What Really Happened…(my “short” version of Ry’s birth)

Twas the day before Rylan, when all through the house
Mom and I were stirring, preparing for the little louse (sorry Ry).
The car seat installed in Black Betty (the Buick) with care,
In hopes that baby Rylan soon would sit there.

Walgreens in AP is the first place we head,
With coupons in hand for diapers and bread.
Mommy is nauseated, with vomit on tap,
The incident in front of CVS, I refuse to recap.

Pregnancy brings anxiety and chatter,
But fear not, daddy is well-versed on the matter.
After eating my lunch, to Florida Hospital we dash,
With a thousand pounds of stuff and the emergency food cache.

Not long after we arrived, the nursing staff were ready to go,
Here comes the IV, and Ashley’s needle aversion did show.
After hours of contractions, we thought baby’s arrival was near,
But it would still be a while before Rylan’s big premiere.

No progress by Sunday evening makes both of us sick,
But Dr. C thinks a c-section might just do the trick.
In less than an hour the anesthesiologist came.
Great demeanor and care earn her high acclaim.

They whisk her away, and time starts to fly,
I knew that my boy’s moment was nigh.
Ashley was prepped and I got my cue,
Within just two minutes, Rylan made his debut.

Feeling overjoyed, I could not stay put,
I count the digits on each hand and each foot.
“Look at him, he’s beautiful!” I continually quack,
I’m sure the OR staff thinks I’m on crack!

As they wait outside, our families go berserk,
Too impatient to wait, some sneak pass the desk clerk
I hold my son and the whole world seems bright,
I already know, I won’t sleep much tonight.

Rylan’s Birth Story- Mom’s (long) Version

I need to start by saying that I was in no way a happy, glowing, pregnant woman. I was much more of the pukey, whiny type.

As much as I loved my little tag-along, I was ready for him to be out of my stomach and in my arms. Therefore, I was 100% for an early induction. Dr. C graciously set my induction for Sunday, July 31; four days before my due date.

The night before our appointment, the in-laws took Matt and I out for our last meal as “pre-parents.” We went to a favorite of ours, The Cheesecake Factory. I took full advantage of the “cravings” excuse and chowed down on yummy fried mac-and-cheese and my own giant piece of cheesecake! It was the best meal I remember eating during my whole pregnancy.

I woke up really early feeling icky the next morning. I figured it was a combination of nerves and overindulgence from the night before. Waking up early wasn’t such a problem, as we had planned to make a few stops in Sebring before heading to the hospital. Since it was Sunday, we had to stop by CVS and Walgreens so that I could feed my crazy baby-couponing addiction.

Of course we hit up Walgreens right when they opened, 8. By the time we made it to CVS in Avon Park, I was feeling even worse. I kept having some serious pains in my lower chest and extreme nausea (see told you I was whiny…). To make matters worse (and me go from upset to hysterical) our air conditioning in Lola (our Buick) was acting up. Ashley + pain + heat = a very stressed Matt.

We drove around for an hour or so before going to the hospital since we weren’t supposed to be there until noon. We spent that hour discussing how different our lives were about to be, and how excited/nervous/terrified we were. We also wondered if we had remembered to record the new episodes of Shark Week on the Discovery Chanel.

When we got to the hospital, I was so amazed by how sweet and understanding the nurses were. They didn’t even laugh at my extreme aversion to needles or my stuffed piggy and blanky that Matt got caught trying to sneak in my hospital bed (stealth is not his strong suit.) I was also super impressed by the updated rooms. The flat screen would ensure that we could catch some Shark Week!

At my initial check I was told that my cervix was high and closed. They started my induction with Cervidil to soften my cervix and potentially start contractions. I had been having strong, but ineffective, Braxton Hicks contractions for a few days.

At 9 that night, Dr. C came in for a check. Still high, still closed. She decided to try Cytotec, another drug to induce contractions. Induce them it did!! I was having VERY strong contractions within an hour! I spent the next 12 hours making sure everyone knew how miserable I was. I am not stoic and do not silently bear pain; I am more of a sharer.  I was sure that I was dilated 15 centimeters already! (did I mention I am dramatic?)

The next morning Dr. C came in for another visit. Still high, still closed. I almost had a meltdown. All those contractions were for nothing!?! She gave me two options: stay and keep trying or go home. Obviously I was NOT going home without my baby. She gave me something for the pain and told me to hang in there. I spent the next 12 or so hours in a haze from a mixture of the drugs and the lack of sleep from the night before.

Around 8 on August 1st, Dr. C checked me yet again. She gave me two more options: Pitocin or a C-Section. She warned me that Pitocin might not get me anywhere and we would probably still end up at a C-Section. She told me she was going home to read a book to her children (love!) and she would be back.

When she left the room I hit panic mode. I was torn between the risks and benefits of both. After prayer and assurance from family, we decided to go ahead with a C-Section. I think Matt wanted me out of pain, and I wanted Ry out of me. Previous sonograms and measurements let me know that he was definitely big enough to be born. I was still nervous, and prayed fervently for peace. Peace came in the form of a tiny and sweet anesthesiologist. She came into the room and told me that she would explain everything and help calm me down. I wondered if she could see me shaking from across the room. After she left, a nurse came in to prepare me to go back. Walking through the door and into the hall I remember thinking…”I wonder if I will be back in the room to catch the next episode of Shark Week?” Who thinks that?

They wheeled me back a little after nine. I had to leave Matt, with the promise that he would be in the OR before Rylan was born. The prepping was all a blur; but that sweet anesthesiologist kept her promise. Though I was still shaking, I was completely calm. After getting my spinal block, up went the big blue sheet. Dr. C came in and got started right away. I began to panic a little, I was worried Matt wasn’t coming in after all. I remember asking for him, and the nurse saying “oh my, the dad!” Matt was whisked into the room moments before Dr. C pulled Rylan out.

At 9:15 p.m. on August 1st,  Rylan Walker Smith came into the world a 7 lb 13 oz, 21 in., gooey, screaming, perfect, little boy.

Those few minutes after Rylan was born were the most precious minutes of my life.  They brought him to my face and it was instant. I fell in love. Matt spent the next few minutes while they were closing me up, flitting back and forth between the warmer and me, all the while saying “Baby, he is so beautiful,” over and over.

My Little Brother and Ry

After some time we were taken back to our room for recovery (which by the way, happened to be at the beginning of the new episode of Shark Week), where my parents had some how evaded the nurses and snuck in. After seeing my parents in there, the nurses decided to allow the others back. After many oohs, ahhhs, and tears (from my big strong little bother!) the crowd subsided and Matt and I were left alone to marvel at our precious miracle.

I was able to attempt nursing right away. I was so surprised how easily it happened. That first night was a mix between the heavy sleepiness that came with the drugs and the panic of a new mother. I must have asked Matt 30 times if Rylan was still breathing.

The next morning we were asked to move to the overflow unit in the hospital. This meant leaving our nice comfy room with attentive nurses for one small, hot one with nurses who don’t understand what “I need pain meds” mean. We had a constant stream of family and friends, which made nursing a little difficult. We were ready to go home and be a family. I was told that the best thing you could do after a C-Section was to get up and walk, and walk I did. Dr. C allowed us to go home early, a little over 36 hours after giving birth.

Going home with Rylan seemed like such a daunting task. He was so tiny, so dependent on us for care. Neither one of us felt equipped for the job.

God has completely blessed us with such a wonderful task, raising and loving this sweet boy.

-Ashley