Charlie’s due date was Christmas Day, but he was a little too cozy to make his arrival on time. We were ok with that too. Parker and I enjoyed a nice relaxing Christmas Day at home with our pups. Then, when I woke up the next day, Charlie had decided he was ready to get his birth day party started.
We had been waiting on a call from the doctor’s office because we were told they would schedule us for an induction if Charlie didn’t come by Christmas Day. The problem was that there were no availabilities at the hospital, so they couldn’t get us on the schedule. Fortunately, my water broke at some point the morning of the 26th. It wasn’t like the movies. I wasn’t even sure my water had broken. But the good news for us was that we didn’t have to wait for an availability anymore because my water broke. They had to get us in.
Anyway, Parker went to work that morning, so I texted him letting him know my water may have broken. He came rushing home, and then it was a waiting game. My doctor gave me his cell phone number at one of my first appointments and said to call his direct number if I ever needed anything. I never did until this day. I called and left him a voicemail, and we waited to hear back for hours. I packed allll the rest of my millions of things I planned to bring to the hospital, took all of our Christmas decorations down, Parker took down the tree, I swept out all the mess the tree made, Parker vacuumed it up, and then I ate lunch. I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and 2 cake balls. Big mistake. Huge. I should have eaten a 5 course meal. That would be the last meal I’d have for over 24 hours.
When the doctor still hadn’t responded by about 2:30, I called the doctor’s office. The nurse I spoke to said that our doctor was not in today but to come in so they could give me a test to see if my water had broken. Neither of us actually felt like we would really be having this baby at this time, but our car was packed and our house was clean, so we gave the pups treats and headed to the hospital.
It was so surreal. There was a funeral procession, so we had to stop for 5-10 minutes and wait for it to pass. We talked about how fortunate we were that we weren’t racing to get to the hospital with the fear of not making it in time for an epidural.
As soon as we got to the parking lot at the doctor’s office, my doctor finally returned my phone call. Hearing from him made me feel so much better! He was ready to come meet us as soon as this baby was ready to make his appearance.
I saw the doctor who was on call, and she did a strip test. If something turned blue, then that meant my water had broken. We still didn’t think it had actually broken untilllll the test confirmed it. My water had broken sometime that morning. The doctor checked me to see my progress, and I was dilated 0 cm.
The doctor then sent me to get an ultrasound to make sure the baby was still in a good position. Thankfully, he was! It was our fastest ultrasound yet, and we didn’t get any cute pictures or views of the baby. They wanted to get us to the hospital ASAP.
So, off we went. Still in disbelief. The hospital is connected to the doctor’s office, so we walked right on over and started checking in. I called my parents and Parker’s parents while we were waiting for our room.
We got to our room.... and I just asked Parker to help me with what happened next. His answer was we don’t remember. I said what? He said that’s when our brains turned to mush. I’m writing this a week and a half after Charlie was born. The sleep deprivation was real. So the rest of this post might not be as detailed. That’s probably for the best though. Labor and delivery is not all fun and games. (Edited to add- It actually continues to be very detailed and long. :) Baby photos are at the very end if that’s what you’re here for!)
So I changed into my hospital gown and socks they provided. Then, they hooked me up to the monitor where we could watch Charlie’s heart rate and my contractions. After that, they immediately started me on an IV since my water had broken a lot earlier that day, but the ultrasound lady had confirmed earlier that there was still a lot of fluid in there, so Charlie was well protected. I think it was at this point that they told me I couldn’t eat anything else until a couple hours after Charlie was born. My stomach was already growling, so I knew that was not going to be good.
Once everything was set up, Parker went to move the car from the doctor’s office to the hospital parking lot and get our bags. I’m not one to pack lightly, so this took several trips.
Nurses kept coming in and doing things, and one of them gave me an exam. I was still dilated 0 cm. That was not fun to hear. However, that was also going to change a lot faster than anyone expected. The nurse started me on cytotexh, which was supposed to help me start dilating. My doctor texted me around this point, and I told him what was happening. He said- “Perfect!! Most likely you’ll get 2-3 rounds of the cytotexh and be ready to deliver in the morning!! Woo hoo!!”
Parker and I had been wondering if he would be there to deliver Charlie, but since he was off, I didn’t know for sure. Every time we asked at appointments, he said he would be there for the birth day party. He always used that happy term, and I loved it, which is why I used it in the title of this post! So I finally just asked him if he was off the next day too. He said- “Yes....but not planning on missing this birth day party!! I’ll be in communication with your nurse tonight and see you guys in the AM!!! Dig in with pillows and blankets tonight (no relatives!!) try to get some rest!!!! Get ready to be parents December 27!!!!”
I can’t express in words how much I love him! I’m not exaggerating those exclamation marks in his texts. That was all him, and I loved it. Choosing a brand new doctor in a brand new city when expecting a baby is scary. I’m so thankful I have a great friend who lives in Memphis. She goes to this doctor and suggested him. Such a blessing!
