Thursday, February 28, 2013

London Elise's Birth Story

At the beginning, at least, London's arrival was as different from Connor's as possible.  With Connor's birth (which you can read about here), my water broke unexpectedly three weeks early, and I had to deliver Connor in Louisville at a hospital I had never visited with a doctor I had never met.  In that regard, Connor's birth was definitely exciting and eventful, but there was also an element of disappointment and stress, at least at first.  However, by the end, all was well, we had a healthy, precious boy, and three and a half years later, we now have his sister's story to tell.

I suppose that a part of me just assumed that since I went three weeks early with Connor that the same thing would happen with London.  However, Dr. Crosslin informed me that the likelihood of my water breaking again in that same scenario was not probable, I was actually a bit nervous, because I never really knew what it was like to be in labor on my own.  With Connor, my water broke but I had no contractions until they gave me pitocin.

At one of my earlier appointments, probably 36 weeks or so, Dr. Crosslin assured me that if I was uncomfortable and wanted to, we could induce as early as 39 weeks.  By our 38 week appointment I was 2 cm. dilated and 80% effaced, but not having many contractions.  So it was decided that since Dr. Crosslin was on call the next Wednesday, if I didn't go into labor on my own by then, we would show up at the hospital that morning to be induced.

It wasn't until we got into the car after the appointment that Jason and I even thought to see what our daughter's birthday would be: we had only talked in terms of the day of the week.  Jason turned to me and said, "That's February 20th."  While that date may not mean much to many people, to Jason and me it is one of the most important days of each of our lives.  It was the fateful day in 2000 that a 19 year-old Jason Scott came to preach for the first time ever at my home church, Ono Community, where we met for the first time, and without that meeting we wouldn't be having precious London on that very day.  I, of course, ever the emotional one, cried, but even though he didn't tear up, I knew the day was special to Jason as well, and it just solidified how right the induction felt for that day.

By Tuesday I was tired and ready to meet London, especially after attending a meeting all day at school, while running back to each class to give them my goodbyes (the only downside of maternity leave is that I truly will miss my students for these next few weeks -- they are a joy to teach), and despite thinking that I would be too nervous to sleep, I did manage a few hours before 4 a.m. arrived.

We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 5:30 CDT, and we arrived right at that time.  I assumed that it would be a slow process, but to my amazement, within 10 minutes, I was in a lovely hospital gown, hooked up to monitors, and getting an iv.  During that process the nurses and I discovered that I have great veins, which tend to gush quite a bit of blood, which Jason loved (He is super squeamish about blood.).

I was also surprised by how quickly they broke my water.  Dr. Crosslin came in not too long after I got my iv, and before I knew what was going on, he had broken my water.  Since last time around my water had broken on its own, it was a different experience, but not as terrible as I had expected it to be.

After getting all of his electronic devices out and ready (camera, video camera, laptop, iPod, phone), Jason headed to get some coffee and they got me started on pitocin.  I was at that point dilated a bit more to 3 cm., but I hoped I would make progress quickly once the pitocin kicked in.


It took several minutes, but I definitely started feeling some intense contractions, and by 10 a.m. I was ready for an epidural, which didn't actually happen until 11, at which point I was more uncomfortable than I have probably ever been in my life.  I suppose God allows you to forget how terrible contractions feel, which is good, because at that point I wasn't sure how much more I could handle.

I had the best nurse who brought ice, talked about her grandchildren, and made me feel so at ease.  The anesthesiologist was also fantastic, and she even gave me the best compliment of the day, saying that I had the best spine she'd ever seen to give an epidural on...listen, I will take kind words, even about my spine, whenever I can get them.  :)

After about 15 minutes, the epidural really kicked in, and I could finally relax.  By about 1 p.m., they checked me again, and I was dilated to 6 cm.  By almost 3 p.m. I was dilated to 10, and the nurse went to get Dr. Crosslin so he could deliver London.

