Birthing Charlotte.
July 27, 2009

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that while every birth is different, every birth is also essentially the same.  In delivering Charlotte, I have been exceedingly lucky.  The delivery was speedy and healthy and without complications.  Although I deviated substantially from my I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR birth plan to have an unmedicated labor, I still feel phenomenally satisfied with my birthing experience.  So instead of a play-by-play delivery tale, where the highs and lows and major plot developments mimic billions of births throughout human history, here is a more concise version of how things went.  Charlotte’s birth, by the numbers:

And a sweet little grin!  Who cares if it’s fart-induced?

Thank you to everyone who has commented and e-mailed their congratulations and best wishes over the past week.  It may be awhile before I have an opportunity to respond to you, but please know that Donald and I are reading every single one.  We are so thankful and appreciative and look forward to one day sharing all of the love with Charlotte.

** Charlotte is one week old.

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  1. By Gracia Fraile on July 27, 2009

    I’m so glad everything went smoothly! And I personally think that grin is just perfect, and don’t really care about the whys.

    Congratulations, Charlotte is just beautiful.

  2. By Lauren on July 27, 2009

    Oh you’re so lucky to have caught a fart smile on film.  We’re still trying to get our timing right.

  3. By Fairly Odd Mother on July 27, 2009

    OH! Congratulations!!!! I was away & just got home to this wonderful news. She is beautiful and LOOOOOOVVVEEEE her name.

  4. By red pen mama on July 27, 2009

    Congratulations. Welcome to the world, Charlotte!


  5. By Trenches of Mommyhood on July 27, 2009

    Oh yayyayyayyay!  She’s beautiful and I LURVE her name!

    (Newborn fart smiles are the BEST kind!)

  6. By on July 27, 2009

    Oh.My.Gosh!! She is beautiful!!!
    Congratulations on your new family addition… beautiful…...........

  7. By Julie Momster on July 27, 2009

    Congratulations!! She’s absolutely gorgeous :)

    I’m glad you had an easy time of it, that makes the whole experience so much better! I’m glad you two have finally met your beautiful little angel.

  8. By JayBee on July 27, 2009

    Congratulations! She is so beautiful!

  9. By gretchen from lifenut on July 27, 2009

    Charlotte is adorable.

    BUT…you are making me do math on a Monday morning? I come up with 40 minutes of pushing, which is mercifully short for a first-timer.

  10. By Stephanie on July 27, 2009

    congrats on the speedy delivery - wow you were lucky :)

    i can’t believe you caught a grin the first week of your baby’s life. do you know how long it took me to catch a smile on my baby’s face (FOR THE CAMERA?) - nearly 3 months! (even though she did smile often!)

    Charlotte is so cuuuuuuuuuuuuute!

  11. By Liesel on July 27, 2009

    Yay, you’re back!

    She is just beautiful. Congrats!!!

  12. By Julie Rivera on July 27, 2009

    Oh, she is perfectly beautiful and precious and one of the most awaited babies in the world! And I love her name. Welcome home to all!

  13. By on July 27, 2009

    Shes beautiful!! congrats!!

  14. By on July 27, 2009

    She is SO beautiful!  Congratulations to all three of you!  I can’t wait for more pictures and stories.  :o)

  15. By Meg on July 27, 2009

    Thanks for the play by play! I look forward to your next updates. Did Donald cry when she was born?

  16. By on July 27, 2009

    Your daughter is perfect! And what a smile! Already!!!! Congrats to you guys :) I hope that my labor goes as well!

    I have been following your blog for several months now. It is so great that you are sharing this journey.  It has been wonderful to watch someone else just a few weeks ahead of me! What a relief to see that pregnancy is crazy for everyone, not just me!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  17. By on July 27, 2009

    OMG - she is absolutely adorable…..I tell you everytime I see a newborn like this I want to cry….my little guy is 9 months now and it is just the best thing EVER….congratulations on your new little girl…..

  18. By Notesfromthegrove on July 27, 2009

    Wow.  She is amazing and beautiful and perfect and lovely.  SO happy for you guys!

  19. By Jinxy @ Jinxyisms on July 27, 2009

    I’m so glad it went well and way to go making it to 9 cm before any medical attention.  I think that’s pretty I am womany of you.

    Charlotte is beautiful!

  20. By Rebecca on July 27, 2009

    Absolutely perfect. Congratulations to the whole family :)

  21. By Jena Simms on July 27, 2009

    O Sarah, here we go again! I see a beautiful, adorable, etty, bitty, tiney, tiny, little bundle of love and I beg my husband for just one more. We have 3 boys and I tell him the next time will be a girl and she will sprinkle fairy dust on us all. Then he just rolls his eyes at me and rolls over. At least I tried!
    Sarah, your girl is out of this world cute, keep up the hard work and don’t forget to get some sleep…

  22. By Vicky on July 27, 2009

    She is adorable!!!!!!!
    Charlotte was my great-grandmothers name :0-)

  23. By Dianna on July 27, 2009

    9 centimeters on your own, wow!  As most everyone has said, she is lovely.  A very pretty baby.  Congratulations.

  24. By Kristin on July 27, 2009

    What a little sweetheart! Congratulations to you both, I am sure you are enjoying her!

  25. By kbreints on July 27, 2009

    oh goodness!! She is PERFECTLY adorable! CONGRATULATIONS!!

  26. By Elizabeth on July 27, 2009

    I want a snuggle.  Congratulations, again!

  27. By liz on July 27, 2009

    congrats on your beautiful baby girl!!

  28. By Stephanie on July 27, 2009

    Oh she is just amazingly cute!!! Love the blanket, too, by the way! She looks way comfy and totally satisfied.

