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Old 08-06-2012, 09:05 AM   #1
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Location: Northern CA
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Ryder Michael

We are so excited to introduce Baby Boy Pagan: Ryder Michael.

Born July 26th at 3:49 PM
Weighing in at 7 lbs 3 oz
19.5 inches long

Ryder's Birth:

The entire week leading up to Ryder's arrival I had been waking up around 1 AM with some mild cramping. It would keep me up for a few hours, then fizzle out. It never felt like contractions, just discomfort. On Wednesday, everything stopped. I had no cramping and no other signs that labor might be imminent. In fact, I had completely convinced myself that I had at least one, if not two, more weeks of pregnancy. I was still relatively comfortable (as comfortable as you can be 39 weeks pregnant) and Charlotte and I were exploiting our summer to the best of our ability. Swimming, lake, play dates, etc. I was soaking up every minute with her and really in no rush to get baby out.

Thursday morning I woke up around 5:30, per usual, and started checking my phone. I was reading an email when I felt what I believed to be my first contraction. It was not very painful, but distinctly different than the cramping I had been having earlier in the week. I looked at the time: 5:37 and continued reading emails. 5:50 I noticed another one. Same intensity, but definitely a contraction. I stayed in bed for about an hour paying attention to the mild contractions. They were coming about 10-12 minutes apart and very tolerable. Around 6:45 I got up to make Jeremy's breakfast. The contractions continued at about 10 minutes apart and remained very mild.

Wanting to pay attention to what was going on, I sat down on the couch with my breakfast. Jeremy was sitting at the computer just about to leave for work when I told him, "I don't know babe, this feels a lot different. You might not make it through work today." He said to keep him posted and he'd be here as soon as I needed him.

Just in case I really was in labor, I took a shower, shaved my legs, did my hair. You never can be too prepared!

Around 8:45 I got Charlotte up and made her breakfast. The contractions started to get a little more painful and a little closer together. It was a lot harder to time them while I was chasing Charlotte around. She could definitely sense something was wrong and wanted me to hold her constantly. A toddler crawling on your stomach through a contraction is particularly unpleasant.

Still not convinced I was really in labor, I tried to continue with the day, but it was impossible. I had a major breakdown when I realized I was not able to care for Charlotte anymore. At 9:51 my dad texted to see how I was doing (I had given him the heads up today might be the day) and I finally admitted to myself it was time to pass Charlotte off. I spent about 30 minutes crying and getting her things together. My dad was over within 5 minutes. At this same time Jer texted to check in on me and I told him the contractions were now about 6 minutes apart and my dad was coming to get Charlotte. He left work immediately.

Jer got home a little after 10 just in time to say bye to Charlotte. My parents took her off to Turtle Bay and sent plenty of pictures of her having a blast. Knowing she was having fun put my heart at ease.

So, there we were, Jer and I, in a quiet house, unsure of the unfolding day. "So, what do we do now?" he asked. "I don't know, go for a walk?"

So, we strapped on some shoes and started walking around the neighborhood. Nothing." Oh great, I'm not really in labor, I'm just being a big baby." But, about half way around the block, a contraction. One that made me stop in my tracks. And then back to walking.

The strange thing about labor is how much it messes with your mind. At one minute you're fine and vacuuming the living room, the next minute you think you might die. It keeps you second guessing yourself.

We lapped the neighborhood and got back to the house around 11. We realized Charlotte didn't have her lovies for nap time at my parents' house. I loaded them up in a bag and we headed over to drop them off. They were still at the park so we just left the bag on the doorstep.

"We should get some lunch! Taco Bell?" Jer was definitely skeptical of Taco Bell right before having a baby, but since I still hadn't fully accepted the fact I was in labor, and it sounded really good, I assured him it would be okay. But on the way, we stopped at 7-11 and got a Diet Coke, a Slurpee, and a Butterfinger. I read in my Bradley book about the importance of eating light, healthy snack packed with protein while in labor. That's what they had in mind, right?

When we got to 7-11 and I started to get out of the car, Jer looked at me, "Your going to go in? What if you have a contraction?" "I'm fine!" So there we were, in the liquor aisle of 7-11, me having a contraction with my head on Jer's shoulder. It was classy.

We got home and ate lunch between contractions. At this point I think I finally accepted the impending escalation and called the hospital. I told them we'd be in later, once (if) things picked up.

I found a comfortable position on the couch and we started timing the contractions. At first they were about 6 minutes apart, but it wasn't long before that number shrunk down to 5. After 2 contractions at 4 minutes apart, Jer insisted we head on in.

I got to the hospital around 2:00. I was so relieved and thankful to have the nurse I did. I knew she would take excellent care of us, and make the day so much fun! She brought us back to our room, had me change and pee in a cup. I climbed into bed finally and got all hooked up.

She checked me around 2:20 and I was 7 cm! Wa-hoo! I continued to contract about every 4 minute. They had escalated to nearly unbearable. I was so thankful for the Bradley book I had read that really encouraged relaxation. I was able to fully relax and moan through each contraction. It was loud, but it was the only way I was making it through.

I think around 3:00 the on-call OB came in and broke my water. He said I was an 8. From here things get a little blurry. The contractions started piling one on top of the other. So excruciatingly painful.

Around 3:20 my body took over and I couldn't help but push through the contraction. There were no doctors or nurses in the room when I started pushing, so I yelled, "pushing!!!!" to try and get someone's attention. Someone (my eyes were closed for the entire last 30 minutes so I have no idea who came in or out of the room) ran and got the nurse. She came in and checked me and called yelled for a doctor. Baby was ready to come out, NOW!

The on call OB was in another delivery, so I had to wait for my doctor to arrive. Those were officially the most difficult 10-15 minutes of my life. I was breathing so intensely I'm surprised I didn't hyperventilate. At one point, I couldn't handle it anymore and started pushing anyway, at which time my nurse literally slapped my leg and told me to stop. Sounds harsh, but it did help me stop pushing!

Finally, like out of a sitcom, the doctor came running down the hall and in the room. Less than 4 minutes from him entering, baby was out!

I have never felt such euphoria. Immediately, all the pain and misery was gone. They placed that beautiful baby boy on my chest and I couldn't stop screaming, "I did it! He's here! I did it! It's over! Oh my gosh!" It was absolutely life-chaning. The best moment of my entire life.

The next hour was so incredible. I snuggled my new baby boy as friends and family filtered in the room to meet him. It was calm and joyous. Everyone was so happy.

It took a few hours, but as soon as Jer and I got a minute alone, we decided on the name Ryder Michael. I absolutely love it and it already fits him perfectly.

The rest of the hospital stay was brief and wonderful. I felt great physically. I spent the entire night staring at Ryder in disbelief and awe. He was (is) so perfect.

Less than 24 hours after having him, we were back home ready to start our new life as a family of 4.

I know this is getting long, so I'll wrap it up. I cannot say enough good things about my delivery experience. I spent 9 months praying for a delivery exactly like the one I was blessed with. After Charlotte's Birth , all I wanted was a normal, uncomplicated, unmedicated delivery. I got all that, and more.

Things are going wonderfully around here since Ryder's arrival. Charlotte has adjusted perfectly and absolutely adores her new baby brother. I can't help but cry when I look at my 2 perfect babies and acknowledge how abundantly God has blessed us.
Wife to my high school love. Momma to beautiful DD 10/23/10 and sweet new DS 7/26/12. NICU Nurse. Love to CD and BW. Full of Joy through Christ's redeeming love.
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