17 April 2017

A birth story: Lincoln Asher

Lincoln Asher
April 10, 2017 | 3:24 pm
7 pounds 9 ounces | 20 inches

We knew from the beginning that our due date was going to be a hectic and crazy time for our family.  We originally said we could not have a baby around Easter, but God chuckled and we found out that sweet baby was coming while on our anniversary trip to New York City.

Early on we discussed planning an induction for early the week of Easter.  Most people probably think we are ridiculous, but I wanted to do it more than anything.  This was the first Easter for our church plant and I wanted Taylor to be there more than anything.  This is what he was called to do and Easter is the biggest opportunity of the year for new people to walk through those doors.  I didn't want him stressed about me going into labor.  I also was induced with both previous births so it wasn't new to me.  I felt calm knowing what to expect and my body has responded positively every time.

At 35 weeks, one of my awesome doctors let me go ahead and schedule.  So it was all set for Monday, April 10.  My favorite doctor (who also delivered Nolan) was on for that day and it was early enough in the week that we felt comfortable having him then.

Several times leading up, I thought I wouldn't make it to that day.  But every OB appointment brought disappointment as I was barely dilated and not progressing throughout the weeks.  My last appointment they said I was finally at 2 cm.

Monday, April 10.  They didn't need me to come to the hospital until 8 am.  I really loved that I got to see my big boys before heading in.  My parents were already in town so before we left the house we held hands and prayed over the day.  I held my Nolan's hand and then watched him clap excitedly as we all cheered, knowing he had zero clue what was happening.

Checking in to the hospital was smooth and quick.  I signed a few papers and they put me in a room to check my dilation (same as my last appointment) and to make a game plan.  Surprisingly, the unit had several other women laboring (I was the only one with Nolan) and it filled up completely throughout the day.

My sweet doctor came in and asked if I wanted her to go ahead and break my water.  I immediately said yes knowing that this was necessary for my body to progress as proven by my previous births.  She broke my water and gave me the option to wait and see if my body labored on its own or to start pitocin.  I opted for pitocin.  I was ready to meet my baby.  She asked if I was planning an epidural and I told her no.  I had done it once before and knew deep inside I could again.

We turned on HGTV which seems to be my laboring channel preference and watched some fun flip shows while we waited for the pitocin to be raised each half hour.  My mom said she didn't think I could be in labor because I was being too funny.  I was surprised at the amount of fluid (seemed way more this time) from my water breaking and kept joking that this baby was just going to float on out.

Around 11 am I told Taylor that the contractions were getting stronger and I really wanted him to go ahead and eat so he could be there when it got bad.  He ran across the street and picked up some McDonald's.  It smelled amazing while he and my mom ate so I asked the nurse if I could chew on some ice (just because I need something to do). She said I could even have a popsicle which ended up tasting incredible.  I felt some renewed energy as the contractions got stronger and stronger and opted to move to the the birthing ball to rock for a bit.

Soon after, my sister arrived.  I had invited her months ago to be there.  She had to miss both my other boys births and ended up being sick while our other sister gave birth in October.  I knew this was my last baby and wanted to give her the chance to be there.

I used the bathroom and then chose to get back in the bed due to ridiculous amounts of fluid everywhere and the monitor not being in a good place to pick up baby's heart rate.  Not long after, the contractions got very strong.  I was torn between calling for my doctor to check me.  I wanted to know, but also feared not being very progressed and getting hit with a sense of disappointment.  I mentally was stalling myself throughout the day, scared of the hurdles I knew I still had to jump to get this baby here.

We called for my doctor and she said I was at a 6.  That was encouraging as not much time had passed.  The pitocin was set at an 8 and we decided to leave it there as the contractions were horrendously painful and obviously working.  We turned the tv off and I asked Taylor to turn on the Hillsong worship album I had on my phone.

Things got truly emotional for me at this point.  Taylor sat on my bed and held my hand as the mountains climbed.  He reminded me to breathe and I closed my eyes listening to the words of the music while I huffed through each one.