  29. By Ashley on July 27, 2009


  30. By Celina on July 27, 2009

    Charlotte is lovely and perfect!  Congratulations—enjoy this crazy wonderful journey!

  31. By Amber on July 27, 2009

    You are one lucky lady, Sarah—in so many ways! :D

  32. By Allison on July 27, 2009

    Congrats again, Sarah! I hope you and your family and enjoying every moment of this precious time.

    And gas grins are okay. They show what the real thing will be like—and hers will be beautiful :)

  33. By chocolate and whine on July 27, 2009

    Wow. You miss a lot when you’re hiding behind a book and wallowing in a good depression. Congrats to you and Donald. That kid is so darn cute I can’t stand it. Seriously. I usually find newborns quite alien-like and strange, but she’s a keeper. Good job!

  34. By sarah on July 27, 2009

    she is a perfect little girl, congratulations to your new tiny family.

  35. By Veronica on July 27, 2009

    Yay for an easy birth! (Easy is relative, hehe)

    She’s beautiful.

  36. By Megan at FASS on July 27, 2009

    She is lovely and perfect!!!!  Charlotte is a wonderful name…definitely a top of the list kind of name for me as well!!  Congrats beautiful Mommy,

  37. By Dutch Donut Girl on July 27, 2009

    Awwww….. I love her so called grin :)

  38. By Elly on July 27, 2009

    Oh wow, she’s gorgeous! Look at that little grin :) Yay!

  39. By Tyson on July 27, 2009

    Yay!! Congrats!!!!!  She is adorable!  Happy picture-taking!

  40. By Ola on July 27, 2009

    Ok, you have made me cry! She is BEAUTIFUL! Enjoy your precious bundle.

  41. By Lindsey on July 27, 2009

    Congrats. I love her name! I hope the three of you are happy and healthy.  The circle of lfe goes on…

  42. By Spruce Hill on July 28, 2009

    Congratulations Sarah! She is just beautiful! Hope you are having fun with your first few days with your new little angel!

  43. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on July 28, 2009

    wow - impressive numbers!!  And even more impressive little girl.  She is so pretty, truly beautiful.  ps - don’t you hate it when the doctor’s office is closed for lunch?  That always drives me crazy! 

    Glad the birthing experience was bearable and apparently went so well.  I’m very happy to hear that.

  44. By lceel on July 28, 2009

    Saturday evening, while at the BlogHer festivities, which had taken me away from my computer for almost all the time I was there, I though of you - and I said to myself, “I wonder if she’s had her baby.“  And then I went back to partying and didn’t get back yo your blog until today - when I’ve been doing all my catching up.

    Congratulations to you and your husband.  You have quite a ride ahead of you.  Just hang on to each other and you will all be fine.

    And your daughter is beautiful - but then - she comes by it honest.

  45. By Julia on July 28, 2009

    Wow - she is absolutely adorable!! So beautiful!  I’m sure you’ve done nothing but stare at her!  I had been wondering about you over the weekend!  You definitely built up the suspense for this little one over the last couple of months and she totally lived up to it :)!  CONGRATS!!!  You have so many amazing memories ahead of you!

  46. By Brittany at Mommy Words on July 28, 2009

    Welcome to the world Charlotte!  You are one gorgeous baby girl!

  47. By Tara on July 28, 2009

    Seriously… Charlotte is the most beautiful little being.  Congratulations to you and Donald.

  48. By Rebecca on July 30, 2009

    Beautiful pictures!

    I do think you are exceptionally lucky to have had such a normal labor, and it sounds fast for a first-time mom.  I’m amazed that you went to 9 cm without any medical attention and only pushed for 40 minutes and even had TIME for an epidural!  Our hospital won’t do them that late because pushing usually starts soon after.

    I have to admit I’m jealous.  I wanted a natural birth so badly, and if my labor had just progressed normally, I know I could have done it.  I had “small” numbers—TWO centimeters dilated after 14 hours of contractions.  TWO total days of back labor.  FOUR hours of pushing a posterior baby into the correct position and out of my body.  FOUR stitches in a SECOND degree tear.  Avoiding the epidural and FINALLY pushing out my son are the only parts of my birth experience I would call “satisfying”. 

    I don’t think feminism as a reason to avoid an epidural holds up very well in the delivery room.  Pain will beat ideology every time.  For me, avoiding pain meds was about protecting my baby and myself from complications and further interventions.  But yes, a part of me definitely wanted to silence all the MANY (female) nay-sayers who told me “oh, just wait, you’ll want the epidural.“

    So did you come out of the experience thinking that natural birth is hooey?  Or just not for you, in this instance?

  49. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on July 30, 2009

    Rebecca - They gave me the epidural and two shots of morphine to slow down the labor because they thought I might deliver before they had an opportunity to be admitted.  In addition, there is a history of postpartum hemmorhage in my family so they were concerned that if they didn’t give me a chance to stretch as much as possible before pushing (which the epidural allowed), I would be at a higher risk for hemmorhage.

    Personally, I was yowling for pain meds when they wheeled me in from the ER, so I was all for the epidural.  They waited until I was 10 cm, watched my bloody show, gave me the epidural, broke my waters, and then let me rest.  I got about 90 minutes of rest before the pushing started, which was just what I needed.

  50. By MommyNamedApril on July 30, 2009

    what a fantastic recap!  i love this, and she’s GORGEOUS!!!

  51. By Charlotte on July 30, 2009

    Congratulations! What a beautiful baby [and name:-)]

    I’m looking forward to reading more about her and the rest of the family, of course.

    -Charlotte (not the baby)





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