Lincoln Jon's Birth Story

Oh hey there, blog!

Let's face it... blogs are a dying trend, but I do need a place to write and share the birth of my son, Lincoln. Instagram won't suffice for this story, but if you do want to keep tabs on our daily happenings, feel free to follow me on Instagram here: http://instagram.com/jalenetaylor


To begin, I'm giving you a fair warning that this story will contain pictures of a birth. While every thing is modest and tasteful, you will see a couple pictures of a baby covered in some blood and birth goop. If that bothers you, maybe reconsider reading. :)

This story is a long one... It's mostly for me, so don't feel like you have to read every word. I am absolutely fascinated with birth and birth stories and wanted a record of this magical day. Labor and delivery for me was by far the best experience of my life. I know not every labor and delivery turns out that way, but I want to remember what I felt like this day.

So this is the story of Lincoln Jon’s birth—my first born, sweet and perfect son.
Photos by Jessica Kettle Photography

His due date was estimated to be May 17, 2014. I was convinced that he would be come early because I had been having constant Braxton Hicks all day every day since I was 20 weeks pregnant. Apparently that means absolutely nothing because his due date came and went. At that point in your pregnancy (40 + weeks) you feel completely and utterly defeated. You have also convinced yourself that you will NEVER actually give birth and you seriously start questioning your sanity. My prompt self was mostly just upset at his lateness because I was scheduled to photograph two weddings in less than three weeks. That didn’t get me much time for recovery so I was crossing my fingers he would be a tad early, but to my dismay, he was not. We scheduled an induction for Wednesday, May 21st. I had declined an elective induction at 39 weeks, so the thought of actually needing to be induced in the end was a major bummer. On May 19th (two days overdue) I decided to go get an acupressure massage. I wasn’t really convinced it would actually help my labor start since I had literally already tried EVERY SINGLE THING and nothing had worked. Even if it didn’t help start my labor, at least it would feel good on my stretched out and sore body. I went in for the massage about 2:00 in the afternoon. The therapist told me it should initiate contractions in about four hours or so. I had had some mild cramping the weeks prior for a few hours after each membrane sweep I had done (I had three). The massage felt great, but four hours had passed and I wasn’t feeling even slightly crampy. I had some Braxton Hicks that were timing to be about 6-8 apart. But nothing was painful. So I had convinced myself that I was going to have to be induced Wednesday morning. Monday night, Lincoln and I fell asleep watching tv. We woke up around 12:45 with all the lights on. We decided to brush our teeth and get ready for bed. Feeling completely defeated that I only had one measly day left to go into labor on my own, we knelt down for a prayer. Lincoln said a beautiful prayer about trusting in God and our baby would come when he was ready. While he was praying, I was silently pleading with my Heavenly Father to let me have the experience of going into labor on my own. I know it seems silly, but I REALLY wanted to experience that for myself. Please! I had one more day.

We both started to drift off to sleep and probably two minutes later I felt and heard this huge POP! It felt like the baby had clicked his legs together suddenly. I was more worried he had done something and was hoping he was okay. It kind of stung for a moment and felt really weird. I remember others saying they heard a sound when their water broke so I decided to stand up to see if I would feel a gush. I stood up and sure enough a big trickle down my leg. I ran to the toilet and luckily got there without making a mess anywhere else. I yelled to Lincoln, "I'm pretty sure my water just broke!" I was completely elated and laughing and jumping for joy! My water just broke! I went into labor on my own!

Lincoln jumps out of bed and runs in the bathroom to put in his contacts. He had just taken them out five minutes ago and put them in that fizzy cleaner. With all the excitement going on, he didn’t think and popped them back in his eyes. They immediately started to burn his eyes. He starts screaming in pain while I am asking him to look at the fluid to make sure it was clear. It was a little bit of a freak show trying to get on the same page. Haha! I kept laughing and told him to put in a new pair. He said he may not be able to drive to the hospital because his eyes were so red and in so much pain, but luckily he got it under control.  

