Kailee Riches

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Nashville Birth Photography | Joseph

From Sandi:

The birth of baby Joe was a long time coming, in every sense. My husband and I were just a few months shy of our eighth wedding anniversary when he was born and everyone had been anticipating his arrival for years. We had first tried to get pregnant about four years ago with no luck. I was a gynecological mess with polycystic ovaries and I was about 140 lbs overweight. In 2013, after seriously scary discussions about IVF, I had a moment of clarity. We put our family plans on hold, changed courses to now prevent pregnancy, and I set out to lose what would eventually be about 120lb. Miraculously, after about 60lb my cycles regulated themselves, and my body began to heal itself. Once we began to try again in 2015, Joe was conceived on the second try, to our joy and astonishment. My pregnancy was blissfully uneventful and he was perfect in every way. He made us wait just a little while longer, arriving exactly one week past his due date.

My contractions started about 4pm on a Thursday and our sweet baby Joe was born at 1:07 am Saturday morning so I labored for about 32 hours in total. I was nesting in its true form the day I went into labor, I had been to two grocery stores and ran errands until my lower back pain made me wobble my way home. I had my very first contraction while making a freezer meal in my kitchen. I wasn’t quite sure it was a true contraction until another made its way around about 9 minutes later. I was so relieved it was finally starting! I figured cooking was a great way to keep me on my feet and distracted so I continued to cook with the help of my mom and husband, pausing every 8 or so minutes to hunch over my counter and have a contraction. After chili, cornbread, pot pie, and chicken pesto pasta were packed away in the freezer, things really started to intensify.

We headed to the hospital about 9pm, with my contractions just about 5 minutes apart. I was nervous for the drive because sitting in an upright position seemed like the least comfortable position to labor in. I laid the seat back and we started our 20 minute trek to the hospital. Surprisingly, I only had one or two contractions the entire way to the hospital. They were slowing down. Once I got in the door and on my feet they were right back at 4-5 minutes apart. After being checked in OB triage at just 3 cm, we decided to walk the halls for and hour and check again. No progress. Since my contractions slowed every time I laid down, it indicated we weren’t quite ready. If we stayed in the hospital they would surely want to give me something to speed things up a bit, and that made me nervous, so around midnight we made the decision to head back home and rest.

I tried to “sleep” through the night as much as a girl could, having a contraction on average every 6-7 minutes, and at 9 am, after a bath and a walk, we headed back in, hopeful. I was only 3.5 cm dilated… after 17 hours. I was completely discouraged. The doctor broke my water to get things moving and shortly after I took my epidural with pride and waited… and waited… and waited. My family and friends surrounded me with cheerful words and lots of love. At 5 pm I was 6 cm and we were all hopeful. At 11 pm, 6 hours later, I was still 6 cm and the hope was gone. I was tired. My family and friends were tired. At midnight, after a few tears of defeat, I asked to have a c-section.

The idea was terrifying to me. I felt like I had trained so hard for this marathon of labor and I wasn’t going to get to cross the finish line, at least not without a little assistance. They brought the OR gowns in and my sweet friend helped suit up my husband. Everyone was full of love and nerves, but all smiles and kisses. They surrounded me in prayer before the nurses wheeled me back and God granted me such serenity and really eased my mind. I knew it was the right thing and I would be a Mama, that made everything ok.

In what seemed like minutes, our little guy was here! All of my fears were washed away when they placed him on my chest just moments after he came out, warm and pink and perfect. The OR was much less scary than I thought it would be. It wasn’t my plan, but I was relieved for everything to finally be over. I felt loved and cared for in the most wonderful way, from the nurses, to the doctors, to my fabulous anesthesiologist who coincidently (or not) had the very same weight-loss surgery by the very same doctors that helped me. Everyone was exactly where they were meant to be, including me, and I felt so much peace about it. Our little guy made his debut at 1:07 am weighing in at a hearty 8lb 13oz and we could not be more in love!