Ryder's Birth Story
November 26th, 2018 at 9:22am my whole world was changed. Our son Ryder was born into this world after 32 hours of labor and he is more beautiful than I ever could have imagined!
My due date was November 21st/22nd according to my midwife so when Thanksgiving came and went and I was still pregnant, I was starting to get anxious when we would meet our baby boy! My whole plan was to avoid any sort of medical intervention if at all possible so I started to get a little nervous the closer we got to 41 weeks. This was when my midwife was suggesting we start discussing an induction and I did not want that for us if possible so I was a little nervous to say the least!
I went in for a checkup on Friday, November 23rd at 40+2 and mentioned my concerns with induction and my midwife suggested we strip my membranes which gently separates the amniotic sac from the wall of the uterus. It is a quick procedure that can help release the labor hormones in your body but it’s not guaranteed to work. But I was willing to try so I could have the natural labor I had envisioned. So I left the office feeling the same but excited at the thought of possibly going into labor soon! Well Saturday rolled around and I still felt the same so I assumed that the procedure probably didn’t work. So to keep ourselves busy we went to see a movie with Brian’s family that night. About an hour into the movie I started to have these weird lower back cramps. I decided to get up and walk to the bathroom, thinking it was just Braxton Hicks contractions. Well when I got back to my seat they were still happening… I leaned over to Brian and said “don’t say anything to your family just yet but I think things are starting to move along in there…” he looked at me a little hesitant, nervous I'm sure since we both had no idea what to expect with labor. After the movie, we went home and I decided I should go to bed just in case this was the real thing. I wanted to save up my energy as best as I could.
At about 1am on 40+4 my contractions woke me up and I was unable to continue sleeping. I opened my pregnancy app to start timing the contractions. They were around 12 minutes apart so I knew I had a lot of time still before we needed to head to the hospital. I tried to go back to sleep but it was getting harder to ignore them so around 6am I decided to get up and get moving. I showered and got ready and made breakfast but my contractions were still too far apart so the majority of Sunday was spent cleaning my house. I was one of the unlucky ones who had back labor so sitting and laying down became excruciating for me after a certain point. So I mopped my floors, dusted, did laundry, basically anything I could to keep myself distracted from the pain.
By about 7pm my contractions were getting closer together, about 6-7 minutes apart so I decided to call the hospital to see if they thought I should come in soon. They suggested I take a bath to try and relax and wait until my contractions were closer to 5 minutes apart consistently for an hour. I felt like the bath actually slowed things down a bit so it really didn’t help me too much lol. At this point I am just pacing my house while Brian massages my back during each contraction but eventually I told him to go to bed so that he is rested enough to drive us to the hospital. At around 12:30 my contractions suddenly are around 4-5 minutes apart so I make the decision to wake Brian up so we can head to the hospital. The hospital I gave birth in is about 40 minutes away from our house and the drive was awful since I was sitting and as I said earlier, sitting was excruciating for me with the back labor but we eventually got there and got checked in!
We got to our room a little before 1:30am and the nurse said I was already 6cm dilated and he was surprised how calm I was and not begging for an epidural by now. I took that as a compliment and reminded everyone of my birth plan to forgo an epidural. I figured the more people I told the more likely I’d stick with it so as to hold myself accountable for all the people I had told already. lol By about 2:30 my contractions were getting a lot stronger so I decided to use the nitrous oxide they had available at the hospital. Basically it’s the same laughing gas they give you at the dentist except less potent so it doesn’t affect the baby at all. It really didn’t affect me either. lmao it barely helped but I almost used it as a distraction so I could continue my deep breathing (next time I give birth I probably won’t even bother with the nitrous oxide). My next option for pain relief was the shower. Water is considered natures epidural so we got the water running and noticed it wasn’t getting warm, even after 5 minutes of running… well to my bad luck the hospital had a crew working on the hot water that morning so I was unable to take advantage of the shower which was a bummer! By this time it’s almost 6am and I am starting to stall out at 7cm.
So if you know anything about labor, you’d know that from 7-10cm is the transition phase of labor which is the hardest. This is usually when the mom is screaming and begging for an epidural and I was no different lol! I started to question whether I could continue on with the pain, especially being stuck at 8cm for what seemed like an eternity. My midwife gave me the option to take advantage of the epidural and I looked at Brian to guidance, hoping he would say yes and no at the same time. I wanted relief so badly but I wanted a natural birth even more. So I asked what my other options were. My midwife suggested we manually break my water to speed the process up. Again, this was not guaranteed but was guaranteed to make the contractions much worse. Again I was willing to risk it so I declined to get the epidural and instead chose them breaking my water. Instantly after my water was broken the contractions became much worse. I instantly regretted my decision (at the time) during 3 contractions in a row. I cried out to Brian how dumb I was for not taking the epidural and how I made a mistake. But I know now I didn’t make a mistake. That was just the transition phase talking! Well lucky for me, breaking my water did speed up the process and an hour and a half later after 30 minutes of pushing, at 9:22am our son was born!
I won’t lie when I say that labor was the hardest thing I have ever done. But I felt like a rockstar after. Especially when they told me he was 8lbs 4oz and 21.5in! He was a big boy! Bigger than the 7.5lbs they assumed he was! I wept when they plopped him on my chest. Finally the moment I had day dreamed about most was finally here and I was holding our beautiful baby boy. He was even more precious than I could have ever imagined and he had quite a bit of hair which was such a fun surprise to me!
During labor Ryder had swallowed some meconium so he had to be taken to the NICU to have his lungs flushed out and he ended up spending 3 days in the NICU after also struggling with jaundice from our opposite blood types but today he is healthy as can be!
It’s been the greatest joy in my life to be Ryder’s mama and I am so grateful for my husband who has been everything and more for me during the labor and after. They say having a baby can add some tension in a marriage but I can truly say that I love Brian more than ever since having Ryder. His support means more to me than he will ever know. I have the most wonderful little family! <3