I wanted to write a personal post. Not that other posts aren’t personal but this one goes beyond all others. I want to document Liam’s birth story. It was such an incredible day followed by a long, long week and it’s something I always want to remember.
It all started Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 4pm. I was resting on the couch (aka taking a nap) when my mom called. That morning I had gone with Andy to help out at his schools rumage sale fundraiser, followed by trips to Target and Goodwill. I was basically on my feet from 8am to 1pm so a nap was definitely in the works. After I got done talking with my mom, I felt a small gush a fluid from below. I immediately got up (didn’t want to ruin the couch) and rushed to the bathroom to investigate. Yep, it was my water. Andy was asleep at this time and I called my mom back to get a second opinion on what just happened. Then I made a call to the doctor and she confirmed also. The doctor told me to get something to eat and take a shower and head to the hospital in a few hours (since I had yet started having contractions). I then went downstairs to tell Andy that my water had broke. I always envisioned that moment being panicked but surprisingly we were both very calm. We had a small moment and then got busy packing our bags, taking a shower and getting the car seat in the car.
We left for the hospital around 6:30. My parents met us at our house around 6 and then they followed us down to Christ Hospital.
Right before we left, I started having contractions. At this point they weren’t too painful but I started timing them anyway, mainly out of curiosity. At this point, they were around 4 min in frequency.
Once we checked in, the night seemed to last forever. One great thing (among several) about Christ Hospital was that our room had this great view of the city.
I was only 1 cm dilated around 7 pm. That 1 cm lasted until 10 pm when they decided to speed things up a bit with Pitocin.
Within a few hours, I found myself progress to 3 cm, then to 5 cm, then I decided I wanted an epidural. It was around 1 am by the time I got an epidural and from there on I did not feel any more contractions. However, that does not mean I didn’t get any sleep that night. Side note: I can’t even believe I was considering not getting an epidural. It took all the pain away immediately. I do think however that it did slow down labor because they had to continue to give me Pitocin. I continued to progress and finally at 8 am, the doctor said I was 10 cm dilated.
Now here is where my courage dropped a little. Even though I was 10 cm dilated, the baby still hadn’t dropped so they were trying to position me to let him drop. I had in my mind the whole time that once I reached 10 cm dilated, it was push time. How wrong was I. Also, when the doctor checked my dilation, there was what seemed to be a soft spot on top of the baby’s head that had them concerned a little. They weren’t sure exactly what it was.
At 8:30 am, the doctor finally decided to have me to start pushing to see if the baby would drop. So with each contraction, I pushed for 8 seconds three times. Here is where I applaud Andy. He kept on my breathing and counted for me for each contraction (while holding my leg mind you). I didn’t have the mental capacity at that point in time to do it on my own. With each push the baby did drop more and more and the nurse realized that the “soft spot” they were feeling was a small bubble of water that somehow formed that was preventing the baby from dropping. With a few more pushes, I was able to break that water (I wasn’t waiting on any doctor to get there, at this point, I wanted this baby out). Because everyone had left the room when the doctor came in to check if I was dilated (you know, personal moment everyone doesn’t need to see), only Andy was in there at this point and since the nurse needed someone else to hold my other leg, Andy went and got my mom. Originally I told my sister to be in there also and looking back I feel bad that I didn’t say anything to Andy to go get her but honestly don’t know if she would have wanted to have children after she saw what I went through. She was the first (besides Andy and my mom) to see Liam so I think that made up for it, at least I hope it did.
Once that water broke, it was go time. With each contraction I pushed and prayed that this delivery would go ok. Not going to lie, I was very scared at this point. Scared I wouldn’t be able to do this. Scared something would go wrong and somehow I would hurt Liam. I was so scared that during the entire time I was pushing, I didn’t open my eyes once. I was in labor for a total of an hour and a half. Liam finally made his arrival at 9:54 am. I guess the nurse went into the hallway and heard my dad say that this baby wouldn’t be here until after 10 am so the nurse kept making my goal to get this baby out before 10, and I barely did it. Once Liam made his appearance, they laid him on my chest and for the first time in over an hour, I opened my eyes and saw the best miracle that has ever happened to me. I couldn’t believe it. I then looked at Andy and saw that the doctor ask him if he wanted to cut the cord. Originally it was in Andy’s plan all along but in that moment, he just wanted to look at his baby boy and in that moment, I saw a tear. He may not admit it but it is a moment I will always remember. Since Andy didn’t cut the cord, the doctor handed the scissors to my mom and she cut the cord. I then glanced up and saw the doctor covered in blood and that is when I decided not to look at anything other than this miracle on my stomach.
I had to have an episiotomy and during labor, I actually had third degree perineal tears. So after Liam was here, I laid on that bed for a good 20 minutes while the doctor stitched me up. I was shaking uncontrollably during this entire time, doctors claim it was shock my body was going through. But during this time, Liam was over at another station in the room and Andy was holding his hand as they weighed and measured him. Another moment I will always remember, the first father/son bonding moment and the look of love in Andy’s eyes as he gleamed down at Liam.
Once everyone got cleaned up, Andy and I got to hold our little bundle of joy and introduce Liam to the family.
I was so happy that the whole family was able to be with us at the hospital and share this moment with us. I know it was a rough night for everyone as they all slept in the waiting room but I did enjoy them all being there to meet Liam.
Liam was born on Sunday morning and we were discharged around 1 pm on Monday. I couldn’t have been more ready to go home. This was my first time spending the night in the hospital as a patient and now I can honestly say that I hated it so I was so glad to get out of there and into my own bed…and to bring this little precious home with us.
Ironic story, I’ve blogged about the day we found out we were pregnant with Liam here and the fortune Andy received during that dinner at PF Changs that night. Well ironically, not even thinking about it, on the way home from the hospital, my parents stopped by PF Changs and picked up some food for us as we were starving. Later that night, Andy opened his fortune and it was the same one from that day we found out we were pregnant “a small gift can bring joy to the whole family”. It was ironic but also a sign from heaven. I know this was Mike’s way of telling us that he is there with us and is happy to meet his grandson.
So there it is, Liam’s birth story. I could write a whole book about the first week home but I’ll spare you. Let’s just say it’s a lot of sleepless nights/days and a lot of healing/pain. But now that I’ve made it through this first week, I can tell it’s going to only get easier and better.