It was Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008, and I got to work at three in the afternoon, I wasn't feeling too great that day, my face felt hot and my back was aching. Dorothy (an old lady that worked at the register) commented that I looked like I was carrying pretty low. I told her that my back was hurting and Shari (one of my bosses) said, "oh my god, really? I'm gonna have to have people watch you tonight!" I just laughed it off, I wasn't having contractions and I was only 36 weeks along.
I sent a text to Amanda on my break and asked her if she wanted to come have lunch with me at seven and she said she'd be there. I was up helping a customer at the front register when Amanda got there, I told her I had to pee pretty bad but that I had to take some things to the back room before I could go to lunch, so she followed me back.
I set the bags down and started walking back towards the time clock. I got about ten feet from the stockroom door and I felt liquid start rushing down my legs. I started to panic, my first thought was that I'd just peed my pants, and on a day when I wore my spandex pants, everyone was going to be able to see the wet stain!! I looked at Amanda and said, "umm... either I just peed my pants or my water just broke!"
Amanda got really excited and said she'd run tell the PIC and I called Josh at work to come get me! My face was so red!! And there were customers pointing and smiling at me! At one point someone put yellow "wet floor" cones around me!I called my mom and she said she'd be on her way to the hospital with my brother.
I saw Josh coming towards me and I tried not to cry, it was as if seeing him made it all click into place, this was the real deal!! I made him give me his work shirt so I could wrap it around me to walk outside, so thankful that our apartment was just across the street.
We got back to the apartment and I changed my clothes and called the hospital, they told me to come in right away. Josh had to put the car seat in, so while he did that I put the last few things in my suitcase.
Amanda ended up riding with us to the hospital, I still was feeling pretty good, just a little wet from my water still coming, something no one warned me about. We checked in at the hospital and they sent me to the bathroom to get a "Sample."
When I got back to the room I was so happy to see my mom! They asked me a bunch of questions about what I'd eaten (only pineapple all day long!) and my health... then they finally checked me into a birthing room.
They told me I was at a four (dilation goes by centimeter, end goal is a ten). I finally started feeling contractions a little while later. I got an IV but they didn't hook it up so I could still walk around. The contractions weren't too bad yet, so my Mom, Amanda, Josh, Logan, and I walked around the hospital floor for an hour.
We came back, they checked the babies heartbeat and mine and then they said I could walk around more. We tried again, just me and my Mom, but this time it was pretty uncomfortable so we went back to the room and watched probably EVERY episode of Jon & Kate.
Then I tried the bath tub, hoping it would calm the pain, (yeah right), the stupid nurse kept pushing on me while I was having a contraction and I wanted to smack her! They checked me again when I got out and I was only at a five. I swear that woman was nuts, I'm convinced her hands were too big for the job and she couldn't count. I thought I was gonna die, it hurt so bad and I still had HALF to go?!
So I waited a little longer and then told her I'd take the Epidural, even though I wanted to go natural and am allergic to pain meds. She said it'd be a while since someone else was in line before me. Then the contractions suddenly got BAD. Woah, I can not even describe the pain...
I felt like there was no break between anymore, no cool down. Just constant pressure. They sent Josh out so they could put the epidural in but I started pushing.. I tried not to, but I couldn't hold it back. The nurse looked at me and said, "Nicole, are you pushing?"
I cried that I couldn't stop if I wanted to. I kept grabbing the sheets in my fists, naturally pulling my knees up to my stomach, praying for the pain to stop. She looked at me seriously, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but its too late for an epidural, but the good news is you're about to have this baby!"
I was happy and scared as hell. Someone yelled about getting Josh back in the room and about calling my doctor, people were rushing around opening cupboards and at this point I'd finally gotten a new nurse, thank god. It was almost as if knowing it was pushing time made the pain more bearable.
I pushed for about twenty minutes, nurses kept telling me to look down and see Lincoln's head, but I didn't want to. I found it kind of frustrating that they kept saying, "One more push and his head will be out," because obviously it took much more than one more time.
Lincoln Michael Reeves was born at 4:23am on Thursday April 3rd, 2008. Josh and my mom cried when he came out, I was too wrapped up in all that was happening to cry. I know that last push that propelled him out was hugely gratifying.
Lincoln was blue, he didn't cry, he didn't even move. I was so scared, no one said anything they just rushed him over to the table and started pumping air into him. I kept asking my Mom if he was okay, but she just kept looking at me in scared silence.
Finally, after the longest, twenty or so, seconds of my life he cried. I'll never forget how good it felt to hear him cry.
They told me he was six pounds even and eighteen inches long. Such a little guy, but with long arms and legs and beautifully long fingers. I looked into his eyes and I felt like I'd known him forever. They had to stitch me up since I had a second degree tear, but they let me hold him to keep my mind off the pain. My doctor did the stitching but he missed Lincoln's birth, a little Asian ANGEL brought him into the world.
We bonded for about thirty minutes before they had to take him back to the table and clean his eyes and all that. Then they moved us to the recovery room. Our stay in the hospital wasn't bad, except he had to spend a couple hours in the NICU because of low blood sugar, but he bounced right back. They made us stay one extra night since I had a tear and Lincoln was early, despite the protests from me and Josh. It was an amazing feeling of Freedom being wheeled out of there the last day!
Three years ago on April 3, Lincoln came into our world and changed it forever. He's changed me forever. Becoming a Mom is by far the thing I am most proud of in my life. I look at him today and I'm still in awe of the amazing little man he is. I have all the faith in the world that he will forever be making Josh and I proud. It's going too fast, watching him grown, knowing someday he'll go out in the world on his own, but for now I'm just enjoying every second of this sweet boys life.
Happy Birthday Baby Bear, Mommy and Daddy love you so very much.