I called the hospital and they told us to come in right away. I also called both of our parents to let them know the baby was coming! I didn’t feel my first contraction until about 15-20 minutes after my water broke. It wasn’t super painful yet but I could definitely tell it was different than the cramps I had the weeks before. We gathered up some items and headed for the car. I had to say bye to Midge, even though Lincoln thought that was stupid and I also ate a piece of toast because I didn’t know how long my labor would be.

I was wearing a pad, but the fluid gushing out was so gross and uncomfortable. (Seriously the weirdest sensation ever.) We also called, Jessica, our photographer to let her know. Luckily we were driving up to the University of Utah hospital in the middle of the night with no traffic. For months we had planned different routes to get to the hospital quickly because traffic is always so terrible downtown, but we were basically the only ones on the road. It was such a blessing for my stress level.

By this time I was starting to have some regular and painful contractions. They weren't too bad yet though and I was practicing breathing through them. In the car they seemed really close together. I remember looking at the clock and only 2 minutes had passed and I was having another one. In my mind, I was a little worried they were already so close together and I might be having a fast labor. They kept coming every minute or two, but only lasting about 30 seconds. They hurt but I could still talk through them.

We gathered our stuff and headed inside the hospital. 

I had to stop a couple times on the way in to concentrate on breathing through the contraction. It was funny how many people kept passing us and acted like what was happening to me was totally normal. Like no one offered a wheel chair or anything? Hello? I was feeling most of the contractions in my thighs and it was starting to get more and more uncomfortable. We finally got checked in to OB emergency and I remember standing at the desk thinking they were starting to really hurt. I was bugged that it was taking so long and I was soaking wet. We finally got in the room and the nurse checked me to see how far I was dilated. I figured we had a long way to go so when she told me I was dilated to a 7!!! I honestly didn't believe her. I was in shock and may have said, "Hoooooly crap!!!" a million times. A seven? Like 3 cm away from being a 10 and pushing?! No freaking way. Part of me also felt like a completely rockstar. I was like, “Wow! Labor is honestly not that bad. Maybe I am more tough than I thought I was!” Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a very very very low pain tolerance. Like even my OB was absolutely convinced I would need an epidural. That’s how much faith she had in me after seeing me as a patient for 8 months. At this point, I was more worried about having time for an epidural. We waited in this room for a bit waiting for them to transfer us to labor and delivery. As each minute ticked by, the more and more stressed I got because I could really be a 10 in about a half hour.

We got transferred and the contractions were getting more intense. Lincoln kept doing the knee press and that seemed to take off the edge. 

Jessica had arrived at this point and got some labor shots. The contractions still weren't as bad as I thought they would be because I could definitely get through them. After what seemed like an hour, they called the anesthesiologist. (I found out later it was 2 hours and 45 minutes after my water broke that I received the epidural. I’m honestly shocked I lasted that long. Haha!) No one seemed as concerned as I did that I could be dilated to a 10. Everyone was just taking their sweet time to set up. 

Finally the anesthesiologist came in and administered the epidural. The contractions at the point were getting really tough. I remember sitting on the side of the bed when he was doing the epidural and my legs were shaking uncontrollably through each contraction. My thighs were burning so intensely, but the counter pressure on my knees helped.

I could feel the epidural take effect on my left side, but I had this hot spot in the front on the right side that would start at my pubic bone and radiate down my thigh. After a few contractions the anesthesiologist came in and fixed it, but it only made my left side REALLY numb and only took the edge off on the right side. (More about this later…)

Finally after about an hour and a half the resident came in to check me and she tells me I'm really only dilated to 4.5 cm. Yeah… WHAT?!!! How does someone be that far off?! Or how does someone go backward in dilation? It was seriously the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard in a birth and I’ve attended over 20 of them. Here I was thinking labor really wasn't that bad and I was a rockstar for getting to a 7. Haha! We found out later that the nurse who originally checked me was really good and they think I must’ve been having a contraction when she checked me causing the baby’s head to push down on my cervix and making it feel bigger than it actually was. Talk about the let down of the century! Yeah... But the good news was, I was completely effaced and he was at a -1 station. Progress is progress. The resident suggested I start pitocin but I refused. I wanted to see how my body would go on it's own. The nurse told me afterward she was glad I didn't take the pit. The contractions I was having were super regular and strong, so I was confident my body was doing what it needed to. I ended up never having to get pitocin throughout the whole labor, which I was super grateful for! We decided to get some sleep. I was on a completely adrenaline rush so it was hard for me to wind down. It was about 5:15-5:45 a.m. at this point.

