Lincoln Scott Davis
July 23, 2014
9 lbs, 21.5 inches
(Doesn’t that baby look like the baby model that came with the announcement? THAT’S MY ACTUAL BABY.)
Birth story disclaimer: It’s a birth story, read at your own risk. Also looooong.
I made it 6 days past my due date with my “oh you’ll definitely go early” baby, which was the longest 6 days of my life. It was actually more like the longest 3 weeks of my life, since I was thinking I was about to pop ANY SECOND since I hit 38 weeks. Literally every time I left the house I planned in my head what I would do when (not if) my water broke. I had started psyching myself up for having a baby in the car or in my bathroom or at Target because obviously once my water broke the baby would basically fall out, right? I mean, I was huge. There was a ton of water. It was my 3rd baby and things are supposed to go faster.
NOT QUITE. I had an induction scheduled and then canceled because it was “elective” and the maternity floor was too full. Luckily E’s schedule was pushed back a few days (again) so I wasn’t AS panicked but I was still HUGELY PREGNANT. People who are hugely pregnant don’t like to be told they have to remain hugely pregnant indefinitely.
But I did get the one thing I wanted: to experience my water breaking spontaneously, like in a movie. Oh no, my water broke! Must be time to head to the hospital! Look at that adorable little puddle!
LIES! All lies. I don’t recommend it.
On Tuesday morning I woke up to a gush and thought “Oh! So that’s what that feels like!” And then I sat up and water poured out of me like a river and thought “Oh man, this is kind of unpleasant.” And then I shoved the towel I was keeping next to the bed between my legs and tried to waddle to the bathroom, still leaking everywhere but now with contractions on top of it and thought “Nope nope nope nope”. I ended up using every spare towel we had to half-heartedly clean up fluid before taking a shower and just hoping most of it was done draining out. (It wasn’t. I went to the hospital with a hand towel in my pants. I threw it away.) If it had happened in public you wouldn’t be reading this right now because I would have willed the earth to open up and swallow me whole.
Once we got to the hospital nothing happened. I had a non-stress test scheduled for that morning anyway, so they put me on the monitors. I should have stayed home longer so I could eat and walk around and lie on my couch, but again, I was pretty much expecting the baby to FALL OUT so when we got there and I was at 2 cm I was both shocked and disappointed. Since my water was broken (they didn’t even check, the doctor said “Yeah, you had so much water if you said it broke I BELIEVE YOU”) they did want to keep me though. so I tried to get comfortable and just enjoy the last few hours with my inside baby.
It was pretty boring. E and I played cribbage, just like we did when I was in labor with Evan. He beat me every time, just like when I was in labor with Evan. By the afternoon I was still mostly just sitting there, contracting but not super painfully, and they asked if I wanted to start pitocin. I told them that was fine but I would need the matching epidural. The very nice anesthesiologist came and stuck me with needles and then the magic epidural made me feel totally drunk and I was MUCH HAPPIER. It was exactly the right amount of numb, where I can move my legs and feet but feel no pain. I think I updated Facebook and made a bunch of jokes. It’s sort of a blur.
For a while (OMINOUS DUM-DUM-DUM). Now that baby didn’t have a swimming pool to play in, he started playing with the cord instead and every couple of contractions the monitor would register a deceleration in his heart rate. A few times it dipped really low and I got a rush of nurses in to rearrange me and ask me to roll on one side or another. It was sort of stressful on everyone and I started to get pretty worried I’d end up with an emergency c-section, although when I mentioned that to my nurse she said I wasn’t even allowed to THINK that word.
They eventually found a spot on my right side where the baby’s heart was happy but it meant that my epi started to wear off on the left. A lady from anesthesiology came and hung a new bottle and gave me a bump, but warned us lying on one side meant the other side might always get less medicine. My left side hurt more. And more. And more. AND THEN A LOT REALLY A LOT IT REALLY REALLY HURT. Then the baby’s heart rate deceled again and they made me get up on my knees and hang over the bed and I realized I wasn’t numb AT ALL on the left and it was wearing off on the right and my epidural had officially failed and OMG HOW DO PEOPLE EVEN DO THIS WITHOUT MEDS?!?!?!
