Monday, March 15, 2010

The Big Day:

2010-03-06 - Riley's Birthday-3

Welcome back! Like I said last week I was just so worn out and happy to be home I just didn't have it in me to make the post giving the full run down of Riley's arrival. If you were following me on Twitter or Facebook I did make a few status updates throughout the day so those who were interested could follow along. It's really amazing how the use of text messages and status updates has really changed the way "the word" gets out.

On Friday night we went to the golf course with some friends and sat on the patio for a while and then decided to go to the Florida state championship basketball games being held at the Lakeland Center. We had a great time. Maybe it was the nachos that sent us over the edge, we may never know. After the game we decided to head home since I had a tee time to play golf with Dad and 2 other friends early the next morning. Like I posted on Twitter as it turns out "the quickest way to get your overdue wife to start having contractions? Schedule a Saturday morning tee time." At about 2:00 a.m. on Saturday Britt began having contractions. She stayed in bed as long as she could before finally getting up and going into the living room. I was wiped out and didn't notice her get out of bed so I was still asleep.

Around 6:00 a.m. Britt came back into the bedroom and woke me up and let me know that she had been having contractions since about 2 and that I could "go back to sleep" but golf this morning was probably out of the question. Needless to say, I was unable to go back to sleep. Telling me that is like telling me "the back half of the house is on fire, I'll come back and get you when it's really time to go." So I was up a few minutes later and made a few calls. The first one was to my parents and it felt like Dad was standing right next to the phone when I called because it didn't ring more than once. Turns out he was and had coincidentally been walking right by the phone at the time of the call. It's funny how timing can work out. Mom picked up seconds later and both knew it could only mean one thing if I was calling them at 6:15 a.m. Baby time!

After getting a quick shower Britt got dressed and called the on call doctor who initially tried to talk us out of coming in to the hospital for two reasons - this was our first baby so there are usually a few false alarms and secondly Brittany sounded amazingly calm and happy (a recurring theme throughout the whole day). After some more discussion the doctor finally told her to come on in and get checked. I took a quick shower and then took a few last photos of Britt in the nursery.

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After checking three times over to make sure we weren't going to leave anything behind and we were off.

Driving to the hospital wasn't very eventful but I did take it as one of the few legitimate opportunities to speed a bit since there was some urgency and I think it would have been exciting to see if I was stopped to get a police escort or at least a good "how I got a speeding ticket story." No luck and we made it to the hospital quickly and without any police interference.

Parked without a problem and made it to the 4th floor and started looking around for labor & delivery. We were told to go to triage first so that they could check everything out and see how far along everything was before determining whether we would be admitted or would have to hold off. After the triage nurse checked Britt she was as shocked as we were to find out that she was already 7 cm dilated. Needless to say we were admitted. The nurse was shocked at how happy and relaxed Britt seemed and this became a recurring theme throughout our stay at the hospital. Brittany even walked to the labor & delivery room that we would be spending the next few hours in.

Once we got to the room we settled in and the first thing I noticed was the table where they would turn on the heating lamp, weigh, and do the first health checks on my son. That really made it set in for me and I couldn't stop looking at it and thinking "wow, he's going to be here SOON and I absolutely cannot wait!" I also noticed a piece of paper where they would fill out his first stats - weight, length, time of birth, and other important stats along with his first hospital band and his first diaper.

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Again it started to set in how close we really were. They hooked Britt up to all of the monitors that keep track of all of her vitals as well as the baby's which was really interesting to watch and a nice distraction at times.

Since things were progressing faster than usual (coming in already being 7 cm dilated) there was a pretty high priority on getting the epidural sooner than later. Fortunately the anesthesiologist had a small window between two planned C sections so he worked us in. This was definitely one of the more nerve wracking parts of the day because it is a pretty serious procedure (and large needle!). I think we were both pretty concerned about it and they actually made me sit down facing her so that if for whatever reason I decided to pass out I wouldn't cause her to jump when I hit the floor. Pretty good idea if you ask me.

