A Letter to Lincoln: On December 28th…

Hey Lincoln. You are ten days old today! You are snoozing next to me in your little rock and play crib, your daddy is designing your birth announcement and I am pumping. This is our new life. I kind of love it. The last ten days have been the hardest and happiest ten days of my life. I am so glad you are in it! You are the best (I mean, the best) at snuggling and when you look at me with those eyes of yours, I melt just a little bit. We’ve been spending a lot of time together and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I already feel like you have grown up so much in just ten days, how does the time go by so slow and so fast at the same time? You make me so happy little one. I am so glad you are in my life.  So, here’s how it all went down and how you came to be here with us. It all started on Christmas Eve…

Christmas Eve
I started having contractions around lunchtime. I noticed the first one that was particularly painful the moment after I finished grading my online students’ projects. I didn’t think much about it until later when we were on the way to church and I had three of them in the car on the way there. Then I just got excited. You see, Christmas Eve was my original due date and then once they saw you on the ultrasound they changed it to New Year’s Eve. I figured sometime the week between the two you’d come out to play (who would have thought perfectly in the middle of those two holidays… well done), so contractions ON Christmas Eve were pretty exciting. They kind of kept up on and off throughout the evening, never really settling into any sort of pattern. We went to bed and I tried to sleep, but the more relaxed I became the more the contractions picked up! I did not sleep much that night. It reminded me of when I was little and couldn’t sleep on Christmas Eve because I was so excited for Christmas. 

Christmas Day
The contractions continued well into the morning and eventually were six minutes apart. We were supposed to go to Hillsborough that day to open presents and visit with all your dad’s brothers and sister and your grandparents, but because of the contractions and the fact that I didn’t sleep, I really didn’t want to be that far away from the hospital, should they get closer together. See, the doctor’s say that if your contractions are 3-5 minutes apart, lasting at least one minute long for at least an hour to come to the hospital. Mine were 6 minutes apart, lasting like a minute and half and had been going on for like 12 hours. So we stayed home all day, watched Die Hard and some other Christmas movies and I tried to rest and was able to nap some during the day. I figured if I was having contractions it was just a matter of hours before things would speed up. Throughout the day my contractions changed from six, to eight, to ten, to twelve, back to eight, back to six, back to ten, then to twenty….. you get the idea, minutes apart. Irregular. We went for a walk and tried to get the doggies used to walking with the stroller. Later that evening we went to IHOP for dinner because I wanted to get out of the house. We had some pancakes and I contracted during dinner, but still they were irregular and far apart. We went home and went to bed and I was so tired I fell asleep almost immediately.
The Day After Christmas
I woke up at 1am with way stronger contractions than before. They were closer together and stronger and I was sure, I mean sure, that this was it. I got in the shower for a little while, this really helped me feel better during a contractions which were back to their six minutes apart pace, but feeling way more intense. I called the doctor to ask if I should come in to the hospital or if I should just wait until my appointment that I had scheduled for later that day. She said to come in, the worst case scenario they would send me home. Around 2am I asked your dad, “hey, wanna go to the hospital?” and he said, “sure!” and got up, got dressed and off we went. It took us way less than 10 minutes to get there and they wheeled me up to Labor and Delivery triage. They did a little exam and monitored you for a little while, said you sounded happy and healthy! After my exam I was still 80% effaced and 1cm, like I had been over a week prior. I was quite disappointed since I had been contracting for what felt like days, but the doctor was super encouraging and said since my contractions were getting stronger it probably meant that real labor was imminent. She suggested I go home, take a Benadryl and get some sleep to rest up. I did just that, and woke up every so often in the throws of a big contraction and we went to the doctor at 8:30am. She checked me again and said I was maybe 2cm and did a few things to hopefully speed things along and said that I just had to power through and hopefully you would be here by the end of the weekend! That was the first time anyone said a time that you might be here by. I was so tired but so happy. Your dad and I went to my favorite coffee shop for breakfast and I had lots of big contractions back to back, and I was sure, I mean sure, that this was for sure it, but by the time we got home my contractions had slowed down to almost 20 minutes apart and were way less intense. My belly felt really tight like a big long Braxton Hicks contraction, but overall I felt pretty normal and was quite disappointed. So, I slept a little bit and your aunt, uncles and grandparents came over and brought us Christmas! This made me feel so much better. They brought leftover food and presents and we hung out and walked the dogs some and I rested. I contracted quite irregularly throughout the day and by the time it was bedtime I was feeling really normal and slept most of the night. Looking back, so grateful for that rest! 
The Day After The Day After Christmas
Woke up feeling pretty normal and spent most of the day on the couch resting as everyone had suggested. In the afternoon I got tired of being at home on the couch so I suggested to your dad that we meet your grandpa for dinner and go to the Carter’s store at Briar Creek to get some baby clothes and maybe get some Christmas stuff in 12 month sizes since we knew for sure your first Christmas would be 2015. On the way there we stopped at the Tesla dealership to see these cool cars that your dad loves. I got to sit in one and was terrified my water would break while I was in it, so I tried not to sit in there for too long. I am not sure how we would have explained that had it happened. We met your grandpa at Red Robin and had a burger (and a root beer float for me!). During dinner I started having contractions again, and by the time we left the Carter’s store and went to a few more stores I was having a hard time talking and walking through them. We went to Target to get a puzzle to keep us occupied and while your dad picked one out I had several really big contractions that I had to close my eyes through! These continued all night long. 

Lincoln’s Birthday 
The contractions kept getting bigger and harder to breathe through and were consistently 10 minutes or less apart, although the intervals changed. By early that morning I was ready, I mean ready to go to the hospital again but I was so worried we’d get sent home again. I held out as long as I could but by 7am they were less than five minutes apart and I was ready to goWe got to the hospital around 8am and they said I was 3cm and would be admitted, hooray! I labored in triage for what seemed like forever, and they finally got my IV in (after sticking me four times) and I got an epidural, which was great. Your aunt Cassidy came, we got so lucky she didn’t have to work! The medicine made me feel so much better and I got to sleep for several hours and I am so glad I did! Things were still progressing slowly and irregularly so after they broke my water they gave me some medicine to make my contractions stronger. It took a while for it to work, but once it did things started going fast! The doctor said you would be here on 12/29, but they had to call her in around 10pm because you wanted the 28th to be your birthday. With the help of your dad, your aunt Cassidy and two super nice nurses and my doctor, I pushed for about an hour and then there you were. Your daddy and I both cried a little bit because we were so happy to finally see you. There are not really any words for what it felt like to see your little face for the first time. By far, the best day ever. Of all the days.
Happy Birth Day, little one! We love you to the moon and back a million times. 

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