On Monday, March 25th, Meghan and I packed our bags and headed to the hospital after work for a scheduled induction. We were going to hit the ‘Week 41’ mark that Wednesday. Based on everything we had been told, the baby just wasn’t in any position to progress and actually start labor. However, since doctors are reluctant to schedule c-sections, induction was what they were recommending. Actually, it took a lot of convincing on Meghan’s end to even get the OB to agree to that. Reluctantly, they contacted the hospital to setup the appointment.
We had made the trip to the birthing center at the hospital a number of times now, but this time we got one of the fancy rooms.
At the scheduled time, they began induction, and we wouldn’t know much of anything till the morning. Meghan slept in the hospital bed that night, while I curled up on the convertible couch. I didn’t get much sleep though…with the fetal monitor having been hooked up, all I could focus on was the baby’s heartbeat. When the morning rolled around, very little progress had been made. Meghan was starting to experience contractions, but they weren’t resulting in dilation. Not wanting to give into our pressure or questions about just going the c-section route, the doctors decided to attempt another induction using the same medication as the first time. We needed to wait another 12 hours…
After the long wait, it was time to check for dilation. Unfortunately, there had been little progress again. It was determined that induction would stop for the remainder of the night, and that they would try again in the morning, this time using a different medication. Oh boy, another night on that fantastic couch listening to the fetal monitor!
It was now Wednesday, March 27th, and the doctors were ready to try again, this time with an IV medication. With the IV in, we were off to the races…or something like that. Contractions returned, but by lunch time, again, little progress had been made with regards to dilation. It was then (and only then), the doctors were willing to talk c-section with us. As it turns out, and something we knew before we even went to the hospital, the baby simply was not in a favorable position to encourage labor. The decision was made that c-section would be the way to go. Once the decision was made, things progressed fairly quickly.
Our nurse that day, who promised us as she started her shift that morning that the baby would be born today one way or the other, got me prepped with the bunny suit.
There was an issue with the humidity in the operating rooms in the birthing center, so we had to made the trip through the hospital to the main operating room area.
Doctors and nurses were excited to see us there, as they don’t get many births there they said. I was told to wait out at the nurses station while Meghan got the epidural. Once it had kicked in, I was called back.
A somewhat transparent curtain had been put up between us and the actual surgery that was about to take place, A sheet had also been pulled up, which at the time the baby was removed, would be lowered so that we could see the baby as she came out. The surgery itself was fairly quick. Once they got to the baby, we heard the doctor say, “We have meconium!”, so they worked quick to get the baby out. Once the baby was out, they dropped the sheet and we (well…me, Meghan couldn’t actually see anything) were able to see the baby. Because the transparent curtain had some opaqueness to it, you couldn’t make out a lot of detail, but I could definitely tell it was a baby. They rushed the baby over to the warming station, and worked to clean off all the goo and clear out the lungs. While they were doing all of that, the nurse asked if she wanted us to take some pictures so that we could see the baby, so I gave her my phone and she snapped some for us.
Within a few minutes, after the cleaning off and the measuring (of height and weight), the baby was brought over to us. The anesthesiologist offered to take more pictures for us.
Meghan and I can now introduce the world to our daughter, Riley Elizabeth-Lynn Earley. She was born on 3/27 at 4:57 p.m., and weighed 7lbs 6oz, and was 21″ in length.
After the doctors did their best Humpty Dumpty and put Meghan back together again, we were taken back to the birthing center for recovery. As Meghan was taken to the recovery room, I went to the new room we would be staying at to let my mom, who had been keeping us company for most of the day, know that everything went well. I finally spilled the beans on the name and sex of the baby. After a bit of recovery time, my mom was allowed to visit briefly.
Once we had been in recovery long enough, it was time to move to our new room…which was much smaller and cramped than the birthing room. Much of the next two days, at least day-to-day stuff, is sort of a blur at this point. Lack of sleep will do that to you. One of the things I do recall the first night, was getting Riley to eat. While she seemed to have the sucking part down, her latch, not so great. The lactation consultant visited to help out with that, and actually gave me a job to do. As it turns out, at least according to her, a lot of babies learn to breastfeed from their fathers. I don’t know how true that is, but I’m going to roll with it. No, I didn’t lift my shirt and let her go to town, instead, I finger fed her with breast milk and a syringe.
The next day we had more visitors. First up, Grandma and Grandpa Charters, who brought with them some non-hospital food for Meghan and I.
Later that day, my mom, Brody and my dad came.
Everyone brought gifts with them, from clothes, to flowers, to little mittens. We were definitely leaving the hospital with more than we came with.
The next day (we are now into Friday), Meghan and I were treated with a special dinner from the hospital. For hospital food, it wasn’t that bad. They also included sparkling grape juice.
The next morning we were getting excited, as it was finally time to go home. After some breakfast, and some checks from the doctor and nurses, we got the all-clear to go home. We put RIley into her car seat, and the nurse checked to make sure we did it right. She walked with us out to the lobby area, where she waited with Meghan while I pulled the car around. We clipped the seat in and set out on our way to bring RIley home for the first time. Let the adventures begin!