I have been so excited to write out my birth story and share it! I’ve been going over the details so many times so that I don’t forget anything. Lincoln’s birth was a roller coaster. Not necessarily bad, although not all smooth sailing, just a roller coaster. Also, fair warning, this is longer than most of my posts. I basically went through two births experiences, so read on if you’re curious!
I’ll start with the day my water broke. All day I had been SUPER emotional. Like literally sobbing all day emotional. I remember being so annoyed at myself for being that emotional, and I even googled if being super emotional was a sign of labor coming soon lol. The day before (Sunday) I had also been having a ton of contractions and just feeling off since then, so I kind of had a suspicion that something must be coming, but then again, at 38 weeks pregnant, you’re always anticipating labor!
So anyway, Monday I was very emotional and by the time we put Wesley to bed and settled down, I was exhausted and sore and drained. I was laying in bed and having Braxton hicks contractions off and on. Around 11 PM I remember I had a really strong contraction, and then I felt something weird. The best way I can describe it is like a crackling feeling inside my belly and very low. Almost like the feeling of popping your knuckles, but inside your belly. I remember thinking it was weird but brushing it off because honestly there are so many movements and sounds your body makes at this point in pregnancy (lol). About five minutes later, I felt a small gush. I knew exactly what that was because its exactly what happened when I went into labor with Wesley. I said out loud to Brian “oh! Uh oh!!” and (in his words) jumped out of bed faster than he had seen me jump for 9 months!! He asked me what happened, and I told him my water broke right as more started to gush out!
I called my family, got Wesley taken care of with family members and went into his room to give him a kiss, and we packed up our bags and headed to the hospital!! We were so excited. I had been hoping that my labor would not start with my water breaking because since I was going for a VBAC, I knew it would just put more pressure on me to progress quickly, but I was very excited because I knew no matter how it happened, we would be meeting our baby in the next 24 hours. As we drove to the hospital it was raining lightly and it was a chilly night, which to us, is the most perfect and relaxing weather, so it set the mood perfectly!!
When we got there, they checked me and I was only one cm dilated. Definitely not what I wanted to hear, but I had just started having mild contractions when we got there, so I knew things were at least getting started. We set our room up with essential oils, music, and started to mentally prepare for the fact that our baby would be here soon!
From there, the doctor left us to be monitored for a few minutes, and then we could get up and walk. For hours we cycled through walking for an hour, then monitoring the baby for 30 or so minutes. Everything was looking good with the baby, and seemingly with me. My contractions had amped up to the point where I couldn’t walk through them anymore and had to lean on Brian during them, and they were about 1-3 minutes apart, sometimes closer. So, because I seemed to be making progress, they checked me again around 3 AM. Still one cm and slightly more effaced, but barely. Big bummer. Nothing is more discouraging than laboring for hours, feeling your body and contractions become more intense, yet not having anything to show for it!!
At that point, the doctor said even though I hadn’t progressed yet, she wanted me to keep walking and bouncing on my ball and doing what I was doing, because my contractions were looking good and she thought it may just take a little longer for my body to get there. She also wanted to put an internal monitor on me so that we could measure the strength of the contractions. She mentioned the possibility of putting me on low dose Pitocin in a few hours if there was still no progress, but she and the nurses reassured me that I was doing well, and my contractions were definitely beginning to get stronger. So, for the next 3 hours, we did the same thing we had been doing.
During those three hours, my contractions were getting very strong, but not consistently strong. I would have some that felt very intense, and some that felt not as intense. They were getting very close together though and the doctor said because of that and the strength, I didn’t need to be put on Pitocin yet. At some point, there was a shift change, and a new doctor came on call. And y’all. This doctor. I can’t even. She was not so nice and helpful like the previous one. She checked me, and I WAS STILL AT A 1. I was very visibly disappointed. I had been laboring at this point since 11 PM the previous night and it was now 6 AM. Seven hours with no progress to show for all that I had been going through. I was so confused and frustrated at how I could possibly be having contractions like this and not progress at all. And she did not react well to my lack of progress either. She said I needed to be on Pitocin right away. She also was majorly talking down to me. She said “I assume your doctor has gone over the risks of having a VBAC with you right?” uh yeah duh. She went on to say that VBACs are so risky because your uterine wall is much more likely to rupture during labor. (BTW it’s a less than 1% chance of rupture even if you’ve had TWO previous low transverse c sections). And then she said, if anything starts to look like it’s not going as it should it would be “game over” for me. She literally said that. I’m getting mad just thinking about it now. Yeah okay lady. When she left the room, I immediately told Brian I did not like her. She was so rude and unsupportive! She was so rude, that my nurse came back in the room and commented on it as well.
