Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Liam's Birth Story: The Beginning

Liam's birth story is nothing like I imagined it would be.  It was the day that changed our lives forever.

Although very much unexpected, it is HIS story, and it's every bit as special as Dylan, Lexie, and Lily's births.  I am proud to be able to share it!  I experience so many emotions when I think about the day we met Liam.   The hours after his birth are a blur, and there are so many things I wish we could go back and relive.

When I think about Liam, only one word comes to mind now: Blessed. 

It all began on the day I reached 37 weeks. 

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I was thrilled to be full term, and so excited to meet our baby!  Although I didn't know it at the time, it would be my last weekly pregnancy update.

That afternoon, my mom and I had plans to go to Costco and WalMart to stock up on food and supplies before the baby arrived.  When I picked her up from work, I joked about our shopping trip putting me into labor.  Little did I know that would be true!

While we were out, I was having very strong Braxton Hick's contractions.  By the time we finished shopping, there were slightly painful ones mixed in.  That evening, I told Grant that I was pretty sure that I was in the early stage of labor. 

The next day was Saturday, so we all slept in.  Sure enough, when I woke up, the contractions started again.  I called my parents around noon to give them the warning that I would probably be going to the hospital within the next 24 hours.

That evening, we had plans to go to our friend's house for dinner.  Grant thought I was completely crazy for still wanting to go, considering the fact that I had been having regular contractions for almost 24 hours.

We went, and during an absolutely delicious dinner, the need to actually time the contractions hit me.  I downloaded the app while we were eating, and I began timing the contractions.

After dinner, we all sat down and just spent the evening talking.  My contractions were coming every 5-10 minutes.  Every time I had one, everybody stared at me in silence until it passed.  I finally looked at Grant and told him that we should probably go home, put the kids to bed, and get things ready to go to the hospital.

Once the kids were in bed, we sat down on the couch and watched an episode of "Cheers."  I was still having contractions, but they had slowed down a bit.  We headed to bed, confused and frustrated.  I only slept about 2 hours, then got out of bed, in the middle of the night.

I was feeling very restless and the contractions were coming every 5-10 minutes again.  I had coffee, cleaned the house, talked to a few friends an family members, fixed my hair and put on makeup, and paced the house. During all that, I had several signs that the baby would be born soon.

 Around 6 AM, Grant noticed the bed was empty and ran to check on me.  I told him that I thought we would be heading to the hospital soon.  He suggested that we left then, but I was still in denial and thought they would send me home if I went to the hospital.

Sometime between 7-8, I realized that this was it. I called my parents to tell them that they should come over soon, then I called my OB office, and waited for a call back from the on-call doctor.  When the doctor called back and told me to come in, I was so relieved.  I was also thrilled that my favorite doctor was going to be the one to deliver my baby!

My parents arrived, we kissed the kids goodbye, and headed to the hospital.  

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Let it be known that GRANT WAS RIGHT...AGAIN!  We should have left at 6 AM.

By the time we got in the car, I was in full-blown, active, PAINFUL labor. The contractions were coming at lightning speed, and once again, I felt like I was going to deliver in the car.  It was exactly like our experience driving to the hospital when I was in labor with Lily. I was gripping my seat the entire time. 

We reached the hospital just before 9 AM, and we slowly made our way to labor and delivery.  Our nurse, Crissy, met us in the hallway, and Dr. Kapnadak waved to us from the desk. Crissy took us to triage, because I was only 37 weeks, and they wanted to make sure it was actual labor.   Oh, I knew it was!

The only other time I had to go to triage first was with Dylan, who was born preterm.  I gave a urine sample, got changed into the hospital gown, answered all the questions, got hooked up to the monitor, and waited for my doctor. Meanwhile, Grant got to hear our baby's heartbeat for the very first time!  My doctor came in, checked me, and announced that I was over 5 cm and completely effaced!  This was it!

Everything happened really fast after that.  We walked to the delivery room, and the nurse hooked me up to the monitors.  My IV was put in, and soon after, I got the epidural.  Grant got our bags from the car while I was having it put in.  This was a much more pleasant experience than my previous experiences with the epidural!

Once the pain medication kicked in, Grant and I were able to relax, and tell everybody that it would be our baby's birthday!  He/She would be sharing a birthday with my sister, Pam!  I was still in disbelief, but so excited to meet our baby!

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I spent the next two hours quietly progressing.  Whenever I had to lay on my back to get checked, my blood pressure would plummet, causing me to nearly pass out and feel really nauseous.  Medication helped somewhat, but I just avoided my back!

Grant and I kept checking the heart rate and putting in our guesses for the gender, attempted to choose a boy name, and visited with my sister, Kelly, who showed up near the end of my labor.

Finally the doctor came in for another check, and said that I was fully dilated and ready to go! I can't remember the exact time, but I think it was sometime after 1:00.   My sister went to the waiting room, and they quickly got the bed ready for delivery. Surprisingly, my water never broke!

I remember thinking how surreal it felt and feeling like it was all going by too quickly.

Everything that happened from that point on was a blur.

Pushing felt very difficult this time.  My legs were heavier than they had ever been from the epidural, so I couldn't even hold on to them.  I struggled with feeling like I was going to pass out or fall off the bed.  I was really uncomfortable, but I pushed and pushed and pushed.

