Friday, October 2, 2015

Lincoln Hayes Marlowe-Birth Story

On August 24th, 2014, my husband and I were planning to wait at least three weeks before we met our sweet baby boy.  We attended a birthday party for his step-mom at his dad's house.  We went swimming and I remember them picking on me because I wasn't putting much effort into hitting the big beach ball around the pool.  I was like, look, I am not too far away from my due date and I am not even trying to do all of that physical activity!  We went home after a long, fun day in the sun.  The next morning, shortly after 3 AM, I started having painful contractions.  I kind of ignored them for a few minutes (trying not to make something out of nothing), and they got a little more painful.  Now these weren't excruciatingly painful, just painful.  So I remember that my doctor told me at 37 weeks, he would not stop delivery, and that if I started having contractions less than 5 minutes apart, I should go to the hospital.  So I thought, I should start timing my contractions.  I pulled out my phone and kept a record on my inkpad app and here they were:  3:33AM, 3:39, 3:45, 3:46, 3:53, 3:58, 4:02, 4:05, 4:06, 4:12, 4:14, 4:17 and 4:21.  It was then that I decided, well, if I'm going to have a baby, I need to at least wash my hair.  I know that might sound crazy, but y'all, I had not washed my hair from the previous pool day and it was nasty.  So I got out of bed, went to use the bathroom, and there was blood.  I knew, being pregnant and all, that blood either meant something bad, or that I was having a baby.  Either way, I needed to go to the hospital (washing my hair was out of the question at this point).  I ran out of the bathroom, and I yelled (not screaming, but loudly speaking) to Justin, "Justin, Justin!".  He looked at me, all dazed and confused.  I said, "I'm bleeding, we need to go to the hospital."  He jumped out of bed, took a second to let things register, and we started getting ready to go.  I put on my black Coastal (Coastal Carolina University) sweatpants, and my black Coastal t-shirt.  Justin threw on some clothes and grabbed my overnight bag.  I told him to go ahead and get the carseat (which he did not install because he arrogantly told me we had plenty of time to do it) and baby's bag.  He informed me that he would get the carseat and baby bag IF I was having a baby.  He didn't really believe that I was.  I think he thought I was making things out to be more than they were.  So we get in the car and drive to the hospital.  It took us about 3 or 4 minutes to get there.  We lived really close.  We were there at about 4:30ish.  I'm having contractions the whole time.  He drops me off at the door to go inside and he parks the truck.  I go up to the desk at the emergency room and tell them that I am having contractions and that I might be having a baby.  At this point, I'm expecting them to get all nervous and rush me to a room to get this thing checked out.  No.  Not what happens.  The first thing they did was take me to a room to get all of my information, such as my name, DOB, address, insurance information, etc.  While they were making sure I had insurance and they would get paid, a lady came with a wheelchair and made me sit in it.  I told her that I could walk and that I was fine, but she wouldn't let me.  Apparently, they don't take chances at this hospital (I may make several jokes about the hospital throughout this whole story, but I really loved my experience there, so please take it lightheartedly).  She then wheeled me up to a small room on the second floor where they deliver babies.  This whole time, I'm having contractions, but my husband and I are carrying on conversations with everyone.  We like to have fun (especially when we're nervous), so much of the conversation is joking and cutting up.  In this small room, two nurses start hooking me up to things to monitor me and the baby.  One of the nurses then wanted to check to see if I was dilated.  IF I was dilated.  When she checked me, it was very uncomfortable.  Probably one of the most uncomfortable things I experienced while I was there.  She looked at me and said, "You're 5 centimeters dilated!"  Justin said, "What does that mean?"  He was waiting to find out when he should call our parents to get them here.  He didn't want to do so until he knew we were having a baby.  At that point, she turned and looked at him and said, "You're having a baby!"  He looked at me and said, "So I should make the call?" And I said yes, make the call.  So he called the parents and told them I was in labor and we were going to have a baby!  The nurses told me with the way we were all talking, laughing, carrying on, etc., that they thought they were actually going to be sending me home.  They didn't think I was in labor.  At this point, they sent me to an actual room.  The room was pretty large.  They hooked me up to machines to monitor my contractions and the baby's heartbeat.  By this point, I was 7 centimeters dilated.  I was moving along pretty quickly.  My mama, daddy and step-mother live an hour away, but it felt like they were by my side in no time.  They were at the hospital by 6.  My mother-in-law was a good bit away visiting friends, but arrived as fast as she could.  My father-in-law and his wife came a little later.  I have to note, too, that everyone looked great!  I looked like poo, because, of course, I had not washed my hair, nor did I have makeup on.  But everyone else looked fabulous. I was impressed, because it was so early in the morning.  