11lbs VBAC, Yes 11lbs
The Birth of Lincoln Taylor
One time, I was pregnant for 294 days.
Lincoln's birth story starts around the 35 week mark. He had dropped so low in my pelvis that I could hardly walk, and he was measuring 3-5 weeks ahead at every appointment. My midwife Michele (who I'm mildly obsessed with) advised I "stay down" AKA bedrest until we hit that 37 week mark. (I was planning an out of hospital birth and state law requires you to be at least 37 weeks) So there I was for two weeks with a toddler on bedrest. My awesome mama came as soon as Josh left for work and stayed until he came home. Two whole weeks I stayed on the couch, thinking he'd come any moment. (Hahahaha) The house was clean, Josh and I had a "baby moon", the nursery was finished, and his clothes were all washed and folded.
Finally, I hit that 37 week mark and I was on pins and needles waiting for labor to start. The only problem was that Lincoln had gotten very comfortable while I had my feet up for two weeks and decided he was fine to hang out a little longer. This is where all the "OMG you're still pregnant?!" comments started. (Spoiler alert: They did not end for FIVE more weeks.)
Then, when I was 38 weeks, I noticed a "slow leak" one morning. I didn't think anything of it at first, but then it became clear something was happening. After talking to my midwife, she said it sounded like my water broke! I went to bed that night thinking I would wake up in labor. NOPE. The next morning she came over and we swabbed the fluid to test if it was amniotic fluid. It was negative. We were all kinda shocked and kinda bummed, but we carried on the rest of the day. Later that afternoon I felt a leak, so decided to swab with one of the tests Michele left me. Instant positive! I was leaking amniotic fluid, i.e.: my water broke!
We made sure we had everything in the birth bag, called the babysitter (Gma) and waiting for contractions to start. I woke up on Sunday morning fairly early and feeling some cramping. Then the cramping got worse. Then they started coming every few minutes. Finally! We made all the arrangements and headed up to the birthing center. Michele checked me and I was only a one. And then, my contractions stopped. I know, it sounds crazy, but it's true. We stayed for a while, walking the stairs and trying to get labor going to no avail. We were sent home with the (dun dun dun....) castor oil regimen. If you're not familiar with it, castor oil is basically a laxative. It cleans out your bowels and (is supposed to) upset your uterus as well and start labor. Except apparently I have an iron stomach. (Thanks, dad!)
Easter- 39 Weeks 1 Day
The next morning we went for a biophysical ultrasound and Lincoln was perfect. My fluid levels were all normal and he was doing great. We went home and the waiting started all over again.
Two weeks went by and still nothing. I was huge and tired and trying to keep Emery busy. Walking out of the church play place one day at 40 weeks, I fell in the parking lot. I was in shock and trying not to let Emery hit the pavement! I literally had the thought, "oh my gosh I'm falling!" And then hit the ground. When I looked up Emery was standing and staring at me. I burst into tears and a lady came running to help me. She helped me to my car and even buckled Emery in her car seat for me. I just sat and the car and cried. Another trip to the chiropractor and midwife to get Lincoln checked out and then the waiting begin AGAIN. Surely I will go into labor now!
I'm pretty sure I cried every time I saw Michele after that. WHEN IS HE COMING??
The week I was 41 weeks I had my membranes stripped twice- once on Tuesday and then again on Thursday. I was losing pieces of my mucus plug but still wasn't believing he would ever come! Friday morning I was just plain pissed. I took Emery to Celebration (play place) and felt miserable.
At one point I took a funny video of her in a baby bouncer toy. She's clearly way to big for the jumper but it allowed me to sit in one spot and keep an eye on her so I just let it happen. I was huge and miserable and people (including strangers!) had been asking me when I was due for FIVE weeks. Off and on I was texting Josh saying I just wanted to go to the hospital and be induced because that was what was going to happen anyways so why prolong it?! He was amazing of course and encouraged me to talk to Michele. I texted her the same thing, adding that my body doesn't know how to go into labor. She immediately shut that down, speaking truth to me over and over.
It was enough to make me remember the birth I wanted and prayed for and longed for!
I let Emery play until I was convinced she was good and tired, then loaded up and drove to sonic. Sitting and waiting for my (spicy) food, I felt my first contraction. No. Way. I was excited for a second and then tried to brush it off, telling myself I must be sitting weird. Except driving home I felt another one. And another. And by the time I got home I had let myself believe it was finally starting! I texted Josh and (to my surprise) he came home from work. I laughed at him but he said he knew this was it. It was really happening! I didn't tell Michele until around 3. We took Emery for smoothies and then came home, with me having *very* painful but short contractions every 15 minutes or so. Around 6:30 I talked to Michele again, telling her they hurt but I'm still going to bunco!!
At bunco my contractions came every few minutes, enough for all the girls (Love you, ladies!!) to want to start timing them and drive me home! I wouldn't let them do that though, and made it home just to lay down and try to go to sleep around 11. I hadn't been laying down for 10 minutes when I jumped out of bed from pain! The contractions were getting more intense and closer together. I talked with Michele on and off, who told me to get in the tub to see if they would calm down. (Side note: our tubs stopper is broken so Josh has to plug it for me.) I took FOUR baths from midnight to 6am. I would get so relaxed in the water that I thought I could go get in bed and sleep only to have them start back up the moment my head hit the pillow.
By 6:30 Josh and I were both up and I had already texted my Gma to come stay with Emery. I labored at home for another hour and then headed up the birth center. Michele checked me at 8:30 and I remember being so nervous that I wasn't even dialated so I said, "more than a 4?" And she said, "yes." And I said, "more than a 5?" And she said, "you're a 6!" That gave me a skip in my step, allowing myself to believe it was truly happening. At this point the only people we told was the photographer (who had been on call for six weeks now) and my parents. I told both of them not to come yet. At 10:30 Michele checked me again, and I was an 8. She asked me if I wanted her to break my water and I said yes! At 42 weeks I knew there was a chance he could have already pooped and there could be meconium in the fluid so I immediately asked, "What color is it?!" and Michele responded "Clear!" That was the good news I needed and gave me a little more endurance!
After breaking my water I was able to get in the water. They call it "The Midwife's Epidural" or "Aquadural" and boy, are they right! I labored in the water for two hours, each contraction getting harder to bear. In between contractions someone would check Lincoln's heart rate (via Doppler on my stomach) and it was all I had not to slap those beautiful women surrounding me. I vividly remember pushing their hands off my belly! :)
I got the go-ahead to push around 12:30, and it took a few tries and Michele "showing" me where to push but once I felt him actually move down inside my body I got super excited! I remember saying, "He moved!!!!" And they were all like, yeah, that's what is supposed to happen... Hahah! I did this for almost an hour when suddenly the energy in the room changed. Lincoln's head was already showing, but they couldn't find his heartbeat. I 100% believe that in that the Lord protected my thoughts by the distraction of pain. I knew something was wrong but didn't have fear. They tried and tried to find his little heartbeat, (all the while I was cursing that Doppler digging into my belly) but all of a sudden Michele was telling me I needed to get up and get on the bed. I think I might have even laughed at her at this point. "You crazy woman! There is no way I am:
1. Standing up
2. Stepping over the edge of the tub
3. Walking to the bed
But the look on her face said she meant business, so up I went. (With the help of all five of them!)
To continue reading Haley's story, click here