How has a month passed by already?! I feel like we have had him for so long already! But then at times it feels like he is still so new and re-learning the newborn life all over again.
And I am still shocked that he came a week early as well. I was convinced he would be at least a week late since Lilly was four days late. (You can check out Lilly Maye’s Birth Story here!) But then part of me knew he was going to come on our anniversary (May 19th) or at least very close to it.
So of course, on May 19th I was having Braxton Hicks all day. They were very spaced out and not painful at all, so it never crossed my mind to time them or keep track of them. I was a cleaning machine that day and trying to get the house in order, laundry done, and their room semi-clean in hopes that he would make his appearance some time within the next week. So I just assumed the BH were from moving around all morning.
It was Nathan and I’s anniversary and we had plans to go to Texas de Brazil for dinner to celebrate (and also for my sisters golf banquet) and get in one last feast! If you have been there to eat, then you know exactly what I am taking about. This picture below is right before dinner.
Part of me knew that if I stuffed my face at dinner, then surely I would go into labor that night. So I made sure to take it easy and not be uncomfortablly full. Because who wants to be in labor and feel miserable?! A part from normal labor pains that is 😉
We made it through dinner and as I got in the jeep and pulled away from dinner it was 9:10 and I had a contraction that was stronger than what they had been all day. I decided to start watching the clock when they happened in case this was the start of labor.
I went to pick Lilly up from my mother-in-laws and got home around 9:45 pm. In that 30ish minutes I had about 7 strong contractions. I tried to casually tell Nathan, ” I might be in labor, but probably not.” Because that would mean that he was coming a week early and again, I wasn’t getting my hopes up just yet.
I continued to time them for the next hour (until about 10:45 pm) and they were anywhere from 5-8 minutes apart. So I had Nathan go to sleep because I knew he was exhausted from his work day (and from dinner 😉 ) and I would wake him if things “seemed serious”.
Side note: On the way home from dinner my gas light had also came on, but like the responsible adult that I am, I didn’t get gas… So I told him to get some rest and I would for sure wake him up in time to stop for gas. Spoiler alert, we didn’t have time to get gas!
Once I was in bed and relaxed some then the contractions had slowed to about 15 minutes a part but were too painful to sleep through. So after a about 20ish minutes of that, I decided to walk around the house to see if they would speed things up or slow them down. If anything I just needed to get up and move because laying down was hurting too much and causing some back pain. The back pain is what made me think this miiiiight be labor because I had so much of it with Lilly’s labor. But my water still hadn’t broken, so I was telling myself I still wasn’t in labor.
So I got out of bed and went to the living room to get moving and by this time it was about 11:45 pm. I decided to text my mom and give her a heads up that I might be in labor so that she would have the volume on her phone turned on so that she could come over and stay with Lilly. She asked at midnight if she should come over and I told her not to come yet because Nathan was still asleep and this “might not be labor”.
I continued to walk around the house for the next 30-ish minutes and things began to progress very quickly. I was starting to have contractions pretty close together and they were getting stronger with each one. I was still able to breath through each one and the only thing that helped during them was to lean against something (the counter, chair, table) and rock my hips from side to side.
But because they were starting to get really close together and stronger with each one, then I decided to wake Nathan up at about 12:20 am and tell him that I think we should head to the hospital. He immediately reached over to my side of the bed (I was standing) and felt to see if my water broke, haha! Which it hadn’t. He took a minute to wake up but could tell by my face that things were starting to get serious.
At 12:30 am I text my mom and asked her to get to my house ASAP! Within that 30 minutes of texting her last, my contractions went from 5 minutes a part to 2 1/2-3 minutes a part. While we waited for her to get to the house, Nathan got up and got dressed and we finished getting last minute things for our hospital bag.
By 12:40 am I was starting to panic because she wasn’t getting there fast enough and the contractions were about two minutes apart and pretty strong. I just kept telling myself everything was going to be ok and we would make it to the hospital in time to have the baby! Because it felt like it was taking mom forever to get to my house! I know, I’m drama.
She finally arrived at 12:50 am (“finally” like ten minutes is super long, haha) and we were already in the jeep in the driveway with it running ready to pull away as she drove up.
