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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 longThat 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 sped us to 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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Wednesday 4th of June 2014

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!


Monday 26th of May 2014

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!

Bekah @ re•solve

Friday 23rd of May 2014

Ahhh love this! Best 5 on Friday post :)

Lauren Dalton

Friday 23rd of May 2014

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


Friday 23rd of May 2014

Congrats on the precious girl!!!!