like any other Wednesday. We got up early to get Cam off to her school. No issues with drop off. I headed home to take a relaxing bubble bath and nap for a few hours before picking her up again. I was feeling a few contractions but they were irregular. No problems taking a nap. When I got back to her school to pick her up she saw me and immediately grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. She wanted me to carry her and kept her head on my shoulder the whole time. Her teachers said she had a great day and one of the teachers warned me that Cameron’s attached behavior could mean the baby is on the way. I giggled at the thought. The entire rest of the day Cameron was attached to me and whiney. When it came time for bed she fought us- this was the first time it had ever happened in her “new” big girl bed. We didn’t think much of it and brought her back downstairs to lie on the couch with us while we watched the season premier of our favorite show, Modern Family. Cam fell asleep next to me. Brian snapped some pictures of us. Little did we know these were my final “pregnant” pictures.
The next day, Thursday, I was scheduled to work. Cameron and I hung out at home for much of the day except for a short trip to the store. Brian called several times to check in and make sure a baby wasn’t on the way. I felt confident that even though I was supposedly 3-4 cm that I had at least another week. My contractions when I had them gave a little more discomfort but they were so irregular and inconsistent that I thought nothing of them. Brian came home and I headed to work. Our usual routine on these nights.
When I got to work I saw that our unit was very busy. I was assigned to a labor patient who was nearing delivery. I introduced myself to her and after talking for a few minutes found out that their first born, a girl, was born only 10 days after Cameron at the same hospital. And they were here now having their second. Wouldn’t it be funny, I thought, if I delivered in the next few days too. Her delivery was very intense and strenuous. I was responsible for helping her with a lot of positions changes to facilitate descent of the baby. I held her legs and pushed with her for nearly an hour. Finally, her 9 lb 13 ounce baby boy was born. After delivery, I noticed while walking out of the room to get some things that I was a bit uncomfortable. I had some back pain and some cramping. I couldn’t walk very fast either. I didn’t think much of it and kept going.
The discomfort didn’t stop and soon I was able to feel the cramping turn to contractions. Though they were not real intense, they were starting to occur more frequently. I also noticed that I wasn’t able to think quickly. My brain felt distracted. I was having trouble focusing on my job. After I recovered this patient and helped her over to the post-partum unit I decided I would have a friend check me to see if my cervix had changed from the 3-4 cm I was on Tuesday. Her eyes said it all when she looked at me after checking. Then she said, “Uhh Becca, you’re more like 4-5 cm, well no, I’d say 5.5 cm now and the baby’s head is really low.” My heart started pounding. Oh gosh, is it happening? Is this labor? I’m a labor and delivery nurse. I’m supposed to know what labor feels like but this didn’t feel like it. I was uncomfortable but I wasn’t dying. This was around 10pm. I decided I would keep working and start walking and see how things progressed. If the pain and contractions stopped I would just go home when I was scheduled to get off, at 1 am.
