Thursday, April 12, 2012

To my son on his Birthday

Dear Liam,
  It is wild to think that you are already a year old . I feel like we were just bringing you home from the hospital. I cannot express in words the love that I have for you or how blessed I feel to able to call myself your mother.
  You are the strongest, silliest little boy I have ever come across. The way you grunt when you want food is always good for a laugh, even though I know for you it is a very serious matter. I love the love and adoration you have for your sister. I don't even care that you have rarely slept through the whole night in this past year, because I love gettng up to snuggle you....BUuuuuut let's maybe work on the whole sleep thing this year ok?
  You fill my heart with so much joy. Happy HAPPY Birthday Butterbean. I love you to the moon and back 1...times infinity.


From the eyes of a friend...

My dear friend Karen was out "birth liason" :) on the day Liam made his grand entrance. I mentioned casually to her once that she should write about that day from her perspective. Because she loves me and never lets me is Liam's birth day from the eyes of Karen:

The best way I can describe watching a child be born is this – it’s the grossest miracle that exists. One minute your friend is waddling around, the next minute…well she’s still going to waddle a bit due to stitches but now she’s holding a gorgeous baby moose, I mean boy.

On April 13th 2011 , I had the esteemed pleasure of being a birth liaison, to make me sound fancy, for the birth of one Liam Williams. It was something I was excited for due to a number of reasons. It’s always an honor when your friends want you there for their major life events and this was a big one. But I was most excited to be there and “go hang in the waiting room during all the gross stuff.” That was the birth day I was sold. However....

 Kari and Steven were at the hospital getting all situated as I left Minot bright and early. I had prepared myself by going with this theory – my job is to entertain Steven and do whatever the laboring lady tells me she wants me to do. As I arrived at St. A’s, I was clearly focused on the task at hand because just off the elevator, I ran into a woman and was staring at her, wondering where I knew her from. (Turned out, she’s my gynecologist.)

Our day went remarkably fast for those of us not in labor. We talked, joked, took some pictures. We had been discussing naming options and had a quite lovely chat with a nurse about it. She was so kind to bring us three name books from approximately 1964. All this did was make us throw out the worst names in the book, just for kicks. We then asked the nurse what the worst name they had ever had a baby named was. The answer – Lucifer. Apparently, the father’s name was Angel and he had figured since he lived his life like no angel, he thought his son would likely not live up to his name. The nurses apparently resorted to calling the baby Luke because they couldn’t bring themselves to call a newborn the devil. Can’t blame them there.

Around noon, I went and had a quite enjoyable cafeteria turkey sandwich. When I returned, labor had started getting stronger for Kari so Steven and I retreated to the couch for a few games of Uno (which I won all of no matter what he might recall). We did our best to let mama know we were there without getting her out of her zone. Sometime around 1-2ish and around 5ish centimeters, a little shot of meds helped her calm enough to attempt a nap, though I’m quite sure she never slept. I want to say around 3:15 or so, she sat up and said she was starting to feel pressure. The nurse came in and further changed my life forever.

Seated on the couch, I was told just to not look. So I stared at the door while Steven held her hand during the dilation check. Our little wonder mom had just gone from 5 to almost 9 in less than an hour. Assuming since the nurse walked away from the bed that it was safe to look, I looked over at Kari. Lesson learned. Gown up over her knees, I saw what I could only assume was a crime scene. Exact words said in the next 10 minute are a blur. I do remember asking Kari if she wanted me to go now and I believe the response was something to the effect of, you’ve seen it once so you can stay…but maybe come stand by the head of the bed.

 While nurses fluttered about, preparing for the last minute cervix stretch, I double checked with Kari about 15 times if she wanted me to stay. The general consensus seemed to be that my job had changed from cheerleader to ankle holder. So to Kari’s left side I go. Perched next to the monitor, I heard Kari tell the nurse she felt like she needed to push. Now is the part where you find out the little secret – she was lying just a little. Wanting to get it all over with, Kari told a little fib and the nurses started letting her push at just under the 10 centimeter mark. I had the pleasure of being on the side with all the nurses so while holding a leg, sweating profusely and trying to come to grips with how I will never be the same, I had the joy of being sandwiched into the monitors by the leagues of nurses in the room.

The pushing didn’t take nearly as long as I thought. Looked like a lot of hard work though. As the doctor was getting situated, I developed the plan to just not look. Again, crime scene in the room prevented my eyes from staying focused on my friend’s red, splotchy face. I am so very glad there were no video cameras in the room because I’m quite sure the whole 20 minutes (at most) the doctor was doing his thing, I was staring in wonderment at my dear sister/friend’s crotch. Before long, I saw what I assumed was an alien emerging. And then he was out. As well as massive amounts of fluids in colors I had never seen before. Steven followed Liam to the baby cooker and scale. I joined them after excusing myself through the sea of nurses. One beautiful baby boy covered in not so beautiful goo came into the world. I went back to check on Kari, only to find her chatting it up with the doctor (who was sewing her naughty parts back together) as though they ran into each other in the produce aisle.

I held the new little wonder for just a moment before having to hand him over to everyone else who came to see him. I snapped a few pictures and laughed with Kari about how our friendship will never likely be the same (in a good way, don’t worry). I ordered her some room service and bid the newly expanded family adieu and drove back to Garrison where I took a two hour nap to shake my overwhelming day and drive back to Minot. I am beyond blessed to have the Williams (and Wollmuth) family in my life and I’m thankful I was able to experience the grossest little miracle before ever having to endure it for myself. I believe another year or so and I may be mentally stable to help bring another Williams into the world. After all, why scar another friend for life, right Kari?

LOVE YOU KAREN. This is something I will treasure forever. "Around noon, I went and had a quite enjoyable cafeteria turkey sandwich" cracks me up every time.... :)

Liam's Birth Story

In celebration of Liam's first year of life, I am finally getting up his birth story....Enjoy

Steven was ready for our next addition from the moment Lara was out and dried off. I had vastly different feelings. For someone who has always wanted a big family, I was very surprised by my tunnel vision on my daughter. I could not even imagine every having another baby as incredible as she was. She was my baby. That was that. Until her first birthday. By the time LB reached the ripe old age of one, she was basically already a teenager. There was a day shortly after her birthday, when she was FAR less baby like than the day before, that I had a realization that I was "ready" for Lara to have a sibling. A couple days after that I brought this up to my husband. Evidently all we had to do was put the "we are trying vibes" out into the universe. We found out we were pregnant with Liam a month later.

Throughout the pregnancy, Liam was measuring between 2 and 3 weeks larger than he should have been for his gestational age. This led to more scheduled ultrasounds and talks of early induction and possible c-section. For those of you who know me well, I am avidly a gainst scheduled c sections and on a few occasions was very put off by my OBs insistance on the topic. He tried to persuade me with the threat of future incontinance due to my delivering too large of babies. Long story short I put that idea quickly to rest at every appointment the last month of my pregnancy, but could not escape the suggestion of early induction.
The morning of April 13th, I awoke at 6 am after a very restful night of sleep to get Lara ready to go to daycare and get my last minute things prepped. We left to drop Lara off at 7am and I bawled like a baby on the way to the hospital about leaving my baby to go have another baby. It was this strange ball of excitement and apprehension that is pretty hard to explain in words. Steven calmly looked at me and said "Babe...we are going to have our new baby. That doesn't make Lara NOT your baby anymore. You can have more than one baby." Oh the wise words of my husband....calmed me imeadiately and helped me to focus on the excitement of the day ahead.

We checked in to the hospital at 7:30am. We had to wait in the little waiting area and were actually escorted through the hospital with an elderly couple who was there for (perhaps obviously) a totally different reason. We made it up to our room to settle in, gown up, and have my water broken. It was about 10 times more painful that I had remembered with Lara. On the opposite side, my godsend of a nurse was able to insert my IV on the first try, which, for those of you who are familiar with Lara's birth story, was a BIG DEAL. Things were off and running, and I got to get settled in.

A big difference in my labor with Liam was that I was not confined to my bed so Steven and I got to get up to take many a walk and I was allowed to use the rocking chair. I spent a good portion of my labor in said rocking chair. Our dear friend Karen was with us for the day to keep Steven entertained when I didn't need him. I have very vivid memories of silently rocking away with my eyes closed, listening to Karen whoop Steven's butt at Uno repeatedly.

Around 2:00 pm, I was getting tired and the contractions were coming much stronger than before. I hoped a little IV medication would help calm my body enough for some rest, but it did little to no good. After laying in a weird, painful haze for a good hour and 15 minutes, the "transition" began. The progress from 8 to 10 centimeters was upon us...well me... and it is the least pleasant part of the whole ordeal. At this point, I was VERY VERY tired....tired of labor, tired of being in pain. I also didn't want another run in with the "just breathe through your contractions while we wait for the doctor to come catch the baby" episode like I had with Lara. So I may or may not have lied to the nurse and told her I was feeling an iminent need to push. Now, I knew the end was "somewhat in the near furture" but the baby was by no means barrelling out as of yet. She checked me...9cm...Let me just tell you, being at 9cm is the MOST FRUSTRATING place to be in the whole world because no matter ho aw bad you feel you have to push... modern medical facilities will not let you do so until you hit the magic 10. In what seems like a blur though, I had the room convinced this baby's arrival was imminent. Dr. Hutchens showed up, suited up, and got the crew ready for the big show. I pushed..and pushed...and 20 minutes later...and handsome baby boy was born. 8lbs 12oz of pure handsome.

I say a handsome baby boy because at this point, we had no idea what to name him. I thought, for a majority of my pregnancy that his name was going to be Grayson. You could not have convinced me otherwise. But as the big day approached, Steven was less convinced by that name. So we sat in the delivery room, looking through baby name books...nothing standing out to me.... But the minute they handed me my son, I knew his name was Liam.

Liam Kristofer Paul Williams
Born April 13th 2011
8lbs 12oz
21 inches long

Proud to say I delivered another beautiful baby, without an epidural. Call me crazy, but I think there is something so empowering about giving birth without being numb from the neck down. After he arrived and was "fluffed up" he nursed for the first a champ...and has been going strong since.

I could go in to detail about the events that followed that landed Liam in the NICU and why I will never be medically induced again, but that is for another post. Today is a day to focus on the joy and beauty that was my son's arrival into this world.