Monday, February 1, 2010

The Day You Were Born

Originally Written - July 8, 2009
Dear Riley,

I want to tell you about the day you were born before I forget. You are growing up so fast and I feel like if I don't write it down I won't be able to remember everything! So, here we go...

Leading up to your arrival, my doctor, Dr. Gregory Mondini, suspected you weren't in the right position to be born naturally. We kept waiting on you to make your arrival, but I guess you LOVED it in my belly. We would have to induce. On Tuesday, September 16, 2008, your Daddy, your Mamaw (Henry's Mom) and I went to the hospital at 5:30, IN THE MORNING. You better be glad I love you, because that is way too early to be up moving around! Little did I know I would be up a lot at 5:30 a.m. in the weeks after you were born.

So we got to the hospital and checked in and the nurses got me hooked up to medicine to help you come out a little faster. Family members started arriving to meet you, but you were nowhere to be seen. After a couple hours, Dr. Mondini came in to check on our progress. Nothing. He ordered a CAT scan of my pelvis to see if you would fit through my pelvis. The answer: I HAVE A PETITE PELVIS. Who in the world would have thought your Mommy would have small hips? Certainly not me. I assumed I was perfectly suited to have babies, one after another. I guess it was not to be, so we waited around until 12:30 to find out what I already suspected: You would be born via C-section.

Riley, before I had you I had only been to the doctor for check-ups and shots, nothing major in the least. No real broke bones, no stitches. A C-section is major abdominal surgery. Before you were born I read all the books and websites I could about giving birth. However, I never even glanced at the sections on C-sections. I didn't have enough time to get scared. When I look back now, it's plenty scary.

At around 1:45 in the afternoon, the nurses came for me. I had to walk to the operating room while your Daddy stayed in the room putting his scrubs on. It was the first time all day we had been separated; I wanted your Daddy with me. I walked into a big operating room. There was a big, bright light shining down on a bed. The nurses had to help me climb up on the bed. Next, I had to get the anesthesia shot in my back. I was not worried about this, I knew women got these shots everyday. I relaxed and followed the nurses instructions. I felt them messing with my back (still not nervous at this point). Now, the nurses helped me lay down so the anesthesia would go to my lower body. I did what they said, and waited for what happened next. After a few minutes, one of the doctors began sticking my belly with a pin. He wanted to know if I could feel the pin prick. I could. He said, "Are you sure?" "Uh, yes, I am sure I feel you sticking me with the pin." He poked around for another few minutes, satisfied, he turned to leave the operating room. Just as he was at the door, he said, "Put your knees up." With the type of anesthesia I had received, I should not have been able to feel the pin prick, and definitely should not have been able to put my knees up on the table. I should have been paralyzed from the chest down.

When the doctor asked me to put my knees up, I sat my feet right up on the table. I could still move and feel my legs. The doctor began to ask the nurses why I still had feeling. Apparently, the first epidural hadn't took. I needed a second epidural. I AM VERY NERVOUS AT THIS POINT. I just wanted your Daddy in the room with me. I needed someone I knew to tell me everything was going to be fine. The anesthesiologist administered another epidural. This time, he had me as numb as a rubber chicken. I couldn't feel anything. Then, your Daddy appeared at my side. He had his scrubs on and a face mask. The only part of him I could see were his eyes and I could tell that he was just as nervous as I was.

The doctors had already started working on me. They told your daddy he could stand up and watch. He stood up, but immediately sat back down. He would not be watching the doctors cut me open and bring you out. When he sat down, I began to feel like I wasn't breathing. I had to watch my heart beat and pulse on the monitor beside my head to assure myself that I was still breathing. The doctors were tugging and pulling on my body, applying a great deal of pressure to try and get you out. I felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I never want to experience that sensation again.

I never thought the tugging and pulling would end. Finally, one of the doctors told us we were getting close to having a baby. At 2:21 p.m. (the exact same time I was born) you made your debut. The doctors handed you off to the nurses waiting nearby. Your daddy followed with you. I still hadn't heard you cry. I couldn't see you, people were standing in the way. After a minute or so, you started crying. One of the nurses working on you started calling you Pumpkin Head. They wrapped you up and you and your daddy came over to the table I was still laying on. I started crying and gave you a kiss on your head. Your daddy was teary-eyed too. It was the first time I ever met you.

I didn't see you again for about an hour. The doctors had given me some sort of medicine, and I went to sleep for most of that hour. Your daddy stayed with you the whole time. He never left your side. When I was finally being moved, I was wheeled down a hallway and saw everyone who had come to meet you. The only person I remember seeing was Sara Boykin. I was very groggy. The nurses set me up in a room and I got to hold you for the first time. Remember that medicine I told you about a minute ago, well whatever that was sent me for a loop. I don't remember holding you that first time. The next thing I remember clearly was at about 7:00 that night. It makes me so sad to think I missed your first 5 hours on this planet.

Later, your daddy told me that when you first came out, you were having trouble breathing. The nurses started getting worried that you had too much fluid in your lungs. I guess God knew what he was doing by making sure I was knocked out. I would have been so upset. You finally came around and started breathing just fine.

You haven't slowed down since. I am so happy I was able to bring you into this world. I would not take those first few days in the hospital for anything in the world. I will always remember the day I met Riley Claire Smith.

Love you sweet girl,


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