Our little boy is almost 2 months and I’m now just getting around to writing his birth story so that should be an indicator of how things are going 😅…
On Thursday, July 18 at 7:05 a.m., we welcomed our son, Ignatius “Iggy/Nate” Liem into the world. His name was inspired by St. Ignatius of Loyola, Trey’s patron saint, and his middle name is after my dad.
Weighing in at 8 lbs. 3 oz. and 21.5 inches long, our little Nate made a very fast entrance into the world.
It all started on Wednesday, the day before his arrival, when I had my 38 week check up. I was 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant and was seriously so surprised I hadn’t popped yet. I went in for my appointment and just like the week before, I declined to be checked to see if I was dilating or how much my cervix was thinning. I wasn’t the least bit curious just ready to have this baby. Just like Siena Rose, I went into labor the day after a doctors appointment.
For weeks leading up to Iggy’s birth, Siena Rose had been super attached to Trey and my mom. Not really caring for me. I think that’s also because I could barely pick her up and take her out on my own because my back and hips hurt so badly. But on that Wednesday, she was extra attached to me and extra cuddly. I’m thinking she knew she was about to have to share mommy.
That evening, I had the hardest time falling asleep because my back was hurting me more than usual and I couldn’t find a comfortable position. I finally fell asleep around 1 a.m. (Thursday) only to be woken up an hour and a half later at ~2:30 a.m. to what I thought was me peeing myself.
I got up and went to the bathroom and realized it was actually my water breaking. I texted Trey to tell him the news. Poor guy was still up preparing for a presentation he was going to miss. When I texted him he was actually heading up to bed. Trey says if only he’d known so he could have just gotten to bed early haha.
My water breaking this time was just a small trickle, unlike with SR, which was a huge gush. And with SR contractions didn’t start until hours after my water had broken so Trey and I decided to go back to bed for an hour or two.
But instead of sleeping we were woken at 3 a.m. by Siena Rose’s crying, which was so unlike her to wake up during that time. I think her baby instincts knew I was in labor and she wanted to get up and get some extra cuddles from mommy before I was going to be gone for a few nights.
Well, all while putting her back to sleep, I was breathing through what felt like “stronger” Braxton hicks contractions. Trey was fast asleep and I tried getting some more shut eye when a really strong contraction woke me up. At this point, it was probably 4 a.m. and I decided to get up, put my make up on, make sure my hospital bag was good to go, call my parents and midwife, oh and time my contractions.
With SR, my contractions the first few hours were all over the board and inconsistent. But before I knew it, it had been 40 minutes of consistent contractions, 4 minutes apart and lasting about 1 minute – the 4-1-1 rule!! I was coming up on an hour and thats when I realized we seriously had to get to the hospital.
I started to panic some because my parents hadn’t gotten to our house yet and it was going to take another 30 minutes to get to the hospital. I urgently woke Trey up who was groggy and not fully comprehending how fast I was progressing.
Around 4:30 my parents finally got to the house and we hit the road. At this point my contractions started to become stronger but really nothing I couldn’t breathe through. But once we were closer to the hospital, thats when my contractions started to intensify and I had to concentrate on breathing through them.
I was definitely more nervous going into Nate’s birth than SR. My goal was to have a natural, drug-free birth again, but I was scared because in my mind, I had all this training and education going into SR birth, whereas with Nate, I hardly taken time to think about it!
We finally check into the hospital, they hook me up to start monitoring baby’s heart rate and I get a contraction. We hadn’t been in the hospital room for 15 minutes and the nurse then goes, “whoa, you’re baby’s heart rate just dropped in that last contraction like you’re about ready to start pushing. I need to check you really quick.” She checks me and I’m already 8 cm. dilated. At this point I had not even had what I considered a really really intense, close-to-pushing contraction. I think I had only been having contractions for 3 hours. She also said that my bag of waters was basically still intact.
Trey and I looked at each other in shock! I was about to be able to push this baby out and we hadn’t even been here for 20 minutes! I wasn’t even in that much pain! The nurse frantically assembled a team, called my midwife, hooked me up to an IV and was relieved when I told her I didn’t want an epidural and planned to go natural. I think even if I did want one there wasn’t any time.
Once my midwife arrived, she asked if I wanted them to break my water for me so I could progress faster, but that really scared me and I wanted my body to just progress naturally and at its own pace.
Well, just two contractions and one super strong contraction later, my water burst. That’s when I really felt the urge to push. I think I had three more super strong contractions and three pushes later and Iggy was out!!!
Seriously, so fast and a walk in the park compared to my first birth, which I also thought was relatively “easy”. My strongest contraction with Nate was nowhere near the pain level of my strongest contraction with SR. Although Nate was much bigger and longer than SR at birth, I didn’t tear. I credit that to how fast this baby flew out of me.
But really, I believe Iggy’s safe delivery and my quick recovery was all due to God’s grace and St. Gerard, whom I had been especially praying to.
I know this is getting to be a really long post, but I also wanted to share how we’ve been adjusting as a family of four.
I’m going to be honest, the first couple of weeks were rough. Not only were we waking up in the middle of the night to feed a newborn, but we were also waking up to a screaming SR who had four teeth coming in at once. We were dealing with two crying babies. When one wasn’t up, the other was.
Trey and I were averaging 2-3 hours of sleep a night. On top of feeling physically drained, I was feeling emotionally drained. Adjusting from one to two was has been so tough on me. I felt so overwhelmed by trying to care for both my babies.
Although my mom was constantly helping us, my mom guilt was crushing me. I hated being away from SR while I was at the hospital. And when I came home I hated how I couldn’t give her baths and put her to bed some evenings. I wanted to do it all and be there for both of my babies.
I think the first 2 weeks, I went to bed crying every night, telling Trey how overwhelmed I felt, how much guilt I had and just how hopeless I felt. I knew part of it was the “baby blues” and hormones, but I really couldn’t get past that for a while.
But alas, our family is almost at the 2 month mark of having 2 under 2, or as my MIL put it, 2 under 1 basically! I don’t cry myself to sleep anymore. The guilt is still there, but doesn’t weigh so heavily on me. The overwhelming sense of not being able to care for both my children alone has subsided some. But most of this is credited to my family and friends who have helped so so much.
I don’t feel like I have to do this alone anymore. I’m not scared when Trey leaves me for work. I know that our family is just a call away and there’s always someone here to help, even if its just for a couple hours.
Are there still days and weeks when Trey and I feel like we’re barely keeping our head above water? Yes, but there are also really, really good days and weeks when we have a moment to look at our children and each other and let it sink in that we can say we have child(ren) and bab(ies) who are healthy and happy.
I know I will always have a sense of mom guilt in anything that I do, but I’m trying to remind myself in the tough moments that I’m trying my best and doing my best even when it doesn’t feel like it.
Finally a picture of all four of us!