Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ryan Joseph's Birth Story

{ Ryan Joseph }
born Thursday, February 3rd, 2011 at 9:10am
8lbs, 2oz – 21 ½ inches long

We’ll start from Wednesday, the 2nd. I was 40w3d and feeling like I was never going to meet the baby. I had been having several possible “signs” of upcoming labor during weeks 37 and 38… but during the 39th and 40th weeks, I felt like I had gone backwards.

I had an appointment with my midwife, Linda, that afternoon, and we talked a little bit about an induction and how that would take place. If baby had not come by that weekend, I was to go in on Monday for a non-stress test and ultrasound to check on baby to make sure that he/she was okay. If baby had still not come that week, I was going to be induced that next weekend. I don't think I would have shown up for the induction... but that's another topic ;]

Linda swept my membranes during a check of dilation. I was still a little over 3cm dilated; same as the previous 3 weeks. Linda talked to the baby and told him/her that she was on call on Thursday night. She gave baby a little pep talk and said that she would really like to meet him/her. She told me that sweeping the membranes would either put me into labor... or do nothing. I was expecting the latter.

Jake and I spent the evening together, talking and processing through emotions… I was upset at the thought of being induced and did not want to go that route if possible. We prayed and asked that the Lord be glorified in the delivery, no matter how it was to take place.

We went to bed around  9pm. I laid awake in that “half asleep” state, just thinking and trying to rest. I was having some cramping but they didn’t feel like contractions. Around 12am, I noticed that they were getting more intense. I didn’t time them because whenever I started to time contractions in the past, they always went away. So I laid in bed and relaxed through the contractions as much as I could. They were uncomfortable, but very tolerable.

I got in and out of bed several times, going to the bathroom and getting something to drink. I ate some toast and wandered around the house. Around 3:30am, I woke Jake up because I didn’t feel like being alone. I still wasn’t convinced that anything was happening, but I knew I felt kind of miserable and I wanted some company. Jake insisted that we start timing the contractions and I finally said “Oookay.” I told him I wanted to take a bath, so we filled the tub. I didn’t last long in the tub… I was just uncomfortable and hot. I started throwing up so many times that my throat was getting a little raw feeling, and I was feeling very “shaky.” I kept trying to drink fluids and keep them down.

Jake was putting a few last minute things into the hospital bag. I, between contractions, was checking the handout sheet of “How To Know If You are In Labor” several times because I was still worried that maybe I was wrong. We called the on-call midwife around 4:00am and let her know what was going on. At that point my contractions were about 5 minutes apart, lasting 45-65 seconds. She said that we could come in if we wanted to or stay at home longer. I told her that we would stay at home for some time and then call when we were on our way.

The contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart at 5:30am minutes apart when we decided to go to the hospital. Jake had already started the car so it was ready to go. We had to stop for gas on the way there, and Jake decided he needed coffee, too. :] I had a few good contractions in the car and was wondering what the people pumping gas next to me must have thought as I was reclining completely back in the front seat of our car.

During our drive, I told Jake that everyone else was driving faster than him and THEY didn’t have a wife in labor! He was trying to be careful with the bumpy roads, but I wanted him to drive a little faster, "but don't speed!" When we pulled into the hospital 25 minutes later, I said to Jake, “What if I’m not in labor?!” Jake kind of laughed at me and said, “Laura, you ARE in labor.”

We went to the Emergency entrance since it was after regular hours and met with a nurse. "Can I help you?" she asked. "I'm in labor," I replied. "Ooo-kay," she said, giving me the "are-you-sure-about-that" look. She called up to the maternity care center and a different nurse walked me upstairs, and I was admitted at 6:15am. They got me settled in a room and started to put the monitors on. My midwife had always had a hard time finding baby’s heartbeat during my appointments, so I was dreading that this could take some time. 10 minutes later, they finally found the heartbeat and were able to monitor it and my contractions for about 20 minutes. I kept asking the nurse how much longer I had to be monitored… being in bed was extremely uncomfortable for me. The midwife who was on call checked me, and I was 4cm dilated. She said that she didn’t know how quickly things would move along, but that she expected me to labor for some time.

