On March 17th, 2011, after (conservatively) 36 hours of labor, I gave birth at home to a gorgeous mini-giant: Liam Apollo Tesla. He was 11lbs 3oz, 23" in length, and 15" in head circumference at birth.
Labor and the birth were quite difficult but all the same, successful. After the birth came a couple of complications: the birth of the placenta was followed swiftly by a significant hemorrhage on my part, which my midwives stabilized before hospital transfer. By the time we arrived at the hospital, it became clear that Liam was having some respiratory difficulties; it was very likely pneumonia due to meconium aspiration, putting him in very select company as that outcome with that cause occurs in less than half a percent of all births. He was in the hospital for ten days; during that time I ate, slept, and dreamt caring for him, and really little else. The frantic, underslept nature of newborn care compounded by the noise and tethering of medical equipment and the constant presence of medical personnel becomes an entirely new beast. I spent all of the first week boarding at the hospital, after I was discharged myself. I hope that is the most of the hospital I will ever see.
Liam has been home with us since Sunday, and we've been learning the entirely different rhythm of newborn-at-home. It's better, there is no doubt about that; it's also more nerve-wracking, as the constant presence of a flock of experienced intensive care nurses leaves you to wonder if you have the requisite training or skill to care for such an awesomely delicate creature.
But Liam has been a simple creature, since he's been home: he eats, sleeps, and makes diapers. (He's presently dozing on the boob, intermittently making the I-might-have-a-present-for-you grunting noises; my son, the multi-tasker.) He also smiles as he drifts off, and looks very skeptical as he wakes, leaving me to wonder about the alternate universe he inhabits as he snoozes.
Instrumental in every moment of the last month - the tail end of pregnancy, the labor, the birth, care in the hospital, and care for both Liam and me at home - has been Sam. He is the consummate husband, birth partner, and doting father. Being home has been emotional and hard for me in a number of ways, but if I'm tearing up looking at the two of them together, it's not just hormones.
I intend to write a good deal about the birth, including the events preceding through the first days with Liam home, but I realized earlier today that my thoughts aren't the topic of one post, but several. (Also, the focus to write one single long post eludes me. Something about having aforementioned newborn, aka 'The 3-Hour Alarm'.)
Thanks to everyone for the love and well-wishes. It has meant and continues to mean the world to us.