Happy Labor Day

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It's not because of April Fool's Day that I say this. It's because this is the anniversary laboring to deliver my first baby.  My baby is turning seven tomorrow (LIES, IT'S ALL LIES!). He told me today that since it was almost his birthday, he should get to do whatever he wants. I said, "Yeah, right, I worked myself to death the day before your birthday," and handed him the dustpan. #notkidding

So, here's the abridged version of my labor with my now-giant son, which I wrote two days later. It's abridged because I was as wordy then as I am now, and the complete thing is nine pages long and includes words like cervix that no one wants to read. Even me.

Here, then, is Lincoln's amazing and wonderful birth story...

I had been having contractions for several days.  On Friday, we’d spent the evening at Mikie and Heidi's with Laura and Shaun and my back hurt bad enough that we went home early.  I was really hoping that was a sign that we were starting… but no. 

Monday and Tuesday saw more back pain… I’d taken to hollering “come out baby” every 15 to 20 minutes.  I was having so much trouble sleeping at night that I’d end up in bed until 10 am.  By Wednesday, my back was hurting so bad I didn’t sleep a wink.  Poor Matt – I woke him up several times that night just to be sure he knew I still wasn’t sleeping!  I was able to close my eyes for an hour or two in the morning (Matt was on the early shift at work so I stayed in bed after he left at 6 am) simply out of exhaustion.

Caryn was coming into town for Easter/spring break so she spent the day with me on Thursday.  By that point, I had a pretty good idea that we were going into labor.  Things were about the same timing-wise but the contractions seemed to be getting more intense.  Caryn helped me time my contractions all afternoon while we watched The Whole Nine Yards.  Matt got home from work around 2:30 which was about the same time that I wasn’t able to sit through the contractions anymore.

For the next few hours, Caryn and Matt tag-teamed to time my contractions and remind me to go to the bathroom.  They also experimented with the massage tools from our child birthing classes: a nerf football and three tennis balls in a sock (which Caryn thought was a dog toy). 

Matt was a little restless – I don’t think he enjoyed watching me be in pain.  He cleaned the kitchen, did the dishes, and then actually cleaned the stove!  At least we came home to a clean house…

As we did the final check (including making sure our pup Gina had some lights on and had gone potty), I asked Matt if the car seat was in the car (which it was).  Caryn gasped and said “that’s right because you’ll be going as two and coming home as three!”  Sometimes the simplest thoughts are the most profound.

After check-in at the hospital, Matt and I wandered the halls for a bit until our nurse came out to get us.  She introduced herself and said she would be my nurse until 11 pm.  I joked that I promised to finish before she left!  But things didn’t go that fast.

I watched Caryn pace beside the bed with her very telling “I’m praying” face which was actually a huge relief for me as I labored. At some point while I was relaxing after the nasty process of getting an epidural in a back full of scar tissue from spinal fusion surgery, Caryn asked the nurse how many laboring moms she was caring for.  She said normally it would be different but that tonight I was the only person laboring in the whole place! Wow! 

Caryn, Matt & I chatted and took some video until I suddenly felt like I needed to push.  They tried to keep me from using my neck muscles too much to support my head by putting lots of pillows behind me, but I was doing it anyway, like a bad sit-up. (Two days later, I really regretted that – I felt like a bus had run over my neck and shoulders!) When he finally whooshed out, I let out a yell of relief.  It was all over!  It was 3:54 am on Friday, April 2, 2010.  Good Friday!

They put him up on my belly and he promptly pooped all over.  Thanks, Linc!  They cleaned me up while Daddy Matt cut the umbilical cord.  When they placed him back on my belly, he peed!  Boy, I’m just a target…

So as time passed, we had visitors – Poppy and Mom-Mom, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Kelcy and Uncle Mike.  Everyone got a chance to hold baby and see me & Matt. When Poppy and Mom-Mom walked in, the nurse was just finishing up Lincoln’s footprints.  She asked Matt if he had a white t-shirt on under his sweatshirt, but he did not.  Poppy announced that he did, so he took his shirt off and she used the rest of the ink to stamp Lincoln’s footprints on Poppy’s t-shirt!  What a special memento.