Well the contractions didn’t stop. They just got more intense. And more regular. They still weren’t so bad that I couldn’t work but I could tell something was changing. About 20 minutes before I was scheduled to get off work, I decided I would do a non-stress test on Charlotte and see how close my contractions were. Charlotte looked great as usual and the contractions were 5 minutes apart. I wasn’t impressed. I had a feeling that if I let them admit me to the hospital that the contractions would just stop, I would be given sleeping aids and would be induced in the morning by my doctor. Not something I wanted to do. So since they were 5 minutes apart, I decided I would leave and come back when they got more painful and closer together. On my way to grab my bags and leave, another nurse friend suggested that I at least be checked again to see if my cervix had changed in the last 3 hrs. I figured it couldn’t hurt. She checked me and said, “Becca I don’t think you are going anywhere tonight. You’re having a baby!” I was 6-6.5 cm dilated at this point. “Are you sure?” I said. “I am not hurting like I should at 6 cm and my contractions are not very close together.” Then I began to look at the situation from another perspective. Ok so here I was, starting at 4 cm and now at least 6 cm, second baby, in early labor. If early labor has me at 6 cm, what will active labor put me at? Will I make it to the hospital in time? Will I miss my opportunity for an epidural? Will I be delivering my own baby??? All normal fears I know but enough to convince me that staying was the best choice. I clocked out and started walking some more. I climbed the stairs over and over hoping to help my labor along without having to receive medication to do so. Finally around 2:30 am I felt tired and decided I would shower and admit myself to my room. One of my best friends, Dusky, was my nurse and had everything all ready for me. After a nice warm shower she placed the monitors on me and then checked me. I was still 6-6.5 cm but now contracting every 2-4 minutes. The pain was increasing too. She called the doctor and he ordered an epidural for me and then pitocin to speed the process along. At this point, I was okay with that. I was comfortable, with my night shift nurses. The baby was safe. I was safe. And I was going to get an epidural. The thought of missing out on that made me shudder.
I called Brian and he began to get things together to come up to the hospital. He called our moms and let them know the situation. Both wanted to wait until things got closer so Brian got Cameron out of bed and headed up to the hospital with her. Poor sweet tired baby girl arrived and was so confused. She was very happy to see me but had no idea what I was doing in that bed, with an IV, and why she was up there in the middle of the night.
Soon after they arrived the anesthesiologist came in to place my epidural.
The best part of the epidural was that my favorite anesthesiologist was on call that night. Her epidurals are nearly always successful and she is fast. Brian and Cameron went for a walk during the procedure. When they came back she was finished and I felt great. She got it first try and it started working soon after. Dusky positioned me in bed to help Charlotte turn (she was face up at this point) and we put Cameron next to me in an attempt to help her relax and go to sleep.
Cam & me. She wasn’t in the mood for pictures. Poor sleepy girl.
Snuggling Cam in the last few hours that she’s our only child.
By this time, it was probably 4 am. The pitocin was infusing, the epidural in place, contractions booming away. I was quite comfortable and tried to get a few minutes of rest. Not much time went by before my parents and Brian’s mom arrived. They stayed in the room and visited for a while. Cameron enjoyed having them there and we saw a burst of energy and knew this would mean a crash for her later. Dusky mentioned that the doctor called saying he was on his way and would break my water. When he arrived and they checked me, my cervix had thinned out and the baby had come down even more but I still wasn’t much more dilated than 6-7 cm. He kicked my family out, ruptured membranes and stated he expected to see significant change in the next 90 minutes. If not, he warned, it could mean I have stalled and would require a cesarean section. While I didn’t appreciate the threat he made, I knew it would never come to that. I could feel in my gut that Charlotte’s birth was right around the corner. It was just before 6 am that he broke my water. I told Charlotte to hurry up so I could deliver on the night shift with my friends. Like the good little girl she is, she did just that. In just minutes after he broke my water I felt pressure. Each contraction brought a little more though no pain (a sign of a great epidural). Only minutes later I felt the urge to push. Dusky checked me and I was completely dilated and the baby was so low that she could almost see hair. Every contraction brought more of an urge to push. She quickly had the rest of the nurses contact my doctor with the update. They weren’t able to reach him initially but kept trying. I wasn’t worried. I knew if needed, my co-workers could deliver her safely. They were finally able to reach him and he said he was on his way. Not sure where he was but I guess we caught him off guard with changing so quickly. He arrived and they prepped me for delivery. By this time, the urge to push was almost unbearable. I was so glad I didn’t have to feel the pain associated with it.
Pushing didn’t take long. Just about 5 pushes and they were saying, “Here’s her head!”
Just 1 minute before Charlotte’s birth. We were having a great time. She was almost here! I was telling Brian, “Get the camera she’s almost here!” Poor guy he looked stunned. This happened a lot faster than it did last time. We caught him off guard.
