As I sit here and begin writing about my new son, I cannot help but think of the past. I have to start at the very beginning if I were to tell the story of the birth of Ryan.
In October of 1994, I became pregnant for the first time. While I was very happy with the news, I was also a bit apprehensive and a lot scared. My boyfriend (now husband) and I were not married and, we were not really ready to have a child. Nevertheless, I was pregnant and we prepared ourselves with the idea that we were going to be parents.
The pregnancy was uneventful until February 1995. I was 21 weeks pregnant, and I found myself in the hospital with pre-eclampsia. I spent the next four weeks in and out of the hospital seeing lots of doctors and specialists. I was told that it would be nothing short of a miracle if this baby was able to gestate long enough to be able to survive on its own. I had found out earlier by amnio and ultrasound that the baby was a girl, and we called her Rachel. All of a sudden, I felt as is my world was going to fall apart around me. I was going to lose this baby. I never imagined that such a thing could ever happen. I had always wanted a family, and this was the little girl that I often dreamed of. Even though it was unplanned, and I was not married, I wanted this little girl very badly.
Well, the doctors turned out to be right. On March 2, 1995, I experienced a 50% placental abruption, and the baby died in utero before they could deliver her. I was 25 weeks pregnant at the time. That day a part of my heart died with her.
All that I could think of for the next few months was getting pregnant again. Brad and I were getting married in September, and I needed to wait until then to try and conceive. Finally the big day came. Brad and I were married. We had a large, beautiful wedding. Everything went as planned, and we were to travel to Walt Disney World to spend 10 days. Everything was perfect. Ryan was conceived during that time. The magic at Walt Disney World was truly with us.
I found out that I was pregnant about 3 weeks later. I felt pregnant. I just knew that I was pregnant. I went to the OB office when 30 days had passed since my last menstrual cycle. I had a blood test done. The next day I called the OB office and the lab tech told me that I was not pregnant. I was devastated!! I decided that maybe next month would be the time for us. In the meantime I began to feel more and more tired and began to feel a bit queasy in the mornings. About a week later I came home from work and did
an HPT. Sure enough, there was a little blue line there. I was pregnant!! I called the OB office and asked to come in and confirm the pregnancy. It was confirmed, and the long road began. I was pregnant again, but would that mean that I would have a baby?
The pregnancy itself was not bad. I had morning sickness for the first 16 weeks or so. I did not seem to have any blood pressure problems until I hit 20 weeks, which was about January of 1996. I saw the OB every two weeks throughout the pregnancy and every week after week 20. In January, I was hospitalized because my blood pressure was elevated. I was hospitalized several times during the next five months, but thankfully I never developed
pre-eclampsia. I was put on modified bedrest and had a home health nurse come to my house twice a week. Emotionally it was very hard for me because I wondered if this baby was really going to come. It was nice having the nurse come to just talk to me about everything. I had an ultrasound every four weeks or so, and I had NST's every week after my 28th week of pregnancy. This baby and his mommy were well taken care of and monitored!!
We found out at about 24 weeks that Ryan was a boy. I was really disappointed. I had wanted a girl so badly. I started to get used to the
idea of a boy and soon I was excited about him also. We decided that his name would be Ryan Christopher. He was named after Christopher Robin of Winnie the Pooh fame. I was pretty positive throughout my pregnancy and somehow "knew" that this baby would be ok. After all, he had his own angel now!!
On May 15th, I went into the hospital for my first prostin gel application. Prostin gel is used to help the cervix stretch and thin out. It provides for a better induction. I was instructed not to go past my due date with the baby due to my history of abruption. We did not want to take any chances. I was 38 weeks pregnant at this point. I got some mild contractions after the application but was sent home and told to come back if they got worse. They did not get any worse, and I just waited to go back again. I went back in
again the next day and had the gel again. Still nothing. I was no further dilated at all. Again, I was told to come back again if the contractions got worse. It was a Thursday, and I was supposed to come back on Monday for the last application. The following day, the 21st, I would start the pitocin gel which would induce my contractions. I spent the weekend anxiously awaiting the birth of my baby. On Monday, I went for my last gel application. Unfortunately, on Monday, I was no better off then I was when I went for the first application. I had the last application and still no contractions.
The day of Ryan's birth finally came. It was May 21st, four days before my actual due date. I arrived at 5:30 AM for my induction. I was given pitocin through an IV (after 4 IV attempts!!) and the process had begun. Several hours had passed and the pit had been upped several times. Still no contractions. I had mild ones but nothing that hard. After 6 hours of pitocin, the contractions were just starting to get uncomfortable. The problem was, I was not dilating or effacing any. At about 3:00 PM, my OB came in, and we decided that we would stop the pit and opt for a cesarean birth. He did not want to put me through a long labor, and there were no guarantees that I would not end up with a c-section in the end due to labor that would not progress. I was getting more and more excited about the birth of my son.
At about 4:00 PM I was wheeled into the operating room with Brad trailing behind. My parents and my brother were awaiting the news that Ryan had been born on the OB unit. I had a spinal and the anesthesiologist was very nice. He explained everything to me. It was a bit painful but nothing that I could not handle. Within minutes, I was numb from the breasts down. A good friend of ours was in the OR as a nurse and it was nice to have someone that we knew there with us. Soon the operation was started and Brad was right there to hold my hand. I felt a lot of tugging and pulling. All of a sudden the OB practically stood on my chest. It felt like I could not breath. The
anesthesiologist was talking to me the whole time. It was very calm and peaceful. At 5:12 PM, my son was born. I heard his cries and I cried also!! I was a mother at last. This baby was really mine. They brought him over for me to see. He was so perfect and so precious!! It was love at first sight. After that, the pediatrician took him and looked him over. He screamed though the while thing. After he was checked, I got to see him again and then he and Brad went back to the OB unit to get cleaned up while I was stitched up. After about 30 minutes, I was brought back to my room to recover and see my son. I was not in the room more than 5 minutes when Ryan was brought back to me to see and feed. It was such a precious time for us. Brad and I just looked at him and could not believe that he was ours. He looked just like me in my newborn pictures. My dream had finally come true, I was a mother to a precious little baby.
My experience was a very positive and very happy one. A lot of people with c-sections condemn and vow to never have another. They do not see it as natural and feel disappointment that they could not birth in a natural way. I just feel so happy that my son is here with my today, no matter what means he came into this world. I found my experience to be very calm and very positive. I would have another experience of the same. The atmosphere was very calm and everyone was at ease. Things were at a nice pace and it was relaxing for me. Much different then my first experience. It was important to me that everything be controlled. I recovered very nicely and my son is thriving beautifully. I thank the Lord every day for my little boy and wonder how anyone can doubt that children are truly a miracle that is performed today. For no one else but God could make such a beautiful and perfect masterpiece. No one else but a child could fill my heart with such intense and such unconditional love.