I had only been sleeping for about 2 hours when my water broke because I was kind of waiting for Matt to get home from hanging out with his friends and I just wasn't tired so I was just hanging out and watching TV. So needless to say, I was shocked, tired, and emotional when I was woken suddenly, so I kind of just sat there for a few minutes thinking about everything and trying not to cry. I was so excited that I didn't have to sit around and wonder if I was really in labor or not. I was so nervous that I was about to have a baby and that my life was going to change completely in just a matter of hours (but excited about that too!). I was so nervous that I wouldn't be a good mom even though I'd wanted to be a mom for as long as I could remember. I was so anxious to find out if I had a boy or a girl in my huge belly and meet the little one who had been beating me from the inside for months : ) So, after I pulled myself together, I got cleaned up and then went to wake Matt up. I just shook him and said "kid, my water broke." (I've been calling him kid since high school, not really sure why!) He had also only been sleeping for a couple of hours and usually he's really hard to wake up but he woke up immediately and looked so shocked! I'll never forget the look on his face. Then he said, "are you sure?" I told him I was definitely sure and that we needed to change the sheets and try to get some more sleep before the contractions got too intense. Luckily I was able to rest for about 3 hours but then just couldn't stay in bed any longer. I'm not the type to lose sleep over anything, but I was just too excited...and the contractions were starting to get strong enough to wake me up each time.
So, I took a shower, ate some cereal, all while in this surreal state that I was going to have a baby today! The world seemed like it was standing still. It was a Saturday and we had no plans at all, so we just hung out around the house, getting ready but taking our sweet time. If you know me, you know I'm always in a hurry and always late, so this was really strange, but so awesome! Sometime around 9am we called our amazing doula, Jessica just to let her know that I was in labor but told her we didn't need her quite yet. Eventually, I was doing my make up and had to stop and lean up against the counter each time a contraction came so that I could relax through it, so we decided to call her back around 1 to see if she and her 'understudy', Hannah wanted to come over soon to help us decide what to do and when to go to the hospital. They came over around 2 and we sat upstairs on the couches and talked between contractions and they basically just timed them and watched how I was reacting to them to see when we should go in. They told me that I was handling the contractions really well (I wasn't able to talk through them at that point) and that I held my tension in my forehead so I should focus on relaxing that with each contraction. They also convinced me to eat some toast since I had only eaten ceral earlier in the day.
It was kind of strange to be sitting upstairs because we still didn't have a TV up there so we very rarely spent time there even though it was probably the nicest part of our house. We still hadn't told anyone else that I was in labor either, which was kind of exciting in a way. It was kind of like when Matt and I knew that I was pregnant and it was our little secret for about 7 weeks. This was kind of our little secret, which we got to savor between the two of us for almost an entire day before we told anyone in our families. (And later on we'd have the secret of what the gender of our baby was for about an hour!)
So, around 4pm we decided to get ready to head into the hospital because I thought that hanging out in the tub sounded pretty good at the time and my contractions were about 4 minutes apart and had been all afternoon. We decided before we left the house to tell a little fib to the nurses if they asked if my water had broken and when it broke because I didn't want to have to be put on antibiotics just for being in labor for too long with my water broken since I hadn't been checked and wasn't at any real risk for infection. When we got there we walked from the parking garage and I had to stop and hang on Matt each time I had a contraction, and I felt like everyone was staring at me, but at least it was a weekend and the hospital was pretty empty (no inductions or scheduled c-sections on the weekends!). We got to the room and they had to hook me up to the monitor for a while and they checked me and I was at a 5 1/2. We decided to walk the halls for a while to try to get things to progress more and after about 45 minutes I decided to try to relax in the tub so we had them fill it up and I got in. This is where I pretty much went into my own little world. I thought I was in there for about an hour or two when it turns out I was in there for about 5 hours! I was able to relax so well and even fall asleep between contractions, which was so nice since I was already getting exhausted from having so little sleep the night before. The tub was sort of awkward though, so in order to relax my entire body and keep my belly under the water I had to sort of lay down and hold myself up with my leg(s) on the other end of the tub which started to make my hips get sore, especially the left one. They didn't want me laying on my back, but wanted me switching from side to side every 15 minutes or so since they checked me and I had some swelling from the pressure of the water on my cervix. They said laying on my sides would keep it from swelling more and that if it swelled too much I'd have trouble pushing when it was time. Matt, Jessica, and Hannah were all amazing for staying in that tiny, muggy room for so long! I know it was steamy and crowded in there but they just kept encouraging me, bringing me water to drink and putting cool rags on my head. Matt spend a lot of time leaning over the side of the tub pressing on my hip when it was hurting too.
Eventually Jessica asked if I wanted to try getting out of the tub since I wasn't progressing much in there. I instantly remembered hearing stories about how much more intense labor was after getting back out of the water, but I knew its what I needed to do, so I did. This is when my modesty went out the window. We learned in Bradley class that you would loose your modesty at some point and although I'm a fairly modest person I believed that it would probably happen to me....I just didn't know HOW much I wouldn't care who saw me in my birthday suit (for hours on end in various unflattering positions)! After getting out of the tub I immediately wanted my swimming suit top off and I'm pretty sure I was only wearing slippers for hours!
At around 11:30pm I got out of the tub and went back to our room. I was still at an 8 1/2 or 9, and my left hip was really sore and I wanted constant, hard pressure on it during contractions. I remember Matt trying to get me to eat some of the snacks that we brought but even though I was hungry, eating made me nauseous, so I ended up only having a few wheat thins and a few sips of orange juice.
