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Jack Thomas Ryan – Born March 23rd, 2013 at 11:05pm

The one thing I hated about getting close to my due date was not knowing. Waking up and wondering if today was going to be the day. The closer I got the more over being pregnant I was. I was swollen and uncomfortable and I wanted to meet our little guy.

So I did everything they say to move things along. Acupuncture, spicy foods, red wine etc, etc. When I went to acupuncture 6 days prior to my due date and she told me I wasn’t close to delivering the baby I left with my head low and resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be overdue. I went in to labour the next day.

Friday March 22nd

I woke up at 6am with my husband as he goes to work early. I sat up and felt a trickle of water. I told my husband what had happened and I said it was probably nothing and to head on to work. I fell back asleep and when I woke up the same thing happened. At this point, I called the midwife and told her what had happened. She said it was possible that my water had broken and to hang tight and let her know if anything changes. I decided to have a shower and just go about my day. When I got out, I knew my water broke. You see the movies and think it is one big rush and that is that. Not always. For the next 24 plus hours I leaked water. Nice eh?

I called Dave and let him know what was happening and he decided to come home. I called the midwife as well to update her. I called our doula to let her know things were happening and I would call her when things got rough. For the next 20 hours or so things were manageable.

Saturday March 23rd

I finally called the doula to come over at 4am as things were starting to get bad. Contractions do not tickle. She came over and we used the tens machine for the next few hours. I could manage the settings myself and crank it as a contraction came on. I was sitting on the exercise ball as a contraction came on and Dave put pressure on my back. In between contractions, I did lunges. Don’t ask me why but that seemed to help. Our doula timed the contractions and coached us along. I can’t say enough how nice it was to have her there. Dave did a great job but it was nice to have someone with experience give us suggestions on how to get through the contractions.

At 7am my contractions were close enough together that I wanted to go to the hospital so we packed everything up and off we went. Having contractions in the car was not fun because I couldn’t sit down normally. I was sort of half perched on my side trying to breathe through each one.

People had asked us what our birth plan was. We always said our birth plan is to have no birth plan. We just wanted to keep an open mind so that we could make the right decisions about our baby and deliver a healthy child. This open minded plan really helped us get through the day.

We arrived at Women’s Hospital and got registered. Not fun getting asked all those questions when you are having contractions, which had slowed down quite a bit by that point.

We got in a room and our midwife came in and did an examination. Apparently I was only 2cm dilated. Are you kidding me? I had been in labour for more than 24 hours and I was only 2cm dilated? They gave us 3 options. Go home and they would give me some morphine for the pain. Stay at the hospital and go for a walk but not be admitted. Or get admitted and be induced. After we were given the 3 options we were told it was actually only 1 option, leave. Cue the tears. I was tired and did not want to go home. I also knew that because it had already been 24 hours since my water broke there was a concern of infection. I wanted to stay and get induced. Dave and I chatted about it and because we didn’t really have much of a choice we said we would go home, but I wanted the morphine!

Before they sent us on our way, they wanted to make sure the baby was ok so they hooked us up to check his heart rate for 20 minutes while they got the morphine. 2 hours later we were still there. No morphine and my contractions were no picnic. I basically stood the whole time because that’s the only position that worked for me. Finally the OB came to examine me. She is the one who had to ok the morphine. She came in to chat with us and said she was concerned about infection since my water had broken now about 28 hours ago and she didn’t feel comfortable having us go home. She wanted to admit us and induce. Boom. This is exactly what we wanted! Now get me my morphine!!!

We got admitted and settled in to a room and they set up the IV and started the induction to get this baby moving in the right direction. Our doula left to go home at this point. We were to call her later when we needed her. The contractions were awful but I was managing.

About 4pm they checked me again and I was only 3cm dilated. Oh my god! Shoot me. At this point the contractions were getting brutal. I was on the ball for a bit, but really I just stood for most of the time. I finally told Dave that I was going to try and make it to 5:30pm and then get the epidural. By 5pm I was begging for it. Luckily, the doctor who did the epidurals was doing two other women already and got to me within 10 min. Finished in 5 and I was pain free in another 5. Why hadn’t I done this sooner?

At this point my midwife and doula came and said that the epidural was the best course of action because they could really up the induction to get things moving. It felt good that they were on board with my decision as I wasn’t sure they would be. I just laid in bed and hung out for the next couple hours virtually pain free.

At about 8pm they came in to check me again. 6cm dilated. Wow. I didn’t even know what to say but thank goodness I wasn’t feeling the contractions anymore because otherwise I am not sure I could have gone on. It had now been 38 hours since this whole process had started.

The OB came down to check me as well and at this point recommended they do a contraction test to see if the contractions were strong enough. If they weren’t strong enough then they would really ramp up the induction. If not, then they would recommend a C-section.

It should be noted that my birthday is March 24th. I did not want to have this baby on my birthday and all the nurses, midwives, doulas and doctors new this. I wanted this baby today! I would have shared my birthday but I really wanted him to have his own day. By this time, we are getting pretty darn close to he cut off.

They inserted the catheter to test the contractions so for the next hour we just waited for the results. The OB came back in and said that they contractions were in fact strong enough and our little baby boy should have been making his way down, but that just was not going to happen so they recommended a C-section. As soon as we said yes it was all systems go. Nurses in and out prepping us. We got the camera ready and Dave left to get himself ready for the operating room. Within 10 min I was in the operating room myself being prepped for the surgery. They tested the numbness of my lower body and I was good to go.

What I didn’t realize was the drug they gave me would make me shake so badly. My arms were literally out of control. I had no idea of this was normal or not and started to panic until they came over and told me all was fine and it was in fact normal. They finally brought Dave in and he was a little shocked by the shaking as well. They really need to prepare you for that!

Within 10 minutes our little baby boy was born. The worst part about having a C-section is hearing your baby cry and not being able to see them. Not being able to see if they are ok, if they are healthy, if they have 10 fingers and 10 toes. I felt helpless.

Dave was able to go see him and he did the skin to skin with him while I was stitched back up. Dave finally brought him over to me and I was able to sort of hold him with my shaking hands. What a beautiful baby boy. Our baby boy. Finally! At 11:05pm on March 23rd. Just in the nick of time (55 whole minutes to spare in fact).

They finished getting me ready and moved me to a different bed. Weirdest moment was seeing them move my legs but not being able to feel them. They moved us to the recovery area, which was completely empty at that hour, where I was able to hold Jack again and we had him breastfeed right away. The nurse was super impressed with his latching right away. What a smart boy! They kept asking me to move my legs and toes but I wasn’t able to for about 20 minutes. Such a crazy feeling. We finally got moved up to our room and settled in for the night.

I honestly don’t recall much over the next couple days. I still had drugs running through my system and hadn’t slept in forever. I remember being overwhelmed with emotions and fear. I remember loving Dave for his support and love during not only the whole pregnancy but the last 2 days. I remember being amazed at how natural he was with Jack. I remember crying a lot. I remember being overwhelmed by visitors. I remember the nurses being the most amazing people to walk this earth. I wish I could have taken them home. I remember loving this baby with all my heart.

And then we took this little bouncing bundle of joy home with us to start this wonderful, insane, scary, life changing adventure as parents. Turns out giving birth is the easy part!