Birth Story of Charlie Andrew (including some vlogs!)

Charlie is my 4th baby.  His birth was great because I had so much anxiety over the labor and delivery… as you will see, things worked out just the way they needed to!
My past births have been:
1st birth:  12 days after due date, 42 hour long labor with water broken the whole time, 3.5 hours of pushing, never got past a -1 station, delivered via Cesarean.  This had been a planned birth center birth and hospital transfer.
2nd birth: 1 day before due date (on my birthday!) 5 hour long labor, perfect and victorious VBAC at home!
3rd birth: 4 days past due date, 3 hour long labor, hard homebirth VBAC due to him actually getting a shoulder stuck… Many maneuvers later, we got him out, but he was very blue.  He ended up being absolutely fine, but I had major postpartum bleeding and clotting, so *I* transferred to the hospital and ended up with a D&C and 2 units of blood.
4th birth: planned hospital VBAC with an OB.  I was freaked about this because I knew that my labors were SHORT and I was praying I’d get there in time!!

Without further ado….. Charlie’s birth story:

My due date was April 16th.  My husband joked that the baby would wait until our 10th wedding anniversary on April 19th, but I was trying to convince him that the baby would surely be born before then!  After all, this is my 4th!

April 18th
8am– woke up, surprised hubs wasn’t up and getting ready for work as he usually gets up at 7:30 to leave at 8:30.  He hopped in the shower and I had 3 ctx while he was in there.  While he was getting dressed, I asked if he’d be okay with staying home and working from home in case these turned into something.
Checked Facebook.  Doula was off to another birth.  Eek!  Decided to lay low and relax as much as I could.  Fed kids breakfast, told them to get ready for the day and leave Daddy alone while he worked in the office downstairs and went back up to our  bedroom to relax.  Tried to sleep a bit.

Ctx tapered off around noon.  Discouraged.

Noon- I decided that hubby and I needed to go on a walk.  He ate lunch, I snacked on crackers and pumped for a little bit, peed a million times, steeped some Red Raspberry Leaf tea and we started walking around a park around 1pm.  After about 4 laps and finishing almost all of the two-bag huge glass of tea, we took a break and went to a local bubble tea place.  I got a strawberry colada drink with pineapple jellies.  Yum!  Then I convinced hubby to take me walking at a different park and we took several laps.
Contractions during these walks were noticable but not painful and not really making me stop like I was hoping for.  Finished my RRL tea and headed home.

2:30pm – Got home and had a few good ctx as soon as I saw my kids… that was encouraging and I know it’s because of all that mothering hormone stuff. 😉 Went back to bed and pumped.  Then I took a nap, periodically stopping to pee and drink water.  Sad because it seemed like my ctx were completely petering out again and I was getting super bummed.

6:34PM – Texted doula: “On and off ctx, lots of mucous still, taking it easy and will probably walk again in a few hours.  Hoping we r close to show time…. We willl see I guess!  I will keep you posted!”

7:30PM – Hubs poked his head in the door to see if I wanted dinner and it woke me up.  I decided I wanted to go on a walk again, so hubs and I ate a little and at 8:30 we headed out.  I had several ctx on the way to Wal-Mart (which is where we were going).  Hubs doesn’t know directions and waits too long to change lanes to turn so we ended up driving way out of the way and I made him stop at Sonic so I could get a foot long chili cheese coney meal to share with him since I hadn’t eaten much at home.  Once we were done eating, we started off to the store.

9:00PM– Got to Wal-Mart (which is funny because we don’t shop there, but I thought it would be the perfect place to walk since it’s 24 hours with restrooms and stuff to look at. haha) and started walking.  Had to stop to pee at least 3 times, and had to slow down during some contractions.  I wasn’t timing them, but they were not coming as quickly as I thought they should and I was able to walk through most of them, so I was starting to get really discouraged at the intensity not being there.  My inner thigh started feeling sore at the joint and I started hobbling around more – it was like it was seizing my range of motion, but only on my left leg and it was making me mad.  We decided to head home after walking around for a while.

10:15PM – Got home, had a few ctx with the kids around.  Got the kids ready for bed.  Brushed Heath’s teeth.  Started feeling too uncomfortable to think about laying down with them until Heath could fall asleep like I normally would, so I asked hubs to do it for me.  Hugged and kissed the kids and reminded them that if they woke up and I was not home, that I was probably at the hospital having the baby and it was okay to wake MeMe up.

10:30PM – Went to my room to lay down for a bit.  Started having frequent contactions that seemed short but significant.

