Author, Speaker, Coach, Holy Yogi

JACK JUDAH RYAN: A BIRTH STORY PART I

So JACK JUDAH is a year old today and instead of throwing a huge JACK JACK/Incredibles Birthday party and wearing the overpriced halloween costumes that we didn’t get to wear at Halloween because it was 25 degrees and snowy (LOL)….we’re stuck inside to party as a party of 6!! Quarantined to do our part in killing the corona virus. This will be an experience we will never forget!  

I wrote this birth story awhile back but it seemed fitting to share it today, when our baby boy turns ONE!!!

(Even though it makes me want more babies..HA! Hormones are weird.) 

So presenting to you today (in typical LATE Liv-fashion)….JACK’S BIRTH STORY: Part 1!!

If you remember, I was almost using a walker (LEGITIMATELY) due to low back pain late in his pregnancy. This was my third pregnancy carrying to full term, and my body definitely felt it. I literally hobbled around like a 90-year-old woman until he dropped lower, and the pain was relieved…HOLY BALLS WAS I THANKFUL! (can I say that?? I think I just did 😉 

Rewind: 

We found out our baby’s gender early because of my history of recurrent loss, thanks to a new-ish blood test called the Maternity 21. They took one vile of my blood and somehow figured out which sex chromosome the baby carries. SCIENCE MAKES MY BRAIN EXPLODE! They could also see that he was going to be healthy. 

The results (BOY) were revealed to us via a smoke bomb in our back yard, surrounded by our closest friends!! We were delighted (and seriously shocked! The pregnancy was much different than Calvin’s, so we thought it was a girl!)

Annabelle was a little distressed at the news of blue…but she came around eventually, which is good. Because we’re keeping him. Also because she’s the best babysitter on the block.

20 weeks: Anatomy and growth ultrasound, it was confirmed that we were having a healthy little BOY! He was growing beautifully! No red or yellow flags … so grateful! 

37 weeks: I was measuring small, so we went in for a growth ultrasound to check amniotic fluid and everything looked normal, baby boy looked great! No signs of distress. Keep waiting, they said! 

39 weeks: Surprised to still be pregnant because I went into labor with Cal a whole week early. I was also SO READY to meet that big basketball of a baby taking up ALL THE SPACE. 

39.5 weeks: Still pregnant and restless as all GET OUT!! 

1 day overdue: I had some cramping on this Friday and went into triage to be checked because I’m a little high strung (due to our history. Also, Cal had had a two-vessel cord, so we had non stress tests every week and ultrasounds every 4 weeks to make sure he was doing okay!) Baby looked great, but labor was LITERALLY NO WHERE in sight. Doc stripped my membranes (FOR THE THIRD TIME!!!!) This was around 3pm. This feels like …well, I’ll spare you. But it’s not super pleasant. Shocker, I know. 

One of my favorite docs in the group was on call and she said she would be willing to induce me over the weekend if I wanted since things were looking pretty quiet in L&D. I was SURE SURE SURE I wouldn’t make it that long, but I went ahead and scheduled an “induction” for Sunday at noon, JUST IN CASE. 

Just a couple hours after leaving, I began having regular contractions. It’s hard not to get super excited when they’re coming 5-8 minutes apart. (or if you’re Liv Ryan. Easily excited over here 😉 

We called my mom who drove up from Springfield, and in the meantime Kevin’s dad and stepmom came over to be with the other kids so we could go to the mall and “walk this baby out.” I was definitely giggly and giddy. It definitely seemed like the real thing. 

I ate Chick-Fil-A, as any good Christian would, for my “last meal” before meeting the baby. 

But then, the freaking contractions began spacing out farther until they stopped completely. 

Surely I would wake up in labor that night, we thought. But Saturday morning arrived in the most non-dramatic fashion ever. Jack liked it in my belly. And also typical me, I was impatient. 

Well…Sunday rolled around and baby wasn’t here. The doc had said she was willing to just break my water and see if things progressed naturally from there. (I GET SO SQUEEMISH ABOUT SHARING THIS BIRTH STORY because I know how many people have strong crunchy feelings about not forcing baby out before he/she is ready…soooo yeah. No shaming please!!!) 

So Sunday morning Kevin and I went out for a ginormous skillet brunch at Jimmy’s Pancake house and then showed up at the hospital relaxed and ready. 

