It's funny how having a baby can change everything! I can't believe it has been 2 weeks already and I have not written one thing about Ryder James. I've gone this long without writing, partly because I didn't have a computer for the whole first week, partly because I've been too tired to tackle writing about something so special and partly because I have been too busy staring at my little miracle to do anything else!
It has been 14 days since Ryder arrived and finally I have enough energy to tell you all about him!
Ryder James, was born at 11:04am, Sunday, March 20th, 2011, (one day before my own birthday.) He weighed 7.98lbs and was 20inches long. He was perfect!!
After 39 weeks of pregnancy, I was tired of being pregnant. Not that I complained much as I know, as far as pregnancies go, I had a pretty good one. I was just tired of being uncomfortable, of not being able to sleep, of not being able to bend down, of being slow and of being fat! When my doctor, at my St. Paddy's day appointment, offered to do a "membrane sweep, " I took her up on it. This is a 30 second procedure that has the potential to cause labour to start, however there is no significant evidence to prove that it actually works. The doc said if anything, it usually prevents babies from being overdue. I decided to go for it! That 30 seconds changed my life forever..for the better!
I left the doc's feeling, for the first time since my pregnancy, uncomfortable. I mean, really uncomfortable. I didnt know it at the time, but I started having light contractions right away. I thought it was just cramping. I walked Scout that afternoon and went to bed early. The next day was Friday, March 18th, my last day of work before my maternity leave was scheduled to begin. My baby was due, March 24th. That meant that technically I was going to have almost a week to finish getting ready for baby. A week to rest and pamper myself, but secretly, I just wanted to have my baby RIGHT NOW!! I was visibly uncomfortable all day at work and when they surprised me with a going away party at the local pub after work, I made a valiant effort to grin through the discomfort for over 2 hours. The "cramping" was kind of come and go, but it was definately not a nice feeling at all. I felt sick and went to bed early. By Saturday morning, I started cluing in that maybe these were contractions, and when I timed them they were 10 minutes apart. I called our Doula, Leanne. She was excited, explaining to me that it was going to be a long day of working with my body to get closer to meeting baby. I was excited but at the same time, I wanted the discomfort to go away. I spent alot of the day sleeping, worrying about who was gonna walk Scout and what the heck were we gonna do with her, if I did go into full on labour. By 4pm, the contractions stopped all together! I was upset, and relieved at the same time. I called Leanne again, who insisted that something was weighing on my mind, preventing me from letting this baby be born. It sounds cheesy, but somehow it was true. After speaking with Leanne, I made a few phone calls to line up Plan A and B for Scout and then, like magic, the contractions started again! By 1:30am, March 20, I was having contractions 10mins apart. Marty was still sleeping. As the intensity increased, I began walking. By 3:45am, I had probably walked a couple of miles across the upper floor of our home when I stopped in the bathroom to puke. The contractions were super intense, but I hadn't eaten anything in hours, so I could only dry heave. There are few worse noises than the sound of someone dry heaving. Marty woke to the awful sound and came to check on me. He watched in dismay as my face scrunched up, my breath would quicken and I'd pace the floor. He tried to offer me some of the comforts we'd learned about in our pre natal classes: letting me lean on him, him rubbing my back, me getting down on all fours, but all I wanted to do was walk. By 4am, Marty had a pen, paper and stop watch ready. He began timing the contractions and when my dry heaving became ridiculous, he called Leanne. Ofcorse she was excited and though the phone was not on speaker, I heard her shriek, when Marty explained how sick I was, "YAY!!! YOU GUYS ARE ONE STEP CLOSER TO MEETING BABY!!!" Her positive attitude reassured me that all this gagging was normal and I tried to "embrace it" as she had encouraged me to. By 6:30am, I am sure I had walked 5 miles. I had heard labour was like running a marathon, but I certainly had not intended to actually run one!! We decided to head to the hospital for fear that if we waited any longer, I would not be able to handle the ride there. As it was, the drive was horrific for me. I couldn't walk through my contractions and I had to dry heave over the large margarine container I brought. I slumped over the back of the passenger seat, dry heaving, trying not to cry with discomfort. Marty was awesome this whole time, remaining calm and caring. He helped me walk, (he even carried my little barf bucket) into the hospital. I walked circles while he checked us in at the little window at triage. The space behind the curtain was tiny and I could feel my clausterphobia kicking in and the dry heaving continued....As it turned out we were pretty lucky, there was hardly anyone else in triage, and a shift change was just happening. The docs and nurses were all fresh, happy and ready for action. I was measured right away and found out I was 5cm dilated, that meant we got a birthing room right away! Leanne, joined us in the birthing room dressed in a track suit and running shoes. She was ready to coach us through this "marathon!" She asked me what I was thinking and though our plan had been to avoid drugs if possible, but take them if I decided that is truly what I needed, I blurted out that I was thinking, "EPIDURAL!!!" I was exhausted, seriously, it was 7:30am and I had been walking laps since 1:30. I remember learning that the epidural made it so that you had to lie down, no walking, no moving really at all and that sounded sooo appealing to me right then. Leanne suggested we try the shower first. I didnt' think twice about getting naked in front of her, Marty or the nurse. I stripped and hopped in the shower. I was skeptical as I am not a big water person at all, but to my relief and amazement, the water truly turned out to be as they had said, "the midwife's epidural."