I was sooooo relieved I didn't have to be induced. Time was moving so fast. I couldn't believe it! I got some sleep but not much. At 6:40, they came back to check me and I had progressed to a 5. So not much progress, but I was still confident I didn't need pitocin. They said they would be back again in a couple hours. I couldn't get the hot spot on my right thigh and groin area under control. My left leg was way too numb so I decided to just manage the pain so I could push effectively. At 8:30 the resident came to check me again. He felt around for a long time and couldn't really tell if I was complete. He asked a nurse for her opinion. She thought I was an 8 or 9. Because my cervix was so thin, I guess it was really hard to tell how far I was dialated. I guess that is also why the triage nurse said I was a 7. 

I was complete (a 10!) at 9:20 and 0 station. They wanted him to descend but his heart rate kept dropping so they thought the cord must be getting clamped. Earlier they wanted to put more fluid in my uterus to cushion the cord (since I had lost so much fluid with my water breaking before labor started), but that didn't work out because I progressed so fast. I started pushing at 9:57. I thought we were doing a couple practice pushes but I ended up pushing every contraction after that. At one point it was discovered that Little Linc was facing the wrong direction. I actually knew for three weeks that he was facing the wrong way. I could tell by the way he moved in my belly and where he kicked. I did a whole bunch of exercises to try and get him to turn. They said he could still turn during delivery, but he never did. He was posterior and slightly transverse (face up and looking off toward my right hip). In my mind, I knew this wasn’t good news. But for some reason I remember feeling completely calm and in control, even though I knew it could end up in a C-Section. A doctor came in who specialized in turning babies. She tried for a while, but said he was resisting against her hand and couldn’t get him to turn. She did tell me she thought his head was small though. That was a little bit of relief since his dad had a huge head as a kid. I should also note that every doctor who came to feel my tummy estimated the baby to be 6.5 pounds max. I don’t really remember anyone telling me that he was going to have to come out posterior, but I had made up in my mind that that’s what was going to happen and it was probably going to be a lot harder to get him out (usually a long phase of pushing).

My contractions were really long (about 90 seconds), so I would push for three sets of 10 and then do a final power push for 5 seconds. I did that every contraction and still had a good 10 seconds at the end of a contraction where my right thigh and groin area/pubic bone would burn so bad. My left leg was way too numb and my right leg wasn't numb enough. I could kind of find relief by sticking my leg straight up in the air. Haha! Glamorous right?

Luckily Little Linc was tolerating the pushing really well. His heart rate was doing great! Pushing went by so fast for me. I remember looking over at the clock and realized a whole entire hour had passed. I was shocked! Pushing was different than I thought it would be. It was hard, but not as hard as I thought. I just kept going by their cues that I was doing well because I couldn't really tell if I was pushing effectively. Everyone kept telling me I was doing great and making progress, but I couldn't feel pressure or change or anything really. At one point they brought out a mirror but that didn't really help me push and mostly weirded me out. As long as I could close my eyes as I pushed, I did much better. I really focused on my perineum with each push and that seemed to do the trick.

The doctors started to suit up, so I knew he was close.

I remember pushing one last big push and feeling a pop. (It may have been me getting my third degree tear… Ouch!) I opened my eyes when I heard the pop and stopped pushing. I looked down and his head was there looking straight up at the ceiling. They told me to push again to get his shoulders out. I found out later that he also decided to come out with his right hand up by his face. Posterior, slightly transverse and a hand by his face… He really wanted to make it hard for me.

