The Birth of Anna Joy

11 Nov

As Anna lies sleeping on my lap, I figured now is the best time to document the birth before heading home in a few days.


Anna Joy
5 lbs, 18.5 inches
Born at 4:48 pm on 11/9/2013

Saturday morning started like any other Saturday morning, except the fact that I was showered by 6:30 am so that I could enjoy some snuggles with my boys before the day started.  I was to be at the hospital by 8 am so I was able to be with my boys for an 1 hour before we left.

Henry and I arrived at the hospital around 8 am where we had to go over all the necessary paperwork needed for having a baby abroad, insurance and so on.  We were then shown our room and waited for the doctor to arrive.  They hooked me up to the fetal monitoring just to check on the baby and all was well.  I was having contractions every 10 minutes, but nothing painful.

Dr. S arrived around 9 am and did a quick check on me, and while at it inserted some Cervidil to help my cervix dilate naturally before starting the Pitocin .  My cervix was still quite posterior so he told us to go downstairs, grab a snack and go for a walk.  It was a beautiful morning so we did just that.  I was to be back in the room around 11 am where he would check on me and the baby again.  Around 11 am I was dilating just a little, around 1-2 cm.

They brought lunch around 12 pm and told me to eat lightly and that after lunch we would start the induction.

At 1 pm I was taken to the room where I would labor and deliver in.  I was assigned a midwife for the delivery (all L &D nurses here are midwives) and she would stay in the room the entire time.  She inserted the IV right away and then proceeded to start the Pitocin at 1:12pm.  Dr. S came in around 1:30 and broke my water at 1:32pm – no turning back from this point on.

From this point on they checked me every hour to see how I was dilating.  To be quite honest, I was contracting ever 2 1/2 minutes, but they were just like light menstrual cramps, nothing too uncomfortable.  I was dilating nice and slowly which is the best I guess because it’s more gentle on the cervix.

Around 4 pm is when it became real.  I was really having to breath through my contractions, but found great relief in between.  My midwife was the most amazing nurse I’ve had, and sat there next to me and helped me breath through each and every contraction.  At 4:30pm Dr. S checked me and said I was 5 cm, but the baby’s head was still a little high.  Once he finished the check, the baby dropped and engaged.  He decided to go down to the first floor to grab a quick Coke (we were on the second floor) and said he’d be back up soon.  My midwife left the room to grab a quick coffee a few doors down.  This is where it all begun.  I told Henry that I was feeling incredible amounts of pressure and he asked if he should hit the call button.  My response was “I don’t know” which to Henry meant “Yes, immediately!”  My midwife returned within 30 seconds and I told her that I needed to push.  She was talking to me saying not to all while calling Dr. S to get him back upstairs….and quickly.  He returned within a few minutes, out of breath, in jeans and a button up shirt – there wasn’t any time to gown up.

I was having the burning sensation (ring of fire) when he walked in.  Immediately when he walked in he told me to go ahead and push.  I pushed once, the head was out, pushed again and at 4:48 pm Anna Joy Charlton was born – with strong lungs.

They immediately placed her on me!  Daddy was crying and I was in love!  Before feeding her they took her weight, length and did her Apgar test.  She did amazingly well with the Apgar, 9/10, which was a concern of ours with her being so small.  She is super healthy, more hair than both boys combined at birth and we couldn’t be happier.

On a side note: Dr. S came to check on me yesterday and informed me that when he walked in the door he saw her head coming out, was able to grab a glove to hold in in place while the midwife gloved the other hand.  He almost missed her delivery.

I recovered in the delivery room for the first 2 hours before going back to my room.  Anna fed for a good 45 minutes.  After the recovery process I was able to walk back to my room, I was feeling great.  This is the best I’ve recovered so far.  I don’t have any swelling, the bleeding is minimal and most importantly, Anna is being a rockstar feeding and not losing too much of her weight.

I had 3 personal fears going into labor and delivery and I was able to avoid them all.  Epidural, Episiotomy and Cesarean Section.  It sounds a bit crazy but I’m in a different country where medicine isn’t practiced the same; but I can say, Clinique Cecil does amazing work.

Of course my biggest concern was Anna, but she couldn’t be more perfect and healthy!

Here are a few photos from our day:


Checkin on baby girl early in the a.m.


In the delivery room


So blessed to see that Anna was healthy


Getting checked out by the nursery nurse


Feeling so blessed


My amazing midwife




Daddy’s little girl


He’s so in love already



3 Responses to “The Birth of Anna Joy”

  1. Heather November 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Congratulations, Tara and Henry!!! Reading this, I have tears in my eyes because it’s sounds like the perfect delivery and welcome for Anna into the world. I’m so happy for your family! I also can’t believe how fast she engaged and was delivered! Wow! She is absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait to see more pics!

  2. Jen November 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Congrats!! We are so happy for you : ) It sounds like a great delivery!! I think she looks like you in the picture of her laying and getting checked out by the nurse! What a cutie pie.

  3. Jes November 18, 2013 at 1:03 am #

    What a beautiful baby girl!! Congrats!!!

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