Here we go again folks... I must have some "magic" power that I pick a date and then the baby arrives. I have done this exact scenario twice, now. The math with teacher pay is ridiculous. I mean really confusingly, ridiculous because of the way we are paid. I know it might not seem logical, but you miss more paychecks than time actually out. Believe me this is legal and correct, despite how horrible I am at math it sadly is the way it is. Anywho (before I take some educational pay increase tangent, let me get back to my kid's story), I had payroll run the number of days I would be docked for and calculate it all out, so that way we could know when/how much we could afford this time.
Everyone and their mom pretty much already knows this because I've been saying it since school started, but I had to make it through October. The school district will pay their portion of my insurance, as long as I work a day in the month. Literally, teachers and students would ask me, "aren't you ready?" and I kept responding, "Not until October."
Okay Bo, can you listen to Momma that well forever??? Our story really begins when we got home Tuesday afternoon.
We got home after school, and I was feeling uber-pregnant! I waddled my way straight up the stairs, only to find that the AC upstairs wasn't working. Hello 87 degrees! I texted my husband (yes, I'm aware he was right down the stairs.) We were both already a little bit tired and fussy, and he was annoyed with me. [Later he explained he was annoyed because he thought I was talking about the downstairs air and that I just walked right on upstairs anyways... which isn't what happened at all, so he mellowed out with me quickly.]
It was hot and already after business closing times, so we began to attempt to diagnose the problem ourselves. Interesting to say the least... a man trying to hold a cranky 17 month old and a 39 week pregnant woman wandering around trying to figure out something we have zero clue about. Sam called his buddy and got the number of an AC guy. He said he could come the next afternoon.
Next, we had to figure out what to do about sleeping....
Sam decided to open the upstairs windows (it cooled down quite a bit) and to stay upstairs for the night with Moose. Moose is used to napping at Grandma's house, so he's basically immune to the heat. (You know my mom is a lizard. She sits in her attic for fun in the Texas summer. Yep, she's our crazy, and we love her! And it often ends up working out... like when our 17 month old doesn't give a rip that it's 80 degrees.) The decision came to be that I would sleep downstairs where it was cooler in the guest bedroom.
The guest bedroom has my old bed from college, and at 39 weeks pregnant I should never have changed beds. Ok, not pregnant I should never sleep on that bed. Oh my gosh... I was so so so uncomfortable. I barely slept. I didn't want to get up and go upstairs, but finally at 3 o'clock in the morning almost no sleep later I wandered up and sacked out in our bed. Thank goodness I had some sleep.
Sweaty, sleepless, and super pregnant: I woke up Wednesday and was officially 39 weeks pregnant.
Wednesday School Day:
I was feeling a bit out of it, and I ended up changing my lesson plan last minute because I just couldn't manage my very teacher required plan. My students watched School House Rock's Parts of Speech videos and made picture notes over the songs. (Yep, we still teach parts of speech to sophomores in high school, and they STILL don't know them!) I rewrote lesson plans for the rest of the week, and planned all of the next week. I got it all ready and had my teacher's aide get the plans off the printer so that they would be ready should I not be there the next day.
I would love to say this was a giant clue as to my mother's intuition, but really it's a not to my OCD because I have been doing that every Friday afternoon since school started. I just hadn't changed the plan midweek any other week.
I wasn't feeling totally myself, but I assumed it was the lack of sleep. I kept breaking into sweats then chills. I was cramping and achy, but again, assumption was it was the lack of sleep.
My co-workers all laughed that I had made it the day, since it was my official last "need to work" day, and I was nervous for my doctor's appointment in the afternoon.
Wednesday Doctor's Appointment:
The week before my doctor told me that I had made no progress and wasn't favorable, so I was eager to see what she would say this week. I, also, had a sonogram appointment because the baby was getting so big that we were monitoring his growth.
My appointment was at 3:30 PM.
