Charlotte Kennedy Lamb...welcome to this crazy world (a birth story about letting go of expectations)

I can remember during my pregnancy, reading so many articles about being flexible and letting go of expectations. And despite all that I read, I like many expecting moms, still had expectations. I dreamed of the day I would meet my daughter. I imagined giving birth (with an epidural of course), and holding my baby in my arms. I imagined getting in and out of bed for that one night in the hospital and checking on our precious infant. I expected to come home and tag team all of our new responsibilities. I expected to exclusively breast feed the minute that she arrived. Well... it didn’t take long for my expectations to go out the windows. 

This story begins Sunday night (the night of my first blog post). David and I arrived at the hospital at 10 PM and I remember feeling so nervous. Nervous about the unknown and especially about getting the epidural. The hospital staff checked us in right away, started my IV and gave me the epidural. They used a contraption called a foley ballon (which I will spare you the details of) to help me dilate and  immediately started me on pitocin. Turns out I was already in early labor and had no Idea. I felt pretty peaceful and slept on and off throughout the night. In the morning, I had not progressed as far as I had hoped but the doctors were reassuring. I had contracted regularly through the night....and into the morning.... and into the early afternoon on Monday. Our baby was handling labor like a boss. I on the other hand was getting frustated with how slowly things were progressing, but I knew that we were only hours from meeting our girl, so we continued on.

Finally by about 6:00 PM after 20 hours of labor, I was 10 CM and had shooting pains in my back. I knew I was ready to push. The nurses got prepped. David and my mom were ready. We were all excited. And then came the first of what at the time felt like bad news...definitely not what I was expecting.  “Your baby is face up...it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to push her out. BUT...its like adding an extra pound, it can be very difficult, and if your lucky she will turn as you push. Let’s give it a shot.” This news disappointed me, but I love a challenge. 

I  was determine to get this baby out the way I had planned, the way I expected her to arrive. I started to push....and I pushed...and I pushed... for just over an a hour and a half. The nurses were fantastic, the doctor was supportive and David and my mom were both incredible. Even through the pushing, not a single tear, not a single curse word (though I thought many)...I felt good. I felt ready. I just wanted to meet her. And then the doctor had an honest conversation with me. My baby’s head was stuck. We started talking C’section and for the first time in 24 hours I totally lost it. This was not what I wanted. This was not what I planned for. This was not what I was expecting.

I am a type A person. I love schedules. I love plans. I love being prepared - all things I have come to quickly learn are incompatible with childbirth and caring for a newborn. HOW could I have spent 9 months growing a child and not done my research and prepared for the possibility of a C-section. I didn’t even have time to think or process the fact that what I had originally expected was no longer a reality and instead, in what felt like mere seconds, I was being lifted onto an operating table, draped, and cut open. I originally expected a vaginal birth and ended up in a C-section. I originally expected to be up and carrying my baby moments after birth and instead was stuck in a bed in pain and needing help to use the bathroom and to shower. I originally expected to be out of the hospital after one night but instead was there for three.  It has been quite a long week - and truthfully it has taken some time (and some pain meds) for me to make peace with how my baby arrived. 

Who knew that something so tiny could teach you such a big lesson so early in life. Let go of your expectations. Let go of the life you have planned and make room for the life that is waiting for you. Because in the end, it didn’t matter how Charlotte got here, all that mattered was that she did. And while the birth experience was not what I expected, Charlotte Kennedy Lamb was more than I expected, and for that I am forever grateful. So without further adieu, Welcome to the World Charlotte Kennedy Lamb....we sure can’t wait to what you grow.