Thursday, June 30, 2011

Birthday Girl

I can hardly believe my sweet, little Caroline is one year old today! Jared is out of town so we will be celebrating when he returns next week. However, I always intended to blog about her birth story and never got around to it so I figured now would be a good time to reminisce. First off, what made Caroline's birth different from the boys, is that I decided to have her naturally. (Aka: no epidural.) The initial reason behind my decision was financial. Jared and I have no maternity coverage and epidurals are expensive- like $3,000 expensive. Since I had a very quick labor with Spencer, I figured the $3,000 could be better spent (or saved) on something else. I will say, that although my initial decision was financial, the more I read about natural child birth and the more women I talked to who had had a natural child birth, the more convinced I was that it could be a very positive experience.  And, now having done it myself, I can confidently say they were right! It was a great experience and I'm glad I didn't waste $3,000 for pain medication in what ended up being a very short and very manageable labor.  It was definitely painful but really cool and in a weird sort of way. With that said,  I don't regret having an epidural with the boys nor do I think births accompanied by an epidural are inferior in any way. However, for me personally, I think natural childbirth is my preference for the sole reason that it lessened the amount of time I spent pushing. Also, I enjoyed knowing exactly what was going on and being able to feel the different stages of labor.  (Just for reference, my recovery was the same as when I had an epidural and my babies have all been equally as healthy.) The birth story itself is a little anti climatic.  I was two days past my due date and woke around 2:00 A.M. in labor. I laid in bed trying to relax, while my contractions progressed until about 4:00 A.M. BY this time, my contractions were getting more painful and were about five minutes apart so I got out of bed and got a few things together for the hospital. In the meantime, Jared called our sister-in-law to come over and stay with the boys.

With hospital bag, ready to go!(in between contractions)
My sister-in-law arrived around 5 or 5:30 so we left for the hospital, walked up to the maternity floor (pausing in the hallway during contractions) and I was all checked in by 6:00 A.M. The nurse said I was dialated to an 8 which made me very happy-I knew everything was going to go quickly! I got nauseous a couple of times (no fun) and continued to labor in the room with Jared and a young nurse that kept trying to ask me questions and type stuff into the computer. (I really just wanted it to be quiet and wished the questions could have waited until later!) The doctor took his time arriving and broke my water around 6:45. For 15 or so minutes, I just laid on the bed with my eyes closed in an almost zen-like state. I was very relaxed but ready to be done!  The nurse shift changed at 7:00 AM (right after the doctor broke my water) and my new nurse was awesome. She was older and it seemed that she had more experience with natural deliveries. From the time they had broken my water, I had been laboring in a reclined postition on the bed but she encouraged me to stand up, hold on to Jared's shoulders and sway back and forth (like slow dancing.) She was very soothing and just told me to tell her when I felt ready to push. It was during this standing and swaying, that I felt the uncontrollable urge to push and could also feel Caroline moving down. (This last 30 minutes was the most intense part, my contractions were not as painful but it's a little scary to feel something that large moving down the birth canal uncontrollably!) After 15-20 minutes, I told them I was feeling a lot of pressure. The nurse checked me right then and that was followed by a mad rush. The doctor came in out of nowhere, a table suddenly appeared and they hurriedly helped me back onto the bed. Caroline was ready to be born! (At this point, I sort of wish I could have remained standing instead of being put back on the bed, because gravity seemed to be working well in my favor but oh well.) Once I was on the bed, I pushed a couple of times (It was painful and the only time I made any noise during labor- I screamed!)  But of course it was all very worth it because at 7:30, Jared delivered Caroline (under the supervision of my doctor) and she was perfect.

A few minutes after she was born.

A couple of hours later, feeling good after her first bath.
I can't believe how quickly this year has passed! Caroline has been such a happy, predictable and delightful baby. She truly lights up the room wherever she goes and lights up our home every day. Happy Birthday Caroline!


Mrs. Robinson said...

I can't believe she's one already! You have a such great little family Kim. Happy Birthday Caroline

Pamela said...

I miss my little Caroline and her raspy voice! Make sure you give her a big birthday kiss for me!

katie kate. said...

she is a cutie pie. happy birthday caroline! i sure hope to meet her someday.

Autumn said...

Love these photos. She is absolutely edible.