Noah Robert Reilly
Six Pounds, Eight Ounces
Twenty Inches Long
Since Memorial Day, Sofia had been having contractions off and on. Some days we would be wondering if this was it. Other times, we would just carry on as normal. Such was the case when Sofia woke me up at two in morning on Monday, June first. The contractions felt new–lower. We stayed awake for an hour, talking and tracking the contractions. It seemed like this time was different, but we had thought that several times over the past week.
After an hour, things somewhat subsided and we went back to bed. My alarm went off at 5:45 AM like it does every workday. With no new information, I started getting ready for leave. We are in a strange situation with leave. Federal Workers were recently given twelve weeks of parental leave per birth. But that only applies to births after October First. So I’ve been doing my best to conserve my leave. I ate breakfast with Henry, checked in with Sofia, and got in the car to start my commute.
About seven minutes into my commute, Sofia calls me. She says something along the lines of, “I don’t think I just peed myself…” I called work to let them know, turned around, and started my paternity leave. When I got home, we called my parents. They are the most isolated people we know, so they were our obvious choice when it came to watching Henry during the birth. The only problem is that they live three hours away. We told them it was likely time and they started their drive down.
We took our time packing up. Sofia, Henry and I went and got some curbside coffee. We arrived at our OB’s office the minute they opened up. We wanted to verify that her water had actually broken before heading to the hospital. Due to COVID restrictions, Henry is not allowed in, so we hung out at the park across the street and watched people play basketball. He loved it. He even tried a (very) small amount of my latte.
The OB verified the water had broken. So we went straight to the Hospital. I dropped Sofia off at 10:00 AM on Monday, June First. She started check in procedures as I went back home with Henry. We made and ate lunch. He tired himself out a bit. Then I put him down for a nap. My parents arrived a few minutes later–and I was off to the hospital.
I arrived at the hospital at noon. Sofia had been there for two hours at that point. They had started her on antibiotics since she was positive for Group B Strep. Contractions had started up naturally. Unfortunately, they weren’t doing much of anything. SHe was still at 2 centimeters after several hours. So we started up on the lowest dose of pitocin possible. That was when the fun started.
They turned the pitocin on at 1:50. Over the next 90 minutes, Sofia had 34 contractions. They were averaging just under three minutes apart and lasting 70 seconds. And with the pitocin, they were getting very strong. That ended being enough for Sofia to call it quits. She finally asked for the epidural. Within minutes, the pain subsided, but the contractions remained. Epidurals really are quite magical.
After a couple hours of (mostly) painless laboring, we got some dinner from the hospital. The OB showed up. He did his check and told us he would be heading home for dinner. He would be on call as things progressed until we got further along. That was my cue to head home. Henry is mostly okay with my parents. But he is still a toddler who likes his routine.
We did bath time then bedtime. I updated my parents on everything and let them know they would likely be alone tomorrow. Then I headed back. I arrived back at the hospital at 7:00. By then, they had shut off the pitocin because baby’s heart rate wasn’t fluctuating very much. We spent a couple hours trying to wake him up with sugary drinks, peanut butter, and new positions.
We eventually settled in to get some sleep. I probably got 9 minutes of sleep scattered across those hours. However, once, midnight hit, I was unable to even try sleeping anymore. Baby’s heart rate started going down with each contraction…somewhat significantly. It scared me a lot. The reality is that, if it got bad enough, they would just wheel her in for an emergency C-Section. Something we were trying desperately to avoid.
But the OB and the RN kept a close eye and found a good balance between with the heart rate and progressing the labor. By the time two o’clock hit, Sofia was at 8 centimeters and contractions were two and a half minutes apart. By three o’clock, she was 9 centimeters and contractions were two minutes apart. They told her to rest and let them know when she started feeling a lot of pressure.
At 3:30, she called the nurse to let her know that the pressure was getting intense. The nurse came in, did a check during a contraction. She had Sofia push once, then immediately told her to stop. She left the room and came back with our OB just a minute or two later. He gave her the low-down on how to push. We waited until the next contraction and she pushed four times. By the time the contraction ended, I saw hair.
It was enough that they spent the next three minutes filling the room with supplies and people. By the time the next round of pushing started, the OB, the RN, a student, and two pediatricians were in the room. Again Sofia pushed four times. By the time she stopped, I could see the top of the head.
On the third round of pushing, she pushed three times. On the first one, I saw the top of the head. On the second one, the head came out. On the third one, Noah Robert Reilly was born. The OB placed him directly on Sofia’s chest and one of the pediatricians got to work on cleaning him up. He was born at 3:48 AM on June 2, 2020 in Room 3110 of Memorial North Hospital in Colorado Springs, CO.
The rest has kind of flown by. The OB had me cut the cord. The placenta didn’t want to come out so the OB had to scrape a lot of it out. Medication was administered to help with the increased chance of infection. He got his first vaccine. At 6:00AM, they moved us to a recovery room (I’m sure delivery rooms are in high demand). Sofia called her parents. I let everyone know. We ordered breakfast burritos.
It is now 8:30 AM. This little guy is sleeping in front of me. He’s almost five hours old now. Sofia has finally fallen asleep. Between the one hour of sleep I got last night and six I got the night before, I am running on fumes and adrenaline. But he is here–and we got the vaginal birth we wanted–making future vaginal births much much safer. Henry is still with my parents–largely oblivious to what is happening. He’ll be in for a shock tomorrow.NO
I think Noah’s eyes are blue.