Riis’ birth story

Our baby girl is finally here! Riis Marie Bryan was born February 1, 2017 at 12:12pm. She weighed 9lbs 11.8oz and measured 21.25 inches long. Big baby right!? We will get to that little detail.IMG_1607

The spelling of her name is unique, and no we didn’t just make it up. Tyson and I were in Brooklyn exploring one day and came across a street named Riis street. We loved the spelling and the name stuck.

This past month as I was trying to prepare mentally for the birth of Riis I imagined every possible way I could go into labor. Maybe my water would break walking down the street or worse on the Subway. Also if it were to happen on the subway would it be while standing or sitting. If sitting then there is the possibility of soaking everyone around you! GROSS!! I know, but my prego brain was freaking out.

 Another fear of mine was finding a ride to the hospital. My ride of choice was a taxi cab. This is because they are quicker and know where they are going better than uber drivers do. There is also a law that they can’t discriminate against pregnant women, which is big because I am sure many have heard the story of the pregnant NY woman who’s uber driver denied her a ride to the hospital because he didn’t want her to mess up his car. If you haven’t you can find the story here.

My last concern was that Tyson wouldn’t be able to make it in time, cause you know… Wall Street. And of course the closer we got to her due date the more projects he was getting assigned to and the later the nights were getting. Meaning that if my water were to break at 3am there is a chance he still would be at work. So packed in our hospital bag was an energy drink for daddy to be, just in case the adrenaline rush wasn’t enough. Luckily for me though all of these concerns of mine didn’t come into play and the process was actually quiet smooth compared to these nightmare situations I thought up.

Riis didn’t actually end up coming on her own. I tried everything I could to get labor started. Daily lunges, squats, raspberry tea, walks, spicy food, foot massage, etc. You name it and I tried it. Our stubborn little lady stayed high up in my tummy though, causing me to be induced 4 days after her due date. So Tuesday January 31 my mom, Tyson, and I jumped in a taxi and made our way to the hospital around 4:30pm. When we got to the hospital I was still only dilated to a 1 and about 60% effaced with contractions that I could not feel. Which meant no improvement from my last appointment, where my doctor had stripped my membrane.


After being at the hospital for about two hours they finally decided they were going to insert a foley bulb into my cervix and start me on pitocin. A foley bulb is a catheter that they insert through your cervix and then they inflate it once inside the womb. The pressure the inflated balloon applies to the cervix helps dilate you quicker and once you’ve dilated between a 4- 5 the balloon falls out on its own.

SO they sent in two residents to put my foley bulb in place. First off, the title resident isn’t very assuring. Then they argued with my nurse about which foley bulb was the correct one to use. The residents eventually gave in and used the one my nurse insisted was correct and my confidence in them plummeted. The junior resident was the one attempting the procedure. He was going to manually place it in my cervix, which is supposed to be less painful than when they have to use the special tool. I am not sure how painful having a foley bulb inserted in your cervix is supposed to be, but I hope I never have to be induced this way ever again. The junior resident tried three times to get the catheter through my cervix. Each time he tried for several minutes and still could not successfully get it through. I was sweating and had tears streaming down my face from the pain. He finally gave up trying manually and used the tool. The pain was supposed to be worse, but it actually hurt SO much less. He still could not get the catheter through, so the senior resident finally stepped in and got the job done in one shot. I was so relieved they finally got it in, but pissed they put me through so much pain when the senior resident could have done it the first try. Once the catheter was in place they inflated the balloon and I still did not have enough pressure against my cervix, because Riis was so high up. My nurse had to attach an IV bag full of fluid to the end of the catheter creating a weight that was constantly tugging down the balloon against my cervix.

During this whole process they had already started the pitocin and within minutes of getting the foley bulb situated the contractions started full blown. Earlier, before they had even decided how they were going to induce me, I asked Tyson if I could have a couple starbursts because I was starving. I literally only had a few and quickly regretted it when the hard contractions hit. The contractions were so strong and measuring about a minute apart. They were too intense for Riis, so they lowered the amount of pitocin down to 1ml. My whole body was shaking uncontrollably and those few starbursts I had eaten quickly came up. The foley bulb was still in place, meaning I wasn’t even dilated to a 5 yet. I felt like I was going to die and couldn’t get myself to ask for an epidural yet. I felt like a wimp asking for one so early in the game, but finally gave in after only 15 minutes more of contractions and requested one ASAP. The anesthesiologist was there within 10 minutes, but it felt like an hour. The nurse made my mom and Tyson leave the room when I had the epidural put in place and then she helped me hold as still as I could. A few hard contractions later and I finally could breath again. The pain was gone and I felt like I was on cloud 9. The nurse took me completely off pitocin, because the contractions were remaining steady at 1.5 minutes apart.

Within a couple hours I started to feel the contractions again. At first they were mild and then they started to build up in intensity. I kept hitting the button to get an extra dose every 20 minutes, but it wasn’t relieving the pain. When I reached the point of tears I requested the anesthesiologist come back and adjust my epidural. She pulled it out a bit and then gave me an extra dose to help knock out the pain. The foley bulb still had not fallen out at this point.

Every few hours the contraction pain would come back and the anesthesiologist would have to adjust the epidural in my back. It literally took about 12 hours for the foley bulb to finally fall out and I was only dilated to a 5.5. The doctor was still not at the hospital and I wasn’t progressing fast enough, so the senior resident came back in to break my water.

Once again a couple hours later I started to feel the contractions AGAIN and the extra dosages were still not helping! I requested the anesthesiologist fix the epidural, hoping it would finally do it’s job. They said that if it didn’t work this time the epidural would have to be removed and reinserted into my back. The anesthesiologist took his sweet time to come and fix the epidural, and during that time I had started transitional labor. At about 10am the nurse came in and had me put on an oxygen mask because my blood pressure had dropped. For the next hour I was on and off oxygen, then finally got the epidural adjusted into the proper place. I had about 15 minutes of rest before my doctor came in and discovered that I was dilated to a 10. Then she literally grabbed Riis’ head with her hand and tried to pull her down further, because she was still really high up. Tyson was asleep and was woken up with “It’s go time”. The doctor left to go change her clothes and came back around 11:45 am.


With my first push Riis’ head was showing and the doctor gasped with excitement. She just kept telling me I was so awesome and such a great pusher. With each push she got more and more excited, which was very encouraging. After a couple of pushes my blood pressure dropped again and I had to have oxygen on in between the rest of the contractions. I kept telling the doctor I didn’t think I would be able to feel if I was having another contraction, but sure enough I knew exactly when it was coming. About 15 minutes in the nurse passed my left leg to my mom so she could run out and get the baby nurses. No one thought she would come as quickly as she did. After 16 minutes of pushing Riis had crowned! Tyson said the doctor played with her hair while we waited for the next contraction to come. I thought that was kind of funny. The doctor also asked me if I wanted to reach down and feel her head. I know it sounds horrible, but I declined the offer. I was more focused on getting her out. Two pushes later she was out! I pushed an almost 10 pound baby out in 20 minutes flat. My doctor was so excited she called my other doctor to tell her what had just happened. After that every nurse, doctor, or medical professional I passed in the hospital congratulated me and told me I was awesome. LEGEND!!


Once Riis was born the doctor put her on me and I felt like I was in a dream. This perfect little baby was all ours. Tyson leaned in and started talking to me, I don’t remember what he was saying, but Riis immediately leaned her head back towards his voice and looked at him. That’s when the tears hit me. She knew exactly who her dad was.  IMG_1570 IMG_1567 Tyson became a diaper changing pro and had to teach me his skills.



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