11:00PM – Texted doula: “Ctx fairly regular.  Lots of mucous.  Trying a bath to relax for bed… I think we will just count on hbs being home tomorrow and maybe getting things going if I make it to my appt.  It is hard to concentrate on real life during ctx and I would prefer to avoid a looooong time of this :-/ if possible.  Relaxing and sleep might help my body finish this piddly junk while I sleep.  Chiro at 10, ob at 2…we will see.”

I took some belly pictures and was about to hop in the tub. Contractions were getting pretty regular it felt like.  I kept finding myself using the restroom to relieve some of the pressure.  Lots of mucous.

 The VBAC Birth of my 10 pound baby
11:24PM – Texted doula: “Ugh some of these are really feeling like they mean business…at what point should I pack it up and go to try and make sure I get abx?  I hate for us to go and stall but I don’t want to miss the window either.”  Doula encourages me saying that she says it sounds like it does sound like labor, but I’m the only person that could really answer my question.
11:27PM – Texted doula: “Yeah.  I’m about to get in the bath but I’m truthfully a bit terrified to get back out after being in the water. Ha” Doula asks how close and regular my contractions are and I say, ‘I haven’t been timing but I will… but now much closer but short and intense for now… maybe I should call u to weigh pros and cons after I time a bit.”  My doula says the only real con is going in and not really being in labor, but that I could prevent that probably by seeing if the bath changes things.11:35PM – Texted doula: “Yeah…I’m in so we will see.  I’ll be in touch if things get crazy. 😛 Maybe the bath will calm my muscles for a bit.  Sorry to keep bothering you.  Overanalyzing here obviously!”  Doula says I am in a tricky spot with being GBS positive and my history of fast labors and tells me to trust my intuition on this one.  At 11:37PM I say, “Ok.  For now I think I will wait and see.  When I get out I may change my mind!”12:00AM 4/19 Texted doula: “Ugh I think I may load up.  I’m at 1-1.5 min long at 4-6 apart in the tub which is not slowing down what it was standing… I’m terrified my water will break and I will have an oops.  I know that is irrational but I don’t know.  Sigh.  This is so much harder than home birth.  Oh and GBS sucks. 🙁  I guess if it starts stalling I could either sleep in the car or pace a parking lot. :-/  I don’t feel like it is HORRIBLE, but I am worried about not getting the abx in time, so it puts me in an annoying timing game. 🙁 “  My doula and I decide that she will meet me at the hospital, so tells me to text her as we are leaving.  I ask if I need to pack my own birth ball a few minutes later because I’m trying to think of anything I might need.   I wake up hubby, who has literally been sleeping about 6 minutes and tell him we are heading out.
April 19-

12:37AM– I head downstairs with a few things and tell my grandma we are leaving even though I don’t really know if I feel like it’s time or not.  I tell her I just need to make sure we get the antibiotics in time and I don’t want my water to break at home and to have an accidental homebirth and bleed to death or something.  We promise to keep her posted and tell her we might get sent home.  I text my doula to let her know we are leaving the house.
On the way to the hospital, I have about 3-4 contractions on the 12 mile tollroad ride and about 6 contractions on the shorter residential road that is full of stop signs.  It was pretty brutal with all the starting and stopping and I was so glad when we got to the hospital!

12:58AM – I text the doula to let her know we got to the hospital.  She says she’s about 15 minutes away so I tell her we’ll head in to get the process started.  We head into the emergency room entrance and I ask where we need to go for labor and delivery.  They start handing me forms to sign and I had 2 contractions during the paperwork.  I just calmly relaxed through them and then resumed doing the paperwork as I could.  They got me a wheelchair and a nurse wheeled me to my L&D room.
I met with the nurse and she gave me a gown.  I asked if I could use the restroom and she said sure and I asked if she needed a urine sample or anything while I was in there.  She said no, so I headed off.  That bathroom was SO tiny!  I had one pretty good contaction on the toilet in there and changed into the gown.  I remember thinking that I so don’t think I want to labor in this bathroom!  Waaaay too tight of a squeeze.
1:18AM – The nurse asked me a few questions and then told me she needed to do a check to see if we’d be admitted or not.  At this time, I was totally coherent, except during the few contractions I was having and I would collect my thoughts, close my eyes, and breathe through them.  I layed down for the check and she told me I was at an EIGHT.  I was in SHOCK!  I seriously thought I’d show up and be maybe a 4.  I didn’t feel like my normal transitiony laboring self so I imagined this lady might be crazy or have some weird fingers to find me at an 8 already.  What the heck!  Baby was at a -1/0 station.  A few minutes later, my doula walks in and I share with her that I’m an 8 and we’re all kind of laughing and joking.  The mood is really light and I am chit chatting.  I mention not really feeling like an 8 and that I don’t know that I am emotionally ready to be this far along!
I keep having contractions, ranging from 3-4 or 5-7 minutes apart and just stop to breathe and focus.  Sometimes I talk myself through them.

