We had a baby!

...almost a month ago.  Blogger fail.  For not doing much of anything, our kiddo sure takes up ALL of my time.  Some days it's all I can do to get a load of laundry moved from the washer to the dryer and not let the dishes pile up to the ceiling.  Sitting down and writing a post has been on my to-do list since coming home from the hospital, but it unfortunately kept getting pushed lower and lower on the priority list, coming after things like, you know, showering and sleeping.  Even right now, I am typing this opening paragraph one-handed, holding a sleeping babe in the other.  So forgive my typos in advance ;)

Suspense killing you yet?  Please allow me to introduce to you our firstborn, our son, Liam Gabriel.

Born June 19, 2013 at 9:48pm - 7 pounds 3 ounces, 19 inches long

Liam’s birth story
I'll insert pictures randomly so that it's not quite as boring ;) 

Tuesday, June 18, five days after our official due date: That morning, I had an OB appointment, where I was dilated to 1-2cm and was 50% effaced.  My doctor stripped my membranes (for the second time), and told me she would let me go until the 24th before inducing…something I really wanted to avoid!  That evening, around 11pm, I started having what I suspected might be contractions.  Since I had no idea what they were supposed to feel like (I’d had zero Braxton Hicks contractions), I wasn’t really sure if they were “real”.  Putting my Lamaze class knowledge to the test, I decided to take a shower to see if the contractions would stop and prove to be false labor.  The shower, while soothing (and the last one I would have for a while), did nothing to curb the contractions.  I realized this might actually be happening, and that I should try to get some sleep.  I was able to doze between the contractions, which were irregular and about 15 minutes apart, but I wasn’t able to sleep through them.  
In lieu of a weekly post about my cravings and whether or not my wedding ring fits 
(it did the whole time, thank you very much), I give you a bi-weekly bump growth collage

Around one in the morning, I decided to get up because sleep was not happening.  Kindly, I let my husband continue to sleep, as I figured at least one of us should be well-rested.  I headed into the office/guest room/nursery, sat in our rocker recliner, and read, trying to relax.  By about four in the morning, contractions were getting regular enough to spur my downloading of a contraction timer app and start timing contractions, which were coming roughly every eight minutes.   

My sweet husband woke up at 5am and began getting ready for work.  I told him that I didn’t think he’d be making it in that day.  (Don't worry, he didn’t leave our apartment!).  Between 9am-10am, the contractions were coming roughly every 4-6 minutes and lasting about a minute in length, which was technically when we could have headed to the hospital (the good ole "5-1-1 rule": contractions coming every five minutes, lasting one minute, for at least one hour), but I wanted to labor as long as possible at home.  I tried to keep busy during my four minute intervals, doing things like tidying the house and doing my hair (I know).

He sleeps like a little frog unless we swaddle him :)

We left for the hospital at 12:30pm, but as soon as we got in the car, my super regular contractions stopped, and I didn’t have a contraction for 10 minutes.  Awesome.  Worried that I’d stalled, we drove past the hospital and went a nearby park.  After walking a little bit, the contractions returned regularly, and we decided to head to the hospital - for real this time!

I was in triage at 1:30pm.  The nurse checked me and I was at a whopping 2cm.  I wanted to cry – I’d been having contractions for over 13 hours and had barely progressed.  My confidence in my ability to have a natural birth immediately began to wane; I was already exhausted from not sleeping the previous night, and I still had so far to go!  The nurse gave us the option of going home – no way! – or getting into the whirlpool tub to see if that helped things along.  My husband says that the reason they weren’t taking my contractions seriously was that I was handling them so well…sweet of him, but I definitely didn’t feel like that was the case! 

Sleeping on his mama's chest
After 40 minutes in the whirlpool tub, and realizing that I was having back labor (something I would wish on nobody in the world), the nurse checked again, and we had progressed to 3cm and were 100% effaced.  They placed monitors and saw that I was indeed having strong contractions and sent us upstairs to our delivery room around 3pm.

Our first nurse was a rockstar.  She was totally on board with our plan to have a natural birth, even though I was beginning to question that plan mightily.  We tried tons of different positions to try to get our baby to turn so that the back labor would subside, and my dear sweet coach of a husband was rubbing my back and applying so much counterpressure during contractions that I was shocked my back wasn’t bruised by the time everything was said and done. 

By 4:30, I was at 4-5 cm, which was a pretty quick progression, but it definitely did not feel quick.  Contractions were becoming unbearable as everything was still in my back, and all I could think about was how a quick dose of Stadol would be great to take the edge off, but my husband talked me through every contraction and wouldn’t let me give in.  This was something that we'd prepared for - I was pretty sure that I would be asking for something to help the pain in the moment, but it wasn't what I really wanted.  He said he felt terrible denying me pain meds when I was asking for them after every contraction, but it really was what I wanted him to do.  Though in the moment, I REALLY wanted Stadol ;) 

Dad's favorite study buddy yawning big...handsome like daddy!

Throughout the entire process, I grew more and more quiet – or as my husband says, stoic.  It was all I could do to keep breathing through every contraction.  Around 7:30, my water broke.  My quote when it happened, because my husband thinks it’s hilarious: “Something HUGE just came out of me!” It was one of my least favorite parts of birth, and if that would have happened in public somewhere, I literally would have died.  But after my water broke, the baby finally turned and got into proper position. 

Contractions were coming even more quickly, to the point that there was no break to even ask for pain meds…I was in transition, and it was rough.  I got back in the tub while contractions were coming less than a minute apart and lasting a minute and a half or longer – no rest for the weary!  Unbelievably, I was dozing off for a few seconds in between contractions.  My husband wisely asked if I was feeling the urge to push while in the tub, and after considering it, I realized I was.  Our new nurse checked me at 8:30pm and said those magic words – You are COMPLETE! 

