It’s been about two and a half weeks since Charlotte was born, and, now that most of our friends have had the chance to read her birth story, there are a few questions we’ve been asked about the whole experience.
If you haven’t read about the birth story, you can read about it here:
Once you’re familiar with how Charlotte was born, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:
How did you choose the name Charlotte Hazel?
Charlotte was the name of one of Sabrina’s great-great-grandmothers, and Sabrina grew up hearing stories about her. When we got married and started planning out baby names, she mentioned how much she’d like to have a daughter named Charlotte.
After hearing Sabrina’s reasoning, there really wasn’t another option for our first daughter. We were a little surprised to learn that the name Charlotte had become so popular over the past 5 years or so, but we didn’t let that change our minds.
Hazel is the first name of my maternal grandmother, as well as the first name of her mother (my great-grandmother).
We tried it as a middle name for Charlotte fairly early in the pregnancy, and we felt like it was the right option. We found out later in the pregnancy that Hazel was also the name of another one of Sabrina’s great-great-grandmothers.
So that was a fun surprise.
I really like the name Charlie as a girl’s name, so I’m trying to decide if I’m going to call her Charlotte or Charlie. Right now I mostly call her baby.
Are we mad at those who sent us home from the hospital earlier that morning?
No, we’re not. When we got to the hospital, Sabrina hadn’t progressed very much further than she had been for the past 3 to 4 weeks. Even though she felt like the contractions were stronger, they hadn’t had much of an effect on her cervix.
There wasn’t any reason for the nurse, midwife, or anybody else to believe that Sabrina’s body would go through such a rapid change in the next hour and a half.
We just as likely could have been admitted and then spent the entire day with little to no progress. We were also worried that the contractions would stop like they had multiple times over the preceding weeks.
We would rather be sent away and have the baby at home – which we did – than be admitted and later forced to induce due to little progress.
Did Sabrina want drugs?
No, she didn’t. Since she ended up giving birth in our bathroom, there weren’t any drugs readily available, even if she had wanted them.
Our plan from the beginning was to have the birth be as natural as possible. She didn’t want to be induced. She didn’t want an epidural. She wanted as little intervention as possible.
The final 15 minutes or so of labor were definitely uncomfortable for her, but mostly because she thought she had another 4-6 hours to go. If she had known she was at the end of labor she could have allowed her body to push the baby out sooner.
Regardless, Sabrina didn’t want drugs at any point.
Was it traumatizing?
As I mentioned earlier, the scariest part was just not knowing how far along Sabrina was. It would have been easier for her mentally to know she was at the end of labor, and that she didn’t have to worry about another 4-6 hours.
Now that she has a reference point for how labor feels for her personally, we’re excited to have more babies.
Just not quite yet.
How did Sabrina stay so calm?
Sabrina has always seen birth as something natural and beautiful. Her mom has given birth to 2 children in the hospital, 7 children at home, and another planned at home this May.
(For those doing the calculations, that does mean Charlotte will have an aunt or uncle younger than her.)
Anyway, because of all the babies being born at home, Sabrina was used to the birth process. I mean, as used to it as she could be without going through it herself.
She wasn’t afraid of giving birth. She was only really afraid of somebody forcing her to do something she saw as unnecessary.
We prepared together by taking a HypnoBirthing class back in January, which focused on the importance of relaxing your body and allowing your body to do what it was designed to do.
We were both pretty calm up until the last 15 minutes or so of labor. We both got a little more nervous since we weren’t sure how, or if, we were going to get to the hospital, contractions were coming too close together to do anything else, and we couldn’t believe baby was coming already.
But maybe her being so relaxed once she got home was the reason her body went from zero to a hundred so quickly.
Will we have future babies at home, since we’ve already done it once?
Our ideal situation would be to have our babies at home, with a midwife there to observe and support.
We only planned on having Charlotte at the hospital because of insurance reasons. Having the baby at the hospital would be covered, and having the baby at home – or at a birthing center – would not be covered.
Knowing that having the baby at the hospital wouldn’t cost us anything, we chose to work with a midwife who could deliver our baby at the hospital.
But because of how everything worked out we kind of got the best of both worlds. We were able to have Charlotte at home, and everything was covered financially.
It was a little unexpected, though, and I could have used a little adult supervision.
Next time we have a baby at home we’re hoping it’s planned that way.
Besides having the baby in the bathroom, what else didn’t go according to plan?
Because Charlotte was delivered at home, by EMTs, there were a few things we had planned differently for the delivery, as well as for the minutes/hours post-birth.
Side note: I keep using the term EMT. They may have been EMTs, but they also could have been paramedics, or some other emergency service personnel. I didn’t think to ask for their qualifications. All I know is they came in an ambulance, and they delivered our baby.
Now, returning to the things we planned differently:
- We had planned on delaying cord clamping a few minutes, but because of the situation we didn’t get to wait that long before clamping and cutting the cord.
- We had also planned on immediately placing baby on Sabrina’s chest when she was born without rubbing baby off. None of the people delivering Charlotte knew about our birth plan – and we weren’t going to fuss about it, given the situation – so they rubbed her off first and then gave her to Sabrina. It wasn’t a major deal, but something we want to avoid next time.
- I’ll probably be more involved in the actual delivery of our next baby. I didn’t want to get in the way, because we still weren’t even sure exactly what was happening. So I answered questions in the hallway, looking over shoulders when I could.
- Sabrina would have liked to watch Charlotte get weighed, measured etc… Once we got to the hospital the nurses, midwife, and the midwife’s intern had Sabrina pretty occupied with other things, while another nurse weighed and measured Charlotte.
- Because Charlotte was born outside of the hospital, we had to spend the next 24 hours in a quarantined room. It’s a rule that pretty much all the staff thinks is ridiculous, but it just meant that they had to put on gowns/masks anytime they came into the room to check on us. It wasn’t too bad for us, though, because we probably had less interruptions.
Who won in regard to the baby pool?
My sister, Tali, actually won.
Girl – ✓
March 25th – ✓
7lbs 12oz – Χ (actual weight – 6lbs 8oz)
Vaginal – ✓
No epidural – ✓
No induction – ✓
We’re happy with how things turned out.
It wasn’t in the way we planned, but we got a healthy baby girl out of it.
I only wish that, while Sabrina and Charlotte had been carried up the stairs on a stretcher, somebody would have yelled “pivot!”