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Ryder’s Birth Story

I haven’t been great about writing down memories of Ryder. I didn’t document when he rolled over, smiled, walked or laughed for the first time. Facebook has been the best “journal” I’ve created. I have some memories posted on there, but overall, I suck. ☹ It’s so crazy how you think you’ll “never forget” the funny things they said or did. But you just do. You’re busy and time passes. You forget the little details. I hope that with this blog I will be able to capture experiences and document what a joy Ryder has been in our lives. So to start, I thought I’d write about his birth story. 

I’ve wanted to write down Ryder’s birth story for two years! I realized the other day that before I know it, I’ll be having this baby girl and then I’ll need to find time to write down her birth story. Time is flying by so quickly. That sounds cliché, but it’s SO true. I never felt the time pass by so quickly as I have since becoming pregnant with Ryder and throughout his life. The time is slipping through my fingers and I cannot believe in less than one month our little baby boy is going to be TWO. 

My pregnancy with Ryder was great. I felt great most of the time and was able to continue working out and eating healthy-ish most of the time. (Don’t get me wrong – I indulged a lot, too!)  At week 26 I went to the Taylor Swift concert with a girl friend. (Yes, I LOVE Taylor Swift and I am not ashamed!) We were looking forward to this concert for months! 

That morning I woke up and just felt achy. Tooth and I went to church and sitting still in a chair for an hour made me want to cry. Seriously, I wanted to cry. But I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was wrong or what I was even feeling? I just knew it didn’t feel good or comfortable. 

After church we went over to a friends house and I pretty much just laid on the couch trying not to cry the entire time. Tim tried to talk me out of going to the concert but YEAH RIGHT. So, my girl friend and I met up for dinner and I couldn’t explain to her what was wrong but I just felt achy or something. I wasn’t sure if I needed Tylenol or Tums?! I was confused LOL. We went to the concert and I got worse, fast. We left the concert early and I remember calling my mom on my drive home saying “if this is how the rest of my pregnancy is going to be – I can’t! I can’t do it!” She encouraged me to call the doctor but I refused. I’m quite stubborn! I had this fear of being the girl who called in every time I had an ache or pain and them saying “oh, you’re uncomfortable?! Yeah, you’re pregnant!” So I didn’t call and went home to get some sleep. 

The next morning Tooth called me from work saying “I think you should call the doctor”. I was annoyed, but knew he was right. So I called. They told me to stop what I was going and go to hospital right away. When I got there, they wouldn’t even let me walk. They made me ride in a wheelchair up to the room where they would examine me. I was so embarrassed by this thinking “oh geez, they’re going to wheel me up, check me out and send me home because everything is going to be fine and I’m just being a big baby! No one said pregnancy was comfortable or easy”. 

But once I got in there and hooked up to their machines they told me I was having contractions every 2 minutes. I was in shock! I pictured contractions to feel so different. SO painful that you can’t talk, etc. And I pictured them to aggressively come and go. But that’s not what I experienced. I just felt constant discomfort around my entire mid section and back. I wouldn’t have ever thought I was experiencing contractions. They continued to check me out and make sure everything else was ok, which it was. The baby was ok and I hadn’t lost any amniotic fluid. It took over 7 hours for them to be able to slow down my contractions. They never stopped fully, the rest of my pregnancy. I was put on Rx to help continue slowing the contractions and put on “semi” bed rest. I wasn’t supposed to be on my feet more than 2 hours a day. That is REALLY hard to do, FYI. 

But the baby was fine and the rest of my pregnancy was normal. I would feel the contractions come and go and tried to take it easy when possible. I was just hoping to make it as far as possible into my pregnancy. I was so worried he was going to come early and I knew he still needed to “cook” a while longer in there. 

Fast forward to week 39.5. My contractions were coming back but nothing too intense. I’ll spare you the details of some other indicators (LOL) that led me to believe he was ready to come out. So Tooth and I grabbed a bite to eat, some Starbucks and headed to the hospital. (Fun Fact – we were in the same hospital room Guilana and Bill Rancic were in when their surrogate delivered their son, Duke.) It was nice that we weren’t really in a rush and it was surreal checking into the hospital. I just kept thinking “this is it!” I was so excited and SO afraid of the unknown. I was afraid of pretty much everything – the not knowing, the pain, the epidural, recovery, everything. 

I was in labor for 18+ hours. I went about 8 hours without drugs because as afraid as I was to experience labor, I wanted to. But after 3 BAD hours of contractions, I was ready for the drugs! I was so nervous when they came in to give me the epidural, my legs were shaking like leaves! Seriously! The nurse and Tooth had to hold down my legs while he gave me the drugs because I was moving so much from the shaking. 

I was asleep (they gave me a sleep aide so I could get some rest) when suddenly 8 nurses came running into the room. They didn’t explain what was happening but put oxygen on me, and starting flipping my body all around. They finally told me that baby’s heart rate had dropped significantly and I was SO scared. I remember looking at Tim in panic and him comforting me saying, “It’s gonna be ok. He’s gonna be ok”. They were able to get his heart rate back up but OMG it scared us so bad. 

A couple hours later, it happened again. This time not only nurses came running in, but my doctor (who I adore) came RUNNING in full speed in her 5 inch heels! I could tell that she wanted to do a C-section right there but I begged her to let me wait it out. His heart rate regulated again and she agreed to wait. She told me “three strikes, you’re out. Anything weird happens again, we’re going in”. And I agreed. I obviously just wanted a healthy baby but wanted so badly to try a natural birth. 

