Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Paul's Birth Story

I want to write this down while it is still fresh in my memory. Paul's birth was fast and furious and not at all what I expected. My child is already surprising me.

Thursday, I went to work and had a completely normal day. I came home to find the baby fairy had left all those fun supplies on my doorstep.

Maureen and I chatted on the phone about nursing bras and the size of my uterus while I ate blueberry waffles with almond butter. So far, a pretty typical evening. I went upstairs to start my daily nap, talked with my mom on the phone and started complaining about how I thought the baby was going to come late. We made a plan for some activities to get me out of the house in the next week to keep my mind off my big belly.

I laid down for a bit and then flipped on the ever popular Real Housewives of New York City. This dramatic, ridiculous, reality TV may be the culprit for my beginning stages of labor.

Ryan got home from his baseball game right when my back started hurting. I wasn't really have contractions, just a dull pain in my lower back. An hour or so later, Ryan came up to check on me and told me I didn't look so hot. Around this time I started having contractions and I thought we were just starting the long haul of labor. Ryan told me to call in sick to work, but I refused, thinking that this could stop at any point (that is what I had read about 1st time labors) and if it did stop I didn't want to be at home all day Friday thinking about what was ahead of me.

Ryan did convince me to take a walk around the neighborhood. I continued having contractions, but was able to walk through them and I didn't think they were too painful. When we returned home, things started moving pretty quickly. I started throwing up and resorted to rocking back and forth on my hands and knees. I called in for a substitute teacher and Ryan started timing the contractions. It was 11:30 and contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart and 45 seconds to a minute long. Ryan called the doctor and they gave us the okay to head to the hospital. The doctor's office asked to talk to me to determine my pain level. Before we hung up, the doctor told me if I felt like pushing in the car I needed to pull my legs to my chest and call 911. I found this information disturbing as I was still convinced we were in early stages of labor.

The ride to the hospital is a total blur. Ryan said he drove down I-25 90 miles an hour. I had my eyes closed the entire time. We got almost to the hospital and realized the labor and delivery drop off was on a one way street. Of course this was not the way we were headed. We were at a stop light waiting to circle around to the parking lot when I ripped open the door to throw up again and heard Ryan say "fuck it." He made the executive decision to speed down the wrong direction of the one-way. We screeched into the parking lot around 12:40 and I started dreaming of epidurals.

We entered the triage where I had to answer a million questions of medication allergies, contraction times, medical history, etc. etc. It seemed this question/answer portion took forever. The nurse finally checked me out and declared I was 9 centimeters dilated. I asked if I could have an epidural and received the response: "lets just get you upstairs and see." This really means "sorry lady but that ain't going to happen." I was quickly moved upstairs to labor in delivery. In the elevator on the way up I told the crew that I felt like I needed to push. Everyone stayed calm, but asked that I try to wait until we were upstairs. Don't worry, I did.

Once we were in the delivery room things moved pretty quickly. Doctors came in, nurses started hooking me up to machines, and the urge to push intensified. The bed was broken down in a matter of seconds. One nurse was trying to start an IV in my left hand while the nurse to my right told me it was time to start pushing. 3 pushes in and the doctor reported that the baby's heart rate was getting low which indicated the baby was in stress. He told me I had 3 choices: the forceps, an episiotomy, or a c-section. My first thought? How about "D, none of the above." :) I don't even know what I answered, before the other doctor asked me to give a "half-push" and was able to get a hold of the babe and get him out. I heard "look down, look down" and when I did I saw our little baby a little purple and screaming.

They didn't give them to me right away because he was a little stressed, but before I knew it, he was wrapped up and in my arms. I didn't even cry because I was still trying to get a grip about what just happened. Baby Paul got a bath, was measured, and started feeding. We were then transferred into our recovery room where we finally got to call our families. Our original plan was to call our parents when the labor process started and we were to keep them updated as our progress changed. But since things moved so fast, our parents had no idea we were in labor. Both our moms thought we were joking, but once they realized that we weren't really calling them at 5 am for a joke, they happily sped to the hospital. From then on was a stream of visitors:

I don't quite have the words to describe the emotions of delivery. It is painful, scary, emotional, hard work, amazing, incredible, and worth every second. I will never forget when our little baby came out and I looked at Ryan who was crying and I thought to myself, "We did it. We made this little miracle."


  1. laughter and tears and incredible, incredible pride that you are my friend. for the record readers, i went back to work after visiting elaine and ryan and paul and told all my nurse friends what my best friend just did and then we all sat around for an hour wishing all our patients were like that. i am so proud of you!

  2. What a wonderful story. I am so happy for you guys. When is his first trip to Vegas?

  3. Happy One Week baby Paul.
    It's been an incredible journey.. so full of joy, pride and happiness.
    As Mo and I have decided ..happy tears.. laughter and tears .. the best. but also sharing the love, of your family, friends and now this beautiful little baby.. whoo iee.. it doesn't get much better ..
    xoxo Granny Annie

  4. I'm still amazed at this story and how great you did!!! And you did it and made a perfect little miracle!! He really is just perfect!

  5. Such a great story!! I love telling people that my friends had a baby in 20 minutes. How am I the only idiot that actually got in the bed with you and made Ryan sleep on the chair! I love baby Paul!!!

  6. Wow, our birth stories could not be more different! I'm a little jealous!


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