After the epidural was in we were able to relax a bit while the staff monitored all of the contractions and Riley's vitals.

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After sending a few texts Britt managed to get in a little bit of a nap so she could get rested up for the big push. Finally around 2:30 we made the first attempt to push but unfortunately the doctor felt that it just wasn't time yet and Riley was not low enough. We slowed down a bit but the contractions and pressure she was feeling definitely didn't. After an hour of going through that and waiting the nurse came back in and started preparing us for some possible bad news - even more and intense contractions. Since it didn't seem to her that he was low enough she felt that they may have to give Britt some Pitocin to push things along a bit. Before going and getting the doctor she decided to check one more time and after she did the whole plan changed. It was baby time! Apparently over the last 30 minutes Riley had dropped quite a bit and was just about ready to make his debut.

Talk about being nervous and excited. The lead up to this was nothing compared to what we were both feeling now! At this point they called the doctor back into the room and it was time for the final push. After about 30 minutes and 4 or 5 rounds of pushing Riley was here! I can't describe the feeling I had when I saw him in person for the first time and then heard him take his first breath. Now it was time for me to cut the cord and that went off without a hitch. This was definitely something I wanted to do but blood and those type of situations aren't really in my comfort zone so I was relieved it went smoothly (for both of us) and we both remained conscious.

Everyone says having a baby changes your life. That statement is more than true but to hear it or even to tell someone that, it just doesn't do it justice. My life changed in SO many ways in that one split second. There really isn't any other experience like it. After I cut the cord they took him to the table and cleaned him off and weighed, measured, and did everything else they do at this stage in the game. When I turned around to check on things a nurse was behind me with him in her arms and asked if I wanted to hold him. OF COURSE I did but I didn't think I deserved to be the first since Brittany had done all of the work but the doctor and other nurses were still attending to her so I got to be the first to hold him. Again, there's no other feeling like it in the world. Up until this moment I had never held a baby. Seriously, never. So to say that I didn't know what I was doing was an understatement but I did my best and we both got comfortable. After a few minutes it was time for the hand off and for Brittany to meet her son in person for the first time.

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After we had a few minutes to ourselves it was time to bring in the new grandparents for them to meet their first grandchild. Everyone came in and the celebration really got started. We got to take a bunch of pictures with everyone as they met and held Riley for the first time. What a cool experience! It was really a great thing to be able to share with our parents who we love so much.

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After the meet and greet it was time for us to pack up and make the move from our labor and delivery room to the mother and baby unit where we would be spending the rest of our time while we were in the hospital. We had to say farewell to our L&D nurses which was kind of sad because they were so great for us while we were there. When we got to the room we met a new set of nurses and we finally had some time to relax and spread the news to everyone through texts and phone calls.

I was SO tired once we got into the new room so I cannot imagine how tired Brittany must have been but we were both so happy and excited to be parents we weren't worried about sleep. We had a few more special visitors before visiting hours were over and after that we were finally able to eat dinner and settle in for our first night as a family. Laying in bed (or a fold out chair in the hospital room) I took a few minutes to reflect on what a wild day it had been and how lucky I am to have such a great family, an amazing and STRONG wife, and a new and most importantly healthy member of our family. I'm so blessed!

Well, that's our story of the big day and I am glad I was able to share a small part of one of the best days of my life. If you'd like to take a look at some of the other photos from the big day click here. The words and photos definitely don't do it justice but I did my best. Be sure to stop by again tomorrow for another update and some more photos. See you then!

1 comment:

Sharon said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! Man did this make me tear up. You are right, there is nothing in the world like that moment - it will make you want to do it again LOL

Welcome to the world, Riley! He is beautiful and your wife is an amazing woman - to be in transition on the way to the hospital! Woo!! Great pics, she looks wonderful and like she's been out to dinner or something other than giving birth :)