I really only pushed a few times, but it felt like a long time!  The doctor explained that she hated to do an Episiotomy unless absolutely necessary, and this time it was.  He almost came out at the first push, but his head was just too big.  After a few pushes, the baby went into distress, and the doctor told me that I HAD to push him out with one more push, or else she would have to use the vacuum.  I had that done with Dylan and tore very bad, so I was motivated to push him out on my own!

I pushed with all my might, and our sweet baby entered the world!

Our baby let out a cry, and with it, I began to cry.  Somebody, although I'm not sure if it was Grant or the doctor or the nurse, said, "It's a BOY!!!  I tried to sit up to catch a glimpse of him.  The doctor commented on just how short his cord was, then told Grant that she preferred to cut the cord so he didn't slip and accidentally cut me.  We all laughed about that.

All I wanted for this delivery was for Grant to be able to cut the cord and for me to hold my baby right after birth.  That has never happened for us!  I was bummed that Grant wasn't able to cut the cord, but still hopeful that I could hold my baby.

I remember the doctor commenting again about how short his cord was, and staring down, looking very concerned.  Now I know why.

I reached out to grab my baby when the doctor handed him over to our nurse.  The blanket was already on my chest, all ready for me to hold him for the first time.  Disappointment and worry kicked in as the nurse spun on her heel and handed him to another nurse. 

After that, the room went completely silent.  No baby cries, no talking, just absolute silence.

I remember asking if he was okay, and receiving no immediate answer.  The doctor wouldn't even meet my eyes, which was very strange.  I believe our nurse told us that he got fluid in his lungs during his birth, and that he just needed a little help breathing. She kept squeezing my hand and patting my arm.

Minutes went by, and more doctors entered the room.  I repeatedly asked if everything was okay, because our son was completely silent, and nobody answered.  I just remember a group of doctors and nurses surrounding his bassinet and speaking very quietly.

By that point, I knew something was wrong. 

My doctor finished up, said congratulations, flashed us a quick smile, and left the room.  Still no baby cries. 

Eventually, he began crying again, and we breathed a huge sigh of relief.  Doctors and nurses began to leave the room.  The remaining nurse brought him over and handed him to me, as if nothing had happened, then left the room, so we could bond with our new son.

After so many agonizing minutes, we were thrilled to have him in our arms.

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17 comments:

  1. xoxo

    Welcome to the world again Liam. Even though I know the story, I still got teary eyed reading it and I imagined your fear with all the silence. We love you guys.

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  2. I think it's so neat that y'all wait to find out the gender - now that we have one of each, maybe we'll do that next time (if there is a next time)! I'm sorry you didn't get the two things you were hoping for (the cutting of the umbilical cord was a big deal to me too) but you sure got the best gift in the end! :)

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  3. So my emotional hormonal pregnant self is crying after reading this because even though the reasons are different it's what happened with Mackenzie. Thankfully she cried, (so I had some reassurance) but I didn't get to see her. Thankfully Erin went over and held his phone over everyones head for a picture. Then I didn't get to hold her....they just laid her on me for 30 seconds and took her to NICU. They also didn't tell us anything about what was going on. Plus my BP was dropping and the DR was still 'working' on me.

    ANYWAYS I understand completely not getting the things you wanted from a birth. I didn't get my 'normal' birth story that I had read all about in blogs and books. :o)

    So glad he's healthy and doing great! I just love seeing his pictures! :o)

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  4. So my emotional hormonal pregnant self is crying after reading this because even though the reasons are different it's what happened with Mackenzie. Thankfully she cried, (so I had some reassurance) but I didn't get to see her. Thankfully Erin went over and held his phone over everyones head for a picture. Then I didn't get to hold her....they just laid her on me for 30 seconds and took her to NICU. They also didn't tell us anything about what was going on. Plus my BP was dropping and the DR was still 'working' on me.

    ANYWAYS I understand completely not getting the things you wanted from a birth. I didn't get my 'normal' birth story that I had read all about in blogs and books. :o)

    So glad he's healthy and doing great! I just love seeing his pictures! :o)

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  5. What a story to remember! I am sorry things didn't go as panned, but God wanted it this way for a reason! :) You are truly blessed with little Liam!

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  6. I love reading birth stories!

    Thanks for sharing yours :) Congrats, again. He's beautiful.

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  7. I love reading Liam's birth story. I remember that feeling of writing I would have the twins in the car lol.

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  8. Hello Liam!!!! he is the cutest!!! Thank you for sharing another wonderful story!

    hugs,
    marice

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  9. It's a big thing to be hit with pronouncements about your child's whole life on the day you just want to celebrate their birth. Blessings to you & your family as you enjoy these crazy newborn days!

    (And thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday!)

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  10. He's beautiful! Looking forward to hearing more of his story - and yours.

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  11. I am so glad you shared this story. Liam is so lucky to have such a wonderful family!

    Even though I have yet to meet him he already has lots of love from me

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  12. Of course I cried while reading this. Liam is a special little boy, incredibly blessed to be born into your family.

    I'm anxious to read part 2.

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  13. Welcome to the world, Liam! What a birth story. I'm so glad everyone is doing well and that he gets to be in your wonderful family - and that you have him!

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  14. and this makes me want another baby!!! So sweet :)

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  15. Congratulations!!! He is so handsome!!!

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  16. Thanks for sharing your story!! Liam is perfect and your family is beautiful!!! You are strong mama!!

    Kate @ Raising the Rogers

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