December 7, 2016.
The day we became a family of FOUR.
The day I was supposed to work, but wasn't feeling great.
The day I was scheduled to have a normal weekly OB appt.
The day Travis was scheduled to go out of town for work for several days.
Turns out, it's the day I had been in labor all night and all day and would explain why I felt so uncomfortable, but not bad enough to text my dr or go to l&d.
Before we get to the good stuff on 12/7, I feel the need to record the events that led up to this wonderful day. I was still working full time (12 hour shifts). I worked Sunday and as usual I came home tired, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Monday brought a big surprise as we got word that our cousin was having her baby!! (See, our due dates were just days apart and I had convinced them to have their baby girl at the hospital I work at because I love and trust everyone I work with). So, Monday I went back up to the hospital and spent the day with family and at 5:00 on 12/5 Austin and Eryn welcomed Spencer Maris Riley into the world. That was such a fun and special day. I cried happy tears and seeing Austin and Eryn become parents and Roger and Debbie become grandparents for the first time.
I worked another full and very very busy day on 12/6. I felt a little uncomfortable, but just assumed it was due to working so much, being tired and pregnant. When I got home that evening I told T I didn't feel "normal", so we made sure our bags were packed just in case something was brewing. I couldn't get comfortable and didn't sleep much that evening.
I was scheduled to work the next day, 12/7, but I texted Angie and asked to be put on call if they didn't need the full staff. (FYI: I rarely take call and I never ask to take call). My plan was to rest/sleep until my drs appt at 1:30. I laid on the couch and drank what felt like gallons of water. I was never able to nap or really rest. I continued to feel light stomach pain that was intermittent, but inconsistent at best. I wasn't alarmed as I wasn't in pain, just uncomfortable. I didn't eat anything as I wasn't hungry and I did throw up a few times, but I had thrown up my entire pregnancy so that was normal for me. (I thought about texting my dr earlier in the day asking if I could move my appointment up, but I didn't want to bother her or "abuse" the working relationship I have with her. What's a few more hours anyway, right)
T met me at my appointment. I was weighed and was told I had lost 7lbs since the week prior. That puzzled me as I hadn't thrown up more than normal and my feet/ankles were still swollen. I was even wearing the same clothes as the week before. Dr. Kirchner came in with her smile on her face, took one look at me and asked if I felt ok because my face was flushed. I told her, I haven't been feeling normal, maybe some contractions but nothing consistent. It was my first appt to be checked, I was hoping to at least be a 2 or just knowing my body was getting ready for Charlie's arrival. She checked me and gave me this funny look and said "you're in labor. You just bought yourself a ride to your friends in labor and delivery!" I was 6cm and I think 80% effaced and baby was still high at -3. Holy smokes!! I had been in labor and didn't really even know it. Just uncomfortable! Reality was slowly setting in that Charlie was coming, T would not be going to Houston for work, who's going to get Hudson from school (thanks Blake and Amanda!), and we need to call our families because they both live out of town!
(Note: our initial plan was to be induced on 12/15 so I could share a bday with baby and the "team" I picked out to take care of us were all scheduled to work that day). Clearly, Charlie didn't want to celebrate a birthday with me and laughed at our plans.
We got checked in, IV and fluids started and next thing I know every nurse is in my room saying hi and we're all making guesses on how much baby will weigh.
Next came the epidural which worked like a charm (until it was time to push-ouch!). Since I wasn't in much pain before my epidural I didn't notice much of a difference other than I couldn't feel my legs. Dr K came and broke my water and I was at 8cm. We all thought Charlie would arrive at anytime now.
We had a very special visitor come all the way from Houston. Kellye, KK, was at the hospital just the day prior meeting Spencer and she drove back to meet Charlie!
My contractions began to space out some, so I texted Dr. K from my bed asking if I could have some pitocin to speed things up. Her response included something like LOL I'll see you soon. She arrived aboit 3.5 seconds later and ordered pitocin. She said she was going home to shower and would be back to check on me. I was feeling more pressure, but hadn't made any change so I decided to turn on my side and attempt one last nap. Well, Not 5 minutes after I turned on my side I felt an enormous increase in pressure (I told travis I thought it was time and I was going to do one small push to make sure). Well, I was right and as soon as I did that I could no longer sit still and felt an immediate urge to get baby out. I called my awesome nurse, Amanda, back into our room. She checked me and it was go time, but dr wasn't there. She had me hold my legs together because we thought it would be best for baby to come once Dr was in the room.
One of my greatest friends and co-workers, Tobi, came up on her day off to be our sides and became the photographer of the evening. (Side note: Tobi and I met on the first day of nursing school and have been friends since. We both wanted to be L&D nurses and now we get to do it together).
It felt like an eternity before Dr. K arrived, but I know it was just a few minutes. I felt so uncomfortable that I told (not asked) Amanda to turn the pitocin off. Sorry friend! (I believe I was complete at 9pm and Charlie arrived at 9:13.) Once the pushing began I went a little nuts saying silly things, apologizing and who knows what else. I do know it hurt 1000x worse than when I had Hudson and I the best cheerleaders in the room telling me how great I was doing. I was able to touch Charlie's head and that gave me the motivation needed to push past that ridiculous amount of burning horrible pain I was feeling. So after 6 minutes of pushing Charlie arrived. I had the privilege of grabbing Charlie and placing him directly on my chest (thanks Dr. K!!). That's a moment I'll never forget.
One of my favorite pictures. The emotions on Travis' face and the sheer pain/get him out of me on mine. Love.
Holding our sweet boy for the first time. A moment I'll never forget and always cherish. I think I covered him in approximately 1 million kisses after this.
Tobi captured some of the most raw and intimate moments of Charlie's arrival and I am so so thankful she sacrificed her evening with family to celebrate our new arrival. I knew I wanted pictures of us as we welcomed our sweet boy into the world because all I had was the memory of Travis' face during Hudson's arrival. Watching his face as he sees his son for the first time is magical and makes me fall more in love with him.
Charles "Charlie" Reid Riley
December 7, 2016 9:13pm
Hudson meeting Charlie for the first time
Cita and Pops:
JimJim and SuSu
Our experience at my hospital couldn't have gone any better. It was so fun being surrounded by people that you know and love so well. I knew we were in the best hands. I'm not sure what kind of expectations I had with Dr. K and the hospital, but all that comes to my mind is everybody exceeded my expectations. I knew GRMC was an excellent place to work, but it's an even better place to bring a baby into the world.
Thank you Lauren, Amanda, Iris, Amy, Robin, Morgan, Tobi, Dr. Kirchner, Dr. Scott and everybody else that helped take such wonderful care of us.
We are so thankful and our hearts are full this Christmas season.
Headed home to really begin life as a family of four.
Welcome to the world our precious Charlie Bear. We love you always and forever.
- and that's Life with the Riley's