We're a little over a week into this new life with Liam and I haven't until now figured out when I can put him down long enough to get on the computer. We're working out the details everyday and are so in awe of this miracle that has been placed before us.
On Friday, April 16th, I woke with stabbing back pains at about 6:30am....I tried to ride them out for awhile but realized a shower sounded great. Adam had already headed out to work that morning so I was alone to figure this out for a bit. Was it the real thing? After weeks of being on bedrest and false contractions, I knew this was different when I was nearly brought to my knees in the shower from the pain. I called Katie, my sister-in-law/doula, and she was on her way to help. I remember calling Adam and saying "honey, I think this is the real thing....we're going to meet our baby boy today." I could sense both the excitement and fear in his voice and he was working on making his way back home. For the next hour, I sat downstairs alone on my yoga ball....it was the only thing that I could sit on for any relief and I breathed through every contraction and wave that followed. They seemed pretty easy at the time but I was definitely concerned that I felt nothing in my belly-just all in my back. By the time Katie and Adam arrived I was having them every 5 minutes for an hour so we decided it was time to call the doc.
When I arrived to the doctors office, I was in so much pain I had to stop along the way to breathe through some contractions before we could even get on the elevator. This little man was determined to get out quick!
I was still only 3cm and 90% effaced at the doctors office but Dr. Rogers decided to admit us anyway to the hospital and was fairly certain we'd have a baby by the end of the day at the rate I was progressing.
Within 2 hours, we were settled into our room in Labor and Delivery and I had already progressed to 4 1/2 centimeters. The pain was unbearable.....I finally had to ask for an epidural....I think if I'd had a "normal" labor with no back pain it might have been a bit different but I was down for the count and feeling like I had a stabbing knife in my back with every contraction. Within minutes, I was being prepped for my epi and as soon as it took effect I was a new woman. I was even able to catch a quick nap as we waited. Within 2 hours, I had progressed to 6 centimeters and again 2 hours later, the nurses were telling us "You're at 10!!! It's time to prep you to push!" We couldn't believe it-I clearly remember the look on Adam's face-one of sheer disbelief and excitement all at once....it all had happened so fast and we were about to see our Liam face to face finally.
By this point, I couldn't feel a thing.....I do remember after pushing that I said out loud..."why was that so easy?"
Dr. Rogers arrived.....they told me to push and even at one point to slow down because he was making his debut so fast! Within 30 minutes, I was holding Liam in my arms....We had specifically asked for nothing to be done to him for a long time....we wanted to savor the moment so he was placed on my bare skin right out of the womb. I remember looking to my left and seeing Adam weeping....tears of happiness and joy and I clearly remember Liam laying down on my chest, and gripping my fingers with his little hands while looking up at me with his big blue eyes. I was enamored, infatuated and so in love all at once. The feelings are hard to describe....had I really just done that? How was that just inside of me and now 2 seconds later I'm holding his hands? The next hour was a bit of a blur....Adam cut the cord and was able to give Liam his first bath. We have it all on tape and it was the sweetest of sweet moments. We then took time, just the 3 of us, as a family before any other family or friends were allowed in the room. We played Dave Matthews Band on repeat in the background and just stared in awe of our little miracle.
Liam's birth was incredible....couldn't have asked for a better experience....all the docs and nurses were amazing and now we have this little boy to care and love on. I'm still in awe....I'm still trying to pinch myself to make sure it's real everyday. We are so very blessed as a family of three!
7 years.....we've been together 7 years this year.....In that time, I have watched a young, fresh faced right out of college boy turn into a man that provides, loves, lives his truth and is the bravest person I know. I've never known someone as selfless as he is, as honest as he is, who gets me to my core and makes me a better person. I've never had someone call out my faults in a positive manner in order to build me up when I can't myself and who lovingly is patient with me even when I know he wants nothing more than to just throw his hands up sometimes. My husband....my best friend, my comedian, my support team, my cheerleader, my brutal honesty, my caring soul, my strong arms and now the father of my child.
