**Editor's Note** Yes, I know that it would make more sense for Riley's birth story to be published first, but that isn't what I did.
Davis is nearly 5. I can’t really stop to think about that too long. Not just because he keeps me busy, but if I stop to think about it, I will realize that it has been 5 years since I was pregnant, and that is one thing I will never be again. I will never hold a tiny sleeping baby against my chest while in paralyzing fear that the tiny sleeping baby will soon be a tiny awake baby. Honestly, I already don’t remember what my kids were like as babies. I remember more of Riley as a tiny tot than I do Davis but both are awfully fuzzy.
When I found out I was pregnant with Davis, Riley was 14 months old. When I see 14 month-olds now, I think to myself, “Why in h-e-l-l did I have a kid that age and think I could handle another one?” and the answer to that question is, I wasn’t thinking. I was still tired and had mom brain, and we just went with it. And thank goodness we did.
With the issues that were uncovered at the end of my pregnancy with Riley, as soon as I had my first OB appointment she labeled me high risk and sent me to a Maternal-Fetal Specialist. That is scary shit to hear when you are still all high on the fumes from baby lotion and are imagining how perfect things are going to be. We met with the specialist. He was nice, his staff was amazing. I was 12 weeks pregnant and got to see the ultrasound in HD. It was surreal. Then the nice doctor and his amazing staff told me that there was nothing wrong with the baby, and that “it” was at little to no risk. But (there is always a but) I was at a high risk of a blood clot, stroke, aneurysm, even death (which made me think twice about the baby not being at risk since, if I was dead it seemed like it might be hard on the baby I was growing but I got their point). So I left his office with 28 week’s worth of blood thinner, needles and syringes and orders to take good care of myself, enjoy the pregnancy, and that my regular doctor would keep him informed and there was no need to see him again. I gave myself shots in the abdomen 3 times a day. I was far from a model pregnant lady. I ate scraps off my toddlers plate and called them a meal. I drank soda, sometimes coffee, sometimes both (in the same day) and I drank a glass of wine a couple nights a week. But I did my injections. In the midst of living life, I also got ultrasounds and non-stress tests every week. 28 ultrasounds. I knew more about my unborn baby than some parents know about their 13 year old. I loved it. He was named well before they officially told us he was a boy.
Since my doctor wanted me to have a controlled labor, we decided to schedule an induction. That was fine with me. I was induced with Riley and that was my comfort zone and gave me a good idea of what to expect. We picked a date. Wednesday, July 9. I was to stop my injections a few days before and arrive at the hospital July 8 at 7pm. I learned from my last experience that you want to be dang sure you are full before you get to the hospital. So, my saintly parents arrived to pick up our unsuspecting daughter and Millie-dog after work on Tuesday. And Sherman and I headed to Longhorn to gorge on steak, potatoes, dessert and anything else I could eat. We arrived at the hospital freshly showered (another lesson learned) and full, ready to take on this baby delivery. Much as with Riley, they hooked me up to some IVs, put a few drugs here and there and we were all set. Once I was settled in, I promptly rolled over and went to sleep; knowing that every hour a nurse would be in to check me. I also knew that these checks were going to be rather pointless for the first 12 hours. The morning of July 9th I woke up to a room filled with sunshine. The doctor wanted to break my water and turn up my pitocin, but I asked for the epidural first and she agreed. So the anesthesiologist arrived, did his spiel about the risks, he checked my heart/lungs and said I couldn’t have an epidural. Rather than kick him, which is what I wanted to do, I just sat there with my mouth wide open, unable to grasp what he just said. He thought I had an irregular heartbeat. I would have to get all hooked up to the heart monitor and be cleared before he could drug me. That is when the nicest nurse in the world, sensing my panic, brought me stadol. And although they did eventually give me the epidural, I cared a lot less than before that miracle shot. I don’t remember much of the next sequence of events. I took a nap, my husband went to grab a bite to eat in case things took a while. Then all of a sudden I was more alert than I had been all day. A nurse walked in, I told her I thought I was ready to push. She laughed. Then she checked me and said, in her stern, serious nurse voice “Don’t Push”. Then there was a sudden flurry about the room. Tables were moved, people went in and out, the doctor appeared, then disappeared. All of a sudden there was a mini-nursery set up in the corner. The doctor reappeared. It was go time. I gathered all of my mental strength, remembering how the first time around my ability to focus all of myself on the goal, not the action had helped more than anything. So, we start the legs in the air, push, doctor counting (or maybe it is the nurse, doesn’t matter), legs down, breathe, legs up, push, counting, legs down, breathe, legs up, count…”Great job”, “He’s here”, “Baby looks great”, “Dad, cut the cord”, “Here he is”. I hadn’t even caught up with what the hell was happening, and I was all of a sudden holding my baby. Since he was healthy, and I didn’t require any re-assembly thanks to his fast exit, we just laid there together. Of course, he was born hungry and figured that out pretty darn quick. I don’t remember when we called my parents, or anyone else for that matter. I don’t remember them clearing out the room. I just had this sense of calm, and it was just me holding our son, with my husband beaming at us. I felt great. Sometime later, Riley came to meet her brother. She could not have cared less. She kept asking about the IV in my arm and for me to come home and telling me Millie was being at good dog at Nana and Big Daddy’s. I remember thinking that I was awfully glad Davis was 15 days early, and that it was funny for him being earlier he was exactly 1 ounce and 1 inch bigger than his sister. The next morning he got snipped, clipped, weighed, washed, and put in his going home clothes, and home we went. Our discharge papers showed us leaving 25 hours after his time of delivery.