Liam's Birth Story
I’d been having Braxton Hicks for a few weeks, but on the evening of Dec. 30th, contractions started in my back. They actually started during the bowl game and I thought he’d better not make me go to the hospital in the middle of the game! However, the contractions weren’t painful, just different. I slept fine that night and then New Year’s Eve day, my husband and I went to Avatar 3D. The contractions were coming pretty consistently, but still not really painful…uncomfortable, I suppose. When we got home around 7pm, we started timing them and found that they were lasting 45 seconds and coming every 2-4 minutes. We called the on-call doctor, who recommended that I go to triage to get checked out. So we went to the hospital at 9pm on New Year’s Eve but found out I was only 1cm dilated (90% effaced though, which was a change). They kept me to see if I would progress because I was having pretty strong contractions, but eventually I got sent home at 1am because I hadn’t progressed.
We went to bed at 2am and two contractions later (2:10?), I started shaking uncontrollably with every contraction. I jumped out of bed and went out into the living room to breathe through them (thinking I had a good 24-48 hours of labor in front of me, according to the triage nurse). At 3:15, my husband awoke to me groaning and yelling and needing to push. For a minute, we considered calling the doctor again to see if I should head to the hospital (because I was feeling stupid for going to the hospital for nothing earlier), but after a minute of staring at me wide eyed, my husband just grabbed our things and told me we needed to go RIGHT NOW! It took me about 5 minutes to walk down the three flights of stairs from our apartment because the contractions were on top of each other (I think I had four on the way down). I could barely sit in the car or the wheelchair when we got to the hospital, because (as I discovered later), I was fully dilated and Liam was crowning.
We got to Labor and Delivery (again!) and the nurses saw me and literally jumped into action. One nurse tried to get us to sign some forms, but there was clearly no waiting, so they just rushed me into a room and paged “any doctor STAT”. Luckily the first baby of the new year was born 36 minutes earlier and his doctor was still there, so he could come and deliver Liam because Liam wasn’t waiting for anyone! For about 30 seconds the nurses were telling me to relax and breathe through the contractions until they got me on the bed and realized he was crowning, at which point they changed their tune from “breathe, breathe” to “OH, nevermind-push, push!!!”. The nurse who was holding my leg didn’t even get to put on gloves! Liam was born about 8 minutes after we arrived in Labor and Delivery with three pushes.
I obviously didn’t have time for an epidural (although at 3am when I thought I’d still have hours and hours of labor left, I was definitely thinking I’d want one-of course I was probably 9cm by then!). I am so lucky not to have to recover from a C-Section, epidural, or even an IV! I was up and walking around pretty much immediately and only had to take ibuprofin for about 3 days.
The nurse who sent me home earlier was feeling pretty guilty, but how was she supposed to know I’d go from 1-10cm in 2 hours?! (Although I DID keep telling everyone that my mom had very fast deliveries…apparently no one thought that was relevant.) The nurses told me that the next time I am having a baby, I have to go to the hospital as soon as I feel the first contraction and no one will send us home. And, in good news, Liam is absolutely wonderful. Having him on my chest in that first instant after he was born was so surreal, because everything happened so fast, but we’ve really enjoyed getting to know him in this last week. We are discovering that 99% of the time, his cry means he’s hungry. Otherwise, he’s pretty content so far so we are just loving him!
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