The Birth of Lorelei Charys

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Lorelei Charys was born 3 weeks early on Monday January, 11, 2016 at 3:19 PM. The pregnancy that I had with Lorelei was very different from the pregnancy with Warren. We decided to not find out the gender of baby #2 before delivery, we wanted to leave it a surprise since we found out with our first baby.

The pregnancy with Lorelei, as I mentioned above, was much more difficult than the pregnancy with Warren. I was nauseated the entire pregnancy and I had horrible heartburn. I was also completing my final semester of nursing school and preparing to take the nursing board exam. I weighed much less this pregnancy and had half the energy. You could blame either of these facts on my needing to chase around a toddler when I wasn’t at school or work. Below is a picture of me 20 weeks pregnant with Warren on the left and 20 weeks with Lorelei on the right.

20weeks

Towards my 35th week of pregnancy with baby #2 I began having a lot of braxton-hicks contractions. I was completing my nursing preceptorship on the labor and delivery unit , so I wasn’t too worried about going into early labor. Everyone said that I would likely go early because it seemed like the baby had no room to grow.

I managed to graduate nursing school on December 21st, 2016 and take and pass my nursing boards on January 6th, 2016. I took my sister Annie with me since I had to make a 2 hour out of town drive to get to the testing site. That Friday I went in for my 36 week appointment and found out that I was 2 cm dilated and 25% effaced. I didn’t really think anything of it and I figured that I would still have a few more weeks to go before the real thing started. I was wrong.

That weekend I began to have stronger braxton-hicks contractions. They lasted all day Friday and Friday night into Saturday. They tapered off on Sunday and Monday. Monday night at about 2:30 AM I woke up with strong and painful contractions and I believed that my bag of water had a leak in it, like it did with Warren. Tom had just woken up to go to the bathroom, which was an odd time for him to wake up. It’s like his body knew that something was up.

I tried to go back to sleep but was unfortunately unable to. I woke Tom up and told him that I might be in labor. At this point I was still skeptical. My goal was to not go into the hospital until absolutely necessary so that I could try for a natural medication free labor and delivery. At that time, Tom and I both got up and started packing our hospital bag while I was having contractions. I took a shower, got dressed, and put makeup on. I then texted my sister Lauren who is a doula and told her what was going on. Warren hadn’t woken up yet, so we had time to get things ready.

I spent a few more hours laboring at home with both of my sisters present. Warren was my little buddy and did a really good job while I was having contractions. He didn’t seem phased at all. Around 8:30 AM I decided to call the WIC department at the hospital to tell them what was going on. The lactation consultant said that I should come in since my water had likely broken. There is a risk for infection if the baby is not delivered within 24 hours after the water breaks.

My sister Annie picked me up some Starbucks and we packed up Warren’s things that he would need to stay overnight at Nana and Boppa’s house. The crazy thing is that my mom had just undergone a colonoscopy and was told that she could not be responsible for Warren until the next day. Thankfully, my sisters Lauren and Annie were able to stay with Warren at my parent’s house until my dad got home.

Tom and I then grabbed our things and headed to the hospital. I was still actively contracting but not convinced that I was in active labor.

When we got to the hospital I was taken to room 304 where we met our nurse Julie. Julie was absolutely wonderful. The doctor wanted to start me on an IV right away, but I asked if we could hold of until after I was checked to see if I was actually in labor. The doctor came in and checked my status and told me, much to my surprise, that I was already dilated to 7-8 cm. My bag of water did have a leak in it but it was not completely ruptured. The doctor said that it was bulging and she didn’t think it would be long before I delivered. She also told me that if I wanted an epidural I should get one soon because I might not have time later.

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I really wanted to try for the natural labor so I decided to wait on the epidural. I called my sisters and told them that they could come to the hospital and I let my parents know that this was the real thing.

The doctor came back in to check my progress and decided to fully rupture my bag of water. After she did this I somehow managed to decrease to 5-6 cm in dilation. I had never heard of that happening before, so I was a bit disappointed. I continued to labor in my hospital room. The next time the doctor checked me I hadn’t progressed. She decided that she wanted to start me on a small dose of Pitocin to see if that would speed things up. I absolutely despise Pitocin. I had made myself a promise that if I ever needed to get Pitocin again I would get an epidural. Pitocin stinks, period.

I am very strong-willed and chose to wait on the epidural. Once that Pitocin hit my veins I became very uncomfortable. I tried breathing through contractions, but it was no longer possible. I ended up getting the epidural, much to my dismay. In the end I was glad that I did.

Things progressed very quickly after getting the epidural and increasing the Pitocin amount. It seemed like it was only 20-30 minutes between getting the epidural and delivering Lorelei. We aren’t sure on the exact time, but it was crazy fast. All of the sudden it was time to push.

I was experiencing a lot of pressure and some pretty intense back pain. The epidural worked much better than it had with Warren, but I still had about a tennis ball sized area on my back where I felt everything. I started pushing and Lorelei’s head came out really fast. The doctor then yelled for help.

Lorelei was stuck and had shoulder dystocia. I did some reading up on shoulder dystocia after her birth and found out that it is one of the most anxiety provoking situations in labor for doctor’s and nurses. Complications range from post delivery hemorrhage, 4th degree tears, hypoxia of the newborn, and other complications for the newborn. The scariest complication is death to the mother or infant. At the time I didn’t know any of these complications and I tried to stay calm.

A handful of nurses rushed into the room, I knew all of them from completing my preceptorship with them just a few weeks prior. Julie began pushing on my stomach as hard as she could and the doctor attempted to manually turn Lorelei. I had to stop pushing during this time, which is very hard. Thankfully, she was out in less than 5 minutes of pushing when I was able to resume.

The doctor put her on my chest, Julie announced that it was a girl, and the nurses took her away quickly to monitor her. Tom was able to cut the cord and the nurses brought Lorelei back to me. Being a nurse who recently worked on the labor and delivery unit, I was aware of complications to watch for in a newborn. Lorelei began to start grunting and having sternal retractions. These are signs of respiratory distress. I told Julie what was happening and she took Lorelei for monitoring.

The pediatrician was called and Lorelei had to be taken to the nursery for further monitoring. Praise God, Lorelei ended up being just fine and was able to come back to our room within the hour. She had to be hooked up to a heart monitor and oxygen saturation monitor for awhile, but before bed she was able to take it off.

The pediatrician contributed Lorelei’s respiratory distress to her early arrival and her shoulder dystocia. He termed it transient tachypnea of the newborn. In the end Lorelei was just fine and was able to go home within the normal time frame.

Lorelei Charys came into this world on her own time with a little bit of drama. I expected this much with how the pregnancy went with her went. She weighed 6# 11 oz. and measured 19.5 inches in length. We are so in love and thankful to God that she came when she did, and that she is healthy and strong. Welcome to the world sweet, strong, brave girl!

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