We wanted this birth to JUST BE US. In the past, we had an amazing doula and we debated whether to go that route again, but we decided we had plenty of experience and really just wanted it to be intimate and private…just for us to share. (We had also considered birth photography since this is most likely our last baby and I love giving birth, but we just decided against it. It was mostly just a gut thing, we just wanted to keep it super quiet and chill, not thinking about anything other than Kev and our baby.) 

I hadn’t had time to get my toe nails painted (no idea why lol) Anyway, that Sunday morning I was going to get them done but there wasn’t a nail salon in town open. So Kevin said he would paint my nails in the hospital room. 

I brought the nail polish and there in the hot, sunny waiting room, Kevin got down and removed my old nail polish. He then proceeded to try to paint the new color on.

Now a little back story. If you know Kev, you know he is basically awesome at everything he does. But this was not one of those things. It was NOT going well. I couldn’t stop laughing and it was clear that his nail painting skills weren’t what we were both hoping they were. I guess you can’t win ’em  all. Sooo….I somehow managed to finish the job (not cute)- and then they called us back to the birth center. The hospital was eerily quiet!

We set up our Alexa, got my birth playlist going, and got the EO diffuser going. It was seriously the most quiet moment we had had in a LONG TIME!

I was hoping for another drug free birth like Annabelle and Cal’s…mostly because I had really enjoyed labor pain…in a really weird “feeling-the-pain-like-Eve-and-Mary-and-all-the-people-in-the-old-days” kinda way. It’s so hard to explain, but it’s kinda like marathon running. You go through the pain to get the natural endorphins afterwards!?! Anyway, I liked it. I thought.  

****Well actually…quick disclaimer… this time, I decided I wanted to take a 500-mg Tylenol tablet to “take the edge off.” The nurses kinda laughed …as if it wouldn’t make a difference at all but it had helped me SO much through the extreme back pain that I thought it would help. 

The nurse hooked me up to the monitor and told me if I stayed hydrated, I wouldn’t have to get IV fluids. They did hook up the gross hand port thing (just in case) … but I drank lots of liquids and ordered chicken broth and a cherry ice popsicle thing for lunch. It was shockingly delicious. 

Around 1pm, my doctor came in (looking adorable…obv pertinent to the story), broke my water (it’s really pretty non-dramatic but warm and weird haha), we chatted a little bit, and then she left and told me she would keep checking in. (I was3cm dialated prior to all this happening….so a little head start!) 

Kevin and I started walking the halls with a portable monitor and we would stop when a contraction came and breathe through it. They started really mild, and by 4 or 5pm-ish I had only progressed to 5 or 6cm. THIS WAS DISCOURAGING!!! But all of the sudden, hard labor picked up and I couldn’t walk very well. There was some blood (sorry) and PAINFUL contractions. 

Let me point out that at this point, some important basketball game was on (I think that’s the sport it was)…Kevin was super into it. SUPER. But he also tried to stay involved in the labor. He did lots of counter pressure on my back during the contractions. He did as good of a job as any birth coach can do, but this time through labor was definitely DEFINITELY the most painful. Ouch. 

 

At this point, I began calling the “drug-free” birth plan into question pretty hard. Which is usually a sign that you’re getting close to meeting your baby!! Kevin kept encouraging me and so I continued on, breathing and trying to relax and “let my cervix open up.” 

 

Gotta love birthing terms. 

 

The head nurse was amazing, and made me use this peanut-shaped exercise ball between my legs — which hurt like HAILLLLLLL. But she assured me it was doing what it needed to do. At this point (6:30pm) I was  moaning in pain and they said I was an 8-9cm. They called my amazing doc to the hospital. 7:00 rolled around and I was closer, but not quite there. I was shockingly coherent and present…which made the pain almost unbearable. (I think in the other labors, I transferred into an alternate universe because I don’t remember the pain being so sharp!) Contractions were on top of one another and around 7:15 they asked if I felt like I needed to push. I said yes, even though I didn’t quite feel that overwhelming urge to push yet. I was just ready to meet our boy (and make the pain go away..HA!) 

 

The doc had everything set up and ready. The spotlights came on…they set up the table…and about 15 people came into the room (I think??) I don’t usually open my eyes much at this point in the labor. But it all sounds pretty eventful. 

….

Part 2: Meeting Jack 

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