This past week, Adam was home from work because his school was out for Spring Break. It was supposed to be his break, his time to relax, his time away for a bit. However, our recent turn of events with little Liam have proved quite the challenge in our house and Adam stepped up in a way that I can never thank him for enough. The plan originally was for me to work up until the baby was born, but some definitely unforseen events have turned the end of my pregnancy into bedrest. The doctor has called it modified bedrest but qualified that as me getting up long enough to eat something and use the bathroom. No housework, no errands, no anything...just laying down....all the time. It's very hard for someone who is used to doing so much and being always on the go to have someone say, "let me help you." I'm so used to giving of myself because I love caring for others and when Adam has been sick, and continues to be sick with his ulcerative colitis or his unending battle with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, I have always been able to say I can do it, you rest, I'll take care of it.
I watched him this week as he selflessly stepped in, stepped up and stepped out of his comfort zone to make this time for me as easy as possible. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, honey do lists, the never ending circle of making a house run. All while dealing with his own pain, gritting his teeth and catering to my every whim even when I tried to fight him on it. I've watched him grow as a leader, the spiritual head of our household and sometimes more recently the emotional rock as I have dealt with the end of this pregnancy and just plain being mean and moody. He works so hard to provide and to care for us and I cannot wait now to be able to watch him with Liam.
Adam is going to be the best father...he will show him right from wrong, how to be strong and step out in faith, how to be brave, when to back down and when to step up, he will encourage him, love him and be his discipline when it's needed. He will teach him how to stand out even in the face of adversity when all of the cards are against him and how to prosper in the end of the experience as a better person. He will show him the world, his love for animals, sports, all things cars, shoes and mountains. Most of all he will show him music....I imagine them dancing in our living room, Liam rockin' out with his daddy to the latest and greatest and still appreciating the finer arts such as plays, musicals, museums and culture. Adam has taught me so much of these things in the short time we've been together and I can't wait to watch him, my hero, become Liam's hero.
I'm still writing from bed rest.....I have been doing everything the doctors have told me to do. Lay down, lay down, lay down....sitting doesn't count.....We've had a few adventures over the past week....so as boring as bed rest is, at least it's been somewhat exciting at times.
On Good Friday, we started noticing that Liam wasn't moving at all really. He's normally pretty active, especially at night, right before we head to bed. We called Katie, Adam's sister and my doula, and she asked that I lay down and start doing kick counts for a bit. The goal is to have 10 movements over a 2 hour period and of course our stubborn boy had about 3. So we called the nurse at our office and she said we'd done the right thing by calling. She wanted us to head to the hospital just to get things checked out. So off we went....to the hospital for the first time since our parenting classes. I was really nervous....arriving there made everything very real....I kept thinking thinking this could be it...I could be induced tonight....it really does mess with your psyche a bit. We were checked into triage at around 730pm that night and we're gone again and sent home by 930. They hooked me up to another non-stress test, which am becoming an expert at, and checked Liam's heart. He was doing fine in his breathing,etc. so they felt like because I was showing signs of slight contractions that it was causing me not to feel any movements as well. I hadn't progressed any in my dilation or effacement so they weren't too concerned.
On Monday, we noticed my swelling in my legs/feet had returned even though I've done it all by the book and kept the elevated and stayed off my feet as I have been directed. My BP at home was reaching some funny numbers even after resting as well so we called the doc again and they bumped my appt. from Thursday to Tuesday.
We went in yesterday and met Dr. Rodgers for the first time. She agreed I was swollen again and to keep an eye on it. I had even put on 4 lbs. in just under a week which showed fluid retaining. They decided to redraw my blood work that had been done 2 weeks prior to watch for any changes. I also get the fun task of a 24 hour urine collection starting this morning and until we head back to the doctor again tomorrow. While we were in the office, they decided to go ahead and do another biophysical profile ultrasound (BPP). Liam is now measuring at 7 lbs. 14 oz. and the ultrasound tech said it looks like he's got one big baby buddha belly and short legs...we've got a chunker on our hands and I couldn't be more excited! I keep having to remind myself that technically I still have 2 1/2 weeks left so if I'm not induced before then, our little linebacker will be quite the big boy.
So, that's the update from bed rest for now.....We go to see Dr. Avery again tomorrow and we'll just see what she thinks after blood work comes back,etc.