Austin Ryan – A Birth Story

Tuesday was a great day.  It was my second time dropping the boys off to daycare on my own and beginning to get into the swing of our new routine.  The boys were so happy to get to school and see their teacher and their new friends, and I was happy that they were happy.  I kissed them goodbye, waved through the glass and walked out the door and back to the van.  I drove about 5 minutes down the road to the closest train station, found a parking spot, and got on the train to work.  It was as normal a day as ever, until I was starting to feel what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions, but nearing 30 weeks, I figured it was normal.  I didn’t think anything of it, since they were sporadic and inconsistent and only happened a few times (that I noticed) throughout that day. 

Work was great that day, but around 3pm I got a call at work that poor Noah had a 100.8 fever and that someone would have to come get him from school.  Luckily, Callie was already on her way since she had finished up her work for the day.  I gave my boss the heads up that I probably wouldn’t be going in on Wednesday since there’s that whole “24 hour fever free” rule at the daycare center. The director said that Noah didn’t have any symptoms of sickness (I’m guessing it’s the 4 top teeth he’s cutting this week) so if he was fine the next day, it would be totally fine to bring them in.  Sure enough, that night, they both started coughing, both had 101.7 fevers and it was a pretty restless night for everyone in our house, except Mary, who somehow slept like a rock through all the crying (and moms cursing!).  

Next day, I stayed home with them, called the pediatrician, and was off to see her for a 10:30am appointment.  Only thing was, we’re a 15 minute walk away, uphill, and Callie accidentally forgot to leave me the van key! We only have one key, and with her an hour+ away in Brooklyn, I strapped the boys into the stroller and took the walk to the doctor.  No infections and no bronciolitis, so back home we went to watch some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and have a good old cuddle.  During those cuddles, I started feeling some tightening and lower abdominal pain. 

I figured it was either Braxton Hicks again or maybe some gas pains, since I hadn’t used the bathroom that day.  It wasn’t consistant enough for me to even THINK it was contractions but now that I look back at it, it was probably the very early stages of labor.  Wednesday night, I was on the phone with my mom around 8pm for a good hour and a half.  During that call, I was telling her that I was feeling a little weird and not like myself and that I was gettin some weird pains that seemed like contractions, but that they weren’t regular so there was no way they could be.  She told me it was probably gas, to call my OB in the morning, and to go and lay down and relax and not do anything too strenuous.  I actually had an appointment with my OB on Thursday (the following) morning at 10:15, so I figured I would just talk to him then.

That night, things got real! I tossed and turned the whole night.  The boys had another tough night, what with fevers, coughs and new teeth, it was a terrible night.  I noticed that every time I went to get up out of bed, my belly would get extra tight and it would sort of take my breath away, sometimes even having to hold onto the footboard for a second.  You would think I would have known I was in labor, but it didn’t feel like what I imagined it would feel like and the contractions weren’t coming in any type of consistent interval. 

Woke up in the morning to see Callie off to work.  She asked if I was still having pains, which I was and suggested that I call the OB ASAP! I told her my appointment was In a3 hours, so I’d ask him when I got there, but I started noticing the pain was coming a little more consistently now.  The Boys got up around 7, so I dressed them, fed them breakfast and then Callie’s mom came over to watch them at 9:30 so I could head off to my appontment.  At this point, I was very aware of the pain and contractions were every 10 minutes on the 8’s.  8:38, 8:48, 8:58… The minutes ticket by and I new exactly what time it was based on the pain.  I mentioned to my MIL that I would give her a call because I was having contractions 10 minutes apart and they were probably going to send me to the hospital, so she might wanna be prepared to call out of work (since Cals was at least an hour away in Brooklyn).

Into the doctors office I go (but not before calling Ticketmaster about 148 times for those DAMNED Adele tickets!!!!) and let him know the second that I walked in “I think I’m having contractions every 10 minutes and I haven’t felt the baby move all morning and he’s super active and I’m freaking out a little so please give me an ultrasound!” all in one breath!  He sent me into the NST room, set me up on the monitors, where I was beyond relieved to hear the baby’s heartbeat loud and clear and STRONG, but also ridiculously nervous to see the peaks and valleys of the contractions registering on the red-lined paper.  The doctor came in about 10 minutes later, “You are definitely having contractions and they look about 3-4 minutes apart…you need to head over to the hospital right away.  I’ll call them and let them know you’re on your way.” 

Now I really start to get a little nervous because I’m not even 30 weeks pregnant yet, hardly finished reveling in how amazing it is to be pregnant and feel the baby moving around, or even believing this is actually happening.  After a few phone calls walking through the parking lot, (my MIL would stay with the boys, Callie was leaving work, and my younger sister was on her way to stay with me while Callie made her way over) I make the 30 minute drive ON MY OWN to the hospital a whole state over! With contractions 3-4 minutes apart! Making it safely there, I made my way to labor and delivery, where the nurses were waiting for me with a wristband and a gown.  They set me up to a monitor that the nurses could also see in the nurses station, and about 15 minutes in, at around 12pm, the doctor on call (who was INCREDIBLE!!!!) walks in, and asks if it’s ok to check me.  She wanted to swab me and check if there were any proteins, because proteins mean exposed membranes which means chances are, my water would be breaking soon! After the swab, she did a quick (painful) check and I was ridiculously surprised to hear that I was 6cm dialated and she could feel the membranes bulging! 

