A feverish week: The birth of Wayne Norman

By Published On: May 26th, 2014

Wayne Norman Riley was born October 28th 2013 at 12:51 […]


Wayne Norman Riley was born October 28th 2013 at 12:51 am. It was a crazy whirlwind week before and after and I have barely been able to get my mind around it all. The week leading up to Wayne’s birth I was super anxious. My midwife assured me that I would not make it to my due date (October 22) because I was dilated to a 3 at 37 weeks – so I was anxiously awaiting his arrival long before he came. As my due date came and went I became even more anxious. If you have ever gone past your due date I’m sure you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t ever had the pleasure let me tell you that it can drive you completely insane. It feels like your entire world has come to a complete halt and no one else has slowed a bit. I prayed and begged the universe to just let him come out. I desperately wanted to hold my baby in my arms and take care of him. I did everything I had heard of to induce labor – walking for miles, clary sage oil, pineapple, spicy food, sex, more walking… nothing worked. I was dilated to a 3 for 3 weeks and never made any progress.

Then Henry got sick. Really sick. Throwing up, diarrhea… it was the worst. Then Conor got sick. Then I got sick. We were all throwing up and not eating anything. All of the sudden, I didn’t want the baby to come out anymore. I didn’t want to bring a newborn baby home to a germ infested house. I didn’t want to go in to labor after not eating all day and being dehydrated. At about 10:30 pm, as I lay in bed praying that the baby would hold off for a few more days, Henry ran in crying for his mama covered in throw up. I stripped him, got him in the tub and as I sat next to him on the tile floor picking chunks of food out of his hair I felt the contractions start up. They were strong and fast immediately.

Conor woke up his sweet mother and told her I was in labor. She took over cleaning up Henry as Conor got us ready to go to the birth center. It was 11:20 pm when we called the midwife. She told us she would meet us at the birth center at midnight. I got my running shoes on and somehow managed to get myself in the car. Conor had to pull over several times on the way there so I could throw up all over the side of the road. We reached the birth center at 12:03 am. I breathed through several contractions as I walked up the front steps. As I walked through the front door Tracy (our midwife) said she wanted to check me – sometimes when your sick you can have some pretty painful contractions but not actually be in labor… when she said that I wanted to head butt her. If this was not labor then I was a monkey’s uncle! She checked me and I was at a 6. I immediately crawled in to the tub where I planned on spending the rest of the night in labor. I pressed my forehead into the side of the tub as hard as I could while trying to breath through the contraction. After about 30 minutes Tracy asked me if I wanted to push. I told her I wanted to but only because I wanted it to be over with already. I didn’t think I was actually ready to push… and then I couldn’t help myself. My body started to push, I had no control. And then it really started to hurt. I think there is always a point during labor where you say to yourself, I just can’t do this. I’m just not strong enough. My body is too small and too weak to do this. And then you realize you have no choice in the matter at all. Your body is going to do it whether you like it or not. And do it I did. It’s the craziest rush of adrenaline you’ll ever get in your life.

Conor knelt down over the tub and caught Wayne and placed him on my chest. When they told me the birth time was 12:51 I was so confused. I lost all track of time and could have sworn I was in labor for longer than that. Conor cut the umbilical chord and helped me onto the bed. They stitched me up as Conor and I drooled over our new perfect little miracle. I couldn’t stop telling Wayne how perfect he was. After about an hour I took a shower and got cleaned up. We settled in to the bed and took a nap for about 2 hours. We were home by 6:30 that morning.

wayne2Henry continued to be sick for several more days. Just when we thought he was over it he would throw up again. It was a nightmare. Trying to keep everything sanitized so the baby didn’t get sick, trying to comfort a sick toddler while nursing and taking care of a baby – it was one of the hardest weeks of my life. I was so worried and emotional and tired. Something had to give or I was going to lose my mind. Finally after 7 days of throwing up Henry got better. Wayne never got what we all had and things are finally starting to feel normal. It’s funny what having a new baby can do to you. I have cried tears of joy everyday since he was born. I am so thankful for my little family and for all of the joy my babes bring and will bring in to my life. I know I am so lucky to be their mom and as hard and scary as it is I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.

Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to birthstory@pnmag.com. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!

By Jane Riley