Week 38. Just Kidding! It’s a Birth Story!

First of all, I realize this post is waaaaay overdue. The last time you heard from me I was 37 weeks pregnant and patiently awaiting Liam’s arrival. And now he’s here! I didn’t mean to leave you hanging, I just totally overestimated how much free time I’d have. When I’m not staring at the cutest face I’ve ever seen I’m dozing off in my nursing chair, doing loads of tiny laundry or washing/sterilizing my pumping equipment. And when the rare occasion to write Liam’s birth story does arise, I struggle. After all, writing about the single most important day of your life is no small task. BUT, I promised myself I’d get this update published by Liam’s one month and well, that was a month ago (oops) so here goes nothing…

Thursday, September 4th marked week 38 of my pregnancy. My plans for the day included a Target run and a pedicure. But Target and my toes would have to wait because Liam had other plans. That morning at about 6am I rolled over in bed and felt a TINY “pop” followed by a little trickle. I made a mad dash to the restroom and when the liquid didn’t stop, I knew that this was the real deal. I called for Asaf and he was up in a flash, tossing last minute items into our hospital bag and pulling phone chargers from the wall faster than I could say “Holy crap! My water just broke!”. He didn’t even ask if I was sure this wasn’t just a side effect from last night’s $5 pizza! Looking back, this was a smart move. If he had questioned me, I might have started to doubt myself…orrrr I might have punched him in the nose. Maybe both.

So anyway at about 7am I started to have contractions. They felt like really bad menstrual cramps. Asaf started timing them and they were about 5 minutes apart, lasting about 30 seconds. I decided to eat. I knew that there was a 99% chance that I’d be having a c-section and that you aren’t supposed to eat 12 hours before surgery but, I was hungry and I’m a stress eater! Anyway, I had an apple and a granola bar, a glass of water and finally a mug of Earth Mama tea. And then I called my Doctor.

She didn’t answer so I left a message and then (TMI!) I had the really strong urge to use the restroom (by the way, I found out later that this is a sign of early labor…funny how no one mentioned that in our birth class). So, while I was indisposed the Doctor called back and I heard Asaf giving her the details of the morning — including the fact that I had eaten. Whew! Better him than me. She said no more food and to get down to the hospital ASAP. By the time we left the house it was about 8:30am – perfect timing for the morning rush hour. We took a chance by jumping on the freeway and managed to make it to the hospital by 9.

Once we were admitted things moved pretty fast. By 10 I was in a hospital gown and my contractions were 3 minutes apart lasting 1 minute each. My blood was drawn and I had already gone through one IV bag. Asaf kept me distracted from my contractions by putting the skills he learned in childbirth class to good use. He read my contractions on the chart machine, letting me know when each had peaked and assuring me that Liam’s heart rate was holding steady. Meanwhile, there was a lot of action going on just outside my curtain. I overheard the nurses saying they had 6 back-to-back c-sections that morning! Soon, Asaf was putting on his scrubs and after a quick kiss, I was rolled down a long hallway.

It was freeeeezing in the O.R. but my nurse, Lucy, brought me a warm blanket and I held my breathe while I lay on my side, trying to stay still as my spinal tap was administered. Almost immediately, my feet felt very warm and before I knew it, I was entirely numb from the waist down. I didn’t see my Doctor arrive and once I realized she was there, they were already making the incision. Asaf arrived – recognizable to me only by his glasses – with camera in hand. When my anesthesiologist came to check on me I told him that I wanted to watch. “The whole thing or just the baby part?”, he asked. “Just the baby part.” I replied. He quickly wheeled a mirror over me and seconds later, at 11:20am, Liam was born.

It was love at first sight.

Although I’d been anticipating this very moment for months, maybe even years, nothing could prepare me for such a surreal experience. In an instant my heart grew a trillion times over and I was filled with an abundance of love. I stared in awe, unable to take my eyes off this tiny, perfect being while he was weighed and examined. As I watched Asaf cut the umbilical cord, doctors removed my placenta and worked on closing me up. Then, Asaf and Liam returned to me and a nurse offered to take our first family photo. Our family. 38 weeks in the making and worth every single minute.

We made a baby. And he’s finally here!