Well hello friends. It's been awhile since I last blogged but I am happy to announce that I HAD MY BABY!!! Man, oh man, life is so different now...in the best (& craziest!!) way possible and I have so many more ideas to blog but waaaaaay less time...haha. (side note- I've been trying to get this post done since we came home from the hospital...ha!)
But today, I will be sharing the birth story of our sweet boy, Luca Kingston Liira. Just want to do a TMI warning that I will be using words like discharge, membranes, cervix, dilated...so if those words make you squeamish, here's the short story... Luca Kingston Liira was born on June 11th (his due date!!) at 2:44am weighing 7lbs 13oz after 22 hours of labour (early labour started at 4:30am on June 10th!)
And now the long TMI story....
I was beginning to get antsy waiting for the arrival of our sweet lion. I went off work on June 1st and used the first week to get lots of stuff done around the house (also treated myself to a pedicure!) but one week later there I was, madly anticipating labour. I had been getting cramping but had no idea what labour would feel like. It's the craziest thing, and everyone says, you just know....which is true but waiting for it to happen is one of the hardest things I've ever waited for. I even had started a blog post entitled, "The Waiting Game", trying to explain how I was feeling but I couldn't put words to the feeling! Let's just say, the more I thought about it, the harder it was to do everyday life so instead I just tried to distract myself as much as possible! And so did James, he was off that week and planned on painting the exterior of our house...he even bought the paint because he was convinced baby wouldn't be coming until a week after his due date but the Lion had other plans...
Two days before my due date, I went to my doctor's office for my weekly check up. For the past two weeks she had tried to sweep my membranes but apparently my cervix was too posterior and the Lion was still a little bit high in my pelvis. Going into this appointment, I was hoping that things had changed but to my dismay, my cervix was still in the same position and once again, she couldn't sweep my membranes. Baby's head had dropped a bit but still not fully engaged. It looked like James' guess of a week late was going to be right. Even though I knew most first babies come late, I was pretty upset. I just wanted to get on with this labour thing...haha.
So I went home and walked cedar hill golf course furiously (haha) then showered at Courtney's house (our shower head finally arrived when Luca was 5 days old ha!) Meanwhile James started painting the gate in our driveway. After I got home, I went to our room to put on socks and as I was lifting my leg, I felt a little gush of fluid. Now I forgot to mention that a few days prior to my doctor's visit, I had a few little gushes of fluid....I was never sure if they were amniotic fluid or urine or just discharge but I mentioned it to my doctor and she said if it happened again, let her know, because if it was amniotic fluid, we would need to go to the hospital.
So I called my doctor and she said to come on down to the hospital and they would check me out. Off we went to the hospital...James had managed to paint half the gate, incase you were wondering! In labour and delivery they swabbed me and then my doctor went to check the fluid under a microscope. She came back a few minutes later and announced that "it took a while to find but there was amniotic fluid...you probably have a small tear in your sac....we'll put you on the induction list for tomorrow...go home and rest and you'll either go into labour or you'll be induced tomorrow!"
OMGEEEEEE. We went from not having a baby for another week to WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A BABY IN THE NEXT COUPLE DAYS. It was a crazy feeling for us as we walked out of the hospital. That would be our last night without a baby!!!! So we lived it up by watching the office...#livinglarge
Now I really wanted to go into labour naturally. I heard that being induced brought a lot more painful contractions and I am such a wimp when it comes to pain! So I spent most of the night bouncing on an exercise ball to try to get things going. James also did some reflexology on my lower back, hands and ankles. And we also prayed.
Well we must have done something right because at 4:30am the next day I woke up with contractions (THANK YOU JESUS!) They were not super intense but they woke me up and were coming roughly every 8-10 minutes....I just knew, finally, that I WAS IN LABOUR!!!
In our prenatal class, the teacher had told us that early labour was all about distracting yourself and trying to keep your body upright so baby would continue to come down and the good ol cervix would dilate. I couldn't go back to sleep and I didn't want to wake up James so the first thing I did was self tan my face because obviously I didn't want to be pale going into everything..haha. After that I made my labour playlist (which consisted of mellow worship music...Amanda Cook, Bethel, Hillsong United). Little did I know, I would have that playlist on almost the entire labour as it helped me stay calm. I then continued to bounce on the ball and paint my nails...ha.
Around 8am I woke up James because the contractions were getting a lot stronger and closer together. We hung out in the living room while I bounced, bounced, bounced. The only thing helping me was bouncing on the ball and using a heating pad on my lower back. James was amazing in reminding me to drink water after every contraction and reminding me to go pee...ha! We also ended up walking down the street to Thriftys....it took us awhile as I had to lean on him during every contraction.