And just a minute later, at 6:31 am, Charlotte Hanna Edge made her way into the world. And she instantly cried. What a beautiful sound. I got to meet the baby I’ve bonded with inside me over the last 9 months. She was immediately placed on my chest. One word for this feeling. Love.
After a few minutes with me they took her to the warmer to dry her off more and weigh her. She was 7 lbs 8 ounces. Though she didn’t look or feel that big. And interestingly enough, the nursery believes that the L&D scale is off because later that night she was 7 lbs 1 ounce on their scale and they said there’s no way she lost that much in less than 12 hrs. So her actual birth weight, we’re not sure about but it’s likely somewhere between 7 lbs 1 ounce and 7 lbs 8 ounces.
Her Apgar score was 9 at 1 minute and 10 at 5 minutes. This is just about as good as it gets. She immediately latched on for breastfeeding and has done amazing well since then. She’s such an amazing little girl.
She really looked a lot like Cameron at birth. Since then she has changed a bit and has her own little features but there’s no denying these two really resemble each other.
Her birth was so special and so wonderful. I could not have prayed for a better experience or a better outcome. We are so thankful that our little one arrived safely.
And this is the story about how she came to us. Next post will be about her meeting with big sister. 🙂
Our Newest Little Angel.
Charlotte Hanna Edge
So where did we get her name?
When Brian & I found out we were expecting another girl, we knew we would have difficulty naming her. We talked for several weeks about it and decided that we wanted to do something special for her. We wanted to name her in honor of two very special women in our lives. Brian’s grandmother, Charlotte, and my grandmother, Virginia, are two women that we have always loved, admired and respected. These women have been solid figures in our lives since before we were even conceived. They have each been what you would always imagine a perfect grandmother would be. They have provided constant love, support, happiness and comfort. I know that my life would be very different had my grandmother (and grandfather) not been around. And I know Brian feels the same about his. Since we have been married, our grandparents have remained steady figures in our lives. Both Brian’s grandparents and my grandparents were married in 1949. After 61 years of marriage, both couples are still very happy and very much in love. They are amazing parents, amazing grandparents and even more amazing great-grandparents. Cameron knows them very well and adores them.
So, with that said, our goal in naming our second daughter was honoring these two women. So how did we choose to do this?
We chose Charlotte as her first name after his grandmother. This was perfect for us because we love C names. We feel Charlotte is a nice, classy name for a girl. It means “free” and is now a popular name among grandmothers and grand-daughters. I love the way the name sounds, looks and after meeting our sweet baby I can see it fits her perfectly.
So where did Hanna come from? We used a bit of creativity for this. We had initially thought that we would use the name “Hansine” for her. This is my grandmother’s middle name. Virginia Hansine. It is a Danish and Hebrew name that means “God is gracious”. Her parents named her after her father, Hans, and she shares the middle name with her grandmother. Brian and I liked the name Hansine but were curious about other names that would honor her as well. While it is important for us to honor my grandmother, we also want to provide our daughter with a name that is not so uncommon. As I began to research the name, I found that one of the things I loved most about it is its meaning, God is gracious. Grace is God having favor on us even if we don’t deserve it. This was very meaningful for me as my grandmother has told me many times that she has prayed for God to have mercy and grace on us and keep my pregnancy safe. I can never take for granted that getting pregnant, staying pregnant, and delivering as healthy baby is not something that is a given in life. My children are truly gifts from God. I have not done anything to deserve them. They are His precious gifts. So along those lines, at one point we considered the name “Grace” for her middle name but felt that it was too far removed from Hansine and would not provide the honor to my grandmother that we were looking for. So we kept looking. Hansine is the feminine form of Hans which is the same as John and Johan. Along those same lines, other versions of Hansine are Jane and Johanna. All have the same meaning, God is gracious. Johanna we shortened to Hanna. Interestingly enough, Hanna also means “God has favored me,” in other words He has been gracious. As I was discussing it with my grandmother and my mom, my grandmother noted that the name “Hanna” is unique because it is the blended name of her two parents which were Hans and Anna. Hans-Anna… Hanna. It was perfect! It keeps with the “Han” theme which comes from my Danish heritage and honors my grandmother while at the same time honoring her parents which are my great-grandparents. At the same time, it reminds me that my precious daughter Charlotte Hanna is a gift from God. God has been gracious to me and I am forever thankful.