"Holy is the Lord revealed before my eyes
And my burdened heart can scarcely take it in
As I behold your beauty with unworthy eyes
The only song my soul can find to sing

Is Hallelujah Hallelujah Hallelujah my King"

These lyrics filled the room and tears filled my eyes as I felt the pain and knew the enormity of what I was experiencing.  We kept joking with my nurse all day that all of the ladies in the unit were going to end up delivering at the same time.  Not long after this, we heard the cries of a baby nearby and I lost it, letting the tears roll.

I alternated squeezing Taylor's hand, the bed rail, and chewing on ice.  As I started moaning through contractions and wanting more than anything to scream, Taylor fiercely reminded me not to let myself get there yet.  I asked them to push the call button and yelled into the speaker that I needed to be checked.

Dr. Norton came in and calmly checked. Telling me I was an 8 and progressing well.  She showed Taylor where to push on my back to relieve some pressure and it felt amazing.  I labored like that for a while.  As each contraction hit, longer and closer together, Taylor pushed on my back.  The nurse began rolling carts of supplies in my room and my mom and sister encouraged me saying that meant it was almost time to push.  "They don't bring that in unless you're close."

I got louder and again asked for my doctor.  She said I was definitely a 9 pretty much 10 and thinned all the way.  She asked if I would like to try and push or wait.  I asked her what she thought and she said she thought he would come.  The room filled with people as they got ready.  With the next contraction I began to push.  With each push I held my breath and gave it my all.  It hurt more than I remembered with my other boys.  Everyone rang encouragements on me as I screamed through my pushes.  I distinctly remember Taylor whispering prayers in my ear. "Lord, give her strength."

My eyes were closed as I heard everyone yelling, "His head is out!! You're almost there."  But, the pain didn't stop and I didn't feel relief like I did with the other boys.  My mom heard the doctor say baby had a compound shoulder or arm (which I still really don't know what that means), but baby was half way out and just stuck there.  I felt so much pain and kept yelling things like "holy hell" and "get him out!"

According to my mom and Taylor, my doctor practically stuck her whole hand inside to help his shoulder out.  I felt every tiny bit of it.

At 3:24, after only 14 minutes of pushing (but what felt like an hour), Lincoln Asher was laid on my chest and I cried.  And cried.  And cried.  I was so relieved that I had done it and so happy that he was here.  He screamed for a few seconds and then was content on my chest.  I looked at Taylor and emphatically told him we were done having babies!  And then immediately asked if he was indeed a boy!  (We had been joking about it really being a girl since we had only one ultrasound and the tech said his legs were crossed).

I was so excited that he had a head full of dark hair.  I was hoping so and knew it was possible with how bad my indigestion had been.  My doctor delivered the placenta and then had to push vigorously on my uterus as not all of the membrane had come out.  It hurt terribly and then of course came a few stitches (she said it was a tiny tear, but would feel best with a stitch or two).

I told Taylor later that if Nolan's pushing had been like Lincoln's we probably would not have had another baby.  It was a very intense experience.

Lincoln was weighed and measured.  Seven pounds nine ounces.  Right in the range with my small babes.  My sister took photos (all day for us!) and I nursed him before my dad brought the big boys in.  Nolan was not sure about me being in the hospital bed and spent the hour they were there completely ignoring that Lincoln was even in the room.  A hard adjustment for sure. (Day two was better and he gave some kisses and tried to strangle hold him which in Nolan land is love).  Gideon wanted to hold him non-stop and kept trying to take him from anyone else who held him.

It's emotional for me that this phase of my life is now over.  We know that we are done biologically having any more kids.  While I didn't always enjoy pregnancy, I am grateful for the experiences I had and for the ability to carry so many babes inside (even those who I don't hold Earth-side) and to give birth to my three boys.

Lincoln Asher, you have made our family so happy and I wouldn't trade you for a million girls.

Robe: c/o Shop PinkBlush  This was amazing to have post-delivery and made me feel somewhat put together while being great to nurse in.

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