Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Baby Story: Ryan Alexander

Now I want to tell my story of the night (and into day) my baby boy was born. It might get graphic, but I also would like to think I can go back a year from now and remember it just as vividly as I do now. So readers, just letting you know, labor and delivery is messy business, so sorry if you might get grossed out, haha!!!

3/29/2011: I woke up to a beautiful day, filled with plans with my Dad to help run some errands with me, finishing up the baby's room, and also the diaper service started. Best part about the day then was that it was pain-free! No contractions, back aches, leg cramps, etc! It was a wonderful day, but little did I know I was in for a surprise...

Alex came home around 8:30 after work and started to make sopa for dinner. I was sitting at the table and went to go grab something from the bedroom, and (brace yourself now) I pee'd my pants! So I ran (ok, hobbled) to the closest bathroom. Alex and I had a good laugh at my pants expense and after I changed we went back to fixing dinner. A couple minutes later I stood up and (brace again everyone) a gush of liquid ran down my leg... once again I ran to the bathroom. Now by this time I started thinking "did my water just break? or am I loosing my ability to control my bladder?!?" I alerted Alex, who was in disbelief, and started to grab my phone to call the doctor.

However, I called Shanna: a good friend who has two children of her own and I remember her saying her water broke for her last baby. So I called her and asked what happens when your water breaks... I'm not saying I was thinking clearly, but I swear calling her at 9pm was totally the right thing to do! Needless to say she told me what her experience was like and then I made the decision to call the doctor: "Ok Shannon, go to the hospital!" - Dr. K

9:45pm The drive over was fun (haha!) with street lights that turned red for us, calls/texts to sound the alarm to everyone were being made, and of course timing my contractions (that were 5 minutes apart and getting stronger). Once we got to Labor and Delivery, I really started to feel this wasn't a false alarm, and we weren't going to go back home tonight.

Once hooked up and dressed in Hoag's lovely hospital gown, the nurses said I was 3cm dilated and with a push of my baby's head back, more gushing came... so they determined "Yup, you're water did break Shannon. You're going have this baby soon!" (Nerves kicked in along with the stronger and stronger contractions)

3/30/2011: The nurse asked if I was going to want the epidural or if I wanted to go natural... I didn't feel brave enough to go naturally, so I asked for the anesthesiologist to give me drugs. I'll spare you the main details (of everything I felt with getting an epidural) but once the procedure was done, I started to feel much better. So much better that I then couldn't feel a contraction at all. By this time it was around 2am, and I really was too nervous and anxious to get the rest/sleep I so needed to be able to push the baby out later on.

6:00am (roughly): Then 10cm dilated came... and Ryan was ready. Everyone had left to the waiting room except Alex, who I needed desperately for moral support. My lovely nurse came in, looked at me and announced "you're going to prop your legs up like this Shannon, and you're going to push down hard". I listened and tried my hardest to push. Not being able to feel down there was a bit tougher than I thought when it came to pushing, I literally could not feel a thing, so I wasn't pushing hard enough.

Hours later I developed a high fever of 100.3, so I had to take a break from pushing and was placed on antibiotics. I was relieved of the break, and I'm sure Ryan was too; after all he's being pushed back and forth trying to bust outta there! By this time my contractions came in waves of 3's: I would push for on each contraction, but they came back to back, so there wasn't a lot of time to catch my breath.

My nurse had called my doctor a while back, but updated her on my fever and also informed her that my baby was having a hard time coming out (heartbeat drops here and there). She turned off my epidural, so the pain and the feeling of pushing might help speed the process faster... not my choice... I felt everything! So a little after 10am (I'm only guessing) my doctor finally came and demanded I get the baby out.  She said "Shannon, this contraction I want you to get him out. Get mad Shannon. GET MAD!"

10:28am: And mad I got, after 4 contractions with my doctor, Ryan came out. She said he was twisted in my pelvis and had the cord around his neck, but he was out, thank goodness. Alex cut the umbilical cord and everyone got to work. The nurses plopped him on my chest and started to rub the fluid off him, then they took him to the side bassinet to start measuring, weighting, clearing him of fluids, etc. I made Alex take the camera and start snapping photos and then he went out to the waiting room to announce Ryan was here and show the pictures.

My doctor was still working on the post-prego parts of delivery, placenta and what have ya. I was so tired but I remember looking into his eyes when the nurses showed me my little munchkin. Poor thing had such a cone head due to the pushing, but he was beautiful. After it all, I got to hold him for the first time (the Golden Hour, very important for bonding). He was placed on my bare chest and I remember thinking he was so warm (due to my fever during labor, he had a fever too and will be a little bit warmer that most babies). He was so exhausted just like I was so before I let people come in and see us, I wanted to spend a moment or two with him. Then I passed him to Alex so he could also have father-son bonding. After about an hour or so, it was time to move up two floors to my recovery room. So the three of us went up to recovery and by then I felt better to let our family and friends come to see Ryan.

Not going to lie, but giving birth to my son has been the most exciting, life-changing, proudest moment of my life. I was so proud of myself that day... still am! Women give birth to children everyday, but it doesn't mean it's not just as special and momentous. I want to remember this moment always and remember the feeling of stepping into motherhood.

Ryan Alexander
March 30, 2011
8 lbs 4 oz
21 inches
13 hours labor and delivery


  1. Welcome to Motherhood. Beautiful story. This is the most rewarding, important phase of your life. Ryan is beautiful and adorable and you and your family are loved by all your friends and family.
    Kathy Sp

  2. He's the most precious little baby. If you feel yourself needing a break, don't hesitate to call! <3

    Congrats and big loves, Shannon :)