I can’t believe that our son is already 10 weeks old! That’s right, it’s a boy! Our lives are completely different, and I can honestly say I’ve never felt more challenged or been more in love than I am today – not only with Liam but with my husband as well. Seeing Collin with Liam brings such a huge amount of joy to my heart.
I am really proud of Liam’s birth story. It felt surreal the whole time it was happening. Having a natural birth was such an amazing and empowering experience, and one that I will treasure.
The night before I went into labor we went out to dinner with our sister-in-law’s mom (Auntie Joan!) who was in town visiting. Towards the end of dinner I wasn’t feeling too well, and thought I had eaten too much and gotten indigestion.
We went home – I took Tums and crawled into bed. I woke up the next morning not feeling much better, and thought it was pretty strange and maybe…just maybe I was in early labor. I kept second guessing myself the entire day, and wouldn’t let Collin tell anyone I was in labor (including his mom who was going to get tickets and hop on a flight to be here for the delivery). We finally decided it would be ok to call our parents and let them know around 5pm on August 15th.
I spent most of the day bopping around on my exercise ball trying to get labor going, watching Netflix, and listening to reggae music. Collin helped keep me distracted most of the day – we went for a walk to get smoothies in the afternoon, and later that evening took a nice long walk on the beach. Our friends Souf & Nicole called while we were on our walk and said they were going to stop by the house to visit – at that time I was still feeling ok, but definitely having some pretty strong contractions. I just sat on my ball and drank water feeling slightly awkward when a contraction came. I finally decided that I should maybe hop in the shower to relax, and by the time I got out of the shower my contractions felt pretty close and strong. I was timing them and I think they were about 3 mins apart. I told Collin that we should probably head to the hospital soon.
We checked in and headed to triage. They had us hang out in there for a bit, and while we were there my water broke. Once that happened my contractions started coming on pretty strong. When they came back in to check me to see if I would be admitted, they said I was already at 8cm. I couldn’t believe it! Every book I read said to be ready for disappointment when checking in as many times you think you’ve progressed more than you really have, but I did it! I reached my goal of laboring at home, getting to the hospital around 6-7cm, and having a beautiful natural birth.
They admit us into a room right away and set us up with a exercise ball as that is what was working for me all day. I tried a couple of other different positions, but it was extremely painful and we decided it would be best to stick with what was working. Collin was an amazing support – he kept me hydrated, made sure I was getting to the bathroom on a regular basis, did acupressure during my contractions, and just encouraged me every step of the way. Our nurses were incredible and super supportive. They just let us do our thing and were entirely supportive of our natural birth plan.
Once I got to 9cm I was really eager to push as I was told by so many people that it actually feels good. I kept asking the nurses if it was time, and it felt like time was going by so slowly. I just kept breathing and doing circles on my exercise ball every time a contraction would come. Finally, the nurses came in and said I was ready to push. So I got up on the bed and they called the midwife to come in. Once I started pushing everything happened so fast. They had me do sets of 3 big pushes during every other contraction. I’m not sure exactly how long it took, but I think I only had to do that 4 or 5 times. They had me on oxygen while I was pushing just to make sure Liam was getting enough oxygen as well.
It was such an amazing feeling when they said just one more push and we would meet our baby. Liam entered the world at 4:34AM on August 16th. Collin got to announce that it was a boy…exactly what momma thought the whole time 😉 He was perfect…I got to hold him for a little while and then the nurses took him because he was having some trouble breathing. He had swallowed some amniotic fluid and blood during delivery, but they were able to suction it out, and after a few episodes of spitting up he was doing better.
We spent one night in the hospital and I’m not going to lie — it was really hard. I had a difficult time getting the hang of breastfeeding, because I felt like the nurses were just doing it for me, and I wasn’t really learning what to do. But after an angel (lactation consultant) visited us in the middle of the night, we got the hang of it before going home the next afternoon as a family of three!
Liam has been eating like a champ, and surpassed his birth weight by 2 weeks, and is now 15 lbs 5 oz! I feel very lucky that I don’t have any issues with milk production so far and Liam has been a wonderful eater and sleeper!
Thank you all so much for your sweet wishes and congratulations over the past several weeks! We feel incredibly blessed and happy with our little jumping bean!
Ashleigh, Collin, & Liam