With Owen it was different, I knew what I wanted. I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted it to be calm. I wanted to be in control. I wanted to hold him first. I wanted to see him first. I wanted Mark to hold him next. I wanted us to have skin-to-skin and time completely alone. I wanted less interventions. I wanted less company. I didn't want him in the NICU or nursery. I wanted him in our arms. So I read, I planned, I researched, I met with doctors and nurses, and Mark and I planned and prayed together.
At our 39 week appointment, the doctor suggested we schedule an induction for around 39.5 weeks. We were more than happy to agree. I knew that it would be mentally good for us to be prepared for an exact day and time and I knew that it would help him, hopefully, not be as big as Annabeth.
We checked in to the hospital around 7 pm on Monday, June 1. As we waited to check in, a nervous, sweaty dad came out to tell his waiting family that his wife was two hours into pushing and still no baby. I tried not to panic as I had spent 2 hours and 45 minutes pushing with Annabeth. We went down the hall, past THE room, and into a beautiful new delivery room. We met with our nurse and reviewed Annabeth's birth. I knew we would have to go through it but I wasn't ready for the fear that would creep in as we relived that morning. We did the same thing with the anesthesiologist as well as the Resident on call.
Checking into St. Francis
39 Weeks, 3 Days
June 1, 2015
We started meds around 7:30 pm and then we waited. I was in very little pain and was able to rest quite a bit. We started pitocin around 1 am but it was shut off within 12 minutes. Even set at a 2, my body had started having nearly consistent contractions at just 2 cm. We knew I would not be able to withstand that for many, many hours and so we turned off the pump. We gave my body 30 minutes to calm back down and then we started again at 1. Through the night the nurse came to check me and turned up the pitocin. I asked her not to tell me what number she was increasing to. I knew with Annabeth we had gone too high, too hard, and too fast which is part of what led to the intensely painful labor that I had with her. I also knew that I wanted to wait as long as possible to have my water break. With Annabeth it had been 12 hours from the time my water broke to the time she was born. It made for incredibly intense contractions through that night. I was anxious to avoid repeating that.
Night shift switched to day shift and God gave us the perfect nurse. We once again reviewed Annabeth's delivery and our plan for this time. Our nurse is the great niece of an old-school midwife and uses lots of her aunt's tricks of the trade. After her first check, she saw that we had not made much progress through the night and that Owen was still posterior. She committed to spending the day keeping me as pain free and calm as possible while trying to get Owen to turn on his own. I cannot have an epidural or pain meds due to drug allergies and so natural pain remedies are vital to me. She was incredible. She allowed us lots of time alone and also helped with many different positions to ease and aid labor. She allowed me to do what I wanted, when I wanted. We moved through the day quickly and I was even able to take a few catnaps. Our doctor came to check on us in the late afternoon and my water broke at 4:45. Then there was no more calm. Just like with Annabeth, once my water broke I was in incredible pain and had horrific contractions. We slowly backed off the pitocin to a 9 and allowed my body to do most of its own work. Because Owen was still posterior I was in horrible pain through my back and hips. I asked to not have to labor in bed at all and thanks to Mark holding me up was able to labor on the labor ball and while standing until the last possible seconds. Mark and pushed me back into bed as doctors and nurses flooded the room. I heard our doctor giving a quick overview of Annabeth's delivery to the Resident as well as the nurses so they all knew what we might be in for. I pushed through the next contraction and began to panic. It seemed like nothing had happened and I wondered "Can I do this for 2+ hours again?" Then we pushed again and I KNEW that he was coming. I even said, "Mark our baby is coming!" to which he looked and me and said, "I KNOW!" One more set of pushes and I was holding our perfect baby boy.
No episiotomy (although I do have a 2nd degree tear which is nothing compared to the 4th cut from Annabeth). No hours of pushing. No vaccuum. No forceps. No NICU. No terror. Just a, relatively, calm delivery of a precious, Beloved gift from God.
At 6:57 pm on June 2, I realized a dream. I delivered our son into the world. I held him first. I saw him first. I touched his hands and feet first. I looked into his eyes and saw perfection and the Greatness of our God. I repeatedly thanked and praised Jesus for this incredible blessing - the blessing of becoming a Mama again, for a healthy baby, for a safe delivery, and for the indescribable joy of holding my seconds old baby while Mark held us. To God be ALL the glory.
The Riley Four.
My Life and Love.