We got to the hospital less than 10 minutes later, when it normally would take about 20 minutes to get there. We didn’t stop for gas because I didn’t want to risk having him in the jeep! I had some peace though because my body didn’t feel like it was “pushing” yet and my water still hadn’t broke.
We got to the hospital a little after 1:00 am and walked (what felt like a million miles) to the opposite side of the hospital and up to the labor and delivery floor. Stopping every 30 seconds – a minute so I could breath through each contractions. Nathan did offer to get me a wheel chair when we got there, but the thought of sitting back down seemed like it would hurt worse. I wanted to stay standing and keep moving for as long as I could.
Once we got up to labor and delivery they put me in a room and they had to monitor Liam for 30-ish minutes before I was allowed to be up and moving around again while I labored. My biggest thing with this labor was NOT wanting to lay in the bed the entire time.
I was checked by a nurse at 1:30 am and they told me I was dilated to 8cm, yay! I was relieved to know I was actually in labor and already a good ways along. That is very helpful when you don’t want to get an epidural and find out that you are almost to 10 cm!
I didn’t pre-register for the hospital (again, because I am a very responsible adult… see gas light example above) so while they were monitoring Liam they were also asking me a million questions and filling everything out for me. While they did that, Nathan hung these absolutely stunning birth affirmations that my friend made for me to hang in the room while I was in labor. And I absolutely love them! With Lilly’s birth everything was so rushed and chaotic and stressful at times, so I didn’t want that at all this time. I wanted a more relaxing setting and to be encouraged constantly, rather than yelled at. So Nathan hung those up where I could see them and I continued to breath through each contraction.
My midwife came in a little after 2:00 am to check me and told me I was dilated to 10 cm and “ready to push”. At that point my water still hadn’t broke yet and she said could break it for me, but I wanted to wait a little longer before having her do it. My water ended up breaking with the next two contractions, yay! With Lilly it broke as soon as labor started and “leaked” until I had her. But this time I experienced the “gushing” of your water breaking. It felt very strange and I actually thought I had peed on myself until she said it broke.
So she told me I could push when ever I was ready, but I honestly didn’t feel ready to push. This whole pregnancy I tried to become very aware of my body and how it was feeling at all times. I wanted to feel prepared when I was in labor and listen to my body rather than just forcing a baby out and causing a lot of damage.
When she told me I could push I responded with: “I don’t think I know how to push”, haha. With Lilly my body was pushing for about 45 minutes on it’s own before the doctor made it there to have her. This time I didn’t feel like I was at that point when she told me I could start pushing so I wanted to to wait.
I didn’t want to force it because 1. I knew it was going to hurt! The crowning, the ring of fire, the shoulders coming out, all the things. OUCH! and 2. I was scared! I kept asking my midwife what to do next (it was so strange to not have five people telling me what to do) because everything/everyone was so calm and she was just sitting at the end of my bed waiting for me to push.
She said it was up to me when I pushed and I could wait if I wanted to. So of course I chose the waiting. Nathan was so amazing and great in encouraging me the whole time! Seriously. Even when I was scared, he was perfect. The midwife said a few different things to try with contractions to push, but I didn’t like any of them or they made things more uncomfortable.
So after waiting about 20 or so minutes to start pushing, then I knew it was go time. This baby wasn’t going to come unless I started pushing! And my body had felt like it was ready to start pushing with each contraction so I knew it was time. Nathan continued to hold my hand and encouraged me to start pushing so that Liam could be here! So I pushed through the next 4-5 contractions and he was here at 2:40 am!
I couldn’t believe it. He was here and absolutely perfect!
Weighing 8 lbs 3 oz and 22 inches long.
I wasn’t even upset that I waited to push. And I wasn’t upset that I said I was scared. I am so glad that I listened and waited for my body to be ready. Because unlike Lilly’s delivery, I had no tearing! (also, thank you raspberry leaf tea!) What a difference that makes on recovery!! And my midwife was amazing! Between her and the nurse (and my amazing husband of course!) the room was so much more relaxed and calm when Liam entered the world. I felt empowered and strong after delivering him. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
I am so thankful for a quick and smooth five hour labor and delivery! And I am thankful to have done it all natural again. The next 24 hours were filled with: I can’t believe he is really here! We have a baby. I just went through labor. Oh my goodness!! So much love.
Liam Henry, we love your sweet cheeks so much already! Our family feels so complete with you in it.