Monday, March 16, 2009


It looks like I have forgotten to post some very important information. So here are the answers for those with inquiring minds.

1. What were Lincoln's vital stats?
He weighed 8 pounds even, and was 20.5 inches long. (That was big enough, thank you very much!)

2. How long did you push?
Two hours and 10 minutes, but who's counting?

3. What did you eat after?
A 12 inch roast beef Subway sandwich, plain Lays potato chips, and a large diet coke.

4. Would you do it again? (Not the sandwich. The birthing part?)
Absolutely yes, without a doubt.

5. Would you ever consider natural childbirth?
Never, ever. Not in a million years. The epidural is true!

Did I forget anything important?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A First Timer Tells All...Mostly

I was a total first timer. Just to give you an idea of exactly how naive I was about many birthing facts, I'll tell you this: I thought that when the doctor checked for dilation, it was a sort of spot check. Like he'd get in a catcher's position and sort of eyeball it. Maybe use some sort of tape measure or something.

The first clue that I had it wrong was when my doctor said, "You may think I'm reaching for your tonsils." The next was when I literally saw stars. It was so much worse than your run of the mill gyno exam. Especially when, come to find out, I was dilated to a ZERO. Like I said, so much worse. And then I had to come to terms with the fact that I was going to have to endure this every week until delivery. It was enough to make tears come to my eyes.

My major concern as a first timer was the epidural. I was not about to miss my window of opportunity there. Oh, no. Hearing all this business about women who arrived at the hospital too late, or the baby was already crowning...that was not going to be me. So one of my first questions to my nurse (whom we'll call Gigi) was, "Look. I don't mean to be a baby or anything, but I am wondering, when exactly do I ask for an epidural? I don't want to miss it, you know."

She laughed, I think looking back on it a bit diabolically. "Oh, you won't miss it. With a first pregnancy, your labor could go for 24 hours, and you'll know when you need it." I think it is quite possible that Gigi was trained by the Gestapo. She was nice enough and very knowledgeable, but she clearly did not have a problem with pain, as became evident when she said, "What we're looking for is a consistent labor pattern with strong contractions because you don't want to slow things down too much. I think your pain goal should be about a 9."

Pain goal? Nine?? What??? Should I actually have a "pain goal?" Those words don't seem to go together. I thought the whole ideology behind the epidural was the avoidance of pain. Not setting goals for enduring it. And a nine on a scale of 1-10? That's some pretty heavy duty pain in my mind. But like a good first timer I trusted my nurse and settled in for the long haul. "Nine. Hmmm...what does nine feel like, anyway?" I asked myself. "A 10 should be an intolerable sort of pain, so a nine would be somewhere near unbearable."

I had been hooked up to the pitocin for 3 hours and 45 minutes before I felt the first contraction that knocked the wind out of me. I tried to relax. Tried to breathe. I felt pretty proud for about a minute and a half, then the next one hit, and again and again. Wave upon wave. I couldn't get on top of the pain. "If I had some time to rest between I would--" Another contraction hit.

At 11:30 I asked Thomas, "Where is my mom? When is she coming?" Mom arrived close to 12:00, just in time to hear me say, "I can't lay down. I've got to get up. Help me up!" Thomas pulled me to my knees and I threw my arms around his neck burying my face in his chest. "I've got you," he soothed, as the pain made my body go weak.

And then my first birthing miracle occurred. Gigi had to leave to deliver another baby. Nurse #2 entered the room and within two minutes said, "Would you like something for the pain?"

"Yes! What are my options?"

"Well, would you like your epidural?"

"What? Yes! Now. Immediately if possible." I never saw her again, but she has my undying love. The anaesthesiologist was not long before coming in. "Now this might hurt," he warned. But it didn't. The little pinching I felt did not even compare to the hour and a half before it, and then came the drugs: cold loveliness across my shoulder and back. I began to relax, and as I felt the pain blessedly begin to subside, I thought, "I'll never be a first timer again. Huh, nine, shmine! Give my regards to the gestapo, Gigi!"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Hearty Welcome Home

Imagine my surprise this morning when I awoke to find old friends come home to roost. They haven't completely moved in yet. There are still some corners that need straightening and bags to be unpacked, but they are here nonetheless, and I am thrilled. Thrilled beyond belief to see my old ankles and feet again.

It has been so long since I have seen them that I took nearly two minutes of full looking, and I have to say, that they looked downright spindly. (I had to look up the spelling of that word in the dictionary. I don't think I've ever written that word before. At least not in connection with my body.)

You see, I have a long, complicated history with my ankles. It all began in eighth grade when all of my 5'2" self played basketball. (Have I mentioned before that I come from a very small town; hence the reason I made the team?) Anyway, somewhere in the season I suffered a minor sprain that required taping. Before one game my coach took up medical tape and scissors to complete the job and said, and I quote, "Wow. You have the ankles of a man." The scene is totally intact in my brain.

Prior to this interaction I had never considered my ankles. They seemed useful and strong, but that's about as much attention as I had paid to them or anyone else's for that matter. Then suddenly I saw my ankles through different eyes. Were they unusually large? The size of a man's? I didn't have a lot of experience in the ankles department. Maybe he was right. I've had a thing with ankles ever since. Thank you, Coach Beamer, for that particular neuroticism.

I should probably also mention that he had nicknamed me Shamu and often said that we girls could run a lot faster if we unhooked that piano from our behinds. I didn't know enough about male chauvinist pigs at that time to tell him to take a hike. Sadly his ankle statement has stayed with me for years.

Then I got pregnant, and my man-sized ankles disappeared for seven months. They were swallowed by what I lovingly described as my "giant troll feet." Oh, how I missed my man sized ankles. There is nothing to make one more grateful for something even mediocre than not having it for awhile. And now that they are back, I intend to treat them right because, masculine or not, they are mine.

Welcome home, my dear, sweet mankles. Can I get you anything? Anything at all?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Baby Love

Dear World,

How many stories there are to tell. But in the mean time let me just say...

I forgot how much I love babies!

Love, Laurel

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Meet Mr. Lincoln

(Guest author)
At this very moment both Laurel and Lincoln are happily asleep down the hall. Everyone is back home and very happy about it. Laurel asked me (Mr. Wicke) to post a few pictures as many of you have been following this "adventure" with baited breath. Before I do, I want to thank all of you for your kindness and generosity. Laurel had made many new friends by way of this technological medium and her daily(although not so frequent over the past few months) virtual conversations are a bright spot in her day. I've come to thank heaven for the many good women who, as friends, affect my wife in such a positive way. Thank you for your influence!

I've posted some additional (different) pictures on my blog. Laurel will be back and Tea Party Place will be up and serving cookies, stories and laughter in no time.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Scoop

You heard it here first, folks. Tonight at 9:00pm MST I am being induced. Guess when the ultrasound suggests that you're having a NINE POUND baby, they let you go early. AAAAaaaaaahhhhhh! NINE POUNDS?! Please, dear Lord of heaven and earth, let that ultrasound be wrong, wrong, wrong.