Charlie's Birth Story10:36 AM
Charles "Charlie" Lee McPherson was born at 12:57 am on June 25. He was 8 days early, and we share a birthday. He weighed 6 lb. 13 oz. and was 20 1/4 inches long. Life as we know it will never be the same, and for that, I could not be more grateful. What an amazing God we serve!
Friday, June 24 was Brandon's 30th birthday. I worked a full day and we met two of our best couple friends for dinner at Stanbury. We had such a wonderful time and enjoyed a delicious meal. Earlier that day I had joked that I was giving Charlie his eviction notice and drove over every bumpy part of the road that I could. I had also told everyone that whole week that I really just needed that one last week to feel like I was in a good place professionally before maternity leave.
Last belly shots
We got home from dinner at 9:30 and as I was crawling into bed at 10:30, I felt my water break. I told Brandon and he said, "Well then get out of bed!"
We went to the bathroom and my water had definitely broken. I texted my two friends that we had been at dinner with and called my mom. She told me to call the doctor which I did after mom finally letting me get off the phone. I talked to the doctor and he told me I should go ahead and come in to Labor & Delivery. After hanging up with him I said, " Umm, no." I wasn't even having contractions yet and we planned to labor at home as long as possible.
We called our birth instructor, Susan Rotman (amazing!!) because we knew she'd tell us what we really needed to do. Brandon put her on speaker phone and I had a normal conversation with her. She told us to turn the lights out, get in bed and get some rest. Labor was starting, but we had a while and needed to conserve our energy. She also gave me one of her famous pep talks.
Just as I was getting in bed for the second time, the contractions started. Brandon had me tell him when they started and stopped and timed them on an app. From the beginning, the contractions lasted at least a minute and were maybe 4 minutes apart. Shortly after he started timing, the app said it was time to go to the hospital. Brandon ignored it because of course! I was barely in labor. It wasn't time yet! When it told him again 5 minutes later, he called Susan back and she agreed it was time to go in.
Our hospital bags weren't even fully packed. Our labor bag was ready but our other stuff was just laid out. I put my toiletry bag together and then sat down on the toilet while Brandon frantically ran around getting everything together and packing up the car. After what seemed like forever, we got in the car and made the short trip to Rex.
We got to the hospital at 11:45. Brandon hopped out of the car and I got out (after reaching over and turning the car off and reminding him to lock the car). I walked inside as he grabbed my license and insurance card. The security guard let me go up to triage without Brandon. At this point the contractions were coming hard and fast with little to no break in between.
When I got to the triage desk I had to hold onto the counter and bend over to manage the pain. Once Brandon got there they put me in the triage waiting area. A nurse came out and said that when the next contraction ended we'd go into triage to get checked. I was making lots of low moaning noises and told her that we could go ahead and go because they're not ending. I know she thought I was being dramatic and not managing the pain well.
The nurse strapped a fetal heart rate monitor around me to monitor Charlie. It felt like it weighed a million pounds and I was not happy about it having to wear it. She finally checked me and I was 7 cm. I felt validated that I was in so much pain for a reason. They immediately wheeled me down to a L&D room.
When we got to the room, they checked me again and I was 9 cm. At this point my doctor came in to double check me and confirmed I was at a 9 and told us it wouldn't be long.
I'm not sure how long it took me to get that last cm, but it wasn't long. Mentally, I wasn't ready to push. I was expecting a marathon, this was a sprint! The nurse had me start pushing and tried to make me push 3 times for 10 seconds per contraction. I was already exhausted from things progressing so quickly and since I could feel each contraction, I could feel when I needed to push. There were some times when I only pushed twice per contraction. I also took a break because I needed to. I wasn't just battling the contractions, I was battling myself not being mentally ready.I kept saying, "I can't do this." Brandon was reassuring me that I could do it and I was doing it while this was happening. Once the doctor and Brandon told me they could see lots of hair, it gave me the motivation to stop doubting myself and just do it. I was ready to meet our son.
I hope I'll always remember the feeling of our precious Charlie in my arms for the first time. I can't even describe how his skin felt, but it was wonderful.
A few minutes after I had Charlie in my arms, I told Brandon that we better call mom. We hadn't ever given her an update after I called to tell her my water broke. We also needed them to bring us a cooler because we had Susan encapsulate my placenta and forgot a cooler. (If you have questions about this, I'd love to discuss it with you. I'm so happy we did this). Right before we moved to our postpartum room Brandon went and moved the car from the drop off. There was no time to move it before and we didn't even end up bringing our labor bag inside.
I had a less than stellar L&D nurse, but I didn't want those details to overshadow the incredible experience of giving birth to Charlie. Overall, I'm so happy with how our labor turned out that a non-supportive nurse doesn't overshadow that joy. Our son is here, he's healthy, and we are so in love.
After Charlie's first bath. We wanted to wait a little longer to give him his first bath, but in order for him to have him circumcised, the hospital required him to be bathed.
This is a newborn size gown and it was huge on him.
Finally ready to take our tiny prince home: