Monday, May 19, 2014

Caroline's Birth Story

I woke up bright and early on my due date, May 6, excited and hopeful that our 40 week checkup scheduled for that afternoon would bring us good news. When we arrived to our appointment we were immediately hooked up to a monitor for a stress test to measure the baby's heartbeat, kicks and contractions. All looked good so we proceeded to the exam where we found out I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced. That was great news, but still not progress I had hoped for. Our doctor estimated that given my progress he was betting she would come two days later and stripped my membranes for some insurance.
 Caroline Grace Marcellino
May 7, 2014 at 4:42 p.m.
6 pounds, 11 ounces
19 inches long
That evening I felt crampy, like really crampy. I went to bed early and woke up around midnight with contractions that were 6-10 minutes apart, lasting for about a minute each. For 4 hours I laid awake timing my contractions until they got so intense that I decided to squeeze in one last bath in hopes we'd be packing the car for the hospital later that morning. Although the frequency of my contractions wasn't changing, the intensity certainly was, so around 8 am Matt called the hospital and discussed my symptoms and contraction patterns with the nurse on call. She instructed us to come in. We packed the car and Matt dramatically sped to the hospital like he was acting out a labor scene in a movie. He detoured through parking lots to avoid traffic lights, cut people off, used the horn and doubled the speed limit. Okay, not really, but I should also mention we live less than a mile from the hospital.
By 9 a.m. we were checked into triage, dressed in a hospital gown, hooked up to an IV and my epidural had been ordered (I didn't waste any time asking for it)! After two bags of saline were administered, we were admitted into our labor & delivery room and I finally received my epidural. This was by far the most painful experience I had throughout labor. Matt almost fainted from watching the process and I cried from the pain. However, a few minutes later I was happy, happy, happy once the drugs set in and from there on out I was all smiles. My epidural was perfect and I was so thankful to still be able to feel my legs for pushing but no pain at all. Since I was up all night from the contractions I took a nice long nap for the next few hours.
Around 1 pm Matt's parents arrived to the hospital and awaited Caroline's arrival. About 45 minutes later the nurses came to check on me and informed us that I was 5 cm dilated and they were going to break my water to speed things up.
During the next few hours I took another long nap, snacked on ice chips, played on my iPad, listened to music, texted our friends and Matt journaled about our labor.
At 4 pm the nurse came back to check on me and excitedly told me that I was 10 cm dilated and that the baby's head was already coming down the canal! She ran to get the doctor and told me that I would be pushing in less than 10 minutes! Matt and I couldn't believe it. Within minutes we were about to have our sweet baby girl in our arms and I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of our labor! We hugged, kissed and prayed. In came lots of nurses, equipment and the doctor. We were given the option to watch our birth in a mirror and although everyone advised me against it we opted to do it and I'm so glad we did! Matt was able to comfort and hold me while we watched Caroline enter the world together. It also really helped motivate me to push because I could see her coming with each push.
 
I know it sounds crazy but I smiled and giggled through the entire labor. The nurses kept telling me they've never seen any mom so smiley during labor. I smiled so hard my cheeks hurt. After 15 minutes of pushing Caroline literally popped out at 4:42 p.m. and Matt cut the cord! She came so fast and the sound of her first little cry made my entire world stop and time stood still in that moment. She was immediately placed onto my chest while the nurses wiped her down and there she stayed for the next hour. Within minutes of being placed on my chest we locked eyes and Caroline gave me the best present I could ever receive - her first smile. Her beautiful eyes were wide open and she was incredibly alert as she reached up and touched my face over and over again. 
After her first feeding (she did great!), Caroline was measured, weighed, bathed and her footprints stamped.
Later that evening we were notified that our postpartum room was ready for us. As we started packing up the nurses tried to get me up for the first time. I made it a few steps before I fainted and fell to the floor. Matt was an absolute mess. I woke up to a tube of ammonia under my nose and a blurry vision of tons of nurses standing over me telling me I was in the hospital and had just given birth. After awhile they moved me back to the bed, pumped two more bags of saline into my system, gave me some sugar and I napped for an hour. Matt paced the room frantically and continued to ask the nurses tons of questions. I've never seen him more worried in my life and the nurses referred to him as the "worry wart dad" for the rest of our stay. After that exhausting ordeal our nurse had us upgraded to a nicer postpartum suite with a beautiful skyline view of Charlotte.
Over the next two days the grandparents visited with us, a few girlfriends stopped by, we rested, recovered, changed lots of diapers, learned how to breastfeed and got to know our little babe. The nurses were so wonderful and we had such a great experience. 
On Friday we were discharged and so excited to get home and introduce Caroline to Charlie. As we exited the maternity center we got to turn the lullaby key which plays a lullaby throughout the entire hospital. It was such a sweet way to say goodbye.
 {first car ride home}
Since coming home we have been absolutely smitten with our little girl. We are finally getting the hang of feeding, sleeping, changing, etc. and our sweet babe is starting to sleep nice long stretches (3-4 hours) through the night which has been great. My mom has been staying with us and it is so nice to have her help, especially with Matt going back to work (today). Mom and I get out of the house quite a bit to run errands, shop, eat lunch, etc. and I never have to worry about cooking, cleaning, walking Charlie, laundry, watering the plants, running to the grocery store, etc. I'm going to be so sad when she leaves.
Caroline is also doing so great and has already had two routine check ups. She smiles quite a bit, has really strong legs and arms, can lift her head and roll to her side already. She rarely cries unless she's hungry and she absolutely loves getting baths!! She and Charlie are still getting acquainted. The first few days he was pretty terrified of her but is now warming up to her and checks on her when she stirs.
 
Thank you all for your prayers and support through our pregnancy and labor. The emails, calls, texts, blog comments, flower deliveries, gifts, cards and visitors have poured in these past 10 days and we feel so loved and blessed.
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69 comments:

  1. So happy labor went so well! She is absolutely beautiful and I love how alert she looks! Enjoy this time with your mom and savor each moment xo

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  2. Congratulations! Birth stories always make me tear up... Babies really are little miracles :). Enjoy these early days with your little girl!

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  3. She is so precious! So happy for you that the labor went well and you only had the little fainting spell after. Hopefully you were feeling better quickly! Hope you're enjoying mommy-hood so far! Can't wait to see more pics of her!

    <3, Pamela
    sequinsandseabreezes.blogspot.com

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  4. Congratulations! She is beautiful!! What a special story- I love all of the details! Especially the part about him getting you to the hospital lol ;)

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  5. Thanks for sharing - glad everyone is healthy!

    Can't wait to start seeing cute pics of Caroline and Charlie!

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  6. So sweet. So happy you enjoyed your labor experience!!!! Congratulations on your sweet baby girl!!!!!

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  7. This is the sweetest story! So glad to hear your labor wasn't too long and that you had a positive experience at the hospital! Baby Caroline is absolutely beautiful! Hope recovery is treating you good pretty mama!

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  8. Congratulations :) I am glad you had good nurses! I just graduated last week and I work in Labor & Delivery and I Iove hearing when people have amazing experiences like yours! :)

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  9. she is absolutely precious. she must get her good naturedness from you!

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  10. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing! Yup, I teared up too when she was born & you first held her. Precious, precious photo!! Soak up these baby days :)

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  11. Incredible, girlie. Glory to God!! xx

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  12. Awesome post! Congrats again! I almost fainted as well when they were trying to move me from the birthing room to my next room.
    So awesome you didn't have to do a lot of pushing! She's beautiful. Enjoy your time with your Mom.

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  13. She is so beautiful God Bless your beautiful family xoxo

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  14. So nice to hear you had such a happy birth. That gives me hope! Congrats! She is beautiful.

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  15. So glad you had such a great experience! Enjoy getting to know your little girl!

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  16. I was waiting for this post! So Happy for you two and so happy she is doing so well!! Congrats again!!! xoxo

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  17. What a wonderful birth story - I can only imagine what Matt was going through seeing you in pain, but I would expect nothing less than you being the happiest woman in labor - I mean that is your personality!! Congratulations again!!

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  18. Congratulations!! Caroline is adorable. And what a beautiful birth story, thanks so much for sharing! xo

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  19. love love love!! so glad everything went so smoothly with the exception of the brief fainting moment ;) so sweet of Matt to be so concerned! so cute! She is perfect!!!

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  20. Sounds like you had a relatively normal and drama-free labor and delivery, minus passing out afterward! Congratulations again - so glad you, Caroline and the family are doing well. Best wishes!

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  21. Congratulations! What a sweet birth story!! Best Wishes!!

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  22. Glad you had such a lovely birthing experience overall! Caroline is absolutely precious!! Congrats! - M

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  23. Oh my goodness, this is one of the sweetest things I've ever read. So happy y'all are happy and she was delivered to y'all healthy! The black and white photo of Matt kissing your forehead is just so precious. I'm sure that's a photo Caroline will come to treasure so much because you can see the love y'all share.

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  24. Congratulations sweet couple!! She is beautiful!

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  25. So happy your delivery went so well and smoothly!! She is absolutely precious. Congrats :)

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  26. So glad that everything went well, and that your precious baby girl is here now! Congratulations! Also, loving that your hubby was so nervous and protective of you. So sweet:)

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. What a sweet post! It's going to be fun to follow your journey and watch Caroline grow through your blog! So happy to hear it's been a smooth transition since being at home! <3

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  29. Oh gosh I just love birth stories. I'm over here softly crying ha. So cute about your husband. I can't imagine the role reversal having to watch a loved one be in pain or go through that. Love your mnm favors! Congrats again on a beautiful perfect little lady.

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  30. So amazing to hear your story. So happy for you and your family! :)

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  31. What a beautiful baby girl! Glad to hear everything went pretty smoothly.

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  32. Christina- she is absolutely adorable! Congrats to you & Matt! I'm so glad your delivery was such a joy!

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  33. WOW! Absolutely amazing!! & what a beautiful little blessing! Congratulations again!!!

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  34. Such a great story!! Congratulations!!

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  35. She is so beautiful! Congrats to your little family! I have been following along with your pregnancy journey,and was so excited to see her beautiful face on Instagram. Such a blessing :)

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  36. I've never seen a baby smile so much. She is beautiful. Congratulations.

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  37. she is beautiful! congratulations to you and your husband!! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  38. SO happy you had a smooth labor & delivery!! Caroline is beyond precious! Enjoy every moment xo

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  39. Such a sweet story!! Sounds like it went relatively smooth too!! Congrats!

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  40. Such a beauty! Congrats mama. And your poor husband had every right to freak out, my goodness that must have terrified him!

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  41. Congratulations!! Such a sweet birth story and sounds like things are going so well at home!

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  42. She is so precious, and your pictures are beautiful!

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  43. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl!!! She is so sweet :) So glad your birth experience was so wonderful!
    www.chasingdreamsandcatchinglife.blogspot.com

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  44. Congrats on your beautiful baby girl!!!

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  45. Love, love, LOVE this!!! I've been following your blog for a while now, and all the happiness has prompted me to write my own blog (if nothing else, to rant and rave about life). Seriously am smitten with your blog and you and Matt look so in love with baby Caroline! : )
    - K - {breakfastwhollyg.wordpress.com}

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  46. Awww... she was born on my birthday! She is gorgeous! I'm so glad you are both doing well.

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  47. Congratulations! So happy to hear everything went so well! She is absolutely gorgeous! :)

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  48. Congratulations, Caroline is absolutely precious! Such a sweet post of such an important day and you looked amazing even in labor! Love the lullaby key...what a sweet idea! Hope y'all are settling in and enjoying the time w. the grandparents spoiling you a little. : )

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  49. What a sweet birth story and that lullaby key-- such a great idea. I can't wait to follow along and watch your sweet babe grow :)

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  50. What a sweet birth story! Such a beautiful baby girl! :) May I ask, did you have someone there to take pictures or did you just take them yourselves?

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  51. So happy she's here safe and sound! She is absolutely beautiful. Great job mama!

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  52. What a beautiful story- except for the part about you fainting! No wonder your hubby was pacing! Congratulations, you two. She is just gorgeous :)

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  53. Hi Christina,

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  54. What a blessed mama, baby and daddy! Beautifully written and what an incredible birth story! So happy for you! xo

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  55. We love your blog and just want to say congrats to you and your family on your sweet baby girl's birth!!

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  56. I am so glad things went so well for you. What a sweet story. Congratulations!!!

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  57. So precious! Perfect outfit, perfect pictures, perfect baby!

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  58. So precious! Perfect outfit, perfect pictures, perfect baby!

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  59. Congratulations love! I loved reading your story and from the looks of your pictures I would say you delivered at Hemby! I was an intern there for 6 months and actually did a rotation in the NICU! Caroline is absolutely beautiful, enjoy this special time with her!

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  60. Congrats on the precious girl!!!!

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  61. What a beautiful story! Congrats on your little girl!!! Enjoy every moment you can :)

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  62. Ahhh love this! Best 5 on Friday post :)

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  63. Have been out of town the last couple of weeks and am so glad to come home to this! What an absolutely beautiful family. As a hopeful one-day-mother, it is nice to see such a happy birth story. :) Thanks for sharing!

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  64. I had Trace at that exact hospital -- wasn't it a wonderful experience?I loved my nurses, the views of Charlotte and my overall experience! I couldn't be happier for you and I'm so glad that your delivery went so smoothly (I just knew it would!). You're a natural!

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