Ryan Joseph Taynor has arrived. He was born on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 11:17am. I was 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant. His birth weight was 7 lbs, 20 inches long. My labor lasted 8 hours from start to finish (not bad for a first time mom). This past week has been the most surreal, crazy, wonderful week of my life! Below are all the details of the labor and delivery experience. Warning... lots of detail!
The Day Before
On Wednesday, 3/2 I went for my 38 week doctor appointment. The doctor told me that the head was down and in position, my cervix was soft, but I was still only dilate 1 cm. She did say that labor could happen at any moment, but reminded me that first babies like to take their time. I was kind of discouraged that I had not made any progress since my appointment 2 weeks earlier. After the appointment I went to the mall for my daily walk and met up with my mom for lunch.
Later in the evening I started to have a "feeling" that labor was close. I had absolutely no reason to be feeling this way, but it was just a strange feeling. I have heard a lot about different clues or signs that labor is going to start soon, but I had been having those symptoms for about 2 weeks (the cramping, nesting, IBS, leaking boobs, etc). The only thing that was different was that I had a little bit of the bloody show (hints of blood in my discharge, I warned I was going to give all of the details).
Anyway, we had dinner plans with Cindy and Mike (my inlaws) so we went forward with the plans since I was feeling totally normal. I made a few jokes about how they were going to get in the car and drive all the way home, just to get back in the car and come back to the hospital. After they left, I had Mike take a picture of my belly and said "I have no idea when labor is going to start so I want one last belly pic". I also went to bed earlier, just in case I didn't get a good nights sleep. Earlier that day I contacted my mom and Jackie to make sure we had a communication plan... Mike would give them updates when I went into labor and they would pass the news on to friends and family. Soooo with all of these little things going on, I should have known that I was only a few hours away from Labor Day!
Mike, I Think My Water Broke!
I was sound asleep at about 3:30am when I heard a popping nose in my dream. The dream woke me up, but I didn't feel anything different. I got up to go to the bathroom, wiped like normal and headed back to bed. I noticed my underwear was wet, so I went back to the bathroom. My underwear was def. wet but there was not a gush of water like you see in the movies. I changed my underwear and decided to walk around for a minute or two to see what happened. I had a feeling my water broke but I didn't want to jump to conclusions. Well the second and third pairs of underwear got wet just as quickly and it was finally time to wake Mike up. Thanks to Jackie, I knew I should wear a maxi pad so that I did not get all of my clothes/bed wet. My exact words to Mike were "Mike, I think my water broke... but I'm not sure". But a minute later, I had a little bit more of that gush I expected and I said "Oh yea, my water definitely broke!!!" So we called the doctors office and waited for the on call doctor to call me and let me know what to do. I was really excited to hear that Dr. Paserella was the on call doctor. My whole pregnancy I had hoped she would do my delivery because I had formed a good relationship with her. Anyway, I had planned to labor at home for a few hours before going to the hospital but by time the doctor called, my my contractions were already pretty intense and regular at 3-4 minutes apart. Dr. P said to head to the hospital... so off we went. We arrived at the hospital at 4:30am.
When people ask how my labor was the first thing I think is that it was exactly what I thought it would be. I had done so much research, birthing classes, and talked to other new moms to get as much information as possible. I was prepared to expect the unexpected, and I was prepared to lose control of my body. When I got to the hospital I was still only 1 cm dilated but 100% effaced. I was transferred to my labor room, hooked up to all the IV's and told the doctor was going to get there around 8am. The first few hours were not so bad, contractions were getting more intense and coming faster... but nothing unbearable. I was able to watch the monitor so I knew when my contractions were about to peak and when they were finally going away. It actually helped to see that screen. I was pretty controlled during the process. No screaming, moaning, cursing etc. I would just get very quiet and try to breath through it. When I got to 4 cm dilated (about 8:30 am) I finally asked for some pain meds because I was pretty miserable. They gave me a drug through the IV and pitocin so that I would feel sedated but the contractions would not slow down. After that point, things moved very very quickly. For about an hour, I dosed in and out of sleep, only waking up for the contractions. The doctor checked me again and I was 6 cm and feeling very painful and intense contractions. This was probably the worst part of the labor. It is a very hard pain to explain and I decided it was time for an epidural. The doctor came in and I was given an epidural around 10:00 am. The doctor said that I should call the nurse as soon as I started feeling pressure in my butt or that I needed to push. The epidural worked immediately, but it worked better on one side of my body than the other. My right side was totally numb and I couldn't feel any contractions or pain... but I could still feel a little bit on my left side. Eventually I was feeling the contractions on the left side of my stomach. It was within a few minutes that I started feeling the pressure in my butt and had Mike call in the nurse again. I thought I must be going crazy because it was way to soon to push. Well, we were all shocked that I was already at 9 cm and pretty much ready to start pushing any minute.