I expected there to be a long wait at the doctor's office because my doctor had delivered during my last three appointments, so I had my bible with me. I waited for my sonogram and continued my reading of I Samuel.
My sono-tech asked me where I was reading, and we chatted about Hannah and Elkanah and their desire for Samuel. It was such a comfort to my nerves. The sonogram said he was 8 pounds 9 ounces, and I waddled my way across the hall to see the doc.
My blood pressure was up crazy high at the doctor's office. (A secret I kept for a few hours from family, so when you read this know I'm sorry I didn't want to worry anyone until I knew what was really going on.) It was 153/95.
My doctor checked my cervix and said I was a 1cm but still not ready for labor. [head was at station 3 and cervix posterior] (I shouldn't have been so devastated since it's exactly what she told me the day before I delivered Moose.) However, I was crushed. Then, we started talking. She began to talk to me about a 24 hour urine collection, so I was trying to think how I could manage that at school. [I couldn't have.] Then, she asked what other symptoms I had going on. The moment I said headache and tingly fingers the tone changed....
She asked me, "today was the last day you wanted to work, right?"
I told her yes, but I could be done if that was what we needed. I thought we were talking work. Done with work. AKA BED REST... so this is what I'm thinking. Ok, I'll be on bed rest that can be ok.
She keeps talking and tells me about monitoring me overnight, placing pills to ripen my cervix, and inducing in the morning. What I actually heard the first time she said it was "whomp, whomp, monitor, whomp, whomp, pitocin, whomp, whomp call sam."
I had this glazed over smile on my face, and I calmly said, "I'm sorry. I didn't get any of that can we start again." My doctor laughed. She began to explain in more detail and slower. She was sending me across to the hospital and that we would induce in the morning. I tend to be in denial at these big major moments, so I'm just nodding, trying not to cry because I don't want pitocin. I took a deep breath and listened to the rest. The goal was to get my body into a place to induce, but the pills might work and might not on me.
I called Sam to explain what was happening. I was calm. He was meeting the AC guy at 4:30. I told him we would be at this for hours, all night, probably all day, and from there who knew. I told him there was zero reason to freak out or to rush. I made the decision that I didn't want to call anyone and everyone because I am the kind of person that absolutely doesn't want a waiting room vigil of folks waiting on me. Nope, nope, nope. My doctor had prepared me for this to take somewhere around 24+ hours, so I knew I had some time to let folks in on what was going on the next morning. (Remember, We make plans. God laughs.)
just before 5:00PM
Belly pictures in the hospital room (ROOM 9) because why not? Gotta have something good to text the hubs... who is now with our first kid and the AC guy at home.
By 5, I had made it across to the hospital and started to checkin to be monitored overnight. I showered with the antiseptic (which freaks a girl who really doesn't want a c-section out) and put on my gown.
I was bored and waiting for the nurses or my mom to get there, so I am just hanging out. (PS I am still feeling completely crampy and actually starting to be in some pain. I am wondering, if these could be contractions, but I dismissed because my doctor JUST said I hadn't made any progress.)
I stood up, put worship music on, and read my bible until my mom got there.
My mom arrived around 5:30 before the nurses had even gotten to me. I am achy, and I walk to the bathroom just as she gets there and gets a phone call. Hello bloody show... ew. I look at my mom and ask her is this ok?? I didn't remember it being quite so, um, so red last time. (Remember this is a birth story, so it's adorable and sweet and also completely disgusting, lol.) Round about then my nurses come in.
They tell me it could just be blood because I had my cervix checked. When I detail a bit more, they confirm it's definitely a bloody show. Though, they caution that still doesn't necessarily mean anything.
Time to answer a million questions and get hooked up to a million machines. As soon as I'm on the contraction monitor, I can see consistent contractions 3 to 5 minutes apart growing in intensity. AND I'M STILL IN DENIAL... why don't I ever listen to my own body?!? They check my cervix as part of the labor and delivery process. Stats now are already different than they were at the doctor's office. Baby's head has moved down and is now at a 2. I'm over a 1 and beginning to thin out. Again, I ask why did I not know this was actual labor before we started anything else? Who knows, but the nurses are still explaining the doctor's orders and talking to me about inducing in the morning.