The first thing I said was, "HOLY CRAP! HE'S HUGE!" I could NOT believe it. He looked so big! I knew he wasn't a 6 pound baby at all. He was really blue and I could see the cord wrapped all around him. Twice around his neck and his arm. They told me later I had a really long cord and he was really tangled up in it. That is why his heart rate was dropping during contractions.

And now this is the part that gets a little graphic… Haha! Everything is modest, but Little Linc’s head took a rough beating. When babies come out posterior they have a craaaaazy looking cone head. In fact, Little Linc’s was so bad because he actually ended up having a fairly large head (14 inches). The doctor was only feeling a portion of his head… the portion being suctioned by the cervix. So beware, the next few photos are a little scary looking… plus he’s covered in blood and stuff. Luckily he ended up being totally fine and that nasty cone head went away in less than an hour.

I remember looking at his sad and weird cone head. It was off to the side and looked like this weird hat/tumor. I wasn't ever worried about it though. I knew it would go away. I don't remember them asking Lincoln to cut the cord because it all happened fast, but apparently he did. As soon as he did they picked him up and rushed him over to the station. I think the doctors were a little concerned about his color and maybe his awful looking head? It was a few seconds before he cried. I looked over at Lincoln standing next to him and he looked back to me and we both were crying tears of happiness. Our baby boy was here! I couldn't believe it. It didn't seem real. I started to sob. I was just so happy. I could get little glimpses of him through the crowd and I don't remember ever feeling worried about him. I did ask the doctor if he was okay and she said he was great. Everyone kept telling how great I did. I didn't really feel like I did much though. I definitely feel like I had angels helping me. The entire labor and delivery, I never once felt an ounce of anxiety (something I’m prone to). I felt completely in control and at peace. Considering the circumstances, we could've ended up in a C-Section very easily. (Posterior baby on a first time mom, dropping heart rate, hand up by face, tangled in cord, etc…) I felt so grateful and so relieved how smoothly it went. It was such a blessing. 

At 11:46 a.m. on May 20th, my Little Lincoln Jon was born. Just under two hours of pushing and just under 11 hours of labor. Weighing in at 8.08 pounds, 21.5 inches, with a 35cm head.

It was only a couple minutes before they handed him to Lincoln and he brought him over to me. Looking down at him I just couldn't believe this was the little guy inside me. He seemed so big. And heavy too! I was shocked. We just stared and stared and cried. We did it! And he was here safely. My heart could’ve burst!

You may also notice how crooked Little Linc's nose is in all these pictures. It was actually quite hilarious and cute! My best guess is he scraped along my pubic bone coming out. His nose was crooked for a good 3-4 weeks. Haha!

It took them about an hour to stitch me up. I actually ended up losing 600 ml of blood from my laceration. By the books, that is charted as a hemorrhage. Yikes! 

It was realllly bad, but luckily I felt nothing but the most glorious happiness I've ever felt. I was on an emotional high. And it lasted all day. I have never felt such a feeling of completely euphoria. It was the best feeling I’ve ever felt in my life and it’s hard to describe. Surprisingly, I wasn't even tired. I literally couldn’t stop smiling. I felt like I was on top of the world and accomplished something truly amazing! Lincoln said he's never seen me so strong and brave. I don't remember feeling that way but I do remember feeling peaceful and completely happy.

(His head back to normal in 45 minutes.)

We held him all day. I couldn't get over how great he smelled. He still had goop all over his head but he smelled so good. I would smell him and smile. 

The grandparents came to meet him and everyone was all smiles. 

We didn’t decide on a name until the next day or so, but choose his middle name after my dad, Jon.


The last four months since his birth have been a crazy whirlwind, but mostly the best four months of our lives! Little Lincoln is so sweet and brings us so much happiness. You know how people always say you don’t know how much you can love someone until you have a child? Yeah… well that’s totally true. My heart feels like it is spilling over in my throat constantly. I adore my little boy with all of my heart. I feel sometimes guilty for how good he is. I know not all parents get easy babies and I’m kind of hoping all my other kids are the same. He is so happy and alert all the time. We have so much fun being his parents. Thanks for coming into our lives, Little Lincoln. We love you!