One week old and getting ready for our first walk!

Only one problem – the nurses had updated the OB on call when I was at 4-5cm, and being as this was our first baby, she assumed that it would be about midnight before I delivered.  When they called to tell her I was complete, she was 25 minutes away from the hospital!  The nurses asked if they could have a resident come in, which we’d declined before since my husband had worked with all of them (awkward!), and I'm friends with some of their wives (extra awkward!), but this time we said yes, so one of my husband’s favorite interns came into the room.  The second the intern was there, I was ready to push – there is an MD behind his name after all!  They still wanted me to wait for the doctor though, so I had to resist the urge to push and blow through 25 minutes of contractions.  Ladies and gentlemen, that was hell. 

Finally, the OB arrived, suited up quickly (which seemed like an eternity) and let me start pushing.  After the first push, the doctors declared the hair delivered :)  Baby’s heart rate did great throughout all of the contractions, accelerating just like it should. After almost 50 minutes of pushing, the baby was crowned and ready to go, just waiting for one last contraction…and waiting…and waiting…Then monitor on the baby’s heart rate dropped from 160 beats per minute to 60bpm (I was oblivious of this).  I vaguely realized my husband was taking my pulse on my wrist but didn’t think much of it – he’s a medical student, after all.  Then the nurse put a fingertip heart rate monitor on me and saw my pulse was in the 100’s, confirming that it was the baby’s that was so low.  The doctor immediately had me push, without waiting for a contraction. One good push later and the baby was out!

Quilt made by my aunt!

After he was born, it was quiet.  My husband said, “Come on, baby,” and it was then that I realized for the first time that something might not be right.  But after about three quiet seconds, our bambino started crying nice and loud!  Because of the deceleration at the end of delivery, no one made the “it’s a boy!” announcement, and I actually had to ask if it was a boy or a girl!  My husband flipped the baby over, proclaimed him a boy, and they put him on my belly…where he promptly pooped copious amounts all over me :)

The medical staff were all impressed with our labor and delivery - it is apparently quite the rarity these days to have a natural birth.  We were so glad that we did though, without even having an IV placed.  The ability to be able to be up and around the room, changing positions, getting into the tub, being able to drink clear liquids (and not just have ice chips), only having monitors on for a total of 20 minutes before pushing started, and having both me and baby be completely alert after delivery was totally worth it.  While it was, of course, the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and while I realize that natural childbirth is not for everyone (most people we tell think we’re crazy), and that it isn't even a possibility for some people, we are so grateful and happy that we were able to do it, and that we now have Liam Gabriel in our lives. 

Fearfully and wonderfully made.

So if you don't hear from me on the blog that often, I apologize.  I'll try to update you on things such as my husband finishing his third year and officially being in his last year of med school, as well as Step 2 boards.  I have ideas of posts in my head about random things, including what I now deem as baby necessities for the first month of life.   Will these posts be written?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Because for right now, this is my motto (which I cannot read without getting teary):

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow, 
for babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow. 
So, quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep. 
I am rocking my baby and babies don't keep.


  1. ahhh! He is beautiful, and you look amazing! A huge congratulations to you two (three now:). What a blessing!

  2. Awwwww!!!!! Congratulations!!! He's beautiful!!! and you all look wonderful!

  3. Congratulations!! He is absolutely beautiful!

  4. Congrats to you and your husband! We just had our little girl Ryan two weeks ago today! I can definitely understand why you haven't been able to post much. And way to go on the natural child birth. I wanted to go that route, but was in labor at home for 48 hrs or so and was unable to resist the epidural once we FINALLY went to the hospital. :) He's just a doll and I love his full head of hair!

  5. Congratulations! He's a cute and I love his name!

  6. I'M SO HAPPY YOU POSTED! I've been literally checking EVERY SINGLE DAY for the past month! I figured you had a sweet new baby keeping you busy. He is absolutely beautiful and you look PHENOMENAL. I'm a wee bit jealous of how gorgeous you look so soon postpartum! Congratulations to you on your handsome and healthy baby boy!

  7. I was just thinking of you today! Congratulations on your little boy--he is darling and I absolutely love his name! Also, you look AMAZING! Wow. Can't wait to see more! What a gift from God!

  8. congratulations!!! he is so handsome! and way to trust your body. :) i caught a baby today after mom pushed for FOUR HOURS (first baby). i mean, i was exhausted and i wasn't doing the pushing. having freedom of movement makes such a difference. and don't feel obligated to do anything but enjoy that baby!

  9. Congratulations to all of you. He is beautiful! & you look amazing.
    And good for you for going natural
    & that is a pretty sweet pic of husband holding him, wearing a YL shirt...
    (someday husband can be a camp Dr. & you can all go & spend a month @ a YL camp, giving Liam a fabulous time @ camp :)

  10. You are my inspiration! I having always wanted a natural birth and people think I am crazy. When the time comes, You and Tim will have to give us all your tips! :) Congrats again MJ, he is beautiful!

  11. Two thoughts in follow up to my gushing email :)
    1. He ALMOST made it to my birthday... a good time to be born.
    2. I'm pretty sure your 40-week photo is what I look like right now. Can't quite imagine what kind of ball people are going to be comparing this bump to in 12 more weeks.
    Also, love that quilt. What a cutie on it!

  12. Ha, I was just looking back at this post to link to it from your guest post (that'll go up early next week), and I saw the part about how he pooped all over you... missed that on the first read, but now it stands out because it totally happened to me too :)


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