Thursday, August 18, 2016

Linc's Birth Story

What a week it has been for us so far! Lots of changes in our house. Some of us are happier about those changes than others. Some of us are getting much less sleep than others. But all of us are together, which is a great place to be, and more than I could say than about this time last week....

The day before Lincoln was set to make his debut, grandparents drove to our house and picked the four older Robert kids up in the afternoon for a weekend away from mom and dad. It would be the first time that Charlotte would spend a night away from us, and I had no clue how she would do. It might be possible that I was just as concerned about my current baby as I was about bringing a new one into the world.

So Eric and I had one night alone at home to get everything prepared for a big next day! After enjoying a delicious dinner at a restaurant we would never drag the kids along to, I set about making sure the little things were taken care no wet laundry in the washing machine and making sure we had clean sheets and scrubbed bathrooms to come home to. As is often the case, Eric slipped off to slumberland well before I did that night, as I needed to make sure ALL of the important bases were covered. My nails needed to be done, okay? :)

Morning came quickly, but maybe we didn't embrace it quickly enough...we slept in just a little longer than we had planned to. When I rolled over and Eric mentioned the time, I zoomed out of bed and got straight in the shower. I suppose if there is one great thing about inductions it's that at least you aren't caught off guard by the timing. Getting showered and feeling ready makes a world of difference! We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 7:30am, and we were only a few minutes behind schedule as we finally made our way through the maze of hallways and up the elevators to the sixth floor to start the day.

Getting checked in for an induction always begins with a million and one questions. My answer is the same to every single one: No. No I'm not a drug dealer, I'm not allergic to anything, and I don't have this that or that random illness. I don't even drink. I'm a seriously boring patient.

Next comes the IV, and I've not had much luck in this department lately. I'm poked at least a couple of different times in a couple of different places before they are able to get it just right. Thankfully, as with one of my past deliveries, I can say that this was one of the most uncomfortable parts of the entire experience.

I'm started on extremely low levels of pitocin to get things going, and this time I would never need more than they started me with. That tiny "jump start" that I've talked about is pretty much all it ever takes for contractions to kick in at regular intervals for me. My doctor came in early and gave us the game plan: Get those contractions going, call for the epidural, break the water, have a baby.

And well...that's pretty much exactly what happened. :)

It didn't seem like long at all before a doctor came in to check my progress, and the results surprised both us and our nurse. In no time I had dilated a couple of centimeters, putting me at a 4-5, and that meant I was ready for an epidural. Like with Gracie's labor, I never felt more than mild contractions before the elixir of dreamy delivery was wheeled into the room for me. Cue the hallelujah chorus.

This part does make me a little squeamish, only because I've had such rotten luck in the epidural department before. I have about a 50% success rate with these things working the way they should and on the first try. I crossed my fingers, held my breath, and said a prayer that the person who would walk through the door to deliver the drugs would NOT be the person that I've had bad luck with in the past. And thankfully, this time it was not. I hopped up for the procedure so fast that everyone in the room LAUGHED and made fun of me. Thanks guys. I've done this a few times, and I wasn't messing around. :)

Soon I was feeling nice and warm and tingly from the waist down, and I found myself being positioned to have my water broken. In my mind's eye I always remember this experience as a stranger coming at me with what looks like a knitting needle. And then I get to impersonate Niagara Falls right there in the hospital bed. It's great.

Typically this is the moment of truth. This is the time we will test and see if that epidural really is going to hold out, because once my water is broken the serious contractions begin. I've delivered babies with and without the help of drugs, and no one here needs to guess which one I prefer. Thank you Lord for modern medicine, I say.

Eric and I settled in with the olympics on in the background, just waiting for the crazy contractions on the monitor to do their thing so we could soon have a baby in our arms. I felt basically nothing but a bit of pressure now and then, and I'd peek over at the read-outs to see how strong of a contraction I'd just had that I didn't feel. "Dang, that one would've sucked really bad."

It was nearly lunch at this point, and Eric was getting hungry and probably a little restless, so he went down to the cafeteria to get some sandwiches. I was just minding my own business...watching some diving or something...when he came back into the room a few minutes later, sandwichless. "I forgot my wallet." Back out he went! And as soon as he did....

Ouch. Okay, that one hurt.

And then another one. I reached over and for the first time I used the blue button to administer a little more of that lovely numbing juice. (Please oh please don't let this mean that the epidural is wearing off!) They kept coming though, no matter how many times I pressed that darn button...which may have been four or five times by the end of it. Where the heck was Eric?

