If you don't want to know about the labor/birthing experience (I promise, it's not gory or gross), then just skip this post and move to the next.
I worked my 12 hour shift on Friday night, got home Saturday morning, planned to sleep the day away, go to church on Sunday, and back to work for my last shift before Liam was scheduled to arrive on the following Thursday. However, things didn't go like we planned. :) I woke up sometime after noon on Saturday and Daniel fixed me some lunch and we laid down to watch our new favorite reality TV show - Expedition Impossible. At 1:30pm, right after we started the show, I started feeling contractions that weren't like any of the Braxton Hicks that I had been feeling for the past few months. These were low, and almost like menstrual cramps. I started timing them and immediately they were already 3-5 minutes apart. After 30 minutes of these contractions I told Daniel I was going to get in the shower and see if they continued when I was up and moving. They did. After my shower I told Daniel that they were still occurring so he might want to make sure all of our stuff is together and get the bags packed. (Yes, we are terrible expectant parents for not packing our bags sooner. In our defense, I'm a first time mom, we had a day on the schedule so I assumed I wouldn't have my baby at 38 weeks and 4 days. Wrong.) As Daniel was running all over the house, slightly freaking out, I'm trying to do what I can in the 2-4 minutes between contractions to finish my bag. I tried calling my mom around 2:30 (who was here in Fort Worth already) and she didn't answer. Tried calling again around 3. Still no answer. Called Daniel's mom told them to make sure their bags are ready, that we were planning to head to the hospital and we'd let them know if they admitted me or not.
At 3:30 pm, my water broke. I couldn't believe it. We were told that only 10% of women naturally have their water break, all others have it done by the doctor in the hospital. It was go time. I told Daniel to hurry that we needed to leave. Finally Daniel went out to the pool to see if my mom was there - she was - and she was in the process of calling me back at that exact moment. I told her that she was going to miss the birth of her first grandchild if she didn't get out of the pool this minute. Haha. We got to the hospital at 4pm, and I was an absolute wreck. I was balling my eyes out as I walked into triage. I think it was more the anxiety and anticipation that I don't think I'm truly prepared for this - in addition to the pain, but that actually wasn't that bad. They hooked me up to the monitors to watch mine and the baby's vitals and immediately they pointed out that there was some sort of problem. I heard one nurse say "what about that?" and then the other nurse said "that's something to watch closely." I looked at them and said something to the effect of "I'm a nurse, just tell me what's going on with him." With each contraction his heart rate was slowing down somewhere between 10 and 20 beats per minute - not bad, but not what we want either. They checked me and I was 4cm dilated and completely effaced (thinned) and baby was at a station -2. The Wednesday before at the doctor's office I was 2 cm and 50% effaced.
They immediately moved me to Labor and Delivery when they saw that so we could be monitored better, this was around 4:45 or so. This is where my plans for how my delivery would go went out the window. I wanted to labor naturally, no pain meds. But they wouldn't let me get out of the bed because they needed to monitor the baby. So I decided I wanted some IV pain medicine because I figured I was only 4cm when I came in, so it would be a while before I actually had the baby. They called the on call doctor, and she wouldn't let me have any because she was afraid it would affect the baby's heart rate even more. (About this time, my friend Erica who was coming to help be a doula/labor coach/support person arrived. She's had 4 children and used to be a labor and delivery nurse, so I was very thankful to have her around to explain everything to me!) When they told me that I couldn't have any IV pain meds and I had to stay laying in the bed on my side I decided that was torture since I was only 4cm dilated and it could take HOURS for me to progress. So I decided to take an epidural. Best decision of my life. Haha. Epidural was in by 6:45pm. They checked me again and I was already 6.5cm and the baby was at a station 0. One of the nurses suggested stopping the pitocin (an IV medicine that makes contractions happen), but the other nurse said "she's not on it, this is all her." Baby's heart rate was still going down with contractions most of the time. Doctor wanted an IUPC put on the baby's head to more closely monitor his vitals, so about 7:30pm or so they tried to put that in but it came right back out because the baby was down even further (at a station -2) and I was 8cm dilated. This is when the nurses started hopping. :) One went to call the doctor, another went to get all the supplies needed for delivery and set up the room, and another went to notify the nursery staff. Dr. Motley arrived around 8pm and we were ready to push.
I only pushed through 5 sets of contractions. During the 5th set, the baby's heart rate dropped to about 60 (that's super low if you don't know anything about baby's heart rates - should be about 120-160) and Dr. Motley knew we needed to get him out immediately. (On a side note, if I had not been progressing as quickly as I was, I would have ended up with a C-section because of his heart rate problems.) So Dr. Motley did what she had to and she gave me a second degree episotomy (you can look that one up yourself, I'm not going to explain) and when he came out he tore me to a 4th degree. (Yes, ouch. Thank goodness for the epidural.) Daniel actually was the one to deliver Liam with Dr. Motley's assistance. Probably one of the coolest experiences of his life - delivering his son! Dr. Motley figured Liam had his cord around his neck so she was prepared with scissors and clamps to cut his cord immediately. She was right, he had the cord around his neck twice and he was as blue as he could possibly be. I had wanted him to be placed on me for the drying off process but Dr. Motley was too concerned about him, so she immediately gave him to the nursery/NICU nurses. Longest 30 seconds of my life waiting to hear his cry. I feel like it was 5 minutes. Then I heard it. Joy flooded my heart. I couldn't believe that I just gave birth to a little boy! Not just any little boy though, MY little boy! OUR little boy! Praise God from whom all blessing flow. :)
|Finally getting to see and hold my little boy!|
And that's Liam's Birthday Story. :)
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. "
Psalm 139: 13-16