Liam's Birth Story

Oh hey there! Sorry it's been a while but I've been busy--you know having and trying to successfully parent a baby!

I've got much to update you on from the past few weeks as "mom," but first I want to start with my beautiful baby boy's birth story while it is still fresh enough in my mind for me to remember all of the details. (PS - I've been writing this post for a month. Literally.)

Liam Albert Farrell joined the world on December 18, 2014 at 7:25 AM. He was 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 21 inches of perfect. To say we love him is the world's greatest understatement.

It all started on Monday, December 16. To give you all of the gory details, I started losing my mucous plug. I also started having contractions at this point, but they were way too far apart to be able to do anything. The next day, I went to my weekly check up to find out what progress, if any I had made. I assumed some, considering the whole mucous plug thing, but then again, at my last appointment I was told my cervix was "Fort Knox." Thankfully, I was 2 cm dilated and 100% effaced! My raspberry leaf tea and primrose oil worked! The doctor guess that it would be a couple of days before the baby arrived.

All day on Tuesday, my contractions continued to be about an hour apart. But man they were fierce! (Little did I know, I had yet to find out what real pain felt like.) On Wednesday I went on walks, drank some tea, ate some spicy Cheetos…my contractions got slightly closer but still were not consistent, and I had already propositioned my husband to have sex with me that night. (Sorry mom and dad.) In other words, baby needed to get out.

Around 9:45pm, I went to the bathroom. I sat there for what seemed like forever, and fluid would not stop coming out of me. I thought my water may have broken, but I couldn't be sure. The doctor told me that it probably wouldn't be a "gush" like you see in the movies because the baby's head was already pressed against my cervix. I grabbed a cup and tried to catch some fluid so I could test the smell and color. I tried to make Bryan smell, too, but he refused. LOL.

As we debated whether or not to go to the hospital (we didn't want to be turned away), my contractions got stronger and closer together. From about 13 minutes apart to 8 minutes apart in about an hour and a half. Bryan finally suggested we go to the hospital when I began sobbing because of the pain.

We got to the hospital and I was quickly admitted to triage, where there was no question I was in active labor. I was not comfortable lying down and I kept insisting I had to go to the bathroom. The nurses told me I didn't have to go. It was just the pressure of the baby. They tried to get me to lie down and relax, which was impossible with my pain. They did a check and I was 3 cm, 100% effaced. I'm not sure why they kept me so long down there – no one did – but after two hours they finally brought me up to labor and delivery to get my epidural.

Upon seeing how much pain I was in, the nurses suggested we skip all the paperwork and get right to the epidural. I couldn't say yes more quickly. However, it took another 45 minutes for them to access freaking a vein. By that point, my pain was off the charts. I gone from crying to swearing hitting things to now full-blown screaming at the top of my lungs, and convulsing in pain. Pretty much the only part of my labor that was like a movie. Poor Bryan didn't know what to do except tell me to breathe. In response, I'm pretty sure I screamed profanities and told him I couldn't fucking breathe because it hurt too bad. There's nothing anyone can say that will prepare you for how bad labor contractions hurt. It's just one of those things you have to go through to know. Now that I'm on the other side, I will say that I would do it again…But honestly, I don't know how women do it without an epidural and I give them SERIOUS props.

I've never seen a more confused person than my husband when he returned to the room after I got my epidural. The possessed person that I was only 20 minutes prior was suddenly calm and rational. I even had a smile on my face. Drugs are truly amazing.

After I got my epidural, Bryan and I laid down and trie to get some sleep. At this point, it was a little after 4 in the morning, and we had been at the hospital for several hours with no sleep. A short while later, the nurse came in to check on me. When I got my epidural, I had already progressed to a six. And when she checked me this time, I was already had a 10! She couldn't stop marveling at how fast I progressed on my own. She told me that the doctor would be in soon and that I should give myself a little bit more of my epidural because he'll probably want me to labor down for a while.  So I hit that little button and went back to sleep.

Next thing I knew, the doctor was in the room and asking me if I was ready to push. I was so unprepared - I expected to be in pain or to at least feel contractions and not to be so calm and rational. Like I said - drugs are amazing. In any case, we started to push. Because I had just given myself a little more of the epidural, it was very difficult for me to feel the contractions or how hard I was pushing. That's why they like you to be numb but not completely. After about an hour and half of pushing, the doctor told us that the baby was becoming distressed. His heart rate was low and he was in meconium (he pooped in the womb), which can be dangerous for baby. The doctor said if I couldn't push him out in the next few pushes, he would suggest using forceps to help get him out quickly. Bryan and I agreed that we would do whatever got him out safely.