So there we have it, Charlotte Hanna Edge.
Our precious daughter, Charlotte Hanna Edge, arrived this morning at 6:31 am! Born on the first day of fall, our sweet baby sent mommy into labor at work. We are so blessed to have here here, safe and sound. What a blessing she is. Pictures will come soon.
7 lbs 8 oz
19.5 inches long
September 23, 2011
No baby yet!
Nearing 39 weeks now and the baby is sitting LOW!
She had a great checkup at the doctor’s office on Tuesday. Her NST was perfect. According to the doctor, I’m nearing 4 cm dilated, the cervix has thinned out and the baby is very low. It could be literally any day- or it could be another week. So hard to say. Every contraction that I have now is getting a little more painful (mostly just due to the pressure I think) but they are still not regular by any means. Last weekend at work was VERY busy and I was having cramping and back pain for much of the night. By the morning I felt a definite change in her position and like she had “dropped”. Sure enough, she had. If I make it to this weekend and have any more shifts like that where I’m on my feet practically running for 12 hrs straight, I’m afraid this nurse may become the patient.
My good friends from work had a baby shower for me last week which was a lot of fun. I feel so blessed to have so many people in our lives that care about us. We got lots of cute things for the baby.
We can’t wait for the baby’s arrival. We’ll definitely post updates on here when she arrives.
21 months old! Just 3 more months until she turns 2! So hard to believe.
The changes we see in Cameron are daily now. Every single day she is talking more, learning more and doing more. She’s so much fun to be around. She has a personality that is hard not to love and a smile that brightens my every day. She is truly the light of our life.
It’s hard to even keep track of all of her words now. She can repeat just about anything and is starting to put simple 3 word phrases together like, “I did it.” There is still a lot that she says that we cannot understand and these are usually more like conversations than just words.
Counting consists of : “one, two, five, eight, nine, ten” for this month.
Colors she knows and recognizes: yellow, red, green
Shapes she knows and recognizes: star, heart
Her animal vocabulary is branching out too and including more than just everyday domestic and farm animals.
Cameron’s appetite this month has been minimal. She’s still super picky and hardly eats unless it’s fruit or tomatos and occasionally something like applesauce or yogurt.
A new thing for her is loving everything turned on. She wants all the fans in the house on, along with lights in whatever room we go to, in the car and all the vents in bathrooms etc. “Fan on” and “light on” are words we hear several times a day now.
Here’s a cute video of Brian & Cameron on a walk together.
A question I get every day. Does Cameron have any idea that she’s about to have a baby sister? The answer plain and simple, no. We do talk about it, she does see that I have a rather large belly and she knows that her room is right next to the baby’s room and full of fun baby things. But does she actually have a clue? No way. She loves babies and everywhere we go that she sees one she wants to get close. Our next door neighbors have a 3 month old that she likes to look at but she gets a little shy when she hears him cry. I’m not sure there’s any way to really explain to a child her age that a baby is going to be coming and living with us and be a part of our family. We pray for the baby every night with her and refer to the baby by her name. I do, however, feel that Cameron will adjust with minimal difficulty to the baby’s arrival. I think she’s going to love helping and is going to be very affectionate with her little sister. And my prayer is that one day our two girls will be very close and a comfort and security to each other.
