Liam's Birthday

My sister-in-law's friend went sky-diving yesterday. I don't think you could pay me enough to do that! I was talking to Elizabeth and Jeannie (my mother in law) today, saying that childbirth was kind of like my sky-diving experience. Some people conquer their fears by sky-diving. As much as I've always wanted children, I have always known that I've had a lot of fear around birth...so many unknowns and so many things that could go wrong.

So, with that said, here is how our sweet baby boy came into the world.

Monday, March 3rd was my 39 week doctors appointment. I was 2 cm, and 50% effaced. Wednesday night I started having a lot of contractions. Not necessarily painful, just very, very regular. Starting 4:30-5ish pm, contractions were strong and less than 5 minutes apart. I really wasn't too worried, but by 11:30pm, I was just starting to wonder what was up. We decided to head to the hospital just to check it out. The nurse confirmed that I was now at 3 cm and 60% effaced, but not technically in labor. It was nice to be reassured that things were moving along, but I was also very relieved that they sent us home so I could sleep in my own bed. As she discharged me, she said, "I bet we see you back here in a few days."

All day Thursday, I slept. Contractions continued but didn't get much more painful. Friday, Marhc 7th, we decided to get out a little and do some walking, hoping that it would maybe move things along. We went for lunch at Downtown Disney, then walked a few times around the lake in Celebration. It was such a beautiful day! We came home and settled in for the evening. Andrew worked on his portfolio and I went to bed around 9:30....but could not get comfortable and could not fall asleep. Then, right around 11:00, I got the first real contraction. Then about two minutes later another one. Andrew came in the bedroom right when the third one started and I told him that I was pretty sure those were the real deal! He quickly started gathering the remaining things for the hospital and I got ready to go. In the 20 minute drive to the hospital I probably had another 11 or 12 contractions. They were so strong and right on top of each other.

We got to the hospital, and the quiet scene from Wednesday was replaced with pure chaos of so many families in the waiting room. Thankfully, the triage nurse who cared for me on Wednesday night was also there Friday night. She took one look at me and knew that I was in labor. I tried so hard to focus and "get on top of the pain" but just could not focus. I was in triage (where they assess the labor progress) for about an hour (5 cm 100% effaced), then was moved to labor and delivery. It took another hour and a half to get the epidural, and it kicked in about 3am. The doctor came in and prepped us for what he thought the next few hours would look like...1 cm per hour, probably pushing for an hour or so...expecting the baby to come around noon on Saturday. The nurse finished hooking me up to all the monitors, then left Andrew and I to get rest.

We rested from 3am until around 5:45, listening to Liam's heartbeat on the monitor. About 5:30am, I heard his heartrate get a lot louder and speed up. The nurse came in around 5:45 to check me, she said, "Andrew, you better wake up! She's past 10 cm, the baby is right here!" We couldn't believe it! She also said that they worry when babies heartrates slow down right before they're born, but Liam's sped up indicating that he was doing really well. He was ready to be born! I pushed through 2 contractions, then we waited a little bit for the doctor to arrive. He almost missed it! As we waited, the atmosphere was so joyful and relaxed, we were just so excited to meet our little guy! We talked and laughed, and the nurse said, "You better stop laughing or you'll laugh this baby right out!" It was such a fun time.

I pushed another 5 minutes or so and he was born. It was the most amazing moment to see our baby for the first time! He was bright pink and so alert. I just could not believe how precious he was. Immediately, the doctor said he looked just like Andrew. He layed Liam on my tummy, and Andrew cut the cord.

I could have read more to prepare for this day, I could have done so much more to have a "natural" birth experience. But this is just so how God wanted Liam to enter the world. I never imagined that it would be so much fun to have a baby. I know its not the same for everyone, and that's one of the amazing things about childbirth. It is different for everyone. Such a personal time, that God uses to speak right to where you are. Be fruitful and multiply. It is His joy, He tells us to be fruitful as if it really has much to do with us at all. He allows us to be a part of creation, bringing life into the world. Even through loss and struggle and disappointment and fear and unknowns, HE is really the one that does it. It really was the most amazing experience.

Recovery has had its ups and downs, but I'm embracing each step and moving through it. Breastfeeding has been more difficult than I expected, but thankfully Liam is eating well and gaining weight. I'm just so thankful God gave us this little life, in spite of myself, Liam is healthy and we are so proud of our son.


Linds 17/3/09 8:06 PM  

I love it that you almost laughed him out-- that is crazy awesome! I hope my birth story is as good as yours! Congrats again!

BetnyNonnie 17/3/09 9:24 PM  

What a beautiful story. I am so happy for your family! Liam is precious!

cindy lou-who 20/3/09 11:59 AM  

i am soooooooooooo glad you wrote out your story. i thoroughly enjoyed reading it! i agree about it being the most amazing experience, esp. when that joy is so strong. there is nothing like it.

afoos 21/3/09 8:38 AM  

I loved reading your story- I love labor stories. Each one of my 3 births has been so unique and this sounds weird, but I actually love the labor and birth experience even more than the pregnancy!

Congratulations on your precious Liam! These next few months will be a roller coaster of emotions and trials, but you will never have another time in your life like it, so cherish these moments. I will always remember my firstborn as a unique experience. When consecutive children are born, it's just not the same as your first.

mark 21/3/09 9:52 AM  

beautiful. thanks for sharing virginia. this put tears in my eyes.


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