A few more pushes and I knew I needed help, so forceps it was. About 6 pushes later, Liam entered the world!

Because of the delivery and meconium, they took him away right away to get the meconium out of his mouth, etc., and check all other vitals. Bryan and I got to hold him for a couple of minutes before they took him down to the NICU to monitor him. I also spiked a fever during deliver, which meant that he also had a fever and infection. 

At this point, all was good. We weren't concerned about the NICU because it seemed "old hat" to everyone in the room. And at this point, I was fine, too. We were happy and exhausted and spent the next couple of hours calling family and letting them know the good news.

Part 2 of the labor story coming soon: The complications (don't worry, there's a happy ending.)

Read More

Liam Albert: {1 Month}

And just like that, you're one month old! These first few weeks have been the most exhausting, challenging and rewarding weeks of our lives. Most days we have no idea what we are doing, but somehow, we've made it this far and you're still alive. Not just alive, but growing! Thriving, actually! It's amazing, and so are you.

At your one month appointment, you weighed in at 10lbs, 6oz and were 21.5 inches long! Very impressive, considering our battle at the beginning.

At one month old, your eyes are big and dark! We have no idea what color they will be, but are betting they will be brown, since my eyes are brown and your dad's are hazel.

Hair: You had a ton of hair when you were born! It's thinning a bit, but you still have a decent head of hair! I'm so happy you weren't a bald baby :)

Mean Muggin'
  • Baths: You finally got your first REAL bath at three weeks old (it took forever for your belly button to fall out. Don't worry, you got sponge baths before that). You loved it! You seemed so relaxed in the warm water. Dad gives you baths; it's your time to bond and I love watching you together.
  • Snuggling: You really like to be held! I love holding you chest to chest, or just curled up in the nook of my arm. I will never in my life get sick of your cuddles.
  • Eating: You are a chowhound and want to basically eat all of the time. Growing boy...
  • Missing out: You have been wide awake and alert since the day you were born. We joke that you don't like to go to sleep because you don't want to miss out. One second, you'll be fast asleep with your eyes closed and then the next minute we look at you and you're wide awake and staring, like, "What's up guys? What'd I miss?"
  • Tummy time: Enough said. 
  • Being swaddled. You hate not having access to your hands.
What is sleep? :) You're still figuring out your days and your nights, so sleep is pretty unpredictable at this point. We wake you up every three hours to eat during the day and let you wake us up during the night, which is usually every 2-3 hours. Except your first night home, when you were up every 45 minutes. I sincerely questioned my choice to be a mom that night! In any case, I think you are getting the hang of sleeping. Your dad is a rockstar and takes the "night shift." I feed you and go to sleep at the same time as you, usually between 10-11pm. Your dad stays up and feeds you your midnight-two a.m. bottle before coming to bed, so usually, I get a solid stretch of sleep before I have to wake up with you to eat again.

You're currently in our room, in your Rock 'N Play, but you sleep just about anywhere - in my arms is a favorite spot :)

You are a healthy eater! Obviously, given the 3 pound weight gain from your 1 week check-up. Any breastfeeding mama knows the pride I take in the fact that you are getting to be so healthy. I did that for you. It makes me feel like if I suck at everything else, at least I'm doing this one thing right.

In any case, you eat every 2-3 hours on the dot. You tend to cluster feed in the mornings and evenings. It's quite exhausting, but I know it's paying off.

  • All of our family came to visit in the weeks after you born! You are a popular kiddo!
  • We celebrated Christmas with Gigi Mary
  • We went on our first walk on Christmas Day when you got home! We spent the rest of the day celebrating YOU!
  • Papa Pat, Grandma Barb, Aunt Christine, Uncle Matt and your cousins, Aly and Tate, came to visit after Christmas
  • We spent New Years Eve with Grandma Denise, Papa Bert, Aunt Nana and Uncle Matt. 
  • Aunt Jessica came to visit on New Year's day for a few days 
  • Your best friend Stetson came to see you!

Life is more amazing with you in it, our little love. Can't see what happens in month 2!
outtakes from our 1 month photo shoot. Haha!
Read More