Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Birthday Riley

This is me on the day I went into labor. Scary, I know. I'm brave for posting it. I went into labor on Mother's Day in 2002.

I was in labor off and on for most of the day. Finally, at about midnight we left for the hospital, which was an hour away. The contractions were getting closer together and harder the closer we got to the hospital. Michael was driving and Holden, who was 11 at the time, was in the back seat. I had put a towel in my seat just in case my water broke. Just as we were turning onto the road that the hospital was on I became sick and threw up on the towel. All I could hear was Michael saying "Don't look Holden! Don't look!" I was wearing a maternity dress. I had gotten throw up on it also. I walked into the lobby and the lady said "Oh, your water must have broke." I had to tell her that was not the case and that I had gotten sick. My, the things we women endure to bring our children into the world.

We were sent to a little room where I was put on a monitor to see if I was really having contractions. Turns out, I was. Also turns out I was 6 cm dilated already. "Yeah!" I thought. Maybe this won't take long. Not so. We arrived at the hospital at about 1 AM. Riley didn't arrive until much later, 12:18 PM.

I was handling the contractions pretty well. They were hurting and getting worse, but I could tolerate them OK. Then, the Dr. decided that I wasn't progressing fast enough. This was at about 9 or 10 AM. I seemed to be stuck at 7 cm. He started Pitocin. For those of you lucky enough not to have experienced this wonderful drug, let me tell you about it. It is designed to increase the intensity of your contractions. And, it did a darn good job too. At the time, I told Michael I was sure it was designed by Satan. At one point, I looked at Michael and said that it felt like my uterus was going to rupture.

I have never had pain like that in my life. I hope I never do again. They gave me some drugs, but nothing touched the pain. Then, the nurse asked if I wanted an epidural. I responded with a very enthusiastic, "YES!!!" (probably a little too enthusiastic). She went out and came back in a little later. The Dr. wouldn't order one.

When I was pregnant with Holden, I developed a blood clot. I was on blood thinner, shots in my stomach 4 times a day, for 6 months of my pregnancy. When I got pregnant with Riley, just to be on the safe side, I was put on blood thinner again. This time it was just once a day though. But, because of that, I was at an increased risk of bleeding into my spine from the epidural, which could cause permanent paralysis. I had already researched all of this myself. I had stopped the blood thinner on my own 4 days before. I knew the blood thinner was out of my system. The nurse couldn't do anything but what the Dr. said. I asked to talk to the Dr.

While I'm waiting for the Dr. and rolling about in the bed in immense pain, another nurse came in. I could tell she was kind of green. She came in with a big smile on her face and a great big blue exercise ball. She tried to get me to get out of bed and sit on this ball. I just looked at her like she had lost her mind. She kept explaining how it would help move the baby down into the pelvis and blah, blah, blah. But, I was having horrible back labor and had just found a somewhat comfortable position. I wasn't moving even if someone paid me a million dollars to do so. I just completely ignored her and focused on a spot on the wall. Finally, Michael gently said, almost apologetically, "I don't think she's going to get on that ball."

The ball was taken out and in walked the Dr. He came over to the side of the bed. I grabbed the lapel of his lab coat and pulled him closer to me. I said, "Look, I'm a nurse. I've done the research on Lovenox. I know the risks, and I want an epidural. I haven't taken my meds for 4 days. It only takes 3 days for it to clear out of your system." He said he'd have the anesthesiologist come in and talk to me about it.

A few minutes later in walked a short man with curly blonde hair. He didn't talk about the epidural at all, except to tell me I would have to sit on the side of the bed so he could start it. My prayers had been answered and this was my angel!!

I sat up and rounded my back like he said. I was pushing against Michael. He said he's never been so scared in all his life as when they stuck that needle in my back. I said I'd never been so relieved in all my life. I had a contraction just as he stuck the needle in, but had to stay very still. That was the last contraction I felt.

Now, I could rest. This was actually starting to get fun. I was going to have a baby soon!! We didn't know if it was a boy or a girl. I lay on my side for about an hour. I would turn from time to time. It took Michael and a nurse to turn me because I couldn't move the lower half of my body at all. The nurse was in there at all times monitoring my contractions. I was resting with my eyes closed. At one point she whispered to Michael,"It's a good thing she has that epidural because that last contraction went off the chart." "I heard that", I said, and then smiled. I didn't feel a thing.

An hour later I was fully dilated and ready to push. The Dr. came in and after 2 pushes, I see a little head sticking out and I started to cry. Then, one more push and I hear "It's a boy!" Michael cut the cord. And, I layed eyes on my beautiful, perfect, little boy. They took him and put him in the bassinet. I asked, "Is he OK?" The Dr. assured me he was fine. I looked at Michael. He was crying. He stuck his head out the door. My parents and Holden were standing out there. I heard him say, "It's a Riley!"

The Dr. stepped out for a minute and came back in. He said, "You have a big boy out there crying just as hard as your little one is in here." Holden was out in the hall crying too. He'd been asking for a brother or a sister for a long time, and now he finally had one.

And that's how my sweet baby, Riley, came into the world.

This is my mom, dad, and Holden meeting Riley for the first time.

This is father and son. I was in the picture too, but cropped myself out. After 15 hours of labor, I wasn't exactly "camera ready".

From the minute I found out I was pregnant, I loved you. From the minute I heard you take your first breath, you had my heart....and you always will.



bingsy said...

I hope he has a lovely day. I really enjoyed reading that and teared up myself quite a bit!!!

Jamie said...

Beautiful story, Penny. I love reading birth stories!

Happy Mother's Day :) You deserve it :)

Kassie said...

Hey, your Riley and my Ryan share a birthday (and are both 4!)

But there's no way I'm adding a pic of me pregnant to my post ;)

Happy Mother's Day!

julia said...

What a sweet story. And yeah, pitocin bites, hard. I hate that stuff.

Happy Birthday, Riley!

Scott K. Johnson said...

What a neat post!

I got a chuckle out of Michael and him saying "Don't look holden"!!


George said...

that was a great post. My eyes were a little dry, thanks for the help! :)

SUPERMOM said...

That was beautiful. Happy Mother's day mom. What a great gift!!!