Monday, April 16, 2012

Charli's Birth Story

I went to my last doctor appointment before induction day on Monday, March 19, 2012. My doctor checked me and said I was dilated to a 3 and sent me home with instructions to call her and head to the hospital in town if labor started later that day. I remember emailing my mom about 11:00am asking if what I was feeling could be contractions. She said yes and to start timing them and to call my doctor. I downloaded an app to my phone and started timing contractons. By this point it's around noon. I called the hospital to see if they could page my doctor, but they said they would have to wait till after her lunch hour. I called her office at 1:05pm and she said to head to the hospital. My mom had come home for lunch and when I told her what my doctor has said, she called my dad and out the door we went. Upon arrival at the hospital, the nurses asked me if I was Samantha M-something. I said, "No, I'm Heather Johnson. Dr Kirchner sent me." They asked again if I had ever gone by Sam, and again I said no. Apparently, my doctor had sent another girl to the hospital at the same time. I was quickly registered and taken to a room to undress and gown up. When the nurse asked how far apart my contractions were, (thank-you momma) I handed her my phone. She hooked me up to a baby monitor. Anesthesia put an IV in my hand that would remain there for the duration of my stay in the hospital. My doctor came in about the same time my dad and grandmother arrived. We laughed after she said she knew I would be coming in after our appointment that morning. She told me the transport had been ordered and the helicopter was on its way. (Because of Charli's condition, I needed to deliver at a hospital with an N.I.C.U.) A nurse the came in and put a urine catheter in and I told my parents to head to the other hospital before I left because the helicopter ride would only take about 15 min. We said our goodbyes and they were on their way. Shorty after, the air life team arrived, my doctor signed me over to them and I was transferred from comfortable tempur-pedic hospital bed to not comfortable stretcher. A nurse escorted us through the halls where passersby stared at my huge tummy. The air life team and I joked about the oncoming storm sending me into labor, and the age of our pilot. I remember him saying, "you want your pilot like your surgeon, old but not too old, gray but not too gray." The nurse grabbed my phone as I was slid into the helicopter and took pictures as  was put into place. She handed me back my phone and the door was shut. We were on our way!

I arrived at the hospital about 3:20pm and was taken to tirage. I was hooked up to another baby monitor and my mom arrived not too far behind me. After enough monitoring to make sure I was really in labor, they wheeled me to a labor delivery room. An IV of fluids was started and anesthesia came in with paperwork and a pen. Around 5:00pm, my epidural was ordered and administered. 

About 6:30pm or 7:00pm my water was broken in a very controlled environment to prevent cord prolapse, and another heart monitor was attached to Charli's head. At about 9:00pm I still hadn't progressed past a 4, and pitocin was administered through an IV. I was still in shock that I would soon meet my baby girl, but it hadn't really sunk in completely. Nurses monitored Charli's heart beat along with my contractions and every time it dipped or she moved away from the monitor a nurse rushed in put me on oxygen and rolled me to my side. I napped on and off waiting for progression. At about 10:40pm, her heart rate dropped dramatically, and a nurse walked in with the doctor. They couldn't get Charli's heart rate back up and the doctor decided it was time to check me again. She determined I was completely dilated and introduced herself. (That's why she had come in my room to begin with.) She said something like, "I'm Dr. Lunsford and I'll be delivering your baby tonight. Sorry to meet you like this, but it's time for you to push!" She let me breathe (if that's even possible wearing an oxygen mask???) between contractions and made me push through them. I'm thankful for medicine and the amazing epidural I had, I felt NOTHING!!! After about 20 min of pushing every other contraction and a quick episiotomy, Charli finally made her debut at 11:04pm!!!  I am one happy momma!!! <3 After she was swaddled and a hat put on her head, they let me hold her for a few minuets before they whisked her away to the N.I.C.U. for measurements and weight. 

Soon after, I began shaking uncontrollably as the effects of the epidural wore off. I was extremely thirsty after having been deprived of water for 12 hours, I downed 2 cups of water, only to puke it all back up. I do not recommend throwing up after delivering a baby, it hurts!! I know I was brought food, but I didn't touch it. When I was able to stand again, I was taken to my postpartum room where they began 48 hours of antibiotics to fight off my fever. I wasn't able to see Charli till it went down, so I went to sleep soon after being moved to my new room. My mom and I went up to see Charli as soon as my fever was gone at 6:00am. My mom took a beautiful picture of me with Charli, and it's still one of my favorites.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nine months in two minutes.

"I hope to have as many friends as the stars in the sky. I think that I am getting very close to my wish" -Annie Forts

Friday, April 6, 2012


Just when you think you have learned what you need to know in life, someone special comes into it and shows you just how much more there is. -Unknown

Photo By: Tammy Johnson (

I feel like all I've done is research and learn all I can about Down syndrome so I can be prepared for my little girl. Everyday I learn something new, and for the rest of my life that will be the case. For now, though, I just want to enjoy the firsts with Charli.