Welcome to the World Liam Charles Wood

4 Feb

Liam Charles Wood was born at 4:33pm on January 18, 2013.  He weighed 9lbs 6ozs and was 20 inches long.  His birth did not in any way go as I hoped, but instead went just as I most feared.  Nevertheless, he is home with us and that is all that truly matters.  So here is the long story of Liam’s birth.

At my 36 week appointment I was measuring a couple weeks ahead, baby was estimated to weigh 8 lbs, and I was dilated 1cm and 50% effaced.  Despite all the signs pointing that this baby would come early, my due date (January 13) came and went with no activity.  In the two weeks leading up to my induction, I partook in birthing ball bouncing, evening primrose oil, and other natural induction remedies.  I really wanted to avoid an induction if at all possible.  Inductions in first time Moms often lead to long drawn out labors and ultimately c-sections.  My nightmare.  I had a non-stress test the Monday before my scheduled induction.  I was having lots of contractions (as I had been for a few weeks), but was not making any progress.  None of my efforts to induce labor were successful. 

I had my last meal at 5 pm on Thursday January 17.  All of our family stayed at our home that night awaiting the birth.  Jason and I arrived at the hospital at midnight on the 18th.  Around 1 am I was hooked up to monitors (one for the baby’s heart rate and the other to monitor my contractions), a blood pressure cuff was placed on my arm (that periodically squeezed the feeling out of my arm), and an IV was inserted (oh so painfully) in my forearm.  We were ready to go.  And then we encountered our first problem.  I was contracting too often to insert the Cytotec.  I had been contracting for days to the point that my body was so tense I was shaking uncontrollably at times.  I began trembling shortly before we arrived at the hospital and continued to do so while laying there.  So, they pumped me full of fluids to spread the contractions out.  About an hour later, they were able to insert the pill.  I wasn’t allowed to use the restroom after that point for 4 hours (even though they dropped 2 bags of fluid in me right before….not fun).  We got a little sleep while the pill worked its magic.  Around 6 am I got to use the restroom and was checked for progress.  I was dilated to a 2. My contractions had picked up again so the doctor decided to go ahead and break my water then start pitocin around 7 am.  The process of breaking my water hurt more than I expected and felt disgusting.  I had so much fluid.  It felt like I was constantly peeing and the nurse had to change the pads under me pretty consistently.  Not fun.  It did not take long at all for the intensity of my contractions to pick up considerably (and my shaking got much worse).  Around 10 am I decided to get an epidural to calm my body and hopefully allow for the birth to progress.  I felt like such a wimp, but I was feeling the pain all in my back and I was afraid that I would not be able to hold still much longer for an epi to be inserted.  I started crying when they came with the epidural.  I was afraid of what it would feel like and afraid of the consequences.  It did not hurt a bit, especially compared to the IV that was placed hours before.  It was a great epidural in that I could feel and move my legs a bit, however, I could also still feel the contractions in my back and ribs on one side.  It did calm my shaking so we were hopeful I would progress.  It also took away the feeling of peeing myself as my water leaked out so that was nice. 

From that point, things are a bit of a blur.  My sister showed up shortly after I got the epidural and spent the rest of the time in L&D with me and Jason.  I was in and out of sleep because everyone kept telling me to rest.  The nurse inserted a catheter, which thankfully I could not feel.  Every hour or so the nurse would check my cervix and give a dismal update.  Despite the increasing pitocin and my contractions coming less than a minute apart, I was not dilating.  The doctor came by around noon and inserted an internal contraction monitor so they could measure the intensity of my contractions.  They continued to increase the pitocin my the strength of my contractions did not increase. At some point the nurse put an oxygen mask on me to help stabilize the baby.  I continued to drift in and out of sleep.  The nurse positioned me in a pretzel position as the last attempt to progress things.  At that point I started losing it.  It had been almost 24 hours since I had anything to eat and I was absolutely miserable with all the things going in my body (IV with several tubes, epidural, catheter, internal monitor, blood pressure cuff, oxygen mask).  I started crying and Jason comforted me.  About 3:45 the doctor came to check on me.  I had dilated to a 4 and the pitocin was at a level 20.  She gave me my options- keep waiting several more hours to see what happens or elect for a c-section.  She said she did not believe that I was going to be able to deliver the baby, but that the choice was mine.  I was so weak already, I feared that if I had the chance to pus hours down the road, I wouldn’t have the strength.  I decided to go with the c-section and broke down in tears as soon as I said the words. 