Cameron’s school. We are in our 3rd week of class now. And Cameron just finished her 2nd upper respiratory infection. Icky nasty snotty runny nose, congestion, and sneezing every 2 minutes. Something she’s never had before but we know comes with the territory of being around lots of other children. I’m sure there are plenty more colds and viruses to come. Brian and I are really hoping we can be diligent enough with keeping the germs away from the baby. Here’s hoping breastfeeding actually works in providing protection and immunity.
On a positive note, however, Cameron is doing really well in school. We haven’t had even one day where she cried or clung to me at drop off. She happily enters her classroom and begins playing. Her teachers have nothing but wonderful things to say about her.
She is even napping on most days. Probably thanks to her comfort items, blankie and baby EE.
She’s always very happy to see me at pickup and I can tell you the feeling is mutual! Several times I’ve stayed to observe her and have seen another little girl take a toy away from her and tell Cameron “No!” My heart races just thinking about the possibility of my little angel’s feelings getting hurt. I don’t want her to pick up on mean habits either. She’s so sweet and innocent! I know exposure this is a normal part of life, however, and the teacher did appropriately intervene and help resolve the situation. Cameron is getting lots of stimulation and exercise at school. She’s downright exhausted every day when she comes home. This is so good for her, especially since she gets to have fun doing it. The only thing she does NOT like about school is music class apparently. I’m not sure why because she loves to sing and listen to songs. I don’t know if it’s the teacher or the room or maybe the volume but Cameron’s teachers say she hides in their lap the whole time. The music teacher sends out weekly emails saying what they did in class and it seems like it would be something she would love. They sing songs like “Jesus Loves Me” and “The Wheels on the Bus” which are two of Cam’s favorites. When I ask Cameron about music class she gives me a horrified look so not sure what’s going on. Brian says he hated music class (and still hates public music like concerts) when he was a kid and thinks maybe she’s just the same way.
So we made a decision to get Cameron a toddler climber/slide as her “big sister” gift. It arrived last week and is a HUGE hit with her. The one we chose is really neat because it has an area underneath where she can hide out and read books. The cat likes to hang out with her there too.
Here’s a video of the new slide.
Poor Cam was still recovering from her cold in this video.
So I guess that’s about it for this month. In next month’s update Cameron will be a big sister!
Thanks for reading!
No little sister yet. We are still patiently waiting…
And a certain someone is ready!
I’m starting to feel that way too. This weekend marks 38 weeks. My visit with the doc went well this week. The baby is healthy and growing well. Her non-stress test was perfect. My cervix has started to dilate and my doctor is predicting she will come in the next week. Labor is a funny thing though and I know better than try to plan anything around it, or to rely on any predictions. I’m still holding out for the first week of October!
We still have a few things we need to do before she makes her appearance… like pack a bag for the hospital and wash her cute little new outfits. But that sort of stuff is small and can be done after the fact. The important thing is that Brian & I are now mentally “ready” for our newest little one and we’re ready to introduce Cam to her little sister.
Her “big sister” gift arrives tomorrow. We’ll post pics after we have it assembled. She’s going to love it, even though she has no clue what it’s for. As you can see from the picture above, we’ve got Halloween preparations out of the way early this year. I know we’ll have our hands full for the first few weeks after the little one arrives so we wanted to make sure Cam got her costume with plenty of time to spare. This picture is actually Cameron waiting for Daddy to come home from work. She does this every day. When he drives up she recognizes his car and we go outside so she can give him a big hug. It’s pretty darn cute to watch. There’s no denying this one’s a daddy’s girl.
Cameron is still doing great in her little preschool. Drop-offs are no problem at all. Her teachers talk about how great & well-behaved she is and that she will be “running the class” in the next few weeks. She’s very confident and very active and of course, super cute. Not sure where this social butterfly came from. Certainly not her parents. I’d say her aunts or grandmas.
So that’s all that’s happening here.
Here’s a cute little video snippet of my precious pumpkin raiding the clearance aisle at Walmart with me. Turns out the clearance prices weren’t as great as I thought they’d be so we left empty handed but we had fun playing anyway!