I remember everyone in the room, talking about when they thought the baby would come....9 something, 10 something, etc.  I was certain I wanted an epidural, so by the time they got to me with one, I was 8.5 centimeters dilated.  Before I make my next statement, I would just like to say that every woman is different and every woman has different experiences.  With that being said, I would like to say that my contractions weren't as painful as I thought they would be.  At 8.5 centimeters dilated, I was pushing through them.  Don't get me wrong, they were painful, but they weren't gut-wrenching, screaming-painful.  So with how quickly things were moving along, I was sure we were going to have our baby soon.  Not.  9 something passed, 10 something passed, etc.  The doctor had already decided to go into the office at this point and work, waiting on a call when I got to 10 centimeters.  This made me nervous because I really wanted my doctor to deliver my baby (not one of the other ones), and I know how traffic is on 501.  Needless to say, when it was time to push my sweet boy out, he was there in no time.  Thinking back, I wonder if he took some secret road that no one else knows about, because he got there pretty fast.  Anyway, 11 something passed, 12 something passed.  During this time, my contractions started getting closer and closer together.  At one point, the nurse suggested that we may have to do a C-section.  That was probably the only thing I didn't like about the whole process.  I felt like that statement was premature and I was not about to be ok with having a c-section.  Since I had not dilated to the point I needed to be, they suggested I begin laying on my sides.  I layed on one side for a little while, and then switched to the other side.  This was the trick!  Within no time, I was 10 centimeters dilated and it was time to push.  Once my doctor arrived, we began the process.  First, we practied pushing.  Once I did that once, I thought I was going to keep going, but the doctor wasn't aware of that.  So, I kept pushing and my husband looked at the doctor and said, "Is she still supposed to be pushing?"  The doctor was over getting his protective gear on while I was pushing.  He and the nurse both yelled, "No!"  And then I stopped pushing.  I got the point, lol.  Once we resumed, I pushed for about 20 minutes, until my baby's head came out.  The doctor asked me to stop pushing until he said to continue.  He wanted to clean Lincoln's mouth out, etc. before I pushed the rest of his body out.  Also, my mother informed me that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and the doctor just cut it away.  The doctor never mentioned this to me, I imagine as to not make me nervous or scare me.  I kind of liked that.  He took care of the issue and went on like nothing was wrong.  While we were sitting there, I asked my husband what color Lincoln's hair was.  He said it was dark!  I didn't like that I couldn't see!!  I wanted to see my baby so badly.  Anyway, once everything was cleared, he told me to continue pushing until Lincoln's body came out.  Once I heard my baby cry for the first time, I began crying!  The doctor handed me my baby immediately.  That was very important to me.  I didn't have a birth plan, but one thing that I wanted was to hold my baby immediately after he was born.  I remember his skin touching mine, and just being in love immediately!  He was very purple, which I had already warned my husband about before we ever went to the hospital.  And....he was perfect.  He was beautiful.  He was healthy.  He was mine.  I could not have ever imagined loving anything the way that I love my son.  I think he had been laying on one side for an extended period of time, because he had one eye closed when he was born, and on that same side, his pinky toe kind of protruded out.  He ended up opening the other eye more and more until it was completely normal with the normal eye.  As far as his pinky toe, I had mixed feelings.  I didn't want him to ever be picked on about it, but I found myself sad when it worked itself away.  The more weight he gained, the more it looked normal, and now you would never know it ever protruded.  I loved that little, protruding pinky toe!  Anyway, Lincoln was born at 1:26 PM and weighed 5 lbs 9.6 oz.  After I got to hold him for a few minutes, my husband also held him.  They did everything else that they needed to do in the corner of the room that I delivered him in.  I really liked this because I had seen births before where the babies were taken out of the room and then brought back in.  He didn't leave my sight for a while.  Once they did their thing in the corner of the room and patched me up, they handed him back to me to breastfeed.  This was very important to me as well, in order to establish the breastfeeding relationship as soon as possible.  

My sweet boy on his birth day!

Lincoln's first car ride!  You can see how tiny he was....his outfit was so big on him!  And to think, I was concerned that the outfit wouldn't fit him beforehand, thinking it would possibly be too little (based on the measurements I got from my doctor's visits). 

Daddy driving us home!

These photos were taken 10 days after Lincoln was born.  I never knew I could love my husband as much as I do when I see him holding our child. 

In a final note, I just wanted to say that I look back fondly on my birthing experience.  Yes, there was pain, yes there were sleepless nights (that still occur), but I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Now here we are (a year later)......Marlowe, party of 3!