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Charlize's Birth Story



I had a feeling the night before that you’d be coming the next day. I was nervous and couldn’t really sleep, had a bad stomach & kept thinking, “it’s the last night just the two of us” out of excitement. We had our hospital bags packed and ready to go just in case.

The next morning, we had an OB appointment at 8:30 am. I was already nervous because I knew we were planning a membrane sweep, and the doctor was about 30 minutes behind which made the anticipation and nerves grow. Finally she got in the room around 9:15 am, did the sweep and I was dilated to a “6 almost 7”, and baby was stationed at 0. She told us if we had our bags packed already (thank goodness we did!) we should just go straight to the hospital, so we did.

When we got to the hospital, they put us in triage, which was more waiting. This young nurse got us checked in, and we awaited our labor nurse to come check dilation to confirm what the doctor said at our appointment earlier. The labor nerves were hitting at this point, and I was trying to relax. In the span of about 20 minutes I went pee twice just because I couldn’t sit still! The contractions were also starting to hit. I had about 3 before the nurse came in - closer together than they had been in the days prior. The labor nurse eventually came in, checked dilation (my mucus plug came out at this point onto the nurses hand) and said I was definitely at least 6 cm, and baby was stationed at 0, just like the doctor had said. She said it was baby time!

The labor nurse walked us to our room, room number 2 at American Fork Hospital, where we would deliver. When we walked in, I felt peaceful. I knew everything would go well, and I was calm and excited knowing baby Baby L was coming. I got set up on a monitor to watch my contractions, as well as to watch baby’s heartbeat. I was having steady contractions, but they really were manageable. I could tell my body knew exactly what to do and how to do it. Hubby did not leave my side (unless I asked him to get snacks or water). He was right there with me, holding me, truly laboring with me and the baby.

Things were moving steady. The doula had arrived, I had been using a yoga ball to relax my hips and to try to dilate more. We had changed positions a few times from a yoga ball, to slow dancing with my hubby, to swaying my hips standing at the side of the bed, even taking a small rest for an hour in the bed with hubby cuddling me from behind. He truly is the best husband and was so involved. He was with me every step of the way, taking care of me and the baby.

The nurse checked me a couple of hours later at about 1pm and I was dilated to a 7. My waters hadn’t broken, and progress was moving a bit slow. The nurse offered for the doctor to come break my waters, but I wanted to wait one more hour for my body to do what it was made to do. I think labor stalled due to nerves when the nurse asked this, since I didn’t progress much after that. So, we waited and let my body do its thing, but dilation had mostly stalled. At 2:30, I told the nurse I was ready for the doctor to break my waters.

I was nervous for the pain past this point. I knew once my waters broke, it would be intense until the baby got here. Up until now, it was all fairly easy as I was able to walk and talk through all of my contractions, and I knew that would change once the sac was opened. Regardless, I was feeling more confident at this point and was so ready for us to meet Baby L. So, we got a peanut ball ready and I was relaxing on my left side with the ball between my legs, trying to dilate more before the fun began.

An hour later (3:30pm) the doctor finally came in to break my waters. He used what looked like a little crochet hook and popped them open. When he checked my cervix, he said baby was at -2 station, but the nurse, doula and I all believe that was due to me laying on my side and the doctors own opinion, since previously my OB and the nurse said she was at 0.

Almost immediately after my waters broke, the intense contractions began. With each contraction, I felt a lot of pressure in my rectum, through my pelvis, and it radiated all the way down my legs and even up into my spine. They continued to get heavier and longer. At this point is really when I started to go to another place mentally between contractions. I did not try to leave, but my body was forcing me to sway to and from physicality with each contraction.

I don’t remember too much about this part of labor - it could be that I’m writing this a week after labor and my hormones are already starting to make me forget, it could also be that I was in and out of this world. I truly felt like I was drifting between the spirit world and this physical world. I do remember a few key points:
- I had a playlist playing, and hubby kept pointing out songs that were playing at certain moments and how perfect their timing was. The music was at a fair volume, but I could not pay attention to the songs at all. My entire focus was on my breathing, relaxing my body, and progressing to baby’s arrival. Although, when it was time for the doctor to come assist with baby coming, her song started to play. When Baby L's head was crowning, “Big Me” by Foo Fighters was playing and when baby was put on me when she was out, it was “Better Together” by Jack Johnson.
- I remember hubby being right there by the side of the bed the whole time. As the painful contractions began, I let out a single tear as my mind realized what was happening within my body. That moment, hubby saw this tear and began crying for me. I’m so glad he was able to bear the emotions for the both of us so I could focus on the physical. I was so concentrated on my body, and it was wonderful he allowed me to do this and it really helped the progression move forward.
- I had an anterior lip at the cervix, and we were just waiting for this to leave before it was time to push!

