Friday, December 20, 2013

He's here!

He's here! Liam Thomas Flynn,  heretofore known as Baby #2, has arrived! He finally made his entrance (5 days overdue if we are officially counting...since I was the one who was pregnant for 10 months...I was counting!) on December 10th at 3:35 am. He was a big boy (praise the Lord! If I gained 50 lbs. and had a teeny tiny 5 lb. baby pop out of me, I would have been so disappointed!) weighing in at 8 lbs. 14 oz. and 21 1/2 inches long. Here's a picture because if you haven't already seen want to!

Look at that squishy face and full head of hair!
As far as the details of his arrival...don't worry, you will just be getting the key points here. Mostly because I am not of the persuasion to give you a play by play of what is an incredibly amazing but also intimate, and painful, experience! (In the future, I do however want to blog about the hours leading up to my labor, because I had the best day with my mom, youngest brother James, and Jack... but that's an entirely different post and I'm on a limited time frame here (sleeping newborn for now but who knows when that will change!)). Anyway, I was VERY very blessed when it comes to Liam's birth. I attribute it to the countless prayers that others (& myself) offered up, and especially for the prayers that I believe my dad sent my way. Because Liam's birth was basically...easy. That is not a word I ever thought I would utter about childbirth. I labored at home for an hour or so, but wasn't even really sure if it was "labor" or just the Braxton Hicks contractions that I had been experiencing on & off for weeks...I mean months. Since I was overdue and generally feeling yucky (very yucky in fact), we had my mom come over to stay with our sleeping boy Jack and we headed to the hospital to get things checked out. After an hour or two of my favorite hospital labor game, "Am I, or am I not in labor?!" it was determined, thanks be to God, that this baby was going to be born, and we got admitted around midnight. Since I had been in some significant pain for the previous 3 hours, I immediately asked for an epidural (these things take time so you need to get your request in ASAP in my opinion). About an hour later I realized why I had been in so much pain, and why it was so quickly feeling SO intense...I was progressing at warp speed! This was a huge blessing but was less than comfortable (to say the least). 

Okay, this is getting too detailed, and I promised myself (& you, gentle reader) that I would not get too personal with the ol' birth story, so back to the highlights. Shortly after I got the epidural, it was game time. Meaning...time to push this baby out. Both John and I were in shock! The moment we had been waiting for was here, but man, did it arrive quickly. At that point, I basically said, "I'm not ready yet!!! I just got the epidural...can't I take a nap for an hour or two?!". This was because with Jack I took an almost four hour nap (after being in labor for 9 hours) after my epidural kicked in, which was amazing, because I really needed the rest. But Baby #2 wasn't waiting for mommy to catch up on any beauty sleep; he was ready to arrive. Our wonderful nurse & midwife gave me a few minutes to labor down naturally (I was so appreciative that they didn't rush me!) but before long, our midwife came in and said (in her awesome New Zealand accent), "Alrighty Kelly, let's have a baby!". (Yikes, is this getting too detailed again? Fortunately, like I said, I was immensely blessed with this delivery, so here we are at the end of the tale.) One practice push & three real pushes later...Liam Thomas Flynn was in my arms. John and I were in shock. It took 2 1/2 hours to push Jack out! And this kiddo (Liam) who was much larger, just came right out! What a gift. Looking at him with his full head of hair, chubby cheeks, and adorable baby body, will always be one of my favorite moments of his life.

Liam and I just a few hours after delivery!
I recovered very quickly (& was walking around and everything!) and basically spent most of the day in shock that he had safely arrived, without hurting mama much at all. My "birth plan" (unwritten, of course, because I really don't believe you can plan these things too much! There are just too many variables and I don't like to set myself up for disappointment) had been as follows: #1 - get baby out safely & #2 - minimize pain/discomfort to mama. Check, & check! Even the nurses & midwife were in shock at how well everything had gone. Again, I don't attribute this to anything that I did or did not do. I don't like labor. I didn't prepare for it by doing anything other than eat, sleep, go to work, and spend time with family and friends, for the 10 months leading up to it. So I really believe it was a result of prayers, prayers, and more prayers.

Speaking of prayers, I have to share with you a bit of detail about Liam Thomas' name! We came across the name Liam when I was 35 weeks pregnant. For the prior 6 months, we had decided that our boy's name was Thomas Jerome Flynn, with the nickname of Tommy. For some reason at 35 weeks, I realized I did not like the first name Thomas though! So the hunt was on for a name we truly loved. Liam is English/Irish and means "strong willed warrior" or "resolute protector", and we loved it. Thomas felt like a great middle name (so many patron saints to choose from) and so that was it. About a week before Liam arrived, my mom let me know that someone left a St. Thomas More prayer card at my dad's grave, and she thought I should have it. I absolutely love St. Thomas More after I spent a semester studying him in college, and had discussed his life numerous times with my dad (what I would give for another one of those conversations!) and Mom remembered this. I (sadly) had forgotten about St. Thomas More (or maybe not forgotten, but he wasn't at the forefront of my mind). This prayer card was exactly what I needed to get through that last week of pregnancy though, since I was missing my dad immensely (there's no other way to describe it) and wishing that he would have been able to meet my second baby boy. I spent the days leading up to Liam's birth reading the prayer below and I am so grateful to the person (unknown to us!) that brought it to his grave. Now Liam Thomas' name is even more special to me.

A prayer from Saint Thomas More

Almighty God, teach me to do Your will.  Take my right hand, and lead me in the right path. Draw me after You.  With bit and bridle bind fast my jaws when I come not near to You. 

Give me, good Lord, a full faith, a firm hope, and a fervent charity; a love for You, good Lord, incomparably above the love of myself; and that I love nothing to your displeasure, but everything ordered to You.  

Give me warmth, delight, and quickness in thinking upon You, and give me Your grace to long for Your holy sacraments and, with tender compassion, to remember and consider Your most bitter passion. 

Lord, give me patience in tribulation, and grace in everything to conform my will to Yours, that I may truly say: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

The things, good Lord, that I pray for, give me thy grace to labor for.  Amen.

Okay, here are some more pictures of our sweet, cuddly, adorable baby boy!

Smiling in his sleep! Look at that face.

Finally caught the munchkin with his eyes open (let's get real, he sleeps 90% of the time at this point!). He's thinking, "Mom, seriously, stop taking my picture. Feed me."

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