ladycee: Eric Ryan's Birth Story
Friday, November 18, 2011 4:26 PM
An early start
When I was 36 weeks pregnant, I began having contractions at my regular OB appointment. My OB checked on me, but she said that I wasn’t even one centimeter dilated. “You’re not ready yet,” she told me. We scheduled my next weekly appointment, and I left her office and headed to work. After I got there, I was updating files for my upcoming maternity leave when I felt the same low, painful contractions I’d experienced at the doctor’s office. Nervous, I told my supervisor that I needed to go home.
Since I couldn’t go to the hospital just yet, my husband, Ryan, and I stayed busy by organizing the nursery. I helped as much as I could with my huge belly, and the activity distracted me from the pain. After we finished the nursery, I kept cleaning our home. I even organized the medicine cabinet. (Can you say “nesting”!?) Suddenly, I felt a “bubbly” sensation. Did I just wet myself? I wondered. As I walked into the kitchen to tell Ryan, it happened again! I realized that my water had broken. I called my sister, mom, dad and grandma and told them we were heading to the hospital. I’m not ready for this, I thought to myself as we drove away.
“My heart sank…”
At the hospital, the nurse prepared us for every possible thing that could go wrong with having a premature baby. My heart sank when she mentioned that he might be unable to breathe on his own—in which case he would need to be life-flighted to a hospital with a NICU. “Preemie boys typically don’t do as well as preemie girls,” she added. I knew it was her job to prepare us for the worst, but she scared me to death.
Since my contractions weren’t becoming more regular, I was moved to Labor & Delivery at 9 a.m. and given Pitocin to speed things along. My family (including my sister, Beth, who was also pregnant) arrived at 10 a.m. At that point, I was feeling more comfortable. The nurses continued to monitor my baby and, luckily, everything seemed okay! I even declined the epidural because I didn’t want to potentially slow down my labor. My family took turns holding my hands to help me breathe through the pain.
Time to push!
At 3 p.m., I was dilated four centimeters and my contractions were becoming increasingly painful. By now, I was more than ready for the epidural! I had been awake for over 24 hours, I was beyond exhausted, and my pain tolerance was going down the drain, so I got one. At 3:45 p.m., the midwife checked on me and said I was 9.5 centimeters dilated and fully effaced. Success! I couldn’t believe I had gone from four centimeters to 9.5 in just over an hour. Suddenly, the room transformed: nurses rushed in, equipment was brought in, and everything was finally set up for my delivery! It was go time! They lowered my Pitocin and told me it was time to push.
It was challenging to push correctly without being able to feel the lower half of my body because of the epidural. Ryan and my mom held my legs while my friend took care of my oxygen mask. The nurses lowered the ceiling mirror so I could see what was happening; there were some not-so-pretty parts, but I guess that’s all part of the experience!
Welcome, Eric Ryan!
Finally, with one last push, Eric Ryan entered the world at 4:34 p.m. He weighed 4 pounds and 10 ounces. He started crying -- and that meant he was healthy! I immediately began sobbing with joy. They laid Eric on my chest, and all I could think was, “He is the most beautiful thing in the world.” Ryan cut the cord, and we kissed our son for the first time. My husband and I had made a beautiful baby boy together -- Eric was finally here with us. I was finally a mom and my life was changed forever!
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