No, for real, it sucked. Snaps for anyone who does even 5 minutes of natural/pitocin labor.
E fed me a delicious Italian ice to distract me, but when I started to actually cry during a contraction my nurse decided to page anesthesiology again. The first nice doctor who put the epi in came up to check on it. He ripped all the tape off my back to check the needle and was getting ready to give me another bump when I heard him say “The pump isn’t on.”
YOU GUYS. THEY TURNED OFF MY EPIDURAL. The woman who hung up the new bottle NEVER TURNED IT ON, so I hadn’t had any meds in HOURS. And my pitocin was at a 16 (on a scale of 2 being “meh” and 20 being “WARNING: BABY MAY SHOOT OUT LIKE A CANON BALL”). They turned the pump back on. Literally 5 minutes later I was fine again.
I have no sense of time from when the epidural stopped working until I started thinking “Hey, there’s that pushy-feeling! I should get the nurse!” but it was probably around 11:30 pm when the doctor came in to check me. Unfortunately, my giant baby refused to move down into my pelvis AT ALL, so I was at -1 and only 9cm. It looked like I was still HOURS away from delivering.
Not that much later I was still feeling REALLY REALLY PUSHY. It also sort of hurt and I could feeling the burning ring-of-fire thing people describe so I told the nurse again I was probably about to have a baby. She called the doctor back to check again…and again I was at -1 and not fully dialated. I was the laboring woman who cried wolf, but no matter WHAT the doctor said I know what pushing feels like. I KNOW. So when I got the pushy feeling I might have pushed a little.
Me to nurse: It still feels like I should push.
Nurse: Don’t push yet.
Me to nurse (totally pushing): Ok, I won’t. But it really feels like I want to.
Nurse: If you’re not fully dialated your cervix can get all swollen and labor can be harder.
Me to nurse: Right, of course, I know. I’m not pushing. (MORE PUSHING)
Literally FIVE MINUTES after the doctor said I was at -1 I grabbed my nurse and said very seriously “LOOK, I’M ABOUT TO HAVE THIS BABY. FOR REAL. CHECK ME.” So she called the doctor back.
Guess who was right? I went from a -1 to a +3 in less than 5 minutes. My secret pushing worked (or, you know, just like my other 2 births when I get to the end babies come flying out of me). Luckily my doctor was aware of my short pushing history and everyone moved fast.
Then everyone tried to tell me how to push and I ignored them because y’all, I got this part. Four pushes later I had a baby. Then E said “IT’S A BOY” and my only response was “…..REALLY?!” Then they gave me my baby boy and I was like “Of course you’re a boy, I knew that. I know you!”
I really love that part at the end when you get a baby.
And now I’m going to brag a little bit about maybe the weirdest thing anyone has ever bragged about – they took the baby to weigh him and said “Whoa, NINE POUNDS” and then the doctor (assistant doctor? midwife in training? Whatever, the chick that caught my baby under my doctor’s supervision) said “You didn’t tear at all! No stitches!” I’m pretty proud of my no stitches. I got up to pee like 10 minutes after I gave birth and it didn’t hurt.
E went and got the kids and my mom in the morning so they could meet their new brother. They were both excited…for about 2 minutes. Evan got bored because he didn’t do anything and Caroline just wanted to be the center of attention. She did a lot of dancing.
The next day I entertained myself by taking pictures until we got to go home. For a minute.
Just like his brother, Baby Linc ended up a little bit jaundiced. I dragged him all over creation trying to get blood work done on Saturday only to end up back in the hospital overnight. I’m not going to lie, that really sucked. I had a bad night staring at my baby under the lights (he loved them) and ended up asking the nursery to watch him so I could get a little sleep. It’s easier to mentally beat myself up for not doing MORE to force my newborn to eat and poop when I’m not quite so tired.
But his numbers came up fast and now we’re home for good (fingers crossed).
And that is the LONGEST POST I’VE WRITTEN IN YEARS. If you finished it I probably owe you $14 and a drink for the time it took out of your life. Seriously, I can’t even bring myself to read it again for typos. But I had a baby 6 days ago so my brain is fried anyway. TOTALLY worth it.