Remembering Rilynn’s birth and journey
I cannot believe it has been 4 years in just a couple hours from the day Rilynn was born. It has been a crazy journey and I feel like I can finally write out her birth story. Rilynn’s birth was the most traumatic experience out of the 4 kids. None of their births were smooth but hers was the scariest.
When we found out we were pregnant it was a flood of emotions. There was excitement, fear, joy, hope. After 4 losses in a year and a half we clenched hope that this little peanut would stick and grow and complete our family. Doctors told us it would be a “crap shoot” and that tests told us nothing. It was devastating. Then on June 12, 2014 we found out that our little peanut was on the way. The baby we had been praying for may actually be coming.
My pregnancy was a journey in itself. Our peanut was strong and my hormones caused me to have Hyperemesis gravidarum and horrible heartburn. Fluids multiple times a week, Vitamin B injections, and tons of cravings for red meat, a burrito supreme and Baja blast soda. During it all we moved to Northern CA, had to establish care with new doctors, find a doula and prepare all in what should have been 5 and a half weeks.
We found a doula we loved that was such a wealth of information, patience, kindness, and motivation. Brooke was my strength through being 2 weeks overdue, an emergency c-section, a baby rushed to NICU, and waiting without my husband or baby while I healed enough to go see her.
As I mentioned in the beginning this is the first time I have written out my daughter’s birth. Every time I have tried I couldn’t finish. It hurt too much. It still makes me ache but it is time to talk about it. So here goes.
Our baby is almost here…maybe
At week 40 I thought this has to be it. I had many days of contractions so I was hopeful. Well, nothing. I went to the doctor and I was not even close to being ready. So we upped our walks, sitting on the yoga ball, doing all the things to try to get baby to come naturally. Since we wanted to try for a VBAC (vaginal delivery after c-section) the doctors would not induce. So off to wait. Week 41 hits and still nothing. They did send us for monitoring and had one horrible doctor try to use scare tactics to have us just do a c-section. Our baby looked fine on the monitors so it wasn’t necessary.
Then as we are a day away from 42 weeks, we headed for yet another doctor visit. We decided to stop and have lunch before heading to my appointment. We had a nice lunch and I decide to head to the restroom before heading down the hill to the doctors office. Until my fear of having my water break in public happened. Thankfully I was in the restroom and that it wasn’t a gush. I was a little concerned that the fluid had a tinge of color. Yet I was so excited that this was it. Thankfully we already had our things packed and in the car with us just in case. So I grabbed Travis and off we went. We called our doula and headed to Sacramento for our appointment.
The doctor confirmed my water broke and sent us to the hospital. But first we detoured to McKinley Park for a nice walk around the park for a little bit to try to get labor moving before going in. We did a couple laps, enjoyed the new blossoms on the magnolia trees, and took a couple photos of us. We eventually got to the hospital and all started pretty typical. Nice and smooth. We walked the halls, sat and rolled on the yoga ball, and had clary sage diffusing in the background. Contractions were off and on and none really doing any work. After a few hours, it was time to rest and conserve energy for what we had hoped to be a successful VBAC. That is when everything went to pieces.
Times are a little fuzzy, but at roughly 4:30a I was abruptly woken up with multiple nurses all over me. One flipped me to my back and another was putting an oxygen mask on my face, another was at the monitors and another basically on top of me. I asked what was going on and they were all so focused on baby. Once that was over they explained that the baby’s heart crashed and they had to get it back. There was still no big change in contractions or progress. The nurses left and I went back to resting after applying more clary sage and a little more movement. Once again the nurses came rushing in and baby’s heart was crashing again.
At this point we called our doula and photographer. We had no idea what to expect at this point. Not too long after, the nurses ran in again. This time our doula was there. The doctor came in to talk to us and it was time to make a decision. Baby kept crashing which was frightening. After talking about it we decided having a VBAC was now not an option. Our baby’s safe arrival was. I was so sad to not get that with her, but I could not lose her. Emergency c-section was the only option.
They quickly got me ready and off to the operating room and Travis and Brooke (our doula) went to get dressed. I was wheeled into the operating room. Lots of medical staff were quickly setting up, prepping me, etc. As the nurse was prepping my belly Rilynn’s heart crashed again. The doctor firmly said to end the prep and she had to get baby out now. They dropped the table and got started. Travis and Brooke came in as they were starting. Or at least that is what I remember.
Minutes later at 8:01a our Rilynn was born. Unfortunately, they rushed her right to the basinet and began assessing her. I never got to see my princess because of the abrupt table placement I could not see her basinet. All I could see was through a tiny crack in the drape. So a little foot and part of her nose. That was it. Next thing I know they are racing her to the NICU. I insisted Travis go with her and not leave her side. So he left as the doctors finished with me. Brooke stayed with me. The remainder of the surgery was filled with lots go tugging and pressure, body shakes, and all I wanted was to just see my daughter.
I got to recovery and was struggling with not know what was happening with Rilynn. It turned out she was in respiratory distress. The photos I got to see was her with tubes in her nose and in her mouth. It was so hard. This was the first baby of the four that I did not get to hold or see right away. I am so thankful to Brooke for staying with me, talking with me, and walking me through. She kept my mind off of worrying and got me pumping right away.
Never underestimate the power of a mom
After lots of insisting, they wheeled my bed by the NICU you and I got to touch her. Sometimes I wonder if that made it harder not to be able to hold her. After my brief minute seeing her, it wasn’t until about dinner time was I able to see and touch my baby. My precious daughter so tiny for being 2 weeks late, covered in tubes. I am very grateful to the NICU nurses that took care of her and being patient with me as the two of us struggled to bond and navigate.
It was a long night of pushing through the pain every 2 hours to go to her and try to nurse. But nothing was stopping me. The first couple visits to nurse her she refused to breastfed. This was devastating. I had nursed my other 3 kids from the moment they were born. She finally came around and realized I was mama and it was ok. Then by 11:30p I got to see my daughter’s face free of tubes. She was precious. Just after the 24 hour mark our precious Rilynn was with us and out of the NICU. Praise God we did not lose her.
We did not get our VBAC but our daughter is here. Our daughter is beautiful inside and out! She started out life rocky and has had an eventful last 4 years.
Rilynn’s eventful 4 years
At 2 weeks old, Rilynn was diagnosed with the 3 holes in her heart. Thankfully the holes closed on their own a couple years ago. She struggled with breastfeeding issues that caused failure to thrive,. That led to a posterior tongue tie diagnosis. She then underwent a traumatic posterior tongue tie clipping. She had a cancer scare thanks to a virus that had her bloodwork all over the place. And of course, all kinds of sassiness in between. She is strong, a fighter, and knows how to beat the odds. She is our rainbow miracle baby. Our daughter was meant to be here and is going to do great things.
It took a while to write this all out and as I sit her at 12:52a on my girl’s birthday I am thankful that I could finally get it all written out. If Rilynn has taught us anything from the day we took the pregnancy test to this very moment, it is that we cannot plan for anything. We can hope for things but in the end things will go as they should whether it is what we planned or not. And if we think we are not strong enough, we really are stronger than we think. Thank you Rilynn for being you and beating all odds!