Well hello, there! Long time no post, I know. If you’ve been following along for the past 9+ months, you know that my husband, Don, and I were expecting a baby girl this January. She decided to make an early appearance in late December instead. We are over the moon, head over heels in love with our little girl! Today I wanted to share about our delivery story as well as introduce you to our baby.
Charlotte weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and measured 20 inches at birth. She’s a long, lean, baby machine!
Meet our little girl, Charlotte Claire Ross, nicknamed “CC” (or Princess Angel Face as Don is fond of calling her), named after my late grandmother. I was actually named after her mother and it felt fitting to carry on the family tradition of naming on my maternal side. CC was born on December 28, 2015 via c-section with a full head of hair and long legs. We were immediately smitten with our little angel.
My last moments as a pregnant Mommy-To-Be | Prepped and ready for surgery
We found out that CC was in a frank breech position (basically a jack knife) at my 36 week doctor’s visit. I went into detail on my efforts to try to get the baby to flip on her own in my 37 week update video. In short, my efforts were not effective. I had a strong feeling that CC had tried to flip but was unable. I felt pretty certain she was wedged in there pretty tight and my suspicions were confirmed after delivery when I found out my heart-shaped uterus was the reason for her prenatal positioning.
We decided to go ahead and attempt an external version, where my doctor tried to manually turn the baby, just after I flipped into my 38th week of pregnancy. This is a procedure that is performed in the labor and delivery ward of the hospital as there is a chance of triggering labor or needing an emergency delivery.
We went to the hospital prepared to deliver via c-section after an emergency run the previous week following a low amniotic fluid reading. I was sent home that first time as the fluid level reading at the hospital was back in the safe normal range, but we knew there was a good chance it would be low once again plus with the breech situation my doctor had cautioned us to be prepared to deliver that day. We felt fortunate that our baby had at least a few more days to mature in utero and that we could spend the Christmas holiday with our families. I took the opportunity that Sunday to tie up all of the loose ends around the house in preparation for baby’s arrival, including a major clean sweep, laundry, and putting the final touches on the baby’s room.
I fasted before the procedure, which is customary in the event of needing surgery, and we checked into labor and delivery at the hospital around noon on Monday the 28th. I changed into a hospital gown and they hooked me up to an IV as well as monitors to track the baby’s heart rate and any contractions. A resident OB came in to check my fluid levels via ultrasound and they registered at 5, which is on the borderline between low and normal. My OB came in after having spoke to a specialist on the floor about the fluid level results and told us that they considered a 5 as “low,” which meant they were going to deliver that day. Fortunately, we were ready for that news so it was not a shock. I felt calm, prepared, and excited to meet my baby that day!
We decided to still give the external version a try, because if I could have had a chance to labor and deliver vaginally I would have preferred it to the c-section, although I wasn’t opposed to having surgery if necessary. If the procedure had been successful they would have induced labor shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, it was not. I wouldn’t say it was incredibly painful, but it was extremely uncomfortable to have two doctors pushing that forcefully on my belly to get baby to move. She wouldn’t budge, though, and after about ten minutes of trying, my doctor said she didn’t want to risk distressing the baby and wanted to move to surgery.
Craning my neck to see my girl during her post-birth checks | Little One getting checked out by the NICU team right after birth
Things proceeded quickly after this point. They were ready to operate right away, although it wasn’t an emergency situation. Don got scrubbed up and was sent down to recovery with our things while I was prepped for surgery. I walked into the OR at 2:45 PM. My delivery nurse who had been with me since I checked in came as well as my OB. There was also an OR nurse, an OB resident, the anesthesiologist, and an anesthesia resident. They hooked me up to a blood pressure monitor, oxygen, and some sort of vitals monitoring devices on my chest.
I sat up hunched over on the operating table leaning against my OB with my back facing the anesthesia team. The anesthesia resident performed the spinal block while the anesthesiologist supervised. The resident prepped my back and then proceeded with the spinal block. I only felt a slight sting initially and then just the sensation of something going into my spine. It started taking effect almost immediately. I was numb from my rib cage down, although I still had some sense of the lower half of my body.
They had me lie down on the table with my arms extended out on boards and they put up a curtain at my chest to block the view of the surgery. At this point they invited Don in and started the final prep for surgery at about 3:10 PM. The last to arrive was the NICU team, at the ready to examine the baby after birth. The doctors made the incision at 3:16 PM and Charlotte was born at 3:19. Pretty quick! The NICU doctors whisked her to the side of the OR where a warm examination table was set up. She came out quiet, but started making the cutest soft crying noises I’ve ever heard soon after the NICU team started their examination. Music to my ears!
My OB and the OB resident spent the next 40 minutes “putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.” CC was examined by the NICU team for about 15 minutes, during which they scored her 1 and 5 minute Apgar tests, both at a 9 (excellent!). I wasn’t able to move during this time, but Don took lots of pictures. I remember how sore my neck was from craning my head to see my girl. After the NICU team was done with their examination, the nurses took CC’s foot prints, put on her hospital ID bracelets, wrapped her up in what Don and I call a baby burrito (otherwise known as a swaddle), and handed her to Don. He held her close to my face so I could see her and tell her how much I loved her. I couldn’t wait to hold that girl!