I felt defeated and terrified at the same time.  My worst fears were coming true- hours of laboring only to end with a c-section.  Of course it could have been worse.  It could have been more hours and actual pushing.  And the baby could have been in distress (which he was not thankfully).  But at the time, it seemed awful.  My shakes started back worse than ever.  Within a few minutes, the anesthesiologist was back to drug me up some more.  It took effect very quickly.  Jason was asked to change into paper scrubs and paper hats were placed on both our heads.  Then I was wheeled away with my husband and sister standing there in the room watching.  It was a terrifying moment.  Stacy wasn’t allowed in the operating room but she got to stay in the L&D room where we would be brought after surgery.  As they wheeled me in everyone was chatting and the mood was light.  It made me feel more comfortable.  Everyone came and introduced themself to me.  There were a lot of people in the room and the NICU team was there as well because they thought I might have meconium in my fluid.  It seemed like ages before Jason got there.  As soon as he got to the room, the procedure began.  I didn’t expect to feel much, but I did.  Not pain, but pressure, pulling and tugging.  I could also smell whatever they use to cut into my flesh.  Everyone was still talking to each other.  The anesthesiologist would tell me when I was going to feel something.  Everything got quiet right before the baby came out.  I looked at Jason tearfully and asked if he noticed how quiet it was.  I told him (still tearfully) we were about to meet our son (now I’m tearful remembering). I looked into his eyes which were also filled with tears.  The next thing we knew, a baby’s head flopped over the sheet.  There he was- our precious baby.  And seconds later he was gone.  Jason was asked to go over with the baby.  At this point, I had no idea what was happening. They told me how big he was and there was lots of chatter about what a big baby he was. Jason came up and said he was having some breathing trouble then went back to the baby.  I could hear people talking to Jason about how he should go with the baby.  Then Jason and some people brought Liam to me for a quick kiss and he was gone.  I was left alone in the operating room while they stitched me up.  It seemed to be taking forever and all the chatter stopped again.  I asked if everything was OK and got no response.  I heard mentions of blood loss.  I could feel lots of pulling and tugging and smell the burning again.  I heard the doctor order more and more pitocin and other drugs.  They finally said I wasn’t contracting enough.  Then it was almost over and the anesthesiologist told me I was about to feel a lot of pressure and then a man pushed on my belly over and over with all his might.  It was absolutely horrific.  I just realized Saturday that he was delivering the placenta.  I threw up purple popsicle all over that man exorcist style right when he was finished.  I apologized profusely.  And then I was wheeled back into the room with my sister and was told that my baby was in the NICU.  Jason came in shortly and gave me an update that the baby was fine but needed a little oxygen.  Apparently he had a lot of fluid in his lungs and the cord had been wrapped around his neck.  He went back to be with Liam and sent us videos and pictures.  Stacy stayed with me and held my hand as I recounted what I could remember.  At some point, I was told I lost a lot of blood due to my uterus being too tired to contract. 

Sometime around 7pm, Liam was finally brought into my room and he was doing just great.  Everything from delivery was such a fog, it was like seeing him for the first time.  I was sobbing.  I tried to breastfeed him and couldn’t do it with all the cords hanging off of me.  At that point I kind of lost it for a few minutes.  I calmed down and we had our parents come back to meet the baby.  They had been waiting ALL day at the hospital to see the baby, so I wanted them to come back so they could leave and get some rest.  They only stayed a couple of minutes.  After that the nurses started checking my vitals.  I was running a 102 degree fever so I got some strong antibiotics in my IV.  They also started taking a blood draw every hour to measure my blood count.  Every blood check came back worse.  At some point they gave Liam his first bath and took his footprints.  I could not even hold my eyes open for it.  Jason helped and Stacy filmed it.  Stacy went home to get some rest and they took Liam to the nursery so that I could rest as much as possible with people taking blood and vitals constantly.  I don’t remember much about the next morning at all.  I still was only allowed ice chips and popsicles so I was going on over 36 hours without food.  I know the baby came back and the on-call doctor came by a couple of times.  Our parents came in to see the baby for a while after breakfast.  While they were visiting, the doctor told me I needed a blood transfusion.  I cried when she said that for some reason.  They brought in the blood and it just freaked me out knowing I was getting someone else’s blood in my body.  The blood dripping into my body through my IV was really painful.  I could feel it coursing through my veins.  It was so thick.  However, within a couple hours of the transfusion, it was like a light switched inside of me and I immediately started feeling better. 

They did another couple of blood draws to make sure the transfusion was working.  They slowly started pulling monitors and such off of me and it felt so great.  I was allowed a liquid meal (jello never tasted so good) and was moved up to the regular rooms around 8 pm.  Things continued to get better and better from that point on.  I got up and showered on Sunday and that was the most amazing shower ever.  I put on makeup and Stacy did my hair.  I felt great.  I stayed on top of my pain meds and that really helped.  I could not help much with the baby since moving around and lifting anything was difficult, so Jason did just about everything.  Watching him take care of our son was the most heartwarming experience of my life.  I’ve never knew I could be more in love with my husband than I already was before.   I was allowed to leave on Monday afternoon.   

So that is my story.  It makes me very sad that the first day of Liam’s life I can barely remember.  But, overall, I think the c-section was relatively easy to recover from (especially if we had just scheduled it instead of going through 14 hours of labor first) for me.  I am grateful that the doctor proposed the c-section when she did since there was no way I was going to be able to deliver the baby.   Despite everything, I would do it again in a heartbeat to have my little baby.  I know there was some intense moments for Jason, but he was our rock through it all.  It has been a magical 2 weeks since Liam was born.  I am so thankful that my sister was able to be here for his birth and stayed to help us for a week after.  She kept me sane through everything and made what could have been an overwhelming experience enjoyable.  I can’t thank her enough for being such an amazing sister and support system for me.

Hopefully tomorrow I can journal about Liam’s first two weeks of life!  He has changed so much already- it is mindblowing!

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One Response to “Welcome to the World Liam Charles Wood”

  1. Jenn February 4, 2013 at 9:44 AM #

    Wow!! What an amazing story and dreadful experience, but I am sure it was all worth it in the end! Thanks for sharing!!

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