Welcome Riley Ernest!
Born on Friday, October 5, 2018 at 5:25pm
Weighing 8 lbs. 3 oz.
Friday, 19 October 2018
It’s been a busy past two weeks welcoming a SECOND bouncing baby boy, Riley Ernest, and wrangling our other bouncing big-boy, Noe. Lori and I are finally beginning to become more human than zombie, and we’ve been fortunate to have two sets of grandparents to help lighten the load, particularly with one energetic/unsure/curious/adjusting/boundary-testing two-year-old.
Here’s a quick recap of the last few weeks.
Waiting Around for Baby #2
Lori made it to 41 weeks and two days this time around before welcoming B#2, which wasn’t a huge surprise given that Noe was born at 41 weeks and one day. With Noe, we thought it was pretty luxurious having the week before his birth just to kick around and take it easy, almost like a vacation. This time around, we both found ourselves with nearly two months off before the arrival of B#2, due to Lori’s employer’s maternity leave requirements. We had a great time catching up with family and friends and doing all sorts of fun stuff with Noe around Oregon during that time, but by week 41, we were more than ready to meet the new kid.
For the past several months one of the main goals (besides delivering a healthy baby and having a healthy mama, of course) was getting past September 15 — Lori’s brother’s wedding date. If we could do that, we’d be golden. Then, my birthday came along and I thought it would be nice to get past that one before baby comes, and that too came and went. Despite Noe waiting until 41 weeks, it didn’t really occur to us this kid, with a due date of September 26, could be an October baby! When October 1st rolled around, Lori had me take the pic above. Yep, October, and still no sign of this kid.
On Thursday, October 4th, they did a limited ultrasound and non-stress test on the baby — routine for kiddos who linger a week past their due date. Lori’s belly definitely seemed much larger this time, but we were still dumbstruck when the imaging tech gave us a weight estimate of 9 lbs. 5 oz.! For comparison, when Noe was born (at the same gestational age) he weighed 6 lbs. 5 oz. The tech reminded us that there was a 20% margin of error. It’s funny how we each processed that information. Lori was convinced it was a two pound overestimate, while I, on the other hand, was fixated on the very real possibility that Lori could deliver an 11 lbs. monster!
While all the imaging and tests checked out fine, other indicators were increasingly pointing to a second c-section — not Lori’s preference, but increasingly looking more and more likely.
Lori initially wanted to hold off on a c-section until the following Monday to give the baby just a bit more time. Noe, however, thought differently. Friday morning (October 5), just out of the blue, Noe approached mama’s belly and belted out, “Happy Birthday to YOU!”
It appears Noe may have a gift for clairvoyance, as not four hours later, Lori was on the phone with the hospital scheduling a c-section for that same day. Gotta love small town hospitals and scheduling. “You want a c-section today? Sure! Come on in!”
We got the confirmation phone call around noon, headed to the hospital at 3pm, and Lori delivered our little Riley at 5:25pm. Lori was initially bummed about not being able to have a VBAC, but most of that faded away when we met our healthy baby boy. Plus, she didn’t have to repeat her 60 hours of labor being subjected to every induction method known to woman as she did with Noe in 2016.
Baby was delivered at Mercy Medical Center, the main (um…only) hospital in our hometown of Roseburg. Both Lori and my sister were born in Roseburg, but at the now defunct Douglas Community Hospital. Noe was born at Portland’s Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital, which was quite a different experience altogether. There were many advantages to delivering at a major hospital in a big city, but quite a few advantages for delivering here at Mercy as well. For one, everything was just a lot more relaxed and low key. One of the main nurses on the first shift ended up being my parents’ next-door neighbor. And the head nurse on the second shift was one of Lori’s childhood friends. We were really pleased with the whole experience, though the food wasn’t quite as good as Legacy in Portland. No salmon dinner for us this time around.
With Noe, Lori had an epidural, which took hours to kick in, hours to wear off, and meant she had to be wheeled into the operating room. This time, owing to different circumstances (and a spinal tap), Lori walked unassisted to the O.R.
It took about 20 minutes to get the spinal tap going and Lori prepped, at which point, they called me in. Minutes later, they pulled our chunk-a-munk out of mommy’s belly. As with Noe, the plan was for me to call out the sex of the baby. Easy, right? Well, you’d think! The nurse gave me the cue to peak on over into the sterile field and call it out, but baby’s little butt was all I saw for the first several seconds. Because I didn’t see anything else flopping about I was fairly certain we were dealing with a girl. However, I didn’t want to make the mistake of yelling it out in error and wanted to be absolutely certain. Finally, baby flopped around on his side and lo and behold, it’s…ANOTHER BOY!
And he’s indeed a bit of a chunk — at 8 lbs. 3 oz., he weighed in at nearly two pounds more than his older brother at birth.
