Our sweet beautiful Lincoln Xavier Gehring was born on Wednesday, July 20th at 2:07pm. This is our long, sad, scary, beautiful story.
Our labor journey began the night before when Justin and I headed to Woodwinds Hospital to start the process of inducing me. Link wanted to come on his own time, and both me and my Dr. didn’t want to wait any longer for Link’s time to arrive. After getting admitted on Tuesday night, we were going to start one medicine but Link’s heartrate was too high. They did some tests and realized that I was a bit dehydrated, so they started pumping fluids into me. That meant starting the IV which I was not looking forward to. Needles and I don’t agree. After awhile, Link’s heartrate went back to where it should be and they were able to start the medicine.
Tuesday was a long night because I had the IV hooked up to me as well as 2 monitors reading any contractions I may be having as well as Link’s heartrate. Everytime I had to get up to use the restroom (remember, I’m pregnant here which meant I peed a lot, and they were pumping fluids into me, which meant I had a lot to pee out) Justin had to help me unhook and rehook things.
In the morning, it was time to start the pitocin and the antibiotics, which they started around 7am as planned. Contractions started, and increased in intensity. It is a pain that I would have trouble describing to you. I thought that I would have to wait a very long time before getting pain relief, so I would just tell the nurse (we had amazing nurses, by the way) how they felt and how they were progressing. She would increase the pitocin gradually and check me for dilation. I didn’t think I was dilating as well as I should be, but she kept telling me how great I was doing and at about 10am, she called the Dr. to see what pain relief I could get. At only about 3 cms, and just a few hours into it, I thought I would just be able to get some narcotics, and not an epidural. She came back with the news that the Dr. (who I already loved) said I could have “anything I want” for pain relief. We had already talked about me wanting an epidural eventually, so one was ordered. The wonderful amazing epidural Dr. came and inserted the epi, and soon all was better. I was amazed at how well the pain was taken away.
In just a short time, close to 1pm, I was already completely dilated/effaced/all the good stuff. The nurse called the Dr., who had been on his way to lunch, but turned his car around anyways to get to the hospital. Once he got there, the nurse and he decided that it would be alright if he went down to the cafeteria to grab a quick lunch. While he was gone, the pressure started increasing in my body and I felt the need to push. The nurse and Justin helped me push for awhile, and the Dr. returned. I kept pushing, which was the most incredibly difficult and unique experience I have ever been through. I was determined to get the baby out quickly, because pushing was not fun, and I didn’t want to sit there for hours doing it (I am not a very patient person). I pushed hard and felt a moment of relief and my baby was on my tummy.
During that moment, I had heard the doctor mention something about the cord being wrapped around the baby twice. I looked at Link’s face, and I immediately felt like something was wrong. His eyes were bulging out of his head, he wasn’t crying, and he looked like ET. I had expected him to not look perfect after being pushed out of me, but this just didn’t seem right. The Dr. was frantically trying to suction the baby’s nose and mouth. Justin cut the cord. The next thing I knew, the baby was gone. They had taken him to the baby station and were paging the special care nurses and the NNP (neonatal nurse practitioner). Justin had moved from me to the baby, as did the nurses and Dr.
If you know me, you can understand how at this point, I checked out of the situation. I am someone who likes to not deal with difficult situations if I can help it. I like to block out emotions and eventually have a break down later. This is what I was experiencing. After doing who knows what to my sweet baby, who I did not feel connected to at this point at all, they brought him over to me and explained what was happening. I have no idea what they said. Then Justin, baby and the nurses left the room. My nurse and Dr. were with me as I went through the last stage of labor, got stitched up (my amazing pushing skills had caused me to tear) and was cleaned up. My family was waiting in the waiting area, and I’m sure completely terrified and pissed that no one would let them in the room. At some point I asked the Dr. if whatever was happening to the baby was life threatening, and they said no. He was having some fluids in his lungs and trouble breathing and they just needed to take care of him.
I got cleaned up and they finally let my family (mom and dad, Ashley, Nikki, and Pat) into the room. The Dr. had told them what was happening with the baby. The next 4 hours are quite the blur. They kept the baby in the special care nursery until 6pm. During that time, my family spent time with me, and at some point Justin came and gave us an update. My very scared, wonderful husband had become a father the moment he watched our son turn purple. It would take me longer.
At some point, the nurse had run me a bath so that I could get cleaned up and go down to see the baby in the special care nursery. They wheeled me down there, and told me I could hold him. I looked at him and felt very scared. He still looked a bit scary and had lots of things hooked up to him. I told Justin that I needed to go back to my room, so he wheeled me down and I had my mom come see me. This was the first time that I cried. I was feeling very guilty for not feeling connected to my baby. My mom explained to me that what I was feeling was completely normal, that they took him away from me so fast, and that I would get there.
At 6pm, they brought my baby to me, and explained how well he was doing now, and that he was out of the woods. There are so many other things that were happening during this time, it’s hard to write down everything, and of course you’ve read a lot by now. The next couple of days at the hospital were very stressful.
Breastfeeding has been a nightmare. Link doesn’t latch on, and until today (yay for today!) he hasn’t had any successful latches. I made the decision once we got home that we would be feeding him a mixture of breastmilk and formula, because my baby was starving and I needed to do what was best for him. We have been trying to work our way to latching, but Link hates it, and it’s hard on mommy and daddy. We will get there though, or we won’t. Either way, Link is eating and growing!
I have learned since giving birth that my Dr. said that I saved the baby’s life. By pushing him so fast, I saved his life. The Dr. said that I was a incredibly strong, both physically and emotionally.
Once I got home, and Justin and I were starting to get settled in, I started to get a great case of the baby blues. I have shed lots and lots of tears, but I have been assured (and incredibly comforted) that what I am going through is normal and expected after a traumatic birth like Link’s.
I am falling more and more in love with Link every day, and I’m getting less blue every day. It will take awhile though, and I am making sure to take care of him and me. Justin has been so incredible as have our family who have been here cleaning, cooking, and letting mom and dad nap.
I am very tired, but it gets better every day. The physical pain is decreasing and the emotional pain is getting better as long as I keep talking about what happened and how it felt to go through everything. I love my little boy so very much. I love my husband, who has become an amazing daddy. Link’s first checkup went beautifully, the Dr. says he is perfect!
I will have much more to say about the adventures of Amber, Justin and Lincoln. For now, check out Link’s webpage for journaling from mommy and daddy, and lots and lots of pictures!