They moved me into an L&D room, set me up with an IV fluid drip, magnesium sulfate drip, and gave me a steroid injection to help babies lungs in the event that he made his appearance MUCH earlier than anticipated.  My sister gets there.  Unfortunately, because of the magnesium, I needed a catheter which I was less than thrilled about.  Next thing I know, nurses and doctors are showing up, Callie shows up, my youngest sister leaves to get my niece at school, my sister Raquel shows up, and we get all the information we need, because apparently this baby was coming TODAY! All of this happening while I am doing my best to breathe through my contractions which are now coming about 1-2 minutes apart, lasting about a minute each.  3 hours after arriving, the doctor comes in and we are just talking about getting me comfortable and what I wanted for my delivery. She offered an epidural and I refused, mainly because the pain wasn’t unbearable.  For the most part, on a 1-10 (10 being KILL ME PLEASE!) my pain was manageable and at about a 7.  I figured, “I’ve already gone more than half way, let me just stick it out!”  With Raquel and Callie rubbing my hands and shoulders, playing Spanish Christmas carols, being silly, and Facetiming my mom to help coach me through contractions, things seemed to be going pretty well.  My doctor came back in at about 4pm to do another check.  “Well, there’s no cervix there, baby is engaged, 100% effaced…you’re having this baby soon! I don’t want to break your water.  I want it to happen on its own because he so small, I don’t want him to be distressed.”  For another 30 minutes I breathed though contraction after contraction, sometimes back to back with no break between.  I started to feel a lot of pressure on my bum, like I had to move my bowels, and I started clenching down and forgetting how to breathe, but Callie was reminding me that I was doing so well and to not forget how I got that far and to keep breathing through the contractions and not against them.  I told her to get the nurse because I was ready to push.  The nurse called the doctor, and upon a quick look, she called Callie over. “Is that his HEAD?!?! With all that HAIR?!?!” “Mmmm hmm!”  And she took a picture and showed it to me, and I saw his little head, and as my pain reached a 10, I just knew, with every ounce of who I am, what I needed to do!  My doctor told me how to push (chin to my chest after a deep breath in,  and push with my bottom) and I pushed. With the first push, my water broke, sending a spray of fluids that got my sister and Callie, my doctor and me! I pushed with everything in me. I pushed to the point where I thought I would likely pass out, and I felt his head come out, and then this wave of euphoria and uncertainty and love for my child and my wife and I knew that I needed one more good push, and the contraction came and 4 minutes after I started pushing I felt his shoulders make their way out, and he was here, and I laid back, and cried my eyes out, and my wife kissed me and told me how proud she was, and it was done! At 4:53pm on 12/17/15 my boy was here, just 5 1/2 hours after getting to the hospital!

Callie cried as she cut the cord, and the NICU doctors checked him out.  The little guy didn’t even cry. He was laying there on the table with his eyes wide open, looking up at the people around him, not making a sound.  Just flailing around waiting for someone to bring him to Mama.  He finally decided he’d let us hear his little voice so they wrapped him up like a 15″ burrito, and I got to hold my son for the first time.  We kissed him, and held him, and said a little prayer, and they whisked him off to the NICU.  I delivered the placenta, and the Dr, gave me one stitch for my first degree tear.  The whole time I was there (those 5.5 hours) all I wanted was a cheeseburger! “I wish I could have a fucking cheeseburger” must have been said about 15 times in that time.  As soon as I was stitched up, my doctor gave me a high five and said to no one (or everyone!) in particular, “Someone get this girl a fucking cheeseburger!!!” 

After all that hardwork, that cheeseburger was well deserved…


35 thoughts on “Austin Ryan – A Birth Story

  1. I can’t believe you already have your birth story out, with double the kids I have! Crazy crazy crazy, that boy just really had no intention of missing out on 2015! I’m so happy that despite the earliness of it all, that everything went SO well for you! Way to go mama! Once again, CONGRATS! Xx

    • There is a lot of time to just sit here while your baby is in the NICU and you can’t really do any of his cares yet! Just makin sure I’m pumping every 2-3 hours and that’s really about it, so plenty of time to write! That makes two of us that are glad hat things went well! So many babies born these past 2 months! My goodness!