The grandparents were called in, two-by-two, starting at eight with Lori’s parents. Noe was already asleep, so my parents stayed back and made sure he didn’t decide to invite over his friends and have a dance party.
Then, Lori’s parents went home and it was my parents’ turn to meet their newest grandson.
Shortly after everyone left, I had the honor of changing baby’s first poo before hitting the hay for the night. Riley was kind to us that first night. He would not be so kind over the next dozen nights.
First thing the next morning, the grandmas returned with Lori’s grandmother, and…
It’s an understatement to say Noe was excited about meeting his little brother. We’ve been working to prepare Noe for the past six months for this day, talking to him about mama’s belly, having him kiss “the baby” good night, getting a baby doll for him to care for, and a couple of picture books about being a big brother. When he met the baby, it was clear it paid off and on some significant level he understood what was going on.
One of the benefits of the spinal tap, apparently, is that mama’s able to be up and about quicker than an epidural. And, sure enough, Lori was taking her first stroll around the Family Birth Place (maternity ward) by 1pm, a mere 19 hours after major surgery.
About the Name
We didn’t know if Noe would be a he or a she until he was born. Despite a bit of grief of from family and friends, we had so much fun guessing the first time around, we thought, why not do it again! Our boy name had been Riley David for a while, all the way up until the day Riley was born, in fact. The middle name, Ernest, was a last minute change, as Riley happened to be born on the same day as my grandfather (my dad’s dad), Ernest. Ernest is also my dad’s middle name, and Noe’s middle name is Lori’s dad’s middle name. So…it only seemed fitting then, that Riley’s middle name be Ernest.
Riley’s first name is a bit less obvious.
We wanted a name that was somehow linked to Southeast Asia, ideally a place-name with significance for us. Unfortunately, the most significant places for us in Laos — Vientiane, Namngum, Vangvieng, Luangprabang, Phontan, Sissattanak, Khammouane — just didn’t have names that felt right to us for one of our kids. We also don’t plan on being in Laos for the rest of our lives, so wanted a name that was a bit more portable across countries, cultures, and languages.
After taking a mental trip back around all our favorite places in Asia, we landed on our favorite beach peninsula in Thailand: Railay. It’s also the only beach in Asia that we’ve been back to with family AND Noe. I kind of wanted to preserve the spelling, but Lori was concerned his name would become Ray-Lay (“rai” is pronounced “righ” in Thailand, but that might not be immediately apparent elsewhere). So, our Baby #2 boy name became Riley.
Leaving the Hospital
This is the three of us at 8:15 pm all packed up and on our way out of the hospital — a mere 27 hours after Riley’s birth, and 29 hours after admission. By 4pm on October 6th both Lori and Riley were doing excellent and the OB didn’t see any need to tack on another day in the hospital — plus, for reasons that I’ll explain in our next post, leaving before midnight would be a significant financial savings for us. So, Lori and Riley were discharged and we all went home that evening with an outpatient follow-up planned for mama and baby at the hospital the next morning.
It hadn’t rained any significant amount in Southern Oregon since we returned to the U.S. in early August, so we were surprised to find ourselves running through driving rain on our way into the hospital on the afternoon of October 5th. By the time we were discharged the next evening, the air was dry and cool, and Riley took his first breath of air ever outside a hospital, which just so happened to be about the cleanest, crispest autumn air you can hope for. We’ve come to savor these moments, knowing full and well that the air in Vientiane is just a bit different.
Daddy and Riley, resting on the same couch that Lori’s mom and dad cuddled her on her first days home from the hospital. Similarly, Big Bro Noe’s first days home from the hospital in our Portland apartment were spent in the arms of mommy and daddy on a plush gold arm chair of an even older vintage and with similar bragging rights. It’s safe to say that when Lori’s parents find a piece of furniture that they like, they stick with it!
Back at the hospital the next morning for inpatient vitals and check-up. All good!
We were welcomed back from the hospital the previous night by this, courtesy of Nanny and Poppi.
During his visit to the hospital, Noe was really interested in mommy, daddy, and Riley’s hospital bracelets. We were excited to later discover that they had bracelets for Big Brothers. Noe proudly wore his around the house for a whole two hours before admittedly telling us he was “All Done Bracelet.”
Under the gun to get some “newborn” pics of our littlest one before he starts losing that “newborn look” we set up a makeshift photo studio and went to town (yep, normal folks pay for photographers to do the dirty business, but not us).
Our first at-home attempt with getting “the shot” went as you might expect — lots of crying, lots of baby bi-product on both of us (but mostly Lori, who bore the brunt of Riley’s uncovered midday blowout), but we got a few decent ones before all hell broke loose. We’ll try again tomorrow.