I'm not sure how to describe it, but once Dr. Crosslin was in the room my nervousness went away and I was at ease.  With Connor, there was never a rapport with the doctor, but this time around we talked, joked (I love Dr. Crosslin's sarcasm.), and had as good a time as one can during labor.  I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Crosslin.  I have never had a doctor like him before, and I am honored that he delivered London.

Back to the story -- Dr. Crosslin got prepped and the nurse and Jason helped me since with the epidural I could no longer feel or move the lower half of my body (which sounds bizarre but was much better than the contractions I was feeling before).  By 3 p.m. I was ready to push.

With Connor, I pushed twice during one contraction and he was born, so I (again) assumed this time around would be just the same.  However, with London, I pushed through 4 contractions, and by 3:06 she was born.  I believe that part of the reason I pushed longer with London is because when she came out, the cord, which Dr. Crosslin discovered had been wrapped around her neck once, broke (Jason wasn't disappointed and hadn't planned to 'cut the cord' anyway), and while it may not be the case, I feel like maybe the fact that the cord was wrapped and had less slack may have caused me to have to push just a few minutes longer than with Connor.  However, all in all, it was still a very easy labor, at least as easy as birthing a baby can be, and I was grateful at that moment for my wide hips.  :)

Just as with Connor, from the moment I saw her, I was in love.  She was content on my chest, looking around with her huge, wide eyes (just like her brother's) and ALL THAT HAIR, which we were not expecting.

After a few small stitches, some more conversation with Dr. Crosslin, a small incident where I threw up after being moved to a sitting position and then laying back down (I threw up soon after delivering Connor as well...I think that's just my body's way of dealing.), I was able to hold London for nearly an hour before they took her to the nursery to be bathed, weighed, and measured.

During that time, my parents, Linds, my grandparents, Gran, Bro. Jim (who said the most precious blessing over London -- Thank you, Bro. Jim!), and most importantly, Connor, were able to visit with us just shortly after her birth.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by people who love us (although we missed Jason's parents and wished they could have been there), and to see Connor's sweet reaction to his sister (You can see lots of photos from her birth in this post.).

Overall, it was another easy delivery, and while I was sore and tired and numb afterward, I could not feel anything but blessed when they brought London back to us from the nursery.

So far at home she has been such a good baby, really only crying when she's hungry, and during one specific time in the evening when she gets a little fussy and restless.  She has been eating and sleeping well, and I am anxious to see if she has gained any weight at her first appointment tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us, has visited, brought food (Jason's parents and my amazing mom in particular), or thought of us during this transition.  It means so much to have family, friends, and a community of support who lift us up even more than we thought we needed.  We are slowly becoming accustomed to how to give Connor enough attention while teaching him that he has to share the spotlight, but he is so sweet with her, and even when he is frustrated, it is never at her, but at the fact that he has to wait for something or share our attention, which is completely understandable.

Please continue to pray as we adjust to a new routine, for Connor as a big brother, and that we will raise both Connor and London to be open to the Holy Spirit in their lives, and that they will grow up to be a strong man and woman of God.  Pray that we can give them the example they need.

I must also add that I didn't know that it was possible to love Jason Scott Davidson more than I already did. He is one of the most admirable, thoughtful, romantic, sensitive, intelligent, and funny men in the world, but to see him as a father now to two of our children melts my heart beyond belief.  He has helped me so much and shown me more tenderness than I deserve.  He makes me feel like Superwoman, and I am the most blessed woman to be his wife.  Sorry if I'm getting too mushy, but I want to be able to remind myself on the days when we are busy or things get hard or stressful that I am blessed, because I truly am.

Again, we covet your prayers during this new stage of our lives, and we feel so very blessed to have another precious life to add to our family.


London Elise Davidson
3:06 p.m. EDT
7 lbs., 3 3/4 ounces
19 inches long
photo by Lindsay Williams

photo by Lindsay Williams

photo by Lindsay Williams

Thanks, Lindsay, for coming to visit and snapping these photos!  Love you!