Monday, August 8, 2011

Liam's Birth Day

I've been meaning to write this post for over a year. If I don't do it now I'm sure I'll forget many of the little details of Liam's birth (I'm sure I already have forgotten some!) Before I start I'll warn you, if you get squeamish or don't like TMI, you should be on your merry way! Childbirth is not for the faint of heart.

40 weeks pregnant and much to my dismay, no baby yet. Silly Meg, 
don't you know most 1st babies are overdue?!

At my 40 week (and a few days) appointment I had my doctor do a membrane sweep (or strip if you're in the US). I was so miserable! We don't have a car in Dublin because we live in the city which meant I was still walking everywhere. Liam had dropped quite low so it was so uncomfortable to walk anywhere! Contractions had also been coming and going for a little over a week. Doc decided that we could induce if I wanted to at 41 weeks. Let me just say that I am very much against induction unless the baby is in distress or the mother is in danger, but I was at my wit's end and sincerely felt like this baby was ready to be born, so I agreed that if baby didn't come on his own by April 22, I would come into the hospital for induction.

The days went by slowly and my friends Kara, Liz and Kim kept me in good spirits. April 22nd arrived and we prepared ourselves to go to the hospital to meet our son. I had talked to my sister about being anxious about forcing Liam to come out. She comforted me by saying, "Meg, Liam will be much more comforable in your arms." I'll always remember that.

Justin and I took the 77 Dublin bus to the hospital, which felt hilarious, what with all of our baby gear in tow. We arrived on time and checked in. Inductions are performed in the public ward (though we have insurance to cover a private room) so I made myself comfortable in the company of women who were there for various reasons, mostly due to either pre eclampsia or other serious pregnancy issues). I was the only one being induced. They said it would be a while before Doc was in so we took a walk around the hospital grounds (it was a lovely day!). Doc applied Cervadil at 8 pm which is meant to help with dilation. I was so glad they were starting out gently and not full on with Pitocin - I know the stats relating to Pitocin and the vicious cycle of intervention. Doc said that it will likely take many hours for the medicine to work and he would be back in the morning to check on me and apply the gel again if need be. In my head I thought "Um, Doc, I plan on having this baby tonight." The nurse informed us that Justin was going to have to go home after visiting hours (7pm), which shocked us, and in hind sight we should fought to let him stay. But Justin went home and left me with my relaxing i-pod playlist and a few magazines and I waited for things to start happening.

It didn't take long for things to get moving. I started having regular contractions within a couple of hours, which I could tell shocked the nurses. I was focusing on breathing and staying relaxed to get through the pain. I called my mom to chat at about 10:30pm (it was 5:30pm in Michigan). And while we were talking my water broke! I got off the phone and called one of the nurses over - everything was drenched! The nurse checked me after that and I think I was about a 3.  The nurse told me they would wait a little while longer to call Justin. Labor got really intense after that and I was in a lot of pain. I called the nurse again to check me. She looked surprised to see that I was already between a 5-6 and at that point they called Justin. It must have been about midnight by then. We made our way to the birthing room at that point and after that time seemed to fly. I reached a point where I felt like I couldn't handle any more pain and asked for the epidural. The anesthesiologist was American from New York, I think. While it was being administered I had a very hard time keeping still and voiced that I felt like I had to push. Everyone in the room looked a little surprised by this (by now Justin was finally there along with my Doc). I was checked afterward and already an 8 very shortly after that it really was time to push. I pushed exactly like Doc said, with Justin holding one leg and a nursing student (her first birth experience!) holding the other. After 15 minutes of pushing and a proclamation of "oh God, that's the ring of fire!" from me, Liam was here, it was 3:25am.  I don't think the epi kicked in in time after all, I felt everything. And though it was painful, I think the labor part was more so.

Sweet baby boy Liam, 8lbs 3oz, 21 in long

Comfortable in my arms

"Hi, Mom & Dad!"

Looking up to Daddy already

Right after Liam was born they put him on my chest and I stared at him in awe. I couldn't believe what was once a part of me was now separate. I remember him letting out a little whimper and thinking, "What's the matter baby? What do you want?" It was overwhelming to think that his existence relied solely on me. 

He was put in the incubator to warm up after some time with mommy and I was offered tea and toast. I thought, "How fabulous!" How very Irish to get tea and toast after birthing a child. It is one of my fondest memories of the experience.

In the next couple of weeks I'll write about our stay in the hospital and how is was the loneliest I've ever felt.  


  1. Awwwww that's lovely to hear Meg, sounds like you had a nice enough experience (well as nice as it can be??!) Love the pics,pity you didn't get one on the bus...!!! : )

  2. Thanks for sharing Meg. I don't think I ever did know the specific details of this experience for you guys.

  3. Aine, I really did have a great experience, thank God. I like to think all the prenatal yoga and breathing pain management helped, but I think a lot of it was pure luck!

    Steph, I look forward to hearing all about your experience in a couple of months! xo

  4. This made me cry all over again! I will never forget waking up that next morning and looking at the first pictures of my new little nephew... The tears of joy wouldn't stop coming! Such a great story.

  5. Aww, thanks Kell. I remember the exact same for Jude's birth! It was somewhere around 3am here and Liam was up for a feed. Jude had just been born and I got to skype with you and see him for the first time. Priceless!!

  6. I missed you more that day than ever before. I wanted so badly to be there with you, to hold your hand, rub your back and cheer you on! (The big Volcano in Iceland delayed our flight for a whole week!) I will never forget our phone call when your water broke and the wonderful call from Justin with the miraculous news!! Dad and I literally jumped up and down and cried tears of joy! I didn't sleep a wink that night just waiting for the first photos of our precious little grandson. When they arrived (thank you Facebook) I sobbed like a baby myself and quietly thanked God for such a wonderful blessing. xoxo

  7. Mom, I missed you so much that day and the few days that followed more than you'll ever know! It's true that you don't understand what it's like to be a mom until you become one yourself. I think a girl needs her mom more than ever when she has her own baby. xx

  8. Thanks for sharing Meg! It's nice to know we both had similar experiences in the Coombe. And you know I can relate to the first few days after the birth...very lonely times indeed xx Jenny