Contractions were definitely more intense out of the pool but since I had been at 8 1/2- 9 for so long they wanted me to try to use the pump to see if that would speed up contractions after being so relaxed in the tub. I hated it! It made them much more intense and I was so uncomfortable laying on the bed in one position so after about 40 minutes we stopped. After that I remember sitting on the edge of the bed, leaning on Matt and feeling like it was getting to be too much. I felt like I was ready to push and needed to but the nurses kept telling me I was still stuck at an 8 1/2 or 9 and that I couldn't push yet. I had been stuck there for about 5 hours at that point. One nurse had me push a little while she was checking me to see if I could get past a little 'lip' but she was instructing me when to push and I got MAD! From my point of view I yelled at her and told her "NO!" but others tell me I wasn't rude so I hope I wasn't! Pushing through the checking didn't do anything and I started to get upset and overwhelmed since I felt like nothing was working and Jessica suggested I go to the bathroom again and that Matt and I talk for a minute. Emptying your bladder seems to do something to make contractions more intense and I was exhausted and not thinking clearly. I told Matt to go out and tell Jessica that I couldn't do it anymore and that I had to get some rest. The next thing I heard was him telling Jessica and Hannah that I was just a little overwhelmed, blah, blah, blah. I was angry! That is NOT what I said, I SAID I needed a break! Thankfully my amazing husband was listening in our Bradley classes and knew I was probably in transition and that we just needed another hour or so and I'd be through transition and ready to have our baby.
Our midwife, Laura, had been updated throughout my time at the hospital on how things were going but we hadn't seen her since around 6pm. She came in and checked me around 1:15am and told me something like "you can get an epidural, you can get IV pain medicine, or we can keep doing this". I was surprised by her tone since she was so sweet and had never said anything discouraging before. She seemed annoyed with me. I later found out she had already delivered 4 or 5 babies that day and was probably exhausted and just wanted to go home. Thankfully, I didn't have to say anything and Matt stepped up and said, "give us one more hour and if she's not ready to push by then, we can talk."
Jessica told me I had to just listen to my body and do whatever it was telling me to do. Best. Advice. Ever! I tuned everything out, leaned on the bed with my elbows, and let my hips sway back and forth with each contraction. I felt relaxed, my hip felt better, and I felt like I was in control again. Looking back on my pregnancy and the way the baby would kick me and bang on my hip bone, I have a strong feeling that our baby was a little off center and that the head was pointed toward my left hip and swaying like that helped the baby to move down and get in position. After an hour a nurse came back to check me again. I thought I was ready to push and prayed they would say I was ready too. Somewhat surprisingly, after hearing "8 1/2 or 9" so many times, we heard that I was at a 10! They went to tell Laura and you could tell she was surprised that Matt was right and her tone changed immediately upon coming back into the room.
This was it. It was finally time, the laboring had been worth it! I was still in a haze though and didn't really think about that at the time, I just felt the need to push and again listened to my body and got on the bed on my hands and knees. Matt was on my left side and Jessica on my right, both holding my hands, or should I say trying to keep their hands from being crushed, while I grasped them and pushed as my body told me to with each contraction. Laura was really encouraging and directed my pushing, but didn't tell me when or how long to push, which was really helpful. After a few pushes Jessica said "remember we talked about the ring of fire? Well, it's here but it will be worth it." We most definitely had never talked about a ring of fire..but I was too exhausted to talk about it then, and I learned just was she was talking about VERY quickly! It's true, a ring of fire is the perfect description! Pushing was the hardest, most painful part for me, but it only lasted about an hour. I don't remember the specific things Jessica said to me during that time, but I know for sure it would have been MUCH more difficult and discouraging it if weren't for her! I thought to myself that there was no other choice at that point, it was up to me to get our baby out!
Laura eventually said that she saw a lot of dark hair and then asked if I wanted to feel my baby's head. I shook my head 'no' and after a few more pushes the head was out. Another couple of pushes and the body was out! I still couldn't really see our baby since I was on my hands and knees and the baby was down sort of behind me. Matt announced that it was a boy and I was in disbelief! Although I said all along that I didn't have a feeling as to what we were having, I think deep down I thought it was a girl for some reason! We were still deciding between two girls names, but since it was a boy naming him was easy: Ryan Matthew Baugh <3
After I delivered the placenta (which was "on the side" which is uncommon) my blood pressure was unusually high so they monitored it constantly for about an hour and then decided I needed some medicine to help bring it back down, but after one pill I was fine and I'm happy to say that's the only medication I had during my entire labor and recovery and that none of that commotion took away from us paying full attention to our little miracle!
We were instantly in love with our boy!
He was so alert and sweet! He came out crying "maaaa maaaa" and "nooo." While we waited for the cord to stop pulsating he nursed a little and managed to poop meconium all over me 3 times! He was weighed and measured and was 8lbs and 20 1/2 inches long.
Daddy got to hold his boy for the first time and I'll never forget his face of pure joy!
Matt learned how to change his first diaper and then went out to announce the gender, name, and stats to our families who had all had been sitting and sleeping in the waiting room for about 10 hours and they all cheered, except for my brother, who in usual fashion, just layed on the floor still half asleep. They all came in to hold Ryan for the first time but didn't stay long since it was around 4:30 am. Thankfully the nurses allowed us to sleep in that room until morning and I snuggled with Ryan for a few hours, only sleeping because I was completely exhausted, but surprisingly after that short time I was pretty well rested and ready to stare at my adorable boy all day, praising God for him!
We had lots of visitors the next day and I was surprised at how great I felt! We left the hospital as soon as they let us, about 36 hours after Ryan was born and it was so great to be home with our own little family! : )