My first time holding my baby | Little One warming up in the nursery before her bath
They moved the three of us into recovery just after 4 PM where I had to remain under surveillance by my delivery nurse for a couple of hours post-op. She got me all propped up and I was finally able to hold my baby. What an unbelievably special moment! I’m not a happy crier kind of gal, but I shed tears of joy at that moment. It was the sweetest moment of my life. We attempted breastfeeding for a little bit and I got to snuggle her skin-to-skin for awhile.
After about an hour Don and CC were taken up to the Mother and Baby ward to start the check-in process. Don accompanied her to the nursery where she had some tests done (I believe a blood sugar test and hearing test, although I’m not exactly sure as I wasn’t there) and then was placed on a warmer bed before her first sponge bath. She passed all of her tests with flying colors during our hospital stay.
Finally I was declared fit to leave recovery and was wheeled up to Mother and Baby to get settled into our room. The nurse on rotation checked me in and got me set up in the hospital bed, went over my medication schedule, and checked my incision. I was checked several times a day by both an OB and nurses during my stay to make sure I was healing properly and that my uterus was contracting back down as it should. This was rather uncomfortable at first as it involved pushing down on my abdomen which felt quite sore. Luckily, that got a lot better as the week progressed.
Reunited and it feels so good!
It felt like ages before they brought our baby into the room, although in reality it was less than an hour. I couldn’t wait to hold that bundle again! I had a more successful go at breastfeeding for my second attempt. We ordered dinner and tried to settle in.
Unfortunately, I was in a lot of pain that first night and didn’t end up sleeping a wink. Poor Don didn’t sleep either out of concern for me. CC slept like a champ, though, and woke up to feed regularly, which made me feel better. The doctor on call adjusted my medication and my pain level slowly decreased over the course of the next 24 hours to a more manageable amount. By the end of the week I was able to cut back dramatically on the pain meds and have been medication free since 10 days post-op.
Sleep deprived new parents getting to know our little girl.
I didn’t manage to sleep a whole lot during our stay at the hospital, because I’m not great at napping and I was focused on watching my baby at all times. I didn’t want to let our gorgeous girl out of my sight! Even sleep deprivation couldn’t bring me down from my new Mommy high. Don and I both fell instantly in love with CC and so enjoyed our first few days cuddling our little girl and learning about her needs.
Living it up on New Years Eve in the hospital with our celebration dinner and real soda!
We stayed in the hospital for a total of five days (four days post-op is customary at our hospital). I know a lot of people say they just wanted to go home as soon as possible after delivery, but I actually enjoyed our extended stay. I felt extremely well taken care of and secure knowing that there was such great support for us whenever we needed it around the clock. It wasn’t the most comfortable place for Don as he barely fit on the extra bed in the room, but he was a champ and stayed with us the entire time.
So in love with our little girl!
Our time in the hospital flew by. We ate, slept (some), and watched movies, but mostly we spent our time taking turns caring for CC. Our families came to visit and swoon over our precious girl. I was grateful for this quiet time in the hospital to heal and become acquainted with our baby.
Going home outfit from Baby Gap | First time in her carseat
My healing progressed well and our baby was in great health, so we were discharged on Friday, January 1. It seemed so fitting to start the new year at home as a newly expanded family. We’ve been home for a week and a half now and I feel as if we’re all adjusting nicely. Our dog, Winnie, has been such a trooper. She’s taken on the roll of watch dog and family protector with ease and follows me and CC around closely wherever we go, always keeping a watchful eye.
I am limited in what and how much I can do for now as I continue recovering from surgery, but I have a feeling I’ll be back to my usual active self in no time. Don is taking great care of all three of his princesses, as he likes to call us, assuming dog walking duties until I’m allowed, doing all of the cooking, and reading Dr. Seuss books to CC during their nightly “Baby & Daddy” time.
I am thoroughly enjoying my Mommyhood journey so far, including all of the ups and downs of figuring out breastfeeding and learning how to address CC’s needs. It’s not always smooth sailing, but I am beyond overjoyed that our girl is finally here with us. I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying breathing her in, watching her sweet face as she sleeps, and singing while looking into her eyes. It is a precious time and I am treasuring it.
Don and I share our delivery story in this video if you’d like to hear us describe it:
Thank you to all who have left such sweet, kind, and supportive comments on my social media over the past couple of weeks. Your words mean so much to me! I’m so happy to be able to share about this new journey with you. Please bear with me as I navigate this new way of life and find balance. I will try to post as often as I can as I really do enjoy sharing with you.
I hope you are all well and that 2016 is off to a great start for you and your loved ones.
Happy New Year! 🎉
* This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *