Thursday, October 14, 2010

Liam Update

Littleface got to come home on Sunday!

He has done nothing but eat and sleep since he got home.

We went to the pediatrician (gross germy & running 2 hours behing late) yesterday and Liam is doing great!  He has gained some weight back!

Since he is so small, and we are trying to fatten him up, I am only nursing him three of his eight feedings.  The other five are all breast milk in a bottle so we can monitor how much he is eating.  This means that I have to feed him and then pump (read: exhausted).

Ryan continues to be the best husband/father in all the land.  He has been getting up in the night to feed Liam so that I can just pump and we all only have to be awake for thirty minutes instead of an hour.  He has also sacrificed a lot of his study time to take care of me and Liam and I am so thankful that he is willing to do that for his family.

I had a follow up appointment with my doctor today to check my incision and it is healing wonderfully.  I am so thankful that my scar will be small and may even go away completely, my doctor did a great job.  I have to go back in four weeks for another check.  When I was putting the date into my phone I realized that it would still be before Liam's due date.  So strange.

I am exhausted, but have not been very good at napping.  I think I am just now starting to "nest."  Every time it's a good time for a nap I decide it's a better time to do a load of laundry or deep clean the bathroom sink.  I'm working on letting it go.  :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

What's in a Name?

I have always loved to know the origin and meaning of names.  I think that what your name means can have a strong influence on your life.  Ryan and I chose the name, Liam David for our son for a number of reasons.

Liam=Irish nickname for William, meaning strong-willed warrior & protector

I am obsessed with Ireland.  I spent a summer there in college and am still moved to tears when I think about my time there.  It was also important to us that his first name be only four letters since our last name is only four letters (I like how it looks written out better, I am weird).  David is Ryan's middle name and it is a Hawk family tradition that the father passes his middle name onto his firstborn son.  We chose this as our "boy" name probably three years ago and once we found out we were pregnant we talked about a few others, but always came back to this and we love it for our little guy!  

I love that it means protector and that he is our firstborn, he can protect our other children.  Maybe he will go on to protect others or our country.  I also love the strong-willed warrior part.  If you know me or Ryan at all, you know that there really wasn't a chance that our child would not be strong-willed.  But, the warrior implication truly plays into his birth.  He was, and is, still fighting to grow and develop.  He has come a long way, but it's been a lot of work for his little body.  He is already a little warrior.  And we love him so much!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Liam's Birth Story

Wednesday, September 29th, I experienced some spotting.  I called my doctor and was advised to go to the hospital for monitoring.  I did not want to do this at all because I was sure that it was nothing and did not want to spend a lot of money only to be told that it was nothing.  My doctor agreed to let me wait until my already scheduled OB appointment on Thursday and I put myself on bed rest for the remainder of the day.

Thursday morning I had my 34 week check up (a few days early).  I was still spotting a little bit and my normally low blood pressure was slightly elevated.  My doctor checked my cervix, which was closed, and decided to send me to the hospital for monitoring for a few hours and to get a complete ultrasound just to be safe.  When we got to the hospital at noon my water broke, only I decided that maybe it was just extra fluid from my doctor checking me.  It wasn't a lot of "water" at all.  I checked in to the hospital and was hooked up to monitors to check for contractions, watch the baby's heart beat, and monitor my blood pressure.  The nurse watching me joked around that my blood pressure was not impressing her and I would probably leave in an hour.  Then I had a contraction and the baby's heart rate plummeted.  Before we knew what was happening, that same nurse was shouting for help and pushing my bed at a full sprint to the labor and delivery wing.  They told us that if the baby's heart beat didn't come up I was having a baby right then!  After the contraction the heart beat went back to normal.  They started me on IV fluids and checked my cervix again, still closed, good.  They continued monitoring me and everything looked normal.  

At 4:00 pm I went for an ultrasound where we saw that the baby looked perfectly fine and was measuring great.  We let the tech know that we didn't know the sex of the baby and she had us look away a few times but we were excited to see our sweet baby again on the big screen.  When I got back to my room and stood up to get in bed I had some fluid trickle down my leg.  Oh yeah, I remembered that maybe my water had broken.  I decided to tell the nurse and they did a test to see if my water had broken.  Then there was a shift change and new nurse came in and starting hanging antibiotics for my IV.  I asked her why I needed antibiotics and she replied, "oh your water did break, you're staying here until you have a baby."  Up until this point I truly thought that we would be going home soon and I would be opening the store on Friday like normal.  I hadn't packed a bag or told Gus goodbye.  I was in denial.  

The nurse came in and gave me an oral medication to stop contractions and a steriod shot in the booty to help develop the baby's lungs.  She explained that the plan was to give me the first shot and wait 24 hours to give me the next steriod shot. After another 24 hours of the shot working they would induce labor and deliver the baby.  So, by Saturday or Sunday we would be parents.  I just kept thinking about how this is not what I wanted at all.  I wanted to deliver this baby naturally.  I wanted to do the majority of my labor at home so that I could be free to do what I wanted.  In my birth plan, that was written only in my mind, I planned to ask to only be monitored for 15 minutes of every hour so that I could walk around and labor on a birthing ball.  I planned to be calm and to work with my contractions.  I was quickly realizing that my plans were out the window.  It was mandatory that I be on monitors 100% of the time.  I could not get up to go to the bathroom let alone walk around.  If I moved from one side to the other I had to call the nurse so that she could adjust the monitors. I was very important to keep still so that the baby's heart rate was visible at all times.  

The oral medication worked for a few hours and then I started having contractions again.  They were all really low in my pelvis and in my back.  I was very uncomfortable trying to stay still during the contractions.  My contractions were reading as "mild" on the monitor but they were lasting for 4-8 minutes (the nurse said she had never seen early labor contractions last that long without pitocin) and the baby's heart rate was still periodically dropping.  They decided to give me a shot of something that was supposed to stop the contractions.  It worked for a few hours.  They gave me another shot.  It worked for a few hours.  

(sweet husby rubbing my feet)

All this time Ryan was doing an amazing job of helping me.  He rubbed my back and held my hand.  He told me stories reminding me of how we fell in love.  He talked about the mountains and tried to distract me.  He encouraged continually.  Which just made me frustrated, I did not feel like I was doing a good job at all.  I felt like a wuss.  Later, I realized that had I been allowed to labor like I wanted to and if I was supposed to be trying to have a baby, instead of trying to get my contractions to stop, I would have handled the pain a lot better.  I am so thankful that Ryan was with me through it all, he was my rock.  

At 4:00 am on Friday, October 1st, the nurse came in and gave me the second round of steriods 12 hours early.  She said that they didn't think the baby could take the contractions much longer.  They were sure that the baby would not tolerate pitocin since it was not tolerating my "mild" contractions.  She gave me one more shot of the stuff that was supposed to stop my contractions and said that my doctor would be in to see me in a few hours.  It was at this point that I knew they would be doing a c-section.  And I knew that it was the best thing for the baby.  The very last thing that I wanted was to deliver my baby this way, but I was confident that my doctor wouldn't do it if she did not think it absolutely necessary.  And that's pretty much exactly what she said when she came to talk to us at 7:45 am.  

When Dr. Haney came to talk to us it was still fairly dim in my room.  She speaks very quietly and is very patient.  She answered all of our questions and then left to prep for the surgery.  At this point I was still calm and confident.  After she left, four or five people came in the room and flipped on every light.  They all started talking to each other, reviewing my chart, asking questions.  There was a shift change and I didn't know my new nurse at all.  I starting to have a really painful contraction in the midst of all of the chaos and that's when I had my flip out session.  I was scared and nervous and tired and ready for it to all be over so I cried and threw a little fit.  Ryan was so surprised that I lost it completely that he thought I was possessed.  :)  Once I maintained my composure I had to sign a lot of forms saying that I knew the risks of the surgery and the spinal block.  I answered the anesthesiologists questions.  I demanded that they not give me morphine afterwards (it makes me crazy).  Ryan and I prayed, he suited up in surgery garb and they wheeled me back to surgery.

(cute Papa dressed out for surgery)

Ryan had to stay outside while they administered my spinal block.  This was super hard for me and I cried again, they make you get into a very awkward position that I still don't know how I managed to do while pregnant and contracting.  You have to be perfectly still for 15 seconds or you could become paralyzed.  The second the block was in I felt amazing though.  I had been in labor for 20 hours at this point and the numbness was a nice relief, I won't lie.  They brought Ryan in and he sat to the left of my head and held my hand and prayed.  The neonatalogists and nurses were in the room lining the walls waiting to work on the baby.  They started the surgery and I couldn't feel anything but I knew they were tugging and pulling at me.  I kept trying to see a reflection of what they were doing in the big lights but I never could see anything.  At one point my doctor said that the baby's head was was really stuck in my pelvis (I had been complaining of extreme pelvic pressure for almost a month so I was not surprised).  They pulled the baby out crying and starting working on it without telling us if it was a boy or a girl.  We asked and they told us it was a BOY!  LIAM was here!  Ryan got up to go see him and then they wrapped him up really quickly and let me hold him for a second before taking him to the NICU.  Ryan followed them to document the weigh in and find out how he was as I got put back together.  

(Little Liam getting weighed in.  The red mark on his head is from where he was wedged in my pelvis)

We are so thankful that our little man is here and that he is doing so well for being born at only 33 weeks 6 days gestation.  We will never know the real reason why his heart rate kept bottoming out.  It could have been a cord issue or it could have been stress due to the way he was positioned.  We are blessed beyond measure and so thankful that the Lord's plans for us prevailed.  I may have had a lot of my own plans, but in the end I am confident that the God that knew Liam before he was ever in my womb knew what was best for our family.  

(at 8:45 am on October 1, 2010, Liam David made us a family)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

thoughts on not being pregnant anymore...

  • I have had more pregnant dreams since I delivered Liam than I did the entire time I was pregnant.
  • When I look down, I am surprised to see my feet.
  • I made it through the hottest summer of my life while pregnant without an ounce of swelling.  Now my ankles are the size of softballs.  Thanks a lot IV drugs.
  • My hair looked like crap while I was pregnant, I like it a lot more now.  But it could still use a trim and some blonde.
  • When I look in the mirror I feel like I am scrawny without my pregger belly.  I miss it.
  • I would have no shame about wearing my maternity jeans.  Too bad they are all low-rise and hit me right on my c-section incision.  I have three pairs of appropriate lounge pants.  Get used to them.
  • I have a lot of nesting energy but am not allowed to do a whole lot.  This is frustrating.  

Monday, October 4, 2010


Liam David Hawk
 (first photo)

Liam arrived 6 weeks early at 8:45 am on October 1, 2010, via emergency caesarean section.  He weighed 5 pounds and 5 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.  He is still in the NICU, but we are hopeful that he will come home by the end of this week.  We are truly in love with this little boy and so very excited that he is here already!  

Stay tuned, birth story and more to come...