When transition began to hit, I knew baby was close. I didn’t think the pressure and contractions could get stronger, but they did. It was so intense, I wanted to ask for pain relief. I knew I could handle it and I knew this meant the relief of my child being with me was so close - but I still called in the nurse to ask pain management options. My only option was a fentanyl shot. I didn’t even respond at this point, and continued to labor. I knew once I vocalized that I was in transition and ready for change, it would be time to push. The nurse checked and I had progressed past the anterior lip. She offered for me to continue to labor longer or to push - of course I wanted to push!!

At 4:30 pm, the nurse began coaching me with contractions and pushing. The amount of relief I felt when I began pushing was immense! Not only because I knew baby was near, but being able to push with the pelvic pressure at each contraction was incredible. The nurse coached me for a while with contractions, and helped me stretch the perineal area as I was pushing. I don’t remember this on my own, but the doula told me I kept hugging hubby between pushes. I would push, push, push, and then ask hubby to hold me, and he happily would. I was getting so excited here and was finally able to talk through the contractions, at least a little easier, but not to my full extent. It was here I started to be more conscious and not drift spiritually as much with my contractions, I believe this is because baby was so near and her spirit was slowly entering her body as mine was re-entering my own.

I was determined to get the baby here, and continued to push with everything in me. At one point, I was pushing too much and the doctor knew I wanted assistance with stretching as she was arriving, and he had to hold her head back so I could continue to stretch. Hubby watched as her head began to crown, and he continued to carry the emotions for the both of us. It was so beautiful watching his excitement and amazement.

The doctor began to coach me with pushing, and I was able to stretch out nicely and her head came out easily. I was so relaxed through this phase of labor, and so excited. All of this work, all of the intensity and pain was starting to pay off. Our baby was nearly here! With one more big push, Baby L's body followed and they quickly put her on me. Up to this point, I had no tearing - but her body came out so quickly, her elbow got caught, resulting in a first degree tear. She was ready to be here!! The umbilical cord was short, so she was resting on my belly. The moment I fully rejoined my body was here - having her put onto me and feeling her warmth was what pulled me back here entirely. I will never forget feeling her for the first time - especially her warmth. Her and I were both calm and peaceful. No loud cries, no screams, neither of us made a sound. Although, my first words as I re-entered were, “Oh my god. Holy shit” as I was in pure shock and amazement.

As the placenta was being delivered, it dropped into the tray too quickly and the umbilical cord snapped. Hubby and I believe this is because the cord was starting to fray as she was beyond ready to be delivered and anxious to be here! Although, we didn’t get confirmation on why exactly this happened. The doctor and nurses acted quickly, and fastened the cord to her belly in no time. Hubby did get to cut the cord as they were measuring her, to get the cut a bit closer to her so it wasn’t so long. Cutting the cord was a very important moment to the both of us, and I’m glad Hubby was able to ceremoniously guide & welcome our daughter into this world.

Things winded down quickly from here. I had my baby. Hubby had his baby. We had our family, for the first time on this earth, all together. Hubby was so amazing during birth. He was there with me every step of the way, and I will never forget the pure amazement & excitement he was pouring out. He kept saying to me over and over again, “Thank you. Thank you”. I really couldn’t have done this without his love, his physical closeness, his emotions and his strength. He carried me as I continued to drift between worlds and get our girl.

When the room was cleared and things were winding down, it was just the 3 of us. Our new little family. I will never forget Hubby dropping to the side of the hospital bed as I held our new child - continually thanking me, and congratulating me. “You did it”. He really didn’t know that HE did it too. We did this - together. All 3 of us. We had our roles and knew exactly how to work within each other to get to this moment.

Baby L was born at 5:09 pm on November 16, 2023. Her gestational age was 39 weeks and 3 days. She was 7 pounds 10 ounces, and 19.3 inches long. She is absolutely perfect. Thank you, Baby L for giving us this experience. We are excited and eager for our life and family to continue with you here. You are our whole world. We love you so incredibly much.