Liam Heaston Stouder was born via c-section on Tuesday, 5/3/11 at 10:20 pm. My water broke at 330 am on 5/3, almost 2 1/2 weeks before my actual due date. Quite a surprise in the wee small hours of the morning. Because I wasn't having contractions, the doctor said we could stay home & rest for a while, and come in to the hospital when we were ready. We didn't have anything packed for the hospital, and luckily no contractions started. We were able to rest, pack, and get Emerson off to school that morning. We arranged for a neighbor to pick her up from school, and Keith notified his parents to begin their trek up from Florida to stay with Em. We went to the hospital around 1030 that morning...still no contractions. They admitted me, and told me to start walking, in hopes that would trigger labor. After 12 hours of walking, I was only having a few small contractions...nothing major. They hooked me up to the monitor, and noticed that Liam's heart rate dropped after a contraction (not good). They repositioned me, and monitored. The decision was made to begin a pitocin drip, and monitor the baby closely to see if he tolerated more contractions...thinking maybe his cord was kinked and this would resolve. After about 1.5 hrs on pitocin, I was only having minimal contractions, and the babe wasn't liking them very much. The doctor didn't think it was a good idea to continue with labor, and recommended a c-section. So, I began the prep for surgery, with some relief not to have to continue on with contractions! During the section, it was discovered that Liam's cord was double-knotted! It was truly a good thing that my water broke early, and the course of his delivery happened as it did. Had I gone into labor on my own, we could have been looking at an emergency. I did miss being able to hold Liam right after his delivery, and in fact didn't get to hold him at all until the next day. After my post-op recovery, I was wheeled back to my room, and shortly afterward a pediatrics resident came in to tell us that they needed to take Liam to the NICU because his blood sugar was 19. That is scary low! I wasn't able to see him until around noon on 5/4, as my spinal anesthesia didn't wear off for a while, and I wasn't able to walk. Keith wheeled me to the NICU, and I saw our bitty baby hooked up to IV's and swaddled tightly. He only weighed 5 lb, 6 oz....a lot smaller than his 7 lb, 2 oz big sister! I stayed in the hospital until Saturday, but Liam didn't come home until the following Tuesday. He spent his first week of life in the NICU.
Keith and I marveled at the tiny babies in the NICU, many of whom spend months there. I could only imagine the fatigue those parents feel, and noticed that some nurses complained about parents who didn't come in for long stretches. So many of those babies have such significant medical issues...we felt truly blessed to have one of the bigger, healthier babies in the nursery. It was a joy to walk out with him on Tuesday!
We are monitoring Liam's blood sugars several times a day, and so far, they have all been normal. He's on a tiny dose of medication to help keep his sugars up, and he's eating like a champ. We are encouraged that this is likely something he will grow out of, and that this is not an uncommon thing with babies. He tolerates the heel sticks surprisingly well, although I joke with Keith that he may end up with an aversion to anyone touching his feet forever. Poor little guy!
We're enjoying getting to know Liam, watching Emerson morph into a wonderful big sister, and redefining ourselves as a family of four. Life is good!