Sam and Moose arrive at the hospital with McDonald's. They stayed with the AC guy until it was fixed (good call), packed Sam and Moose a bag, and headed to get food. My mom who has been with me about an hour watching me contract and listening to everything going on, begins to wonder whether or not my stepdad who is two hours away should head on home for the night. She has mother's intuition, too. She kept asking me, if this was it? I was so overwhelmed (pleasant), but overwhelmed and confused. I was just buying into what everyone else was telling me, instead of listening to my own body. Ah well... Time to get this show on the road.
Shift change. My new nurse, Keri, was pregnant and comes in to introduce herself. She is very sweet and does an AMAZING job explaining to me what is happening and the plan.
- Overnight place a cervical ripening pill every three hours x3
- Keep monitoring cervix and blood pressure
- Wait for the doctor in the morning around 8 to start pitocin
- Baby on Thursday afternoon after laboring all day
Keri was great! I was calm, and we decided to send Moose and Grandma on home to get some sleep. My mom knew better and went ahead and called my stepdad to come home. She figured better he be around than to miss it all. Sam and I settled in for what seemed like it would be a long process.
7:40PMNurse Keri checked my cervix again to prepare to place the pill and is a little bit shocked. She says she better place the pill quickly because after I am dilated to a 2, she cannot place anymore. I was almost at a 2 on my own.
After she placed the pill, I had to stay laying for two hours, but by 9:20 I was having intense contractions and really had to pee. I was very very very uncomfortable, and quite certain that I was really in actual labor. (Though, I was thinking I would probably labor like this all night.) I couldn't stand it and called Keri to come let me pee early. She did, and she commented on the intensity of my contractions. Nurse Keri was now on board with the fact that I was probably already in labor, and she begins to tell us that she is doubting we are placing anymore pills, and may move straight to pitocin and sooner than in the morning.
Sam calls my mom to tell her things might be moving faster and that Alan should for sure start heading home, but my mom had already decided that earlier. I get up to pee, and the contractions slow down and lower in intensity thank goodness!!!!
I told Sam to go ahead and get some sleep. After the sleepless AC lacking night, we are both exhausted, so he pulls out the sofa bed and crashes out. My contractions pick up yet again and start feeling pretty painful. I am breathing through solo, picturing waves, and focusing on a single spot in the room. I kept my memory verse of I Samuel 1:27 in mind... tho no lies, I kept getting distracted and thinking "The power of Christ compels me!" Hey whatever works! I am 100% sure I am in labor. (Still no idea how fast it's going.)
Sam is snoring when Nurse Keri comes into check me, and I am at nearly a 3. She confirms no more ripening pills and says she will check me again at 12:30 to determine whether or not to start pitocin. I can no longer think about anything other than the contractions, and I am working through contractions.
My mom calls just to check on me, and I was very grateful for the distraction! We chat until I can't focus anymore, and I call my nurse to help me to the bathroom again. The contractions are really intense, but the pain is still manageable. I am feeling them in my back. I try positioning on the side. Nurse Keri starts talking about checking me early because I am in so much pain. Sam is still sound asleep ... lol.
The pain has become too intense and back to back. I ask my nurse to help me get on my knees, as I have read this is a better position for labor. I am really starting to feel worn out and almost defeated because in my head I'm still going to have a lot of labor left and I'm almost maxed out on the pain. My nurse asks about the epidural, and I tell her I want to decide after she checks me again.
Sam gets woken up by my screaming, and he is officially back in the game. He is a little confused since he has missed much of the lead up to this point, and he doesn't quite understand that I have been laboring fairly intensely for almost two hours. He starts coaching my breathing (thank the lord) because I can no longer focus on waves or my memory verse. Nurse Keri checks me, and I am at a 5-6. She rules out needing any pitocin. I ask for the epidural. Our nurse suggests calling my mom after the anesthesiologist places the epidural... things are moving quickly.
