I’ve been wanting to share with you guys about my latest creation for a while now. And while I’ve given you little peeks and snippets on my Facebook page, it’s only now that I’m finally sitting down to write a blog post about the birth of my 3rd baby – Riley Finn Thomas.
Riley was born on March 16th – weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces.
Many of you know over the past 9 months I have been working quite hard on this beautiful creation added to “Team Thomas”. :) I did do a few concerts in my 1st and 2nd trimesters…
(Performing with Grammy nominated violinist Jenny Oaks Baker at Benaroya Hall in Seattle – 5 months pregnant)
(After performing at the Arlington Nativity Festival – 6 months pregnant – with my Grandma and mother)
…But after my 6th month I decided to take a hiatus from music, as it was increasingly difficult to reach the piano keys and sit at a piano bench with no back support. And I was just tired. And busy. And pregnant. And I had 2 other kids. I needed a break. So I got to enjoy my 3rd trimester just being pregnant.
Riley is our 3rd boy. Yes BOY. We do have 3 boys now – and they ALL have red hair.
(My 3 boys – ages 4 weeks, 3 years, and 5 years – with my Mom, Carolyn Southworth)
Sometimes I am convinced that this is to be my life, LOL:
Riley’s Birth Story: I am not one of those women who has been blessed with wonderfully easy pregnancies and deliveries. On the contrary, I have had my fair share of cruddy stuff happen to me with each one – from dislocated ribs, pre-eclampsia, pancreatitis, gall bladder removal, weightgain and more. BUT I have been incredibly blessed with 3 healthy beautiful babies. Each time they were born, tears filled my eyes with love and gratefulness for their tiny little spirits and healthy bodies coming into our lives. My first two boys (born 2008 and 2010), I labored 20+ hours with each of them and ended up having Csections both times. I tried my hardest to avoid having major surgery, but apparently my body wasn’t built to accomodate childbirth the “normal” way.
Knowing that we were having a 3rd baby, the decision this time was easy to go ahead and just schedule a Csection and avoid having to go through labor all over again. So it’s safe to say that the birth of Riley was much different than the first two. We had it scheduled on the calendar, had our boys scheduled to stay with Grandma and Grandpa, bags packed and everything. I have to say it was pretty nice knowing that I knew the day and time when this baby would come, and so I didn’t have to worry about anxiety over when it would happen.
(A few days before baby came – around 39 weeks pregnant, feeling a bit huge and uncomfortable!)
These next few are from my maternity photo shoot (Photos by Will Thomas)
On the morning of the 16th, we got up around 4:30 a.m. in order to be at the hospital by 5:30 a.m. Because of a planned Csection, I was required to fast the night before (no food or drink), and I think because of this it made me start having contractions that morning because I was so incredibly dehydrated. On the way to the hospital they were about 5 minutes apart and pretty painful.
Once we got to the hospital, they got me checked in, into a hospital gown and after many attempts to get an IV in me (it took 4 different nurses), I finally got some fluids and the contractions died down. For those of you unfamiliar with how Csections work, it is kind of dangerous to go into labor after already having had 2 Csections because of the amount of scar tissue in that area – there is a possibility of rupturing which is very dangerous for both mom and baby.
I like to refer to this as the “Stay puff marshmallow hospital gown”
They monitored the baby and I for about 2 hours and then finally we went into the operating room for the delivery of the baby! It took almost 45 minutes for the anesthesiologist to get the spinal block into my spine and it HURT. Oh wow it hurt. But once they got it in, I started to feel very numb from the chest down to my feet. It is like a weird creepy crawly feeling that takes over your body. Kind of a weird feeling. I wanted to throw up, I won’t lie. Even though they gave me anti-nausea medicine I wanted to throw up. Thankfully my anesthesiologist was on top of things and put some kind of wonder drug into my IV that calmed me right down.
These are the baby stations – so fun to look over and see them knowing that very soon a new life will be in them!
Both my OB and an assisting OB worked on the surgery/delivery…
Me trying to stay calm even though I felt like throwing up…
And around 8:23 a.m., the most adorable little Riley was welcomed into the world.
It took another 45 – 60 minutes for the doctors to sew me up, and during that time I got to hold this precious new baby on my chest – which is not the normal procedure for Csections. Normally with our other two sons, they handed the baby to my husband and he held them while I got sewn up. But this time it was very very special that I got to hold him and snuggle with him first. Very special.
We stayed in the hospital for 2.5 days. Csection recoveries are not for wimps! But amazingly enough the nurses and doctors know what they are doing and were there to help me every step of the way. About 12 hours after delivery they had me up and out of my bed walking around in our room. Very painful – yes I wanted to die of pain – but each time it got better and better. And of course I had my amazing husband there to help – I couldn’t have done this without him! Csection recovery is simply not something a mommy can do alone, so he was there to change ALL the diapers, hand me the baby for feedings, get me ice water, food, and whatever I needed.
We had some special visitors while we were there as well…
(My Dad with Riley)
(My 3 year old, Taylor, with Riley and I)
(My Dad with my 5 year old, Preston, and Riley)
(Not my favorite photo, I’m a bit swollen from surgery, but here is our first family picture together – all 5 of us!)
Since Riley has joined our family, I have just absolutely been enjoying EVERY single moment of snuggles with him. He has been the sweetest easy baby, and I am so in love…
He is now almost 5 weeks old (as I type this on April 18th). It took me a good 3 and 1/2 weeks of downtime and recovery to be mostly pain free. I am still taking it easy until week 6, when my doctor will clear me to go back to the gym. But I know from past experience I need to take it easy or I pay for it later. So we’ve just been enjoying a lot of snuggles…
Riley is our last baby and so I don’t want to miss any moments with him. I have just been feeling so grateful for the miracle that he is – there was so much about my pregnancy and his delivery (some complications) that in the end made everything so incredibly miraculous and a bit too personal to share here, but I will tell you that I can’t be anything but humbled and in complete awe of him. I’m also amazed at what my body did. I feel so incredibly blessed.
I feel so lucky to have my wonderful family – my husband and my 3 boys. They have been so supportive of me not only with my music career, but as a wife and mommy. My heart has been so full of joy. Family is so important and so wonderful – I hope any of you out there who have been thinking about having a family to go for it. It is one of the most rewarding things you can ever do or accomplish in this life. I’ll leave you with a few photos from Riley’s newborn photo shoot – taken when he was 2 weeks old. (photos by my husband – Will Thomas).