Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This post is bought to you by the letter L and the number 5

Five years . . . five emotionally draining, tiring, pull your hair out years but the best years of my life.
Five years ago today we commenced a new chapter in mine and Brian's lives - we became parents.

Liam George 8lb 12.5oz 55cm long

This little being that I'd dreamt of for so many years was finally here. I'd longed for your touch, longed to stroke that baby velveteen skin, longed for that moment when your eyes first met mine and now here you were. Those first few days were a blur but having you home with me was nothing short of amazing.

Then the reality hit and along with this came the panic. Am I doing the right things? Why isn't he sleeping? Why does he keep crying even though I'm holding him? Why is he still losing weight? How can I not have enough breast milk? What type of a mother am I if I can't do the basics like breastfeed? Why do I feel like I've failed him?

I look back now and shake my head at my naivety. I really struggled those first few months. Not that I struggled with Liam - he was nothing short of an angel baby. But I struggled with myself. It took me almost three years to even be able to talk about my struggles breastfeeding Liam without crying. If I only knew then what I know now - but I guess that's what being a first time parent is all about.

My baby boy you taught me what life is all about. I cannot even put into words the joy and wonderment you put into my days. I thank you for all that you are and all that you have made me to be.

Happy Birthday my Big Man xx

And again since it's all over the WWW I thought I should put it up here as well - Liam's Birth Story:

I considered that I was having a fairly normal pregnancy - morning sickness until 14 weeks, bad indigestion for the whole thing (and I mean really bad indigestion), except for the excessive weight gain.

The weight gain didn't really start until the last trimester. I had my gestational diabetes test at 28 weeks, but didn't have another appointment with my OB until 32 weeks. Obviously he didn't check the results until my appointment, since I wasn't asked to come in early. I ended up with GD that I couldn't control with food and was on insulin injections. At the same time my blood pressure was high enough for me to be put on medication for it. The only good news that came out of this was an induction at 38 weeks.

The induction went smoothly - 1st lot of gel at 7am and other at about lunch time. By about 2pm I could feel period pain cramping in my lower stomach. My water broke at about 4pm and along with that came intense contractions 3 minutes apart. This part of the labour continued for a few hours with the contractions getting closer together, me having the gas and eventually asking for an epidural. I was given pethidene at 11pm and the epidural went in at about 11.30pm. Apparently I went straight to sleep.

I was woken up to check how the epidural was working with the ice block. When they got up to my breasts and I still couldn't feel anything the midwife had a bit of a panic and people started running around pushing a beanbag and heaps of pillows behind me so I was almost sitting up to a 90 degree angle.The epidural had pretty much stopped the contractions, but had really dropped my blood pressure so I had one arm hooked up to two IV lines and the other arm with a blood pressure cuff permanently left on and the monitor thing on my finger permanently left on.
At this point I was drifting in and out of sleep for a few hours (God knows how!) and eventually started pushing at 3am.This is when I realised that the epidural was not working properly - I could feel in some areas, but not in others. Unfortunately, the place I could feel really well was my bum. I said this to the midwife who said "I'm sorry darl, but that's probably the worst place to feel it". (Thanks for the encouragement)

I felt like I had been pushing forever when the OB finally appeared, did an internal and decided that one lip of my cervix just would not flick back, so it was time for a vacuum extraction. Throughout the whole birth, this being inserted was the most painful part. The midwife and DH had to pretty much hold me down as I was climbing the walls from the pain.
I remember the OB sitting on a stool between my legs and pulling with all his might every time I pushed through a contraction. All of a sudden, the vacuum slipped and the OB went flying off the chair, back into the wall, while I screamed from the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced. The OB started yelling instructions at the midwife and the room started filling up with equipment and people. I saw him pick up something that looked like scissors (my DH looked like he was going to pass out at this point) and then he cut me, and went in with the forceps. This is when he realised that Liam had his head turned at a funny angle - he tried to turn him, couldn't and just grabbed what he could with the forceps and pulled his head out. Then Liam's body just followed through with the next contraction. This was at 3.51am.
He was put straight on to a resus table and checked out before they passed him to me for a few seconds. I was told he wasn't breathing properly and had to go the SCN. I sent DH with him. The placenta was delivered and I was stitched up and given an injection to help me sleep. The next thing I knew it was 7am and I still hadn't really seen my baby.
A midwife came and I asked to see Liam. She was shocked that I hadn't been allowed to see him yet. She told me that before they would bring him in, I should be warned that he was a little bruised and battered from the birth.

I cried when I saw him - he had a cut that went across his nose, the bridge of his nose was swollen and a black/yellow color which went all the way over his eye and on to his forehead. On the top of his head he had an enormous bruise (the size of the vacuum suction cup) with a deep cut running through it that was about 6cms long. I was told to breastfeed him with him lying down and me leaning over him as he would be in too much pain if he was held upright at all. I wasn't allowed to move him other than to change his nappy then back to the SCN to be monitored. He was allowed in my room after about another 12 hours.

Liam was born 8lb 12.5oz and was 55cms long.

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