I started pushing at 10:40am. At first it was very controlled. I would wait until a contraction was starting and then the doctor would have be grab the back of my legs and push for 10 seconds, breath, and then do it again 2 more times. After the contraction was over I would wait a minute or so until the next contraction started and push again. It was very painful, even with the epidural. I could feel a tremendous amount of pressure and pain, but I am kind of glad I could feel it because it helped me know when to push and push more successfully. After about 20 minutes of pushing I could tell something was wrong. The doctor told me I had to push even if I was not having a contraction and she needed to use the vacuum to help get the baby out as quickly as possible. Then several doctors and nurses that I had not seen before were all in the room trying to help. I pretty much pushed back to back to back without any breaks. I felt totally exhausted and was having trouble getting enough air to push the right way. I could feel my face get all tingly and I was no longer in control of my pushing. I could hear bits and pieces of what the doctor and nurses were saying but none of it was making any sense to me. I do clearly remember seeing the doctor pick up a medical tool and I immediately knew that she was giving me an episiotomy. At that point I did not care, but I was aware of what she was doing. Once that was cut she was able to really get her hand on the babies head and help pull him out. Finally, she said that the babies head was out and I needed 2 more good pushes to get the body out. Once his body was totally out it was the greatest sense of relief I have ever experienced. They quickly put him on my chest and said "You have a Ryan" but I didn't process what that meant at first. I was so out of if and just trying to catch my breath. Then I looked down and I saw his naked body on my stomach and realized I had a baby boy. Things still seemed a little panicked. They made Mike quickly cut the cord and Ryan still was not crying. They took him off to the side and after a little bit longer I finally heard that much anticipated first cry! The doctor then told me what was going on, she could see that his heart rate was dropping pretty quickly during pushing. That is why they needed to get him out so quickly. They found that the cord was wrapped around his neck and causing some distress. Once he was out and they were able to remove the cord, he quickly perked up, thank goodness. In the end everything was fine, but it was a scary 20 minutes. In total, I only pushed for about 40 minutes. The process was definitely expediated because of the urgency to get the baby out!
Just when I thought it was all over, the post delivery process starts. Since I tore during pushing and then I needed the episiotomy, I needed ALOT of stitches. I felt like I was laying there for hours as the doctor stitched me up. I also had to "deliver" the placenta which meant more pushing. Because I had the loopy drug and an epidural, I was feeling pretty out of it at first. I remember talking to the doctor and nurse but I can't really remember what we talked about. I was jealous that Mike was able to hold Ryan and spend time with him while I was still being poked around. Once everything was finished, I finally got to really hold the baby. But even that did not last long. We had lots of family in the waiting room anxiously waiting to come in and see us. Within an hour of delivery, I had my mom, dad, sister, mother in law, father in law, brother in law, and sister in law, all in the delivery room visiting. They only stayed about 20 minutes before the nurse had to take away Ryan to go to the nursery. I must say, I'm a trooper for letting all of those people come see us so soon. After the family left for a few hours and the nurse took away Ryan, it was time to get me up and moving. When you give birth, you must check any modesty at the door. The nurses helped me go to the bathroom and literally cleaned me up. The bleeding for the rest of the day was very very very heavy. You have to wear like a bed pad, a huge maxi pad, an ice pack, and tucks pads all in these huge mesh underwear for the first 24 hours. But the ice really feels good after all of those stitches. I remember being shocked when I looked in the mirror because I had burst blood vessels all over my face and neck. I looked like someone took a red pen and made little dots all over the place. I kept thinking "How come no one told me I looked like this!" Once that was all done, they transferred me to my room for the next few days. That's about when they brought Ryan back in to me and all of the family members returned. The rest of that first day is a total blur. I know my brother and Ciri, Jerome, Jackie, Julian, and Tim all came to visit (along with all of the other people already there). I know I was very uncomfortable but none of that mattered because Ryan was just perfect. He changed so fast. The boy I held in the delivery room was very different then the boy they brought to me a few hours later. My first impression of him was that I was shocked by how light his hair is.
Mike was wonderful throughout the whole process. He really was helpful and supportive and didn't do anything to annoy me during labor :) He was much more involved in the pushing part than either of us had anticipated but he was great! I don't think I yelled at him once during the whole process.
Anyway, that is my labor story. I could go on and on for hours about every little detail. I'm sure I will add plenty more as the blogs continue.