Sunday, August 15, 2010

Labor Day - Ryan's Birth Story

In honor of Ryan's due date - which is today - I thought I would tell the story of his actual birthday - July 24th.

On the morning of July 24th I woke up and noticed that I felt a lot of pressure really low - my first thought was oh goodness I really have to pee. After I went to the bathroom I noticed that it didn't really relive the pressure.  I didn't think much of it and just laid back down in bed. As I laid there I noticed that my stomach was cramping up every so often. The pain wasn't really that bad and I just thought it would go away. I couldn't sleep any longer so I got up and started doing things around the house - I remember chatting with my mom on IM and telling her that I was having these cramps but that it was probably nothing to worry about. I had a busy day planned so I thought being busy would take my mind off of these "cramps". I was having some girls over for lunch and needed to get everything ready and then Kevin and I were meeting some other friends for dinner that night.

I did a little cleaning, baked brownies, finished up the chicken crepes and prepared a salad before I got myself ready. During all this I did notice that these cramps were fairly consistent and sometimes they were painful but I assumed it was nothing and would go away.  Jackie, Susanne and Karen came over for lunch and we had a good time eating and catching up. I was anxious for Jackie to arrive so I could ask her about the stomach cramps that I was having. She mentioned that her braxton hicks contractions were not painful so I wasn't really sure what was happening. When they left around 2:30pm the cramps were more consistent so I laid down on the couch and timed them - they were 15 min apart, then 10 by the time Kevin got home around 3:30.      

I was so confused. I had no idea if I was actually having contractions or if it was false labor. I have heard of so many people thinking they were in labor and going to the hospital and being sent home and I really didn't want to do that. Kevin was just as confused because he doesn't ever know what to do when I tell him I am in pain. My "cramps" were still five minutes apart and Kevin counted how long they lasted - by his counting they were 20 sec long. He was worried and was trying to think of what to do or who we should call - I can't remember the order of the calls, but I called MK, Sarah, my mom and the on-call doctor all trying to understand if I was in labor or not. I didn't get in touch with Mk, my mom said to just go to the hospital because I sounded like I was in pain, and Sarah wasn't able to diagnose my situation either. I just stayed calm and kept thinking there was no way this was real - I still have three weeks left. 

When I talked to Dr. Thurston (the on call doctor) he told me that if I was in labor my contractions would be at least 45 sec long and I would be in A LOT of pain. I told him oh mine are only 20 seconds so I probably wasn't in labor and would just wait to see if they went away. He said he would notify the hospital that I might be coming in. After talking with him Kevin and I decided that we would probably just swing by the hospital to see what was going on, but we weren't going to rush. Kevin went outside to cut his hair while I attempted to pack a hospital bag. Every time I had a "cramp" I had to stop what I was doing and lay down (even though nothing really helps). While I was laying down I decided to use my iphone to see how long the contractions were - I was pretty shocked when I realized they were actually lasting about 50 seconds long!! I went to the backyard and told Kevin we had to go ... and go soon.

After Kevin showered we headed over to the hospital. The ironic thing was that our tour of the hospital was the next day - so we didn't really know where we were going or what we were suppose to do. Luckily it wasn't difficult and we were able to find the triage area quickly. Since I wasn't registered yet it took about 30 minutes to get all the paperwork out of the way. When they finally took me back they hooked me up to a bunch of machines so they could monitor mine and the baby's heartbeat. The nurse asked me if I was dilated at all and of course I had no idea since the doctor didn't check me at my appointment (which was the day before). Then again I had never been checked before so I wasn't sure if maybe the doctor could just tell by looking or not...anyhow, the nurse checked me and needless to definitely know if you have been checked. I was at four centimeters, which officially classified me as in labor. It was pretty shocking since in a matter of minutes Kevin and I went from thinking we were going to be sent home, to we are going to deliver a baby in a matter of hours.

The next five hours went really fast. They wheeled me to my delivery room and I got my epidural - which was amazing. Once that was in it was easy breezy. I was progressing fast - the doctor had estimated that Ryan would come around 3am, but since he was early it might be a little earlier so between midnight and 3am was the window. Little Ryan was very anxious and he came at 11:35pm. As a first time mother I think I was pretty lucky with everything - my pregnancy, my labor and my delivery were all pretty easy. Don't get me wrong - those contractions hurt! And pushing - thats really exhausting! But overall, Ryan being delivered 3 weeks early (and healthy) was great considering these past three weeks have been filled with triple digit heat. Also, the fact that I was in the delivery room for only about five hours before he came and I didn't have to be induced and the fact that I only had to push for 45 min all was pretty great.

I can't really explain what it is like to see your baby for the first time, or to hear his little cry - it's truly amazing and everyone who has experienced this knows what I am talking about. He is such an amazing little man and both Kevin and I are so happy to have him in our lives. We are so blessed and love him so much. 

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