Another nurse asked me if I’d like to labor in the bathtub, and I said yes, so she started filling it. It was an immediate relief to my aching body. I laid in the tub on my back until a contraction came, and as soon as one was starting to peak, all I could think to do was to basically squat facing the side of the tub and hang myself over the edge into Jake’s lap. He was so encouraging and supportive. As soon as the contraction ended, I laid back down into the water. I was starting to fall asleep between the contractions. I remember nodding off several times and almost falling over into the water.

At 8:38am, my water broke. It felt like a big “pop” inside of me, and instantly I felt a ton of pressure and felt like I had to push. The nurse casually said that she was going to go get the midwife. The midwife came in and said that she was going to check me. I laid back in the tub for her to check me. She said I was completely dilated and that I needed to decide RIGHT then if I wanted to have a water birth or a land birth, because the baby was coming really soon. I could not decide and remember saying, “I don’t know what to do!” So she decided to set up the room where I was for the delivery.

She asked me how I wanted to deliver, and I said, “Any way but on my back!” They set the bed up for a modified squatting position, where I was sitting on the bed but leaning back. Jake was right by my side, whispering encouragements to me and rubbing my neck.

I started pushing at 8:42am. The pushing itself wasn’t hard work, because I didn’t feel like I was doing it; my body just took over. The hard part was the pain that came with each contraction. They felt so different than the contractions I had been having before, and they hurt. It was a strange feeling to have pain and relief at the same time. My midwife told me that his head was coming out and asked if I wanted to touch it. I hesitated, and then did. I wasn’t in a contraction at that time, so I must have been feeling humorous as I greeted my little “walnut head.”

Another contraction came and a good portion of his head was out at this point. He was still posterior which caused a lot more pain, but surprisingly, I had not had any back labor. One more contraction came and as my body was pushing, my midwife kept telling me, “Easy, easy!” and I said, “I’m not doing it! I’m not trying!” Baby decided to be born that second, so with that contraction and one push, the rest of the head and body slipped out. The midwife literally had to catch the baby in her lap because it came out so fast. It was 9:10am.

Baby was immediately placed on my chest and covered with a blanket. The nurse sucked out some of the fluid from the lungs and gently wiped the little body. Someone in the room asked, “So what is it?” and the gender was announced… a BOY! [of course Jake and I already knew that (hehe), but I was very relieved that baby had not been playing tricks on us].

I don’t remember what happened in the few minutes that happened immediately after birth. I was so in awe of this little one laying on my chest… I did it, it was over… and our baby was finally here! Jake was instantly in love with his little boy.

The placenta was delivered a short time later, at 9:21am. It felt weird but was painless. 

After about an hour of looking over our baby and spending some skin on skin time together, he was weighed and measured. 8lbs, 2oz... he probably would have weighed a few more ounces if we had weighed him before the explosion of poop he covered me with. Such a good sized, healthy baby... kind of surprising with how "small" I was.

It didn’t take long for him to start rooting around, and he started breastfeeding not long later. I still could not believe that he was finally here. We finally decided that we wanted to stick with our original name, Ryan Joseph. We had been playing around with a few names the few previous days since we "weren't sure." Ryan just seemed to fit him. It was neat to finally be able to call him a name, a real name.

That first night in the hospital, before we went to sleep, Jake and I just stood in front of his bassinet, completely in awe of the blessing God had entrusted us with. We felt an overwhelming sense of love, but also a very big responsibility. We prayed for Ryan, that he would grow into a godly man who has a passion for the Lord… and also for us, that we would be the model of Christ that we were called to be as parents.

I can’t even describe the emotions that run through my heart when I just look at him. I absolutely love being a mom. I love the feeling of being needed when he cries for me at night. When I talk to him, he completely stills and looks right at my face; it just melts my heart. I’m so excited for the journey ahead!


Brooke's Blog said...

Aww, how sweet!!! Congratulations on the birth of Ryan Joseph!!! What a sweet little guy!! :)

Leanna said...

This was so beautiful, Laura! Your descriptions of getting in the tub and contractions after your water breaking were the exact same for me. Little Ryan is SO sweet, and you are AMAZING! God bless your family! <3

Wendy said...


Sandy said...

Your story is beautiful! - they are miracles - Bless you all - Sandy Malkow

My Infertile Confessions said...

A naturaly birth... great job! That is my dream! He is precious, a beautiful gift from above :)

Tulips Mangoes said...

I am so glad you took time to tell the birth story and link it. How beautiful! I am so proud of you and Jake. Welcome to parenting!
Aunt Moni