Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Fifth Birthday Booferdeedoo



June 30 2005 was a very long day.
We had checked in the night before at 7pm to start my induction. My body wasn't ready to be induced, but I was 40 weeks and at the end of what I could handle and Charlotte was expected to be still born, so it was time. Plus she was still alive, and I wondered if waiting anymore would take away our hope of having just one breath with her. One breath.
So I was started on cervadil, and hooked up to monitors, and a long night began. My back was killing me and I was very agitated. Our families came and sat around my bed and made small talk and laughed quietly and I was so anxious. After they left I asked for something to help me sleep and the nurse brought me 5 mg of ambien, and I was too embarrassed to tell her 10 mg, at home, when I'm not in labor, barely does the trick. So I tried arching my back on all fours, and that shoved my IV through the vein which had to be restarted. I had asked for a room with a jetted tub, hoping to spend a good part of the night and day in there, but didn't realize I would need to be hooked up to monitors all night and wouldn't be able to get out of bed.
Zar took a bath, ate his dinner (I got nothing) and tried to sleep in the chair next to my bed. At 4 am he remembered he had a camping mattress in the car and went out to get it. I just lay on my side and stared at the wall. I heard the nurse giving report outside my door--"it's a Downs baby" she said and I wanted to yell "I WISH!"
In the morning I was having painful contractions but was only dilated to....NOTHING. I was so frustrated. My wonderful OB, even though I was going nowhere, offered me an epidural. He figured I was going to go through enough. My family came again, and tried to turn on the TV which just about put me over the edge, so I got my drugs and finally slept. And peed the bed. Yes I should have had a catheter, but I didn't.
Suddenly three nurses ran in and rolled me to my side and instructed me to hold the hand rail. They stared at the monitors and one left to call my doctor. Charlotte's heart rate was slowing. I gripped the handrail with all my strength--I was paralyzed and HEAVY, and cried. I lay for what seemed like hours just holding white knuckled to the rail, and finally my doctor came in, and said if this was a "normal" pregnancy, I would've been rushed to C-section two hours ago. But it wasn't, and we had planned for a still birth, and it was looking like that was what was going to be. Weeks before I had said No C-section, there was no need and I didn't need to be recovering from major surgery while burying my baby. But now, when we were so close, and she was just hours from being in my arms, it seemed ridiculous to give up on that hope. One breath.
So I said I wanted the C-section. My doctor checked me, and I was a a ONE AND A HALF...and going nowhere fast. He recommended we break my water, turn off the monitors and prepare for what was going to be. I said no. I was too tired and miserable and hungry, I wanted that surgery, and I wanted it NOW.
However, I wasn't a priority case, and two ORs were full, the other had to be kept open for emergencies.
So for two hours I lay in bed with my family, with the monitors on, watching Charlotte's heart doing much better. They brought me a little grieving mommy kit, with a camera, a teeny little preemie dress, a journal and a picture frame. I ate cup fulls of ice and pushed my drug button every two minutes.
And finally, they began to prep me. Zar got in his scrubs and lay on the floor. I chewed my ice and waited. Just as they began to wheel me away, I saw the nurses look at the monitor and glance at each other. Her heart was slowing again.

In the OR they brought Zar a chair and told him not to stand up. (He was looking quite pale.) They asked if, when she was born, we wanted to see her immediately or should they take her away to work on her first? We said we wanted to see her right away. And moments later, she was here. It was 4:06 pm when I looked at the clock. There was no cry. They lifted her little curled body over the sheet and Zar and I both gasped and burst into tears. She was so, so perfect. We had been prepared for something much different, not for a nearly perfectly formed 6 lb 5 oz baby. They took her to the other side of the room, and Zar held my hand. I just kept saying "it's okay, it's okay!" and then, there was a little mew of a cry, and Zar jumped up and ran to be with her. I laughed and cried and heard little cries and then silence again. And then, I heard Zar blessing her, saying through sobs that she was too good for this earth and that we loved her. I closed my eyes and wished I had seen her crying. I thought it was over.
When they brought her to me, her eyes were wide open and she wasn't crying. I held her against my face and touched her face and smelled her and then yelled "take her!!"
"Look at your baby!" the nurse said, and I shook my head and she took her. And then I threw up in my hair.

When they wheeled me back to my room my family was in tears and I was grinning from ear to ear.
"Did you see her? She's beautiful!" I said and they all watched the door expectantly. And they brought her in all bundled and sweet, and put her in my arms. The nurses left and shut the door, and it was quiet. We passed her around for hours, just taking her in, thinking this was all we would get and being so grateful for it. Finally, two nurses came in wheeling a warming station and bath supplies, and she had her first bath right in the room, which she loved.
She had lots of visitors that evening, and lots of pictures were taken. When it got late and everyone left and Zar passed out in the chair next to my bed, I held her and could not believe I had a baby in my arms. It was an amazing birthday, the most amazing day of my life.
Happy Birthday Boofus. You changed everything and we will celebrate you forever.

14 comments:

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

What a beautiful baby she was. Thank you for sharing her with us!

Happy birthday sweet Charlotte.

Lacey said...

what an amazing story! thank you for sharing.

Lacey said...

Happy birthday Beautiful girl!! Thanks for changing my life!

Amanda said...

Happy Birthday, darling Charlotte. Everyone's Boofus. You taught me so much. Love you, sweet girl. Hope you're having a great time!!

kristen said...

Happy Birthday Dear Charlotte!!!

{ Bethany } said...

That was beautiful. Happy Birthday, Charlotte!

Michelle said...

Beautiful, through and through :)

Michelle said...

Beautiful, through and through :)

Michelle said...

Beautiful! Through and through :)

Anonymous said...

She taught us all so much. We love you ALL!

Love, Carolyn H.

Ann said...

Happy Birthday to Charlotte! She is so beautiful, I love her newborn pictures. That is an amazing story, and I too thank you for sharing it - I read it through tears - you are an amazing Momma - Happy "Birthday" to you too!!

Shannon said...

Happy Birthday Charlotte. Awesome post Erin- it really was the most incredible day. We are all so lucky that you shared her with us.

Becky said...

I LOVED your happy ending. What an amazing little girl. Happy birthday Boofus!

Dee said...

Happy birthday to our sweet friend who touched my families life. My kids still talk about miss Charlotte. She is such a sweet girl that changed our lives.