Back to the story- I did one round of cytotexh and dilated 1 centimeter. The contractions weren’t terrible at this point, but then they started a second round of cytotexh. It started out ok. The nurse asked if I wanted something to help with the pain. She said it would take the edge off, but the downside was that it could cause nausea. The pain was bearable, and I didn’t want to deal with nausea, so I said no. Another big mistake. Shortly after she left, the contractions started getting bad. She had been coming in every half hour, but she said she would try to let me get some rest since everything was going smoothly. So of course, the one time I actually wanted her to come back, she didn’t for what felt like forever. And I was SO HUNGRY too. Nothing could be done about that though. The ice chips did not help.
As soon as she did come back, I immediately said I want the medicine! She started it for me, and that was the only time for the foreseeable future (weeks, months?:) ) that I would (sort of) sleep. My pain level went down a lot, and I drifted in and out of sleep. Until she had to do another exam. That exam showed I had progressed from 1-4 centimeters. The doctor said I was supposed to do 3 rounds of cytotexh, but the nurse said he wouldn’t want to a third round since it had worked so well on me.
She said we can go ahead and get the epidural started, then we’ll start pitocin, and you’ll have this baby in the morning. Whoa!
Ever since I learned how it happened, one of my very biggest fears in life was giving birth. Once pregnant, my biggest fear was not making it to the hospital (the hospital in Memphis was 30 minutes from our house in Southaven) or having something go wrong with the epidural.
Well sure enough, I tell the nurse something is wet on my shoulder, and it felt like the epidural was wearing off. She said that was basically impossible because all kinds of alarms would alert them if the epidural was disconnected. I basically had to make her look at my shoulder area, and she was shocked to see that the epidural had in fact fallen out.
The epidural person came and reconnected it, but from that moment on, the epidural did not work on my right side. It worked wonderfully on my left side, but the pain on my right side was intense and that is putting it lightly. The epidural person came in 3-4 more times to add more medicine. It wasn’t touching my right side.
My mom had given me a squishy snowman to squeeze during labor, and I was squeezing that thing to death. They started the pitocin around 5 am, and at 8:41 am on December 27, I texted the doctor to let him know I was dilated 10 centimeters. He said I would have that baby in the next 10 minutes or so.
He came in, and I was beyond relieved to see him. Once they told me I was 10 centimeters, I was scared he wouldn’t make it. I definitely did not need to worry about things progressing too quickly at that point though. When the doctor checked me, he confirmed I was dilated 10 centimeters, but he said the baby was still up high, and it would probably be another hour or so before we met him.
Wrong again. This baby was comfortable and not ready to come down. And the epidural was still not working on my right side. I was in all kinds of pain.
However, my water had broken over 24 hours earlier and I was 10 centimeters dilated, so they told me to start pushing. I should have said no thank you, I’ll wait until my epidural is inserted correctly. They strongly encouraged it, and I was so ready to have this baby in my arms at this point, so I went for it. Worst decision I made throughout the whole process.
A lady who is supposed to be very good at coaching women through pushing naturally was the lady who was attempting to coach me through this natural childbirth thing.
I was a teacher for 4 years. Teachers want their students to grasp the concepts they are trying to teach. My body could not grasp the concept this lady was trying to teach. The pain on my right side was so strong that I was making 0 progress.
After what felt like hours and dozens and dozens of pushes, I finally said this is not working. Please fix my epidural.
At this point, there had been a change in epidural people. Thank you Jesus. The lady came in and informed me that because my epidural had already been inserted twice, she was not supposed to do it a third time. And if it did not go in properly, I would have to go without an epidural at all. Serious warning, but I was more than willing to try it because the epidural basically wasn’t working at all anyway.
She told me I would still feel pressure but not pain if she inserted it correctly. This angel of a lady inserted it correctly, and I finally had some relief. After all the pushing I did when the epidural was not working, the baby had moved down, so there was definitely pressure. And still pain. It wasn’t working completely, but the pain was nowhere near as bad as it was before.
When it came time to push again, my body somehow knew exactly what it was supposed to do. I had heard that pushing without an epidural is easier because you can feel what you’re supposed to do. That was not the case for me. The pain was so intense that my body did not know what to do.
Once the epidural was working, I was truly so relieved that my body knew how to push. I never looked at the clock, so I honestly have no clue how many hours it took. But I do know it was a lot.
Anyway, I asked the nurse if the baby was close (multiple times). I was 10 centimeters for what felt like forever. I thought this baby was supposed to make his appearance shortly after that! She went from saying that he was still pretty high to saying that he would come down and then go back up. Absolutely not what I wanted to hear. We thought this baby was never going to come out!! He has been strong willed from the very beginning.
Finally, the doctor came in again to check me. I pushed with him in there, and then I heard the word vacuum. We learned about the vacuum in our class, but I honestly never thought I would have to hear my doctor say that word. However, when he did, I wasn’t concerned at all. I felt relief. It meant the end of labor was near. We were going to get to meet our baby boy very soon!
A few minutes later at 1:14 pm on December 27, Dr. Neblett delivered our 8 lb 10 oz, 20.25 inch long baby boy! After many, many hours of labor, they laid our screaming baby on top of me. He stopped screaming and looked up at me, and our whole worlds changed forever.
Parker and I sat there and stared at our son, Charles Wilson Goodman. So in love with his chubby cheeks, precious lips, tiny hands with fingernails, and every single feature. It was an indescribable joy to meet the little miracle that had been growing in my body for 40 weeks and 2 days. We are beyond honored to get to be parents to the greatest gift God has ever given us, Charlie!