Soon my nurse came strolling in. I didn't have to say a word. "Okay, something is definitely going on here," she said as she double checked the monitor. Turns out, the baby was ready. Like, RIGHT THERE ready...time to not's go time ready. Eric came into the room just then to the news of, "Hey, it's time to have a baby!" And my poor nurse looked at me and said, "Okay, do NOT push right now, because if you I am going to be the one delivering this child."

In minutes my doctor arrived and we were in business. Having a baby is a little like being a lone star in a broadway show...the lights are dimmed, the spotlights are positioned right on you, and everyone in the room is a captive audience for the performance. :) I pushed twice, and then for one last little bit I was told to do the wimpiest barely push I had ever done to get him out the rest of the way. Lincoln officially captured the prize for the quickest delivery of any Robert child at 1:19pm on Friday afternoon. Even faster than Charlotte from start to finish! AND for the first time ever, I didn't require any stitches, which, let me tell ya, has already made a WORLD of difference in the recovery process. Lincoln really took it easy on his mom in every way! Thank you, son.

7 lbs 4 oz
21.5 inches long - our longest baby ever!

Lincoln continues to be a pretty drama free baby. He was a great nurser from the start, no jaundice, he sleeps pretty well, barely squawks unless he needs something, and boy is he cute! Of course he is a newborn and we are still very early in the game, so I hope his habits don't change any time soon. We have a vacation later this year riding on his temperament and sleep patterns, haha. So far he is passing the test. ;)

After having Charlotte I was told to watch out with the pain of recovery. The more babies you have the more likely it is to have strong contractions even after having the baby as your organs are literally moving back into place. That has been the only bad thing about recovery this time, because...holy contractions. As a nursing mom these are even stronger, since breastfeeding makes those contractions even more productive. My organs are rearranging on double time, haha. It's also giving me some lovely back pain, and I can hardly stand up straight after sitting down for a while. I'm moving around like someone three times my age at the moment. :) But everything else that usually makes recovery a royal pain hasn't been bad at all. I'm on track to bounce back pretty quickly this time...which may just be my body's way of saying...."FIVE kids, you need your strength."

We spent one night in the hospital getting absolutely cruddy sleep, poked and prodded and woken up constantly by different people. By about 2:00pm the next day, all of the normal tests and things they do for baby had been done and we were totally bored just sitting there. The newborn photo session was over. There was nothing else for us to do but wait, and... I don't know, get poked and prodded at some more for another night? No thanks. Eric asked if we could go home early. And since we have a drama free baby, they said absolutely. If there's one thing I'm learning more with age, it's that if you want something in this life a lot of times you just have to ask for it. Worked out pretty well with this whole experience! So we came home early (where we got infinitely better rest!) and that was awesome.

We warned Lincoln that soon this very quiet place we had introduced him to as home was going to get very loud and maybe a little bit crazy, and our older children did not disappoint there. :) But really, it hasn't been that bad. No worse than what we're used to at least, which would likely drive most people nuts, but that's just life for us. If there is one child that I worry about the most in this transition, it's Charlotte. Still a baby herself, this whole experience has been a little bit confusing. She has been pretty emotional, but it's really hard to know if that's down to a new baby at home or the fact that she had just spent several nights away from mom and dad and home. Or both. Also, she's a bruiser and we really have to watch her around the baby, haha. She has recently developed a lovely habit of pinching and scratching, which is a first for me, and boy is it annoying to be living with a giant roaming lobster child who thinks all of the baby gear should belong to her.

I really just can't say enough how very thankful we are right now. We've brought five children home from the hospital with nary a complication, and we just can't figure out how we've gotten so fortunate. When I say we feel blessed, I really mean it. We've been shown a lot of grace and mercy when it comes to my health and the health of our children throughout all of these pregnancies. I wish I had more eloquent words to express my gratitude and praise to God on this one, but all I can really say is a very humbled thank you.

Lincoln's start in this world was a wonderful experience, and he is a wonderful boy. We are beyond thrilled to welcome him to our family. He is, for sure, the LAST on this level of the family tree. We're soaking up this time with him down to the very last drop. All of our babies have been so loved and welcomed into our home, but Lincoln may now be the most doted on baby of all time here...with older sisters and a brother who adores him and waited so long to meet him. Now, if only he survives Charlotte and her plots and attacks against him.

We're getting there. ;)


Heather said...

I have never had a baby make me want another one...until now. He is just the most delicious bundle of boy baby I have ever seen!!

Adrien said...

Hehe, he's a cute pie! It's a good thing I am officially no longer tempted...the inn is full! :D

Sara Simpson said...

Great birth story!!! Enjoyed reading it. He is adorable. Big congrats to the whole family!!!!

Stefanie said...

Reading about birth stories always makes me reminisce about my own. Such sweet beautiful memories you have captured here!

Adrien said...

Thank you! :)


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