Monday, April 18, 2011

Riley's Birth Story

It all started on April 11 while Paul and I were out for our nightly walk and on our last circle I felt a small gush and grabbed Pauls arm just as he answered the phone. He asked what was wrong and I told him that I either piddled or my water broke. I told him we should head back to the house but I had probably peed so to finish his phone call. He looked at me like I had 5 heads.

When we got home I checked and it was such a small amount I thought i had to have lost control of my bladder. Paul thought we should call the doc but I wanted to wait it out, I did not want go to L&D at 9 on a Monday night for a false alarm. So I bounced on the exercise ball and checked a few more times and there was nothing and no contractions. About an hour later my sister and her BF had stopped by and I laughed and felt it again. This time I decided to call and be checked. I am GBS+ and needed antibiotics if my water had in fact broke.

We went to the hospital and they hooked us up to the monitors and did an amniotic fluid test. The test was inconclusive and did not confirm that my water had broken. The doc did an internal and still could not confirm. They asked us to walk around the ward for 20 minutes or so and see what happened. We had just taken the longest walk ever and I was not thrilled about being up again but off we went to circle round and round. When they checked again there were traces of fluid so we were told to settle in we were staying.

I don't even know what I was thinking at this point but I knew that our baby was going to be here within 24 hours. Paul made the calls and ran home to take care of the dogs. I think I just stared into space the whole time. When he returned he settled in a recliner and we tried our best to sleep. Ha, that was a joke! Riley must have known her birthday was here because she was more active than I could ever remember. This meant that they were constantly adjusting her heart monitor throughout the night. Around 4am the nurse came in saying the babys heart rate dropped and put an oxygen mask on me.

At this point I was pretty freaked out. The nurse had very poor bedside manner and would not let me up to use the restroom but instead handed me a bed pan. At 6:30 she came back to start my Pitocin to get things moving faster. I asked her why try were starting 2 hours earlier than the doc said the night before and she shrugged and said, "because the doc said to". She said very little and I believe it was my, "fuck you" when she left the room that woke Paul up. Paul was a champ and let me cry and be upset about the wench. I could see how excited he was and I knew the nurse was near the end of her shift so it was going to get better.

They decided to put a heart monitor on Rileys head around 7:00 because she was not staying on the external monitor. Before this point my water had just been slowly leaking but when they put the monitor on it really broke. They pretty much said that I'd be in a puddle until the baby arrived. Gross.

I was at 4cm at 7 and waiting for the pitocin horror I had heard about. Everyone said it was brutal. Full force contractions right on top of each other. I did some breathing exercises to try and calm down because I knew if I was tense they would be even worse. We waited and waited and watched Springer and Maury and waited some more. We got a new nurse at this point and she was beautiful, calming, informative and absolutely wonderful.

Around 10:00 I asked the nurse when people usually get the epidural and she said when the contractions get a bit more regular and intense. I was still talking through them and the breathing was still helping so I decided to wait. At 11:00 they checked me again and we were at 7cm. Even though I was still in good spirits and talking through everything I asked for the epi.

I was scared as hell about the epidural. The anesthesiologist had zero personality but he was amazing so I didn't really care. Once the epi was done everything was tingly and nice except for a small spot near my right hip. Sweet baby Jesus I thought my leg was going to fall off. I think they hiked the Pitocin up once I had the epidural thinking I wouldn't feel it. They called it a hot spot and it's apparently when the epi meds don't reach/work in a spot. Needless to say the breathing wasn't working and moaning became all I was capable of. They called the anesthetist who put a big shot of something magical into the epi line. It took about 2 contrax more for it to take effect but once is did I was back in heaven.

We watched some more Springer and I ended up taking a nap. Around 1:30 they checked me again and said I was fully dilated but had a small anterior lip on my cervix but I wouldn't be too much longer. Paul went to let everyone know and I tried to relax though the excitement. The nurse was getting everything ready and I was really getting nervous. It was happening.

The doc came in around 2 and said to get started. The nurse had one foot and Paul the other. The plan was for Paul to stay top side not assist but I was not going to argue if that's what he wanted to do. I pushed with just the nurse for about 45 minutes then she went to get the doctor and the nursery nurse. They talked about her head of blonde hair and I couldn't believe they could actually see her. Between pushes the doc and nurse told comical stories about families in delivery. It was very relaxing and calm. They had to tell me when to push until the last few, I knew by then. I was not experiencing any pain just pressure.

The nurse, doctor and Paul were so supportive and excited I could tell when the end was near and tried to give everything I had. It was hard to know that my pushes were productive because of the epidural. Their encouragement really helped me get through the last few. Paul was amazing through the pushing he held my hand and gave me ice chips in between I don't think the smile left his face. With the last push there was a flurry of activity and the next thing I knew Paul was cutting the cord and there was a slimy blue baby on my stomach.

Riley Renee was born at 2:53 on April 12, 2011 (right on her due date!) she weighed 8lb14oz and was 21.5 inches long.

They were suctioning her out and she was screaming and I didn't know what to do with myself. I rubbed her foot and started at her face in awe, I was absolutely speechless. Paul went to her while they finished with me. I had a minor tear and needed a couple stitches. I think the epi was turned down at some point because I had some feeling I hadn't had before. The stitches were uncomfortable but not painful. I couldn't really do anything but stare at Paul and the baby across the room.

Before I knew it I was cleaned up, my iV and my epidural were out, I had ordered dinner and Riley was trying to nurse. Paul, Riley and I had about an hour just to the three of us which is exactly what I needed to calm down. Riley is the very first baby Paul has ever held and it was amazing to see. I think it's a memory that will always bring tears to my eyes.

I was moved to my regular room within 2 hours and was able to visit with our families. We had perfect timing and almost all of our immediate families were able to be there after work.

After everyone left they let me take a shower, it was cold but it did wonders for me. I hated nursing that first time and when she went to the nursery I asked them to do formula. I hated pumping on day 2 and decided neither were for us. Until my milk came in on Thursday and I was overwhelmed with guilt for giving up without any real effort so I rented a pump on Friday and have been pumping since. She gets about 2-3 bottles of breast milk/day and the rest is formula. Best of both I guess. I'm really glad I gave it another shot.

This birth experience was truly everything I dreamed it would be. It was calm, surreal, beautiful and generally pain free! I am healing fabulously and have had no issues. The baby is thriving. Daddy is on cloud 9 and so amazingly helpful.

We were home by 10:30 on Wednesday morning and everything is going amazingly well! We are so happy she's here and is absolutely beautiful.

"I could not ask for more than this time together
Could not ask for more than this time with you
And Every prayer has been answered,
Every dream I've had's come true
I've found all I've waited for,
And I could not ask for more."


  1. I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and have been actively following. Just wanted to say congrats! She is absolutely beautiful. Best luck to you and your family!

  2. Love that picture of her! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wonderful story!! Congratulations! :)

  4. Congrats, mama! She is precious!

  5. Ah, I've been dying for you to post this!