Linc's birth story = "A Little Bit of Everything" labor and delivery! James, my mom and I (and Linc in utero, of course, tee hee) arrived here at Salmon Creek Hospital at 8 pm Sunday night for the induction---because the kidney stones I've suffered were becoming more painful to pass due to the increasing weight on my bladder. I had been told earlier that I was 2 centimeters and 50 % effaced, so after having my membranes swept and walking the mall, I was HOPING to be further along and not need much to get the ball rolling. In fact, the monitor showed that I was already contracting! Strong and regular! But they weren't producing changes to my cervix, so we started things off with that tiny, magic pill that softens things. The next morning, we started a low dose of Pitocin. At this point, I hoped the Pitocin would jump start real, productive labor and allow me to then get off of it and continue on with natural contractions. I wanted to labor in the tub and deliver without pain management. That was the plan.
Well, I made it quite far! I thought of my dear friend, Lisa's, recent all-natural tub birth and how beautiful it was for them, and I wanted that for us, too. I remembered asking her what the pain was like, and she'd told me, "Laurel, there are no words." But she'd expressed how the body copes and rejoices at its victory in the end! So, as I labored in the tub, still on a very low dose of Pitocin, I concentrated on what, exactly, these contractions felt like. For me, it was like this: a log, the size of a large can of Aqua Net hairspray is the pestle grinding my cervix, the mortar, increasing its aggression steadily, burning, burning. I made it to 7 1/2 centimeters, 75% effacement, and could take no more! I was overwhelmed. Epidural time. I endured it as long as I possibly could though, and reeeeaaaally felt it and soaked it up, so "experience labor in earnest," "CHECK!" Then, it was time to push. With Dr. Rosenblum, the nurse, my mom and James, I pushed for 4 1/2 hours in every position--with the bar, on hands and knees, on side, etc. Dr. R actually told me that I was the strongest pusher she's ever seen (but bragging about THAT is no real pleasure because I was not able to push Linc out. I pushed properly, with everything I had in me, but his head would not descend that last minute space. Finally she said something was preventing his coming and we should go to the OR for a c-section. We agreed. James and I found ourselves in the operating room, awaiting the birth of our son, and when he did come, at 5:09 pm, the mystery of his rut was no more. He was occiput posterior, JUST LIKE WENDY HAD BEEN, AND crooked! AND 8 lbs. 7 ozs! He had a giant bruise on the wide, flat, unyielding side of his head, which had been absolutely stuck behind my pubic bone. His injury was in the same spot on which the vacuum had been affixed to Wendy's head 3 years ago! It was concluded that my internal anatomy forces my babies into this impossible placement. "Future pregnancies would need to be scheduled c-sections, no question." Suddenly a lot of things became clear---the constant pressure on my bladder these last few months could be attributed to this occiput posterior presentation. And, I do believe I might have made it all the way to pushing without the epidural had my contractions 1) been natural as opposed to Pit-induced and 2) had NOT been the back labor I suffered with his presentation! So, I sort of felt a bit better about wussing out at 7 centimeters. The Moment: The c-section meds had me shaking and getting sick, but as soon as I saw his pink body emerge overhead, and heard his sturdy cry, awe and joy flooded out all else, and I wept uncontrollably! Through tears I tried to focus on his tiny hand quivering above the bassinet side, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching James stand proudly beside his son, video taping the nurses' initial assessment. "10 fingers, 10 toes," and "the fattest umbilical cord they'd seen!" A well-nourished boy, he was! Later, I'd get to hold and examine him up close. He has lighter hair than Wendy's and almond eyes like James' and his mom's. He also bears a resemblance to Wendy! He's soft and sounds like an itty bitty house mouse. The past days plus have been a dream come true, and I cannot believe God's love and generosity towards all of us, His children, in the form of new little people! Lincoln, my little man, is here! Now, I cannot wait to see how the days, weeks and months unfold and to find out just who he is, and how his new presence will be such a blessing to his big sister, who, by the way, got to see him finally, this afternoon. One very interesting thing that I've documented in his book is the strict rules re. the H1N1 risk and my being allowed only 2 support adults throughout this process of giving birth and recovering! Wendy was allowed in my room only because she's been vaccinated, twice, and within the right time frame! Good grief, my dad, visiting from Texas, still has not seen Lincoln! We are not allowed to hold him up to a window even! BUT, and this is the ridiculous part, they are tossing out this rule on the 1st. Crazy, huh? Okay, so before I show you some pics, we've managed to accomplish quite a lot today, including my x-ray and cat scan, which revealed, gulp, 5 stones in my left kidney and 9-10 in my right, including some 5 mm ones! Dr. Smith, a urologist here at Salmon Creek, will perform surgery next Wed. on one kidney first. He'll tackle the other kidney a month from now. I'm undergoing a uroscopy due to my "stone burden." It will be painful and a stent will be left in each kidney for a period of days following, which will then have to be removed, painfully of course, so I am not looking forward to....da, ta DA! MORE PAIN! I've already been on the pain train for months and months! But, in life, we cannot avoid things that are unavoidable, so here's hoping it'll feel EXTRA fantastic when my c-section is healed, my kidney work is no longer tender and I'm STONE FREE! At LEAST for a year or two following. I won't take health and well-being for granted! That's for sure! I just want to focus on my my kids now sans ouchies. Some more Linc deets--His head is 14 inches, he's 20.5 inches long, and his head circum., length and weight are each in the 95% percentile, strangely enough! His Apgar was 8/9. He's cute and cuddly. We really love him. Okay, the pics!