Monday, September 17, 2012

Bringing Home Baby

I finally have found time to sit and write about my sweet daughter and properly introduce her.  First let me start off with "the story" of her birth.

As many of you know, I was having a hard time finding a doctor who wanted to take on my complicated situation.  Moving to another state at 7 1/2 months pregnant just opens a whole lot of problems, especially if you have a complex heart like mine.  Once we moved to CA, I thought I had everything worked out, both on the OB side and cardiology side.  I thought I was so ahead of the game.  We moved here and went to my appointments just a few days later.  Yep, I was on top of it.  Then it started to get more and more complicated.  Doctors were not agreeing to deliver me, the right team could not be formed at the hospital of choice (Mission) and I was eventually traveling throughout Orange County in search of a qualified OB.  After going to three different hospitals, I finally chose UCI Medical Center in Orange on Thursday, September 6.  Just remember that date...  Dr. Hameed, who I had met with the previous week, is an OB AND Cardiologist.  WHAT?!?!  How perfect!  After calling talking to her Thursday morning, she said to me, "Are you sure you want to deliver at UCI?"  I agreed.  She then said, "How soon can you get to the hospital...I want to run some tests and possibly induce you tonight."  I just about freaked out!  I told her I could be there in an hour and a half.  I rushed around putting together "the bag" and grabbed work and casual clothes for Josh, just planning for whatever outcome.  I called Josh to tell him and he was a little in shock.  But we both didn't think anything would come of it.  The day before, my cervix had been checked and "was no where to be found."  I really thought, I'll just go in for some tests overnight and come home the next day.

I finally got to the hospital and waited for over an hour in the waiting room.  While I was waiting, I talked to a nurse and they were talking like I was there to be induced.  I couldn't believe it.  Was I really going to be delivering that night when that same morning I didn't even have a doctor???  Once I finally got set up in a room, it was non-stop action from then on out.  I had an echo and EKG done, a whole cardiac team came in and asked a ton of questions, then the OB team trickled in (most of them being residents) all wanting to know my complete health history.   A doctor finally checked my cervix and said I had already dilated to a 1.  I was shocked since the day before it was nothing.  That's when they told me the induction would start that night.

Long story short, they gave me the epidural around 11 pm/midnight, then they put a folli balloon in my cervix to stretch it and dilate me to a four.  Once that had stretched to a four, it took a couple hours to get to a 6.  Once I was at a 6, they broke my water and about thirty minutes later I had dilated to a 10.  When I got to a nine, I kept telling them, I have to push.  They kept telling me not too and that I wasn't fully dilated.  Let's just say you're the only one who knows your body.  I started bawling because I was trying to hold the baby in.  It didn't hurt (thank you epidural) but it was so hard not to push when my body was telling me to push.  So they checked me and sure enough I was at a ten.  Each contraction I did 3 sets of pushes.  I remember looking at the clock at 1:30 right before I started to push.  Six contractions later, at 1:51 pm, I pushed out my baby Charlotte!  No vacuums or forceps or assistance of any kind.  It was all me.  I just couldn't believe it.  The rest was such a blur.  I was in so much shock that Josh got to do the first skin-on-skin.  I am so glad he got to have that bonding experience with his baby.  He did so much that first day...went to all of her exams, cut the cord, skin-on-skin, changed diapers, everything.  I have held her for the last nine months, he needed to have that experience.  I figure we are both her parents, so why does it have to be the me, why can't the father have that moment?

The following days were quick and I was sore.  A lot of trauma to my body, but I couldn't believe how in love with Charlotte I was already!  Saturday, Josh left for practically the whole day to move us into our new apartment (visitors are welcome).  I had some time to spend with my baby.  Tears were shed and the whole day was just emotional.  We had some visitors too...Aunt Lisa, Grandma and Grandpa Neilson, and Uncle Rick and Aunt Arlene.  That night I had Charlotte sleep in the bed with me and it was heaven!

 Sunday, we were discharged.  It always takes ALL DAY to get out of the hospital.  Grandma and Grandpa Sheppard and Robyn came to visit and Tahnee arrived that day too!  Thank goodness everyone came that day because it took all of us to get to the car.  And Josh and I both had our cars Robyn drove me and the baby home and Josh drove his car home.  We came home to our new apartment, filled with boxes.  That night we spent at my parents house and came home the next morning and got right to work.

Tahnee has been a bigger help than I can even explain.  She has got all of our stuff out of boxe, organized our closet, put together our kitchen and so much more.  I don't know what I'm going to do when she leaves on Wednesday!!!

The sleep situation...the first night was rough, but after that it's been great.  She wasn't eating for the first few days.  I felt horrible and she was starving.  I made an appointment with a lactation specialist and it's been great since then.  I now can understand what everyone talks about adjusting to latching on. 

We love having Charlotte here and love snuggling with her in our bed (yes, she sleeps with us).  We can't believe how perfect she is and that we MADE HER!!  I have been so busy every day this past week and on the go trying to get our apartment put together that I am looking forward to this next week of just sitting down and enjoying every moment of my little girl.  We are so grateful that everything went to smoothly and my health has been perfect through the whole pregnancy and postpartum.      

Rick and Pam
Garrett and Nicole
Jack and Joanna
The Cortenbach Family



  1. what an exciting time for you all! and what a blessing you found a doctor that day... the Lord sure works in mysterious ways! :) i love baby charlotte already and can't wait to meet her someday!

  2. Loved this!! How cool that you got deliver Charlotte completely on your own! I remember you saying that it would likely have to be an assisted birth, so that's neat that it worked out for you :) I hope breast feeding continues to go smoothly for you - if you remember it was kind of a disaster for me..haha. I think about you guys all the time!! Can't wait to see you all next month!!!

  3. Tiersha! Charlotte is so cute! I am so happy to hear that all went well with labor and that you are getting settled in nicely. I look forward to many more updates on this adorable little girl!

  4. So glad everything went so smoothly! I remember a day when my cardiologists told me I should think about not having kids. It is amazing how far they have come! I have three and you have your Charlotte. Congratulations! So exciting!

  5. So neat to see the Lord's hand in helping you find the right doctor at the right time, and that you were able to deliver her without assistance. I've been praying for you guys that you can get settled into your new home and adjusted to parenthood! Congratulations to all THREE of you!! :)

  6. I'm so glad that everything worked out so well! Congrats on your adorable new addition!!