  2. Ahhh my gosh! I still can’t believe you had him already! We started our embryo transfers only a few days apart and here you are with a healthy little boy already!! I’m so happy for your family!! That little guy is a fighter!! Do they have an estimate on how much NICU time he needs? Praying for you all! xoxo

    • No estimates yet. They originally said 6-7 weeks, since it’s usually at about 36 weeks that their lungs are fully developed but her breathing pretty well on his own, and they’ll be putting in the feeding tube today to see how he does with breaking down food, so it could potentially be a shorter time than that! Here’s hoping, but he’s so strong and feisty! All the nurses say, if they didn’t know better they would think he was a tiny 32 weeker!

  3. Oh wow! I’ve been checking for this to hear how you all were doing! Sounds like a crazy night! Congrats on the precious baby and I’m saying prayers for all of you that Austin breaks out of the joint ASAP!

  4. I’ve been waiting for this story! I can’t believe how quickly he came – that boy wasn’t waiting for anybody! Congratulations. He’s beautiful and looks so much like Levi (though I do see some Noah in him, too). How long do you think he’ll have to be in the NICU – have they given you any estimates?

    • He looks a ton like Levi…we saw his hair, and we think he’s gonna be another ginger! His eyebrows are super blonde! He’s got Levi’s eyes and lips and hair, but Noah’s nose and cleft chin, and we’re hoping dimples too! He’s gonna tie those two together! As of right now, he’s still having episodes of Apnea which is totally normal, but he starts breathing again on his own, which is good because it means that his brain is sending him signals that breathing is important. They are gonna move him to an NG tube today and start giving him some food, so hopefully my milk starts coming in today or tomorrow so they won’t have to do formula. I’ve pumped about a cc of colostrum that they are using for mouth care (dip a q-tip in it and swab his lips and gums and let him suck on it a little) and I’ll keep pumping every 2 hours or so and try my best to get some milk! But originally they said at least 6-7 weeks but I honestly doubt he’ll be here that long. It usually takes longer to even get them on the feeding tube so the fact that just over 24 hours later he is able to feed is pretty awesome! He’s such a little
      Fighter, and all of your guys love and prayers are felt all the way over here and are giving him strength and more fight!

  5. What a story!!! I’m so glad that everything fell into place and that you and AR are doing great! Way to go on the natural birth too!! I am in awe of your resilience through the twins being sick, walking up a hill while in labour, driving yourself to the hospital while in active labour…. And CHEESEBURGER!!! Awesome!! Congrats to you all!!! So much love being sent your way!

  6. Wow! You and baby Austin are beyond amazing!! I’m so glad he is doing so well and that you are also done well. I’m so excited for him to get home to his brothers and sister. What a way to end 2015 and kick off 2016!!

  7. Wow again. This is clearly a kid who shares your enthusiasm for full engagement in the world. I’m impressed by how in sync you are and hope your NICU journey is smooth and short.

  8. Cheeseburger was very well deserved! Wishing you all the very best. Shawn was in the nicu for three weeks and his apgar was 6/10. You guys are doing wonderful. I know how difficult it is to not be in that room with him, hang in there πŸ™‚

  9. Love this story! What an amazing birth that is truly, uniquely you, Callie, and Austin’s beginning πŸ™‚ sending all our love and fuzzies to you guys over the next few weeks!! Please keep us updated when you can! We are all gooey for that sweet boy!

  10. I’m still in shock haha I’m so happy baby Austin is doing well. What a birth story! He’s just too cute for words. the cheeseburger had me rollin! πŸ˜‚ congratulations again! I hope he’s out of NICU soon!

  11. Wow! Wow! Just wow!! It’s quite a story for the little guy to hear one day. Glad you are all doing well. Thinking positive thoughts and prayers that you all will be home sooner than you anticipate. So amazing and beautiful and awesome. I teared up a bit reading this. Hugs, friend.

  12. Amazing birth story! I can’t believe you drove yourself to the hospital! So glad that little boy is doing so well, I’m sure you’ll all be home together in no time. What a way to end the year!!

  13. Zee- so happy for you guys and so happy little Austin is doing well. I just hope and pray I can make it as far as you did with a favorable outcome as well!!! Much love to your family!

  14. OH my gosh you are amazing I’m so glad he’s okay. I have tears in my eyes this brings back my whole experience of my own delivery. Wow Mama, you are so brave and he is just incredible! Merry Christmas, Belly Mamma!

  15. Oh my gosh. Where do I begin!!

    Obviously, CONGRATUWELLDONE!!! You did amazingly, mama!!! You should be so proud.

    What a journey, nail biting stuff. I can’t believe how ready he was to just come out. Already a little fighter.

    I really hope your time in NICU is short and that you start your life as a (huge) family soon (still haven’t taken in that you were pregnant in the first place!).

    Congratulations to you all again. Sending you lots of love. Xxx

  16. You are such a warrior! And that little boy of yours just couldn’t wait any longer to see you! Sending tons of prayers that he grows and grows and grows and that you get to take him home as soon as is safe and healthy. He’s clearly a little firecracker! Congrats mamas! Love love love!

  17. You are amazing. Congratulations! What a crazy surprise. Happy to hear everyone is healthy and doing well. Welcome to the world little Austin xox

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