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This is a story of the birth of our son Ryder.
On July 12th, my husband and I made plans to go to a couple of parties with friends. Seeing as my due date was far off (July 23rd), I figured: A) it was entirely safe to go and B) it could potentially be my last night out for a while, so best to make the most of it! Plus, I was feeling a little stir crazy from spending most nights at home up until that point.
Around 5 pm I got out of the shower and made a quick sandwich for dinner. Just as I was finishing eating, I felt a curious trickle of liquid! Considering, I was nearly two weeks out, plus my doctor had assured me that I was only 1cm dilated and likely not ready to go for another week, this couldn’t be labor! However, when it kept coming, I called my doctor to get her opinion. However, since it was after hours, I had to speak with a nurse. The nurse mentioned that the cervical exam I had earlier that day, may have stripped my membranes; therefore it would be good to come in for an exam. At first, I thought it would go away, but when it didn’t, and more liquid kept coming, I had Jason drive me to the hospital.
On the way to see the doctor, my contractions began, and just as I got out of the car, my water broke! OK, now, I was definitely in labor! I had planned on laboring for as long as I could at home before I went to the hospital, but with the discharge, I knew something wasn’t right. As soon as we walked in, the nurse took one look at me and rushed me into the delivery room! It turns out it the discharge was meconium, and I needed to be hooked up to an IV right away. My doctor arrived and explained the situation—if the baby swallows any of the meconium he would have to go straight to NICU.
Leading up to the birth, I was on the fence about an getting an epidural. However, as I went into labor and could initially handle the contractions when they became more frequent and intense, I began to lose my focus and decided to get one. Moreover, I have to say, it was wonderful! The next few hours I tried to watch some television while Jason napped next to me. Around 1:30 am my doctor came in to check on me, and I was at 10cm! Therefore, she instructed me immediately start pushing, but he wasn’t progressing. After some time, my baby’s heart rate dropped and wasn’t recovering, to avoid risk, they rushed me into an emergency c-section as it turns out he was breech. I had never been so scared or felt so helpless in all my life. The physical pressure was intense, plus I knew my doctor and the team were under immense pressure to birth my baby immediately. Then out of nowhere, my son’s cry pierced the air, and I let out a deep sigh of relief. The entire surgery was only three minutes, but it felt like a lifetime, and since it all happened so fast my husband wasn’t able to be in the room with us. However, as soon as he was born, they brought Jason into the room and placed our son on my chest. I felt the most incredible sense of relief and began to sob—Ryder was healthy and beautiful!
Throughout my pregnancy, I tried to keep a very loose birth plan, but I did have some expectations of how it would go. I imagined I would be at home laboring, walking around, have a vaginal birth, with immediate skin to skin, and then have my placenta encapsulated. However, none of that happened, and nothing went “as planned,” but in the end, I am merely grateful that light of my life was born healthy!