Anyway, I was put on Pitocin at 7 AM. My nurse told me that some people react very strongly to Pitocin and some people don’t, and I should know in about 30 minutes how my body would respond. Let’s just say, I’m one of the people that react very strongly to it (lol). It wasn’t even 30 minutes into being on Pitocin that I started having such intense contractions that I was moaning so loud and had to have Brian squeeze my back and hips to make it through them. (side note: major shout out to Brian who barely left my side the entire 13.5 hours, held onto me, applied counter pressure to my back for hours, applied essential oils, reminded me of my rhythms the whole time and so much more.) They also started coming faster. I would have three contractions back to back and then have a 30-90 second break. They just intensified from there. After five hours of Pitocin they had got to the point of being completely back to back with almost no breaks, and so strong they were topping the chart with almost every single one. It was so intense y’all. I was starting to literally go cross eyed during contractions from the pain. I had Brian hold onto me and I squeezed down on his shoulder and I think I even bit his shoulder through some of them (lolol). I was also on my birthing ball the entire time and I was so exhausted I almost fell off several times. I had been wanting to have a natural birth, but at this point I was telling myself If I had at least dilated to a 3, then I would get an epidural. If by some miracle I had progressed past a 6, then I would hold out. They checked me, and I was a 3. Epidural it was!
At this point, my doctor seemed happy with my progress and when I asked about the epidural, she pretty much said I should go for it now. Since my contractions were mostly back to back and they were so strong, I couldn’t really sit still except for the random 30 second breaks I would get every now and then. You have to sit still for them to place the epidural, so I very enthusiastically let her know I wanted it now. Of course, I hadn’t had the chance to sign consent for it before I had gone into labor, so we had to wait longer to get it, which was torture, but once it was in, I was feeling good. I was so excited for Brian and I to get some rest before this baby would be here! At this point, it was noon, I was dilated to a 3.5-4, and baby had dropped some more. Yay! Unfortunately, after about an hour of being on epidural, things started to go downhill. So much for getting a break!!
My blood pressure had dropped, but eventually stabilized. But then the baby’s heart rate started to decline. A baby’s heart rate is supposed to go up and down within reason, but Lincoln was having what is called “late decelerations”. That’s when the baby’s heart rate drops after every contraction. This means that the contractions are cutting off the baby’s oxygen supply. It can be due to a bunch of different things, but we never found out for sure why it was happening to Lincoln. They had me try a bunch of different positions to get his heart rate stabilized, but it wasn’t happening. That’s when we decided that a c section was the safest option. The doctor reassured us that he wasn’t in distress yet, but she said with this kind of thing, a baby can go into distress quickly, and it’s not a risk we wanted to take. So, very quickly I was taken back into the OR, prepped, and they started the work of getting Lincoln out.
Before we went in, Brian and I were both disappointed. C sections are scary. For the spouse and for the woman. We had been through it before, and we knew it wasn’t a horrible thing to go through, and it didn’t have to be traumatic. But I was scared for my baby and myself. I mean it is major surgery with a longer recovery time. Our bodies are incredible at healing themselves, but it’s still a lot. We both would rather not have dealt with it.
This c section went very smoothly. Lincoln was out fairly quick (1:36 PM) and right away, we heard his sweet cry. Just like with Wesley, Brian held him up to me as soon as he was out, and I got to stroke his face and talk to him. He was 8 lbs 11 oz and 19.25 inches of sweetness! Totally worth the 13.5 hours of labor and the surgery.
A c section really is such a neat experience. You can feel everything, and yet you feel no pain. It really has shown me how strong I am and how I would do or endure anything for my babies. I mean, that really is the case for any woman and any way she births, I think! They took a lot longer sewing me up, or as I like to say “putting me back together” this time, but the doctor kept assuring me everything was fine. This time they had scar tissue from my previous cesarean to get through. They also had a lot of theories on why his heart rate was dropping, but nothing for sure. My nurse said his shoulders were very broad, and maybe he wasn’t quite able to descend into the birth canal which was causing him some stress. My personal belief is that the Pitocin was creating excessive contractions that my body and Lincoln just weren’t ready for at the stage of labor I was at. Whatever the cause, it ultimately didn’t matter because I had my boy in my arms.
We are so thankful that Lincoln is here and safe. Even though things didn’t go the way we wanted or planned, that is the most important thing. I am so thankful that we had the option to bring him safely into the world. He is the sweetest and cuddliest little guy!! It can be difficult when things don’t go as planned, especially when you don’t have a concrete answer as to why. But what we do know, is that we (and many others) were praying for the safety of myself and Lincoln throughout the whole pregnancy and labor, and I believe that ultimately God took care of us!
“Behold, children are a heritage from The Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3
One thought on “Lincoln’s birth story”
Such a beautiful little scrunchy face!