I get my epidural, though I nearly missed the window... I was at an 8 by the time she checked me after he was done. She tells me my bag of waters is bulging, and she tells me that might be why I'm hurting so much. I am trying not to scream my head off, and I have yet to use any curse words! Praise Jesus :) Sam is coaching like a champ, while simultaneously trying to text.... Because we are now all on board with the fact that Bo ain't waiting. It's go time, NOW!
Keri is calling the doctor and setting up the room for delivery. My epidural is not fully kicked in. The edge is off the pain, but the pressure is excruciating. The nurse keeps checking to see if my water has broken on it's own... The pain is still intense, and I begin saying that my butt hurts. (Keri tells Sam I am now complete, but no one tells me or maybe they did and I'm so out of it I don't remember...)
Somewhere in here is when Sam called my mom because she arrived near this point. All kind of hazy, and I can't remember when she arrived. My mom hung with us for a bit, and Sam and she are trying to get in touch with a few folks at this point. It's the middle of the night, things are flying, and needless to say the call list is much shorter under those conditions.
My doctor arrives! Hooray...and at this point my mom leaves the delivery room. I am still feeling a lot of pressure and my epidural hasn't caught up to my pain, quite yet. They tell me I am feeling pressure because it's time to push...
Wait, What? I somehow slipped back into denial because I looked at them and asked, "like now? Like we are having the baby right now?" Sam, the doctor, and the nurse all laughed at me.
They set up the delivery table, get out the feet on the table, scoot me down... and somewhere around 1:30 in the morning we start to push. I pushed for so long with my first one, and in hindsight I'm not sure I was doing it right. This time I still had some sensation and felt like I knew how to push differently. I pushed like I was doing sit-ups and visualized pushing Bo out of my belly. It didn't take that many sets of pushes...and then....
Sam cut the cord this time, and the nurse placed Bo right on my chest. Oh sweet victory! Looking into that little face, I felt so warm, radiant, happy, and accomplished!!!! I did it! We did it! Bo made it safely into this world. What an incredible miracle.
My doctor worked to get me repaired, and she smiled as she said, "one stitch." One? just one? How did I deliver a bigger kid faster and only have one stitch. I didn't even care. They turned off my epidural, and I just cuddled my little man.
He nursed on each side for about 20 minutes. We cuddled skin to skin for the first hour of his life. Sam went to the waiting room to get Moose to come meet his brother.
Sam and Moose watched as they cleaned him up a bit. They got his height, weight, and did the ointment in his eyes.
Daddy finally got to hold his newest son!
This is hands down my favorite picture from that night.
After Moose got to meet his brother, Sam sent my mom back to me to meet Bo and to check in on me. My nurse told me everyone could come back to see the baby, and that we would get me up to pee after they left. Both Grandpas got to come back to see our handsome new man.
Grandma and Grandpa took Moose home with them, and Sam and I cooed at our new baby. The nurse helped me up with some crazy ride on machine. (remember my nurse was pregnant, so she couldn't do any lifting...) I managed to pee on my own this time! Another victory... and felt like I might be up on my own volition a lot sooner this time.
We made it up to our room... what a night... what a life...
As the sun came up for the day, I smiled and took this picture. It's a perfect one for our story (notice Sam asleep in the background...lol just kidding love)!
This birth was fast and furious. There is no way I could have imagined it happening this way, but it was perfect. God's timing is perfect. We are abundantly blessed by this child and incredibly grateful for a much smoother labor and delivery. Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and everything else you've sent our way. I am in a much better state of mind than after our first son was born, and I pleased as punch to report I do not have PPD this time! Postpartum hormones are still a little emotional causing, but it's like a drop in the sea compared to last time.
Lots of Love
The Riley Family