My contractions started to get closer and closer together and around 11:30am my water broke some more...hello GUSH! It actually ended up doing that twice which was quite annoying as I was very limited in pants that I could wear at 9 months pregnant. We called our doctor who was very happy to hear I had gone into labour (apparently the induction list was huge that day and now I would beat them to the labour room ha) and told us to head to the hospital when contractions were 4 minutes apart for 30 minutes.
I laboured for about an hour longer at home and then it was go time! We grabbed our bags and headed to the hospital around 1:45pm. Man, was that the WORST drive ever. Contractions were very strong and were coming every 2-5 minutes apart. It was super hard to cope in the car and don't even get me started on the weird animal noises that were coming out of my mouth.
We got all checked into our lovely labour and delivery room and were assisted by the sweetest nurse. She checked me out and sadly I was only at 1-2cm! Normally, they would send you home at this time but thankfully because my water had broken, I was either going to progress or be induced. The nurse asked me about my birth plan and I responded, "EPIDURAL as soon as I can have it." She laughed and continued to help me labour. I got checked an hour later and found out I was at 3cm....GLORY! Around 4pm, the nurse suggested I get into the shower to labour there but no thank you, I wanted my epidural and made it clear haha. Unfortunately, there was a shift change so I had to wait an hour before the anethesiologist could greet me. They gave me gravol and it did didily squat, so I took a bit of gas which helped take the edge of the contractions.
Can I just mention how amazing James was? He encouraged me and helped me through every single contraction. They were hurting like hell (probably due to Luca being posterior aka lots of back labour) and James helped calm me down. But how we were both soooo thankful when that epidural came.
The epidural kicked in around 5:30pm and my goodness IT WAS AMAZING. It allowed me to rest while my uterus continued to do the work. Now some people don't like epidurals because your body doesn't progress as quickly, but thankfully I progressed at a normal pace. I received a mobilized epidural which allows you to have some movement in your legs, which helped me during pushing.
We rested for the next few hours. I think they checked me around 7:30pm and I was at 7cm...almost there! At some point they gave me some broth and jello and that was amazing. Auntie Coco (Courtney) dropped off some dinner for James and hung out for an hour. It was nice to have some more encouragement. The new nurse (post shift change) came and checked me just before 11pm and sure enough, I was at 10!!! It was time for my doctor to come and me to start pushing.
Now I can't begin to tell you, how incredible God's presence was throughout the entire labour. His peace filled the delivery room. There were some sketchy things at some points...high heart rate for me, Luca's heart rate going up and down, Luca being too high up and posterior, my pelvis being very small...but through it all, the peace of God was everywhere.
Okay...now the hardest thing I've ever done...THE PUSHING! My doctor arrived and I pushed from 11pm-12am. Even though I had the epidural, I could feel a lot of the pushing and "bearing down" feeling...mostly because he was posterior. I pushed and pushed and pushed for an hour but we weren't making any progress. The anethesiologist came back and suggested we up my epidural and let me rest for an hour so Luca would descend and hopefully turn face down. We said yes and prayed that it would all work out.
Even with the increased epidural I was feeling the contractions a lot but I was able to rest and pray and hope it would all work out. At 1am my doctor checked me and was pretty sure Luca was still posterior...which was not ideal so she called the ob on call to come and try to turn him. Five minutes later the ob came and when she went to check, Luca had turned on his own..praise God!!!
So I pushed and pushed and pushed...oh my goodness it was the hardest thing of my life and I'm so thankful I did squats/worked out my whole pregnancy because if I didn't have that muscle, I don't think I would have been able to push him out (I pushed for almost three hours ha!)....but praise God, one hour and 44 minutes later at 2:44am, Luca Kingston Liira took his first breath. They put him on my chest and my sweet lion roared and roared. He weighed 7lbs13oz and was 20.5 inches long and had a full mane of hair...just perfect.
It was the most amazing moment of my life. To meet this little guy who God revealed in a dream last September, who grew from the size of a poppy seed to the size of a watermelon, who I carried for almost 10 months, whose little feet kept kicking me and hiccups would wake me up. I just kept singing over and over "Little Luca, you have my heart. Little Luca, you have my heart."
Hearing James talk about Luca's grand entrance just melts my heart. He is such an amazing daddy. The love that he has for our son is so beautiful.
We're parents! We have a baby! It's the craziest thing and I have so many more things to share but must go to sleep before the next feed...haha...but there you have it, the birth story of Luca Kingston Liira..my little lion.
Oh little Luca, you have my heart.