I’ve done such a great job of writing the birth stories of my children (*pats self on back*) that I can’t slip with this third kid, even though a nap sounds amazing right now. 🙂 I hate how quickly the details fade into sweet, blurry memories. So this is the birth story of our sweet girl – as always, warning that it’s not too detailed or gross, but read at your own discretion. 🙂 You can skip to the bolded part below if you want to know how she got her name.
Nearing the end of the pregnancy, the baby was breech. We knew this by the melon ball head felt under my ribs and how she sat on my left hip for weeks and weeks – her position was wonky and didn’t at all feel normal/natural. A series of ultrasounds over the last few weeks confirmed her breech-ness and then confirmed when she flipped – finally – around 37 weeks. The ultrasounds also confirmed that this kid would be my 3rd one with a gigantic head. While I’d managed to birth two babies with big heads, there’s always a fear that the delivery would be difficult if the head was too big to fit.
I’m confident I have the best OB of the dozens available in this city. She lets me manage my own healthcare with super wise guidance along the way. I suggested an induction due to baby’s head size – after inductions with both of the boys for the same reason were successful – and she agreed. The schedule showed us April 20th for a birth date and we were set with an eviction date.
Like with Jude, we checked into the hospital at 5am. Ok, that’s a lie. We checked in at 5:10 because this was our third kid so it wouldn’t make sense to be on time for the birth. Also because we had to stop at McDonald’s for breakfast and they were the slowest ever at 4:50am.
By 5:30 I had met my nurse (Lori – she was super sweet), started an IV (which was like Groundhog’s Day from Jude’s induction, these freaking valves in the vessels in my hands do not allow IVs) (oh hey, this is noteworthy: I almost passed out. but I didn’t!), and I was getting fluids before the pitocin. I was dilated to 2cm and 60% effaced at my last doctor appointment, 10 days before the induction. When she checked me in the hospital, we were starting at 3cm and 80% – progress!
The next few hours were uneventful, but went So Fast. My OB stopped in around 7:45 – she had a c-section at 8am and wanted to break my water. My nurse convinced her to wait until after the surgery so we’d have the anesthesiologist for an epidural around the same time. She was back to break my water around 9:00 – and I was at a 5! It was going so fast. I was in no real pain – yet – but the anesthesiologist came by around 9:30 to start my epidural. He was awesome and thorough and took away my pain – but also spent the entire procedure telling me about a) a near-death experience he had with a scorpion in New Mexico 20 years ago and b) the changing composition of tattoo ink over the past 15 years. It was fascinating, and bonkers.
Things were going fast, I’d gone to 5cm in such a short amount of time, my OB and nurse were predicting a pre-lunch baby. But then she got stuck. Brecken tried to come out sunny-side up and he got stuck. Henley tried to come out sideways (like shoulders towards my belly button and back) and that didn’t really work. So 3 hours later, I was still at 5. My nurse asked how quickly I wanted this to go, because we could “try some things” to get her flipped the right way. I was like “hai, I wanted this over 3 hours ago if that was an option”. Thankfully my epidural was great and I could still sort of move my legs – because I had to get up on my elbows and knees and Lori rocked me back and forth for TWENTY MINUTES. I was useless for any kind of help in this – Lori was such a trooper.
When I finally got back to my back, she wanted to wait about 20 minutes for baby to settle into whatever spot she was going to be in. Plus we had a shift change; I lost Lori and gained Tracey. I had crazy amounts of pressure and then the epidural started to wear off. Or something. I could still feel it working but the contractions were breaking through the numbness and it sort of sucked. My sister and fam had arrived by this point and she was planning to stay in the room with me during the delivery. Joey is always nervous he’ll pass out during delivery so we like to keep him on the couch away from me. 🙂
I always think I have a higher-than-normal pain tolerance until I feel contractions in labor and realize no, no, I do not. I felt about 6 of them, 2-3 minutes apart until the Magic Anesthesiologist came back to “top me off”. I don’t know what he gave me but I went back to not feeling anything and it was delightful. And! I was fully dilated! It was time to push.
Her actual birth was kind of dreamy. They’d shut the lights off when I was dying during the last few contractions so the only lights on were whatever giant spotlight thing my OB had and then the lights from the warmer and the machines. I pushed for 5 minutes – through 3 contractions – and she was here!
Everyone asks if we thought it was a girl. I think I was 60% confident it was a girl. This pregnancy was different in a few ways from the boys’ – but it was also 6 years later so my memory isn’t great.
How did Henley get her name?
Boys names were always so, so, so much easier for us than girls names. If this kiddo was a boy, his name would have been Lachlan Cash Easley. I still love it, someone should use it. 😉
So, Henley. The only other girl name we ever agreed on was Hadlee. However, we’d had that in mind since I was pregnant with Brecken, almost 9 years ago. I wanted to at least find some other options. I knew it’d be hard to agree on anything (see: one name in nine years) and started to think about what I liked about Hadlee, and came up with Henley. I thought I made it up. 😀 But, I did not, it’s a real name! Joey liked it too! We had a first name.
Joey and the kids all have two middle names. It’s been our nod to his fam since we had Brecken. Our path has always been one middle name we like and one middle that is in honor of someone in my family. Two middle names is super fun and unique and I love that they have it – but it’s stupid hard to come up with three names that sound good together, don’t make their full names super lengthy, and aren’t a total tongue twister with our last name.
She’s Henley Grace Ryne – Grace because it was one of my great-grandma’s middle name (Lura Grace). And Joey picked Ryne because of his favorite Cubs player, Ryne Sandberg.
That’s it! She’s here and we’re still in shock that we have a daughter, but she’s fitting in just perfectly.