I start to feel like the contractions are getting a little more difficult and am having to concentrate more.  I am definitely not as chipper and light-hearted by now…
Right around 2:10 AM, my water spontaneously breaks during a contraction. When my water broke, it was audible on the contraction monitor and in the middle of concentrating and breathing through the contraction, I said, “Well, my water just broke.” and continued on with the contraction. I am checked and baby is at a -1 and I am 9cm.
Around here, things got really busy.  The nurse couldn’t find the heartbeat of the baby well and was convinced I was having decels.  She stayed with me and was able to position the monitor for me so I could avoid an internal monitor (which she’d mention maybe having to place if we couldn’t get a good read on the baby).  I wasn’t able to talk much about it but I was definitely thinking that I sure hoped we didn’t have to poke my poor baby in the head.  The belt wouldn’t stay on me because my belly was too round and it kept slipping. haha
I got in a position I liked (I think it was either squatting or sitting on the part of the bed they normally break down during the delivery part) and she was able to get the monitor on effectively.  Baby looked fine.
I really wanted to try and go to the bathroom, but I couldn’t manage getting up. I asked for a bedpan and this didn’t work out so well. I have no idea whether I was successful or not, but I wanted to try. 🙂
Contractions started getting harder.  I had a really hard time concentrating.  I thought about getting pain meds and felt that it was way past that point so I never said anything.  At some point here, I felt something dripping on me and asked what it was – I’d blown my IV out.  Just as they started to put a new one in, my contractions turned pushy.  I got a new IV, was told that I had gotten the full dose of antibiotics, and was checked.  10cm, baby was around +2.  I about died during the checks.  It felt like they were putting me with my head to the floor and butt in the air, but rationally I know that was not the case.  At this point, I was getting silly with what I was saying.  I told them all sorts of lovely things.  “I can’t do this upside down!” and begging to be put upright and all that jazz.  This is about the time I went crazy until after the birth. 😛
Around 2:15AM, my OB showed up. I told him that I was going to die and that this is NOT going to happen. My doula says he chuckled at this and left to go hang out at the nurse’s station. At this point, I was involuntarily pushing during contractions. I could FEEL the baby moving down positions and it was a weird and different feeling since I was sitting upright! (I have always pushed on hands and knees or semi-squatting in past labors.)
By now it was around 2:30 or 2:45AM.  Everything got ridiculously serious and yet my mind went wild.  My rational side was thinking one thing, and my unfiltered labor mind was saying something entirely different to the people in the room!  While I was pushing during these contractions, I was thinking things like, “I can’t do this.  The baby is going to get stuck.  I am broken.  There is no way this is going to work correctly and I’m going to end up with a sick baby or a C-Section”  I was SAYING things like, “OUCH!  This hurts!  I need someone to come VACUUM THIS BABY OUT OF ME right NOW!  I can’t do this anymore!  I feel like I’m freaking crapping on this table!  This is not going to work!  It’s just not going to happen!  I need you to get him OUT of me!”  My doula was awesome.  She kept telling me that I *was* doing this, I was almost done but just had a little more work to do (I told her NO I did NOT and that I was done NOW), asked me what I was thinking wasn’t going to work because obviously it WAS working…
All during this pushing part, I had my eyes closed.  I couldn’t focus any other way and it’s what I normally do anyway to shut out the rest of the world.  I know the doctor showed up at some point and during the early part of the pushing (when I was a 10 and +2), the nurse told the doctor he had time to go out and wait.  He went out to the hall for a little bit, and I was thinking – is this SERIOUSLY going to take SO long that he needed to LEAVE!?  If I was so darn close, why wasn’t he there!!!?  My doula told me later that he just stayed in the hall briefly before coming back in.
My pushing went from all pressure and pain being in my low, low pelvis to feeling like I was tearing apart and I was VERY aware of my bone placement.  I could feel some big bulge coming down low and it honestly freaked me out.  Rationally, I knew this was the baby and his head getting low enough to crown.  Irrationally, I still wasn’t convinced that the baby could possibly be in a good position and be coming down so well.
I was grunting and VERY loud and primal with my pushes.  The nurse was counting, but I was just going with what I needed to do (at the urging and support of my doula, might I add).  My doula mentioned seeing some separation during pushes and that’s when the doctor came in again.  I was being told that I had to move my leg so the baby actually had a place to come out (because my legs weren’t spread eagle while I was sitting on the edge of the bed..).  I kept telling them that I could NOT move my leg.  They were telling me I might want to put my foot in their stirrups and I was telling them that I didn’t think that was going to happen.  (Looking back, I wasn’t trying to be testy – I literally just could not wrap my mind around moving my body while I was so focused.)
I was doing my thing and someone mentioned seeing some head down there and in a few minutes I heard, from several people, “Well, there’s the head!”  Apparently I had seamlessly pushed this person’s head out of my hooha like it was no big deal.  They were telling me that in the next push or two we’d have the body out and be done.  I could not BELIEVE this!  What?!  This soon?
I gave it my all, and out he came with a few more grunts and pushes.  He was immediately placed on me and covered in thick vernix.  What a precious angel!
The VBAC Birth of my 10 pound baby
When I delivered the placenta, it looked PERFECT and I had minimal bleeding.  I was hooked up to Pitocin as a precaution against heavy postpartum bleeding, but at that time it seemed like things were good to go.  I latched my sweet baby pretty quickly after delivery and boy did he know how to nurse from the get-go!  I  was amazed at his latch.  Good grief!

Hubby cut the cord and our son nursed for what seemed like forever.  My OB told me that I had a minor skidmark, no tearing, and that everything looked great.  They weighed my little guy and he was 10lb, 0.3oz. 🙂  Quite a while later, they measured him and he was 21.25” long with a 14.25” head and 14.75” chest. He had been born at 3:24 AM.  He arrived on my 10th wedding anniversary after all!

 The VBAC Birth of my 10 pound baby

A few hours after the birth, I got up to go to the bathroom and passed out afterward.  The nurse was there to catch me and she dragged me to the hospital bed and got me to come to.  When I woke up, she asked if I was alright and I said, “Oh, yeah!  I’m fine… I feel like I just got a long nap…”  Yes, I’m a weirdo!
After that, I insisted that they give me another dose of Pitocin (the other bag had just run out a bit before I got up and they were trying to decide if they wanted to just watch me or give me more… so I chose to just go for it!) and they also reattached me to the IV that they had just taken out when the Pit ran out.  I passed a few large clots in the hours following and then was fine after all of that.  I never felt weird again and realize that perhaps it just isn’t a Jennifer Land birthing story without some mention of passing out.  (I’ve done it after all 4!)

The day after my little guy was born, hubby and I named him: Charlie Andrew.
We had a name formula going to make sure his name fit with the others’ names.  His name had to have 7 letters (Grace: 5, Michael: 7, Heath: 5, this baby: 7), include the vowels A and E like the rest…and his middle name had to start with an A like his brothers’ middle names.  WHEW!  Lots of criteria there, no pressure. 😉
The VBAC Birth of my 10 pound baby
Overall, I am so pleased with this birth experience.  I am glad that I tried chiropractic care for positioning and aches and pains.  I’m glad I chose to birth in the hospital instead of at home (if only so I could separate myself from my kids and could be as loud as I needed to be… I’m sure they would have been worried and I don’t want to worry about passing out in front of them!).  I’m glad I had the option of hospital Pitocin and my OB was great.  He really allowed the flexibility to kind of go with my body and wasn’t bossy toward me at all.
The nursing staff was pretty accommodating as well.  My doula helped keep me focused, calm, and helped me feel in charge.
What would I change?  I would have checked myself out after 24 hours.  We stayed at that hospital way longer than necessary and it was pretty brutal having to be checked on and woken up every 45 minutes or so.
About Jenn L

Jenn lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and 5 children. The family likes to eat healthy and try new recipes. Jenn homeschools all of the kids. She is heavily involved with local bloggers and is slightly addicted to social media.


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  2. […] have some stellar suggestions, I’d love it!  I have been thinking about this since before Charlie’s birth!!  Not only did I stress about his name fitting the pattern, but I went ahead and stressed about […]

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  5. […] fun since we basically just got to catch up and chit chat for a few hours.  She was my doula for Charlie’s birth as well.  She asked me what I was really wanting from her.  Fair […]

  6. […] with us until the baby is born.  This is amazing and I am SO excited!  See, she did this before Charlie’s birth, and it was so fun.  First of all, she and I are both night owls and talkers.  I have had such an […]

  7. […] guys followed me on my pregnancy journey with my son Charlie and my son Ethan.  I still need to get my birth story done for Ethan and share it with you guys. […]

  8. […] in.  Will get checked after I get abx.  Baby is good.  Small ctx happening, reminds me of early labor with Charlie – frequent, but small for now.  Will probably go walking at some point after check.  Might […]

  9. […] hospital-based providers. I chose an OB and was happy with that choice. You can click to read my hospital VBAC story. I “knew” I was in labor from early in the morning until the evening, but it kept […]