Leanne showed Marty how to run the shower head over my back and abdomen in a rythmic pattern that relaxed me. Everytime I had a contraction, Leanne would call my name, demand my focus and talk me through while Marty ran the hot water over me. The nurse was amazing, she worked around Marty and Leanne, kneeling in puddles of water when she needed to in order to get the doppler on my tummy to listen for the baby's heartbeat. She never complained or asked me to get out of the shower.
As long as baby was fine, I got to stay in the water. Twice i had to get out, so they could measure my progress. The first time I was at 7 or 8 cm and the second time, I had to stay out as I was almost 10cm and my water hadn't broken. Dr. Hatcher, a young intern who, because there were hardly any other patients at that time, spent lots of time with us, had to break my water for me. I lay on the bed, legs apart and 'whooosh' the water came spilling out, ewwwwwww!!!!! Now I was in transition and things were intense. I was soooo uncomfortable, I seriously wanted something for the pain. Again, half heartedly, I asked about the epidural, this time, not only Leanne, but Dr. Hatcher convinced me that I was doing amazing and that I was almost to pushing and once there, I wouldn't need any kind of drugs. I looked at them both and said, "your telling me, pushing a human being out of there is going to hurt less than right now??? I don't believe you!!!" I also remember learning in class that first time mom's push for, on average, 2 hours! I couldn't imagine 2 more hours of this!! They offered me the gas, a mask I could hold for myself. Before accepting it, I verified that as soon as the baby was out, I would NOT feel any pain at all??? They assured me that I would not.
At the start of each contraction, I would hold it up to my face and push it over my mouth and nose as hard as I could. Whether or not it actually dulled the pain, I can't remember, but it gave me something to focus on besides the pain.
I grabbed Marty's hand and he and Leanne helped me through the toughest part of labour, transition. I remember hearing Marty tell Leanne he was going to cry because he was just so proud of me, that gave me strength when I needed it most!
When it came time to push, I was beyond ready! Marty grabbed one leg and Leanne grabbed the other, they held tight, so I'd have something to push against.
They explained everything to me, including how when I started to feel a burning ring of fire, that was the baby's head about to crown. I am soo glad they explained that to me, otherwise the feeling would have freaked me out as it was exactly as they explained, a burning sensation! Because I knew what it was, I welcomed the feeling, it motivated me to push harder, as I knew, truly and for surely I was one step closer to meeting baby!
Marty had said all along that he did not want to watch the baby come out. He had planned to be up by my head the entire time, but once everyone started hollering, "the head, the head" he got caught up in it and had to look. He was mesmorized and soo excited! He said he blocked out all the gross stuff and just watched and waited for that face to show! No one in the room knew if baby was a boy or girl, so the anticipation was thick. The head got a little stuck, but I managed to get it out without the use of forceps or vacume. Marty said it was the weirdest thing, seeing just the head, the purple, purple head sticking out and nothing else. (The doula, bless her heart, got pictures of it all, but I will spare you...) As I continued to push, I heard the intercom go on and a voice request an extra set of hands. I was concentrating too hard to worry. It turned out Baby's shoulders were stuck and Dr. Hatcher needed help pulling him out. Because he was stuck in the birth canal a little longer than anticipated, Dr. Hatcher had to act quickly. Marty didn't get to cut the umbilical cord as we had planned, Dr. Hatcher did. Then after letting him lay on me for a few seconds, she whisked him under the heat lights to check his vitals. Marty rushed back up to my side and Leanne asked, "So, boy or girl???" Marty hadn't even checked in all the comotion. He snuck over and took a peak.
They handed him the little bundle and Marty announced to us all, "BOY!" He was sooo proud....and so was I!!!
They were all right too, pushing didn't hurt and once the baby was out, (it only took 45 minutes of pushing,) all the hurt and discomfort was GONE!!!! It was 11:04am, March 20th and the Wright Family had increased by one! :) It was the best day of my life!
The Doula would describe the birth as "a home birth at the hospital." Everything went according to Plan A (with her encouragement ofcorse,) which we learned in class, is very RARE!
Marty and I felt so blessed and lucky to have Leanne be a part of our journey. I never would have believed in myself if she and he hadn't been there, working as a team making me believe I could do it, the way I did!
2 weeks ago today, Ryder joined our family and we get to keep him forever!!!
Marty, Me, Ryder and Leanne (the Doula)
Marty, Me, Ryder and the awesome nurse.
Dr. Hatcher, Me and Marty!