Well, it’s almost two months later but I am finally writing down the birth story of Lincoln. Of course, this is a birth story, so some things may be a little too intense for people. In that case, if you’re not interested, just watch for my next post instead.
So here it goes..
It was a Monday, Labor Day to be exact (how fitting, right?) and I had caught a cold over the weekend. At this point I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant and beyond ready to meet my little bundle of joy. For about the whole month of August we had been going on walks, playing basketball, and eating “labor inducing” foods to try and get this baby here. But of course, as they say, “babies come when they want to come”.
One of the reasons why I was so anxious was because I would be starting my last semester of college the next day (September 2nd) and I really was not interested going to class while overdue. The cold that I caught had totally knocked all motivation out of me though. I pretty much sat in bed all day watching episodes of “Grey’s Anatomy” on Netflix until John came home from work. I was not interested in trying anything to get this baby out. I was completely and totally over it at this point.
We made a trip to Walmart to buy something to calm down this cold since I had been blowing my nose the entire morning. Afterwards we decided to stop by my parent’s house to get a change of scenery. My mom had offered us some homemade eggplant parmesan (which is oddly a supposed labor inducing meal). We gladly accept, and it was delicious.
The sudafed that we bought at Walmart was finally starting to kick in and my nose had stopped running so I got up enough energy to venture outside. I had been getting Braxton Hicks contractions for the past couple of days but since I had been sitting down all day I really wasn’t feeling much this day. We tried to play some basketball until it started to get cold outside. Picture how funny of a sight it must have been to see an overdue pregnant woman playing basketball. I definitely laugh to myself about it now, but I was up for anything!
My dad had been installing a new window in the bathroom of their house and had asked John and my brother to help him out. My mom was watching my niece while the boys were doing the dirty work. I decided to sit on the couch for a little while and rest. At about 8:30 pm, I was minding my own business when I started to feel a little trickle. Now, I was used to these little feelings because almost every time I sneezed something like this happened. But this time it felt different. I casually walked downstairs to the other bathroom without saying anything and sure enough my water had broke. At this point I wasn’t feeling any contractions still, but the hospital had said to come in within an hour of water breaking, incase of infection.
Once I came back upstairs I explained to my mom what I was feeling and she confirmed that I was right. I wasn’t quite sure how to tell John since him and my brother were outside holding up a window while my dad was on the inside trying to get it in. I peeked my head out the door and said kind of sing-songy “John, are you busy right now?” (Not really sure why I thought that was the right thing to say at the time!) He must have known because he looked at me and responded “Is it time?!”
My brother grabbed the end of the window that John was holding and we ran up to our house to collect our things. Luckily all of us live only a couple blocks from each other. We tried our best to remember to grab everything we needed and let the dog out as well. We calmly drove to the hospital and walked in feeling great. I didn’t need a wheelchair or anything like I saw in the movies. I thought for sure that maybe since I had a high pain tolerance that things would continue to go this smoothly. I can’t really believe how naive I was…
We skipped the elevator and walked up the steps to the birthing suite. Since I had called ahead of time they were already waiting for us to arrive. We got into our room, I changed into the fashionable hospital gown and got hooked up to the monitors. We settled down a bit and notified everyone through text message before things started to get hectic.
Around midnight I finally started to feel those crazy contractions. They were still pretty far apart and I was only dilated about 2 CMs still. After about an hour or two they were getting more and more intense so I finally asked if I could get something for the pain. I was told that it was too early for an epidural but I could get something to ease the pain that lasted only an hour. I had one round of that and I was really feeling the contractions at this point. I was so tired now that it was about 3 AM and I had not slept much the night before because of my cold. I was literally falling asleep in between contractions. I almost feel like my contractions were so intense that they were almost making me fall asleep. The funny part that I remember was that I was slightly falling off the edge of the bed while holding John’s hand that during contractions I kept telling myself I would readjust once the contraction stopped but I would just fall back asleep instead.
Finally, around 4 AM they told me that I was able to receive my epidural. And let me tell you, it was heavenly. I felt like I was finally able to breathe and relax now. I was also able to catch my family up through text message on how things were going. John and I were both advised to get some rest now while I was still only dilated about 4 CMs.
I woke up around 8 AM and I was suddenly feeling everything again. I begged to get another epidural and they approved. I started to get really really warm to the point where I needed John to continuously get me wet wash cloths to rub on my forehead. Not long after being so warm, I started to get extremely cold and I needed to put layers of blankets on. Sure enough they checked my temperature and I had somehow struck a fever. So here I am in labor with a cold and a fever, not very fun.
Once I got my second dose of epidural I was starting to feel okay again, but still was getting the chills. I was able to take a short nap again and around 11:30 they told me I was dilated to 9 CMs and that I would be able to start pushing in a half hour. The nurses began to bring in all kinds of things and everything started to feel very real now. John and I continued to look at each other saying things like “any minute now!” “oh my gosh, I can’t believe the time is finally here!”
It was about noon when the nurse came in and told me that when I was starting to feel pressure that I could begin pushing. I told her I was already experiencing this feeling and she said to start pushing on the next contraction. Now when they say pressure, they mean PRESSURE. It was definitely a very extreme pressure. I now was having a very hard time breathing because of my cold that I felt like my pushing was going to go on for days. During every contraction they were telling me to push more and more and I kept saying “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe!”
Somehow, through all this pain and exhaustion, the pushing did not last long. At 12:21 PM Lincoln Daniel had entered the world. John kept exclaiming how beautiful he was and they put him on my chest and all at once it was like a giant weight was lifted off my shoulders and I felt nothing but joy.
Since I had a fever during the labor, Lincoln had caught it as well, but they both went away soon after. They took him out to clean him up and I just sat there soaking in what all had just happened. The nurses began cleaning up the room, and soon he was brought back in wearing his cute little blue hat that matched his gorgeous blue eyes. At this moment, life was complete.
It sure is true when they say that birth is empowering. I know during the labor I told John I never wanted to do it again, but when I look back on it now, I know that was just the pain talking 🙂