A few hours later I paged the nurse because I had the urge to push. The nurses came in, along with my doctor. I didn’t know why they were in such a rush but I guess his heart rate started to drop again. I was so ready to push and so excited that I was finally 10cm dilated. But they couldn’t get his heart rate to regulate this time. I felt like Elizabeth Banks in the movie “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” where she’s like, “but I typed it!” about her birth plan. Because I really had typed it! I had a very specific idea of how I wanted the birth to go. I knew that it wasn’t likely going to be exactly the way we planned, but we did have a plan. So I was devastated when suddenly a nurse threw scrubs at Tim and they were wheeling me down the hall in a mad rush! It all happened so fast. I just remember Tim not being by my side as I was rolling down the hallway and screaming “TOOTH! TOOTH!” I’m sure everyone there was like, “HUH?! Who’s Tooth?! Crazy pregnant lady.” LOL

We got in the room and they were not messing around. It happened very fast. My epidural had started to wear off and wasn’t as strong as they would have given me if they knew I was going to be having a C-section. They kept upping my dose but it didn’t take effect fast enough and I felt more than I should have during the surgery. Ew. But Tooth was great. He videoed the delivery (not the gross stuff!) and stood by me the whole time making sure I was ok and was so encouraging. Telling me to breathe and that things were going great. 

Before I knew it, he was out. I remember the doctor and Tim both saying “He looks like you!” The doctor lifted him up over the curtain so I could see him. It was SURREAL. THERE’S MY BABY! The nurses took him to the other side of the room to clean him up and check him out. Tooth went with him and would come back over to me every couple minutes to give me updates. He was born on July 15th, 2013 at 5:00pm. He was 6 pounds, 14 ounces and 21 inches long. And he was perfect. After a little while Tim brought him over to me so I could kiss his sweet cheeks and say hi with tears streaming down my face. I was in love and I was SO upset that I wasn’t able to hold him and have immediate skin to skin. But Tim was able to hold him right away and that was better than nothing.

As it turned out Ryder was stuck in my hip structure and that’s why his heart rate kept dropping. My doctor told me he was stuck and she was so glad I didn’t spend hours pushing when I would have ended up a C-section anyway. He came out with a major cone head but it was back to normal about 10 hours later. 

Eventually, they took me to the recovery room where I waited for the drugs to wear off and the doctors could check in on me to make sure I was ok, along with Ryder. I was able to nurse him about 2 hours after he was born and again, so surreal. He was so tiny and cute. When we were taken to our room my Mom, Kristin (my best friend) and her husband Derek were waiting for us. They were so excited to see baby Ryder (who was still nameless at that time). I was so out of it from the sleeping aide, the drugs and the surgery. I was exhausted!!! The next few days were a blur but so special. We had wonderful friends stop by to give our baby boy hugs and bring us food and gifts. It was perfect. The nurses we had were amazing and I was so happy to have my baby boy in my arms. 

We also did a photo shoot with the photographers that work within the hospital. We set up an appointment for her to come by the day after he was born. We took some pictures in our hospital room and these are some of my FAVORITES of Ryder. He was so tiny and brand new. Fresh from heaven. 

The day after Ryder was born Tim pulled out a present for me. I felt silly accepting a Push Present at that moment because my baby was gift enough. But my hubby is one thoughtful man. He’s always been a great gift giver and somehow always manages to surprise me. He got me the most beautiful ring that I will cherish forever! Every time I look at it I think of him, that day and Ryder. It reminds me of so many blessings in my life and I just love it. I didn’t remember this but Tim reminded me that last time we were at the jewelers (getting my wedding ring cleaned) I saw a gorgeous ring and suggested to Tooth that I get it. LOL I was joking but my oh my, it sure is pretty. The same night I saw that ring we found out we were pregnant! I would have never connected the dots or remembered the timing. But Tim said that when we found out we were pregnant he knew he was gonna get me that ring. It’s such a fun ring that catches everyone’s eye and I love telling the story of how my hubby surprised me with that ring the day after we had our baby boy. 

TJ came to visit us the day after Ryder was born and he was SO excited. He wanted all the details about the delivery, how much he weighed, everything. It was so cute. TJ was 8 years old and we could tell immediately that he loved his baby brother and was going to be an amazing big bro to him. He asked a lot of cute questions while he was holding him for the first time. I’ll never forget this precious moment. He sat in bed next to me and held Ryder. He couldn’t WAIT to learn what we named him (we kept it a secret from almost everyone). He asked “why is he wearing this hat?!” Valid question considering it was mid July and hot, hot, hot outside. “Can I see his body? Is he hot all wrapped up like this? Have you changed his diaper yet? Is his belly button still on?” It was really cute. Through our conversation Ryder’s hat started to lift up off his head. TJ gasped and said “He has ears!!!!!!!” LOL It was oh so cute!! Ryder got TJ a gift  – a new bike! He was very excited about it and called every day to check in (if he wasn’t coming into the hospital to visit) until we went home, where TJ joined us as we settled in as a family of four. 

Our birth story wasn’t what I’d thought it would be … even though I typed up the birth plan! LOL But it ended up being a great experience and we’re just so thankful for all the love and support we got from friends and family. We felt (and still feel!) so blessed to bring home a healthy baby boy. I instantly felt that this was my calling in life – to be a mom. There is no greater gift in life than God giving you a perfect little angel to care for. I am so grateful for Ryder and look forward to watching our family grow as we bring home our baby girl in just five short weeks!

These pictures were taken in the hospital and Ryder was just one day old. I LOVE these pictures of my teeny, tiny baby. Fresh from heaven!

Ryder Paul

Born on July 15, 2013

6 pounds, 14 ounces

21 inches long

These wrinkled little hands and feet led us to calling him “Benjamin Button” while he was nameless for three days. LOL Cutest little wrinkled hands I’ve ever seeeeeen.


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