Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
On May 6th, I woke up from a nap to discover that I was in the early stages of labor. I had some bloody show and I immediately called Chris at work to share the exciting news. I felt like I was getting ready for a party as I dressed and raced out the door to Target to pick up a few last
minute items. It was extremely surreal to walk up and down the store aisles knowing that I was in labor. We had been preparing for this birth for months and today was finally the day that our baby was coming to us!
By 5:30 that evening, my contractions had started. It was difficult for me to admit that what I was feeling were actual labor contractions. They felt like rhythmic back contractions…little did I know what was in store for me as my labor intensified and stayed in my back. Chris got home from work and we laid in bed together. We called Jen, our doula, and the midwives to put them on alert.
I was so excited! I thought, soon I’ll be holding my baby! I took a shower and did my hair and climbed back into bed to rest a bit but I never did get that chance to relax. By 8:30, my contractions intensified and got closer together and also longer. By midnight, I was experiencing surges that lasted for 1 ½ minutes and were 4-5 minutes apart. Now, I was just holding off going to the hospital but I felt certain that I was in active labor.
Chris was running around the house, finishing up the packing and getting himself ready. I felt alone in my discomfort and a little afraid but I knew that he was doing what he needed to do to feel ready to help me. At 1 AM we left for the hospital. It was raining and I was in a lot of pain as I struggled to find a comfortable position in the front seat of the car. Chris got us there safely and we made it to the triage in maternity. Jen and Kathleen, my favorite midwife, met us there and after monitoring the baby’s heart beat I was finally ready to be checked for progress.
I was devastated to learn that while I had a significant amount of bloody show and was effaced, the baby’s head was so low that Kathleen was unable to reach my cervix. I was told I was still posterior and probably not very open and sent home. It was devastating to learn that after all my efforts to stay home and not go into the hospital too early that is exactly what happened.
After a very long car ride home, we settled into bed for a few hours but I got no sleep. By 6 AM I was in the shower where I stayed for an hour, struggling to stay about the pain. At 8:00 AM we were headed back to the hospital – in morning rush hour traffic and the rain! Finally, we got there and were met by Colleen, another midwife and another favorite, who checked me and THANK GOD announced that I was 4 CM and could be admitted. I cried, I was so relieved and thought, soon I will be holding my baby.
I was brought to a labor room and we settled in. For the next 5 hours, I labored on the birth ball, the bed, in the tub, the rocking chair. I had two doses of my penicillin to fight the GBS infection that I carried so that baby would be delivered safely. When I was checked again and learned that I’d only progressed to 5 cm I lost it. I thought that my mind would snap if I had to endure another contraction. They were like a vice of pressure on my lower back that crushed my spine and wrapped around my hips into my pelvis. Just as one contraction started to dissipate into my lap, another crushing pain would start up again in my back. Finally, back in the tub for the second time, I broke down into tears and had the very difficult conversation with Chris that I needed pain medication. I’d been thinking about it for hours, fighting my urge to give in and get an epidural. Chris and I were left along in the bathroom. He held my hand and looked into my eyes so tenderly. I saw that he was crying a little. I knew that it was so hard for him to see me in so much pain. I felt like I would be letting him down, letting our baby down, if I got the epidural. But we decided together that we would get it. I loved him so much at that moment for rescuing me from my own guilt and the pain that I was suffering.
My body could finally relax and I quickly progressed from 5 to 8 CM at around 5 PM. By 7 PM, I only had a lip of the cervix left and my midwife was able to clear that for me. She told me that I could start pushing when I felt the urge. Liam had other ideas however. His heart rate dropped after a few pushes and we decided that we would wait for his cue. Twenty minutes later, I tried again. It was amazing how I had no sense of time. I felt like I was floating outside of my body or that I was really drunk. I had to be on my back to push as my legs were too numb but I was really giving it my all.
At one point I was able to reach inside of myself and feel his head in the canal. It was fury!!! And so real!! The midwife asked if I’d like to use a mirror and although I never thought I’d want to see myself give birth, I heard my voice tell her “yes”. It was the best decision I could have ever made. To see that head of black hair begin to emerge from inside of me blew my mind. It was magical to realize that the little life I had been nurturing for 9 months was finally coming to me. And quickly!! I pushed through my contractions beyond any strength I thought I possessed and in 40 minutes, his whole head, then his little face and then his whole body emerged! It happened that suddenly!
One minute, he was inside and the next, he was one the table. He was whisked away to have his lungs aspirated as there had been meconium in my waters and they were afraid that he would breath it into his lungs. It killed me to have my baby taken from me before I could even meet him but I was so elated to have accomplished such a miraculous feat as birthing a child! I looked at Chris and never loved him more than at that moment.
I sent Daddy across the room to be with the baby as they worked on him and then, after the longest minute of my life, we heard his big cry. Then I cried! Everything else was a blur until they were able to put him on my chest. Liam and I looked at each other in amazement. It was indescribably wonderful to put a face to the one who had been kicking me for all those months.
Liam Christopher Wrona was born at 8:05 PM on Thursday, May 7, 2009. He weighed 8 pounds, 10 1/2 ounces and measured 21" long. I could have never imagined loving anyone as much as I love this little life and yet it grows deeper every day.
Today we took Liam to have his picture taken at a studio in Northborough. I was so stressed out about getting us all there, looking presentable and having a full bag of tricks – diapers, wipes, blankie, etc. – that I didn’t think too much about what the session would entail.
My first clue that the day would be an adventure was when the photographer asked me to put him in a cloth diaper before coming to her studio. She said that the disposable ones would leave marks and as he was going to be nude it would show in the pictures. Sure! No problem! Well, I’d never put a cloth diaper on a baby and I was a wreck between the pins and the idea that he was going to leak on everything. He’s quite the prolific pooper!
One minute into our session and he pooped. So I changed him. He pooped on that diaper too! Let’s leave him naked, she suggested. Doubting that my son was done crapping on things, I nervously undressed him. Sure enough – poop on the fury blanket. And then pee on the other fury blanket. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that he pooped and peed on two more blankets and then spit up.
Liam became so furious when asked to wear a hat in one picture that I had to nurse him to quiet him down. The photographer – bless her, she clearly has no children of her own – suggested that I “try to get him to fall asleep.” If I knew how to do that, lady, I wouldn’t be so exhausted!
Take two: Baby Liam is naked once more and Mom is holding him under his little bum as Dad snuggles in for a family shot. Remember, his tank is now full. EXPLOSION!!! Yup, Liam pooped in Mom’s hand. TWICE! Laughing hysterically, the photographer snapped away as she assured me that she could edit the photos. Edit out poop all over my hands, shirt and jeans? This lady must be good. But we had no time to marvel at her Photoshop skills as Liam arched a stream of pee across the room.
I swear I couldn’t make this up. This link to the photos should be available later this week.