Part 1: Ryder’s Birth Story

Part of me feels like just yesterday we were in the hospital awaiting the arrival of our new baby boy. I can remember all the details so clearly since it was one of the most special days of our life! Originally Ryder’s due date was June 21st, 2020, but he decided he was ready to meet us 11 days early on June 10th 2020! If you ask Zak or anyone in my family, I truly had a gut feeling he was going to come early. I guess my mama intuition was right!

Leading up to June 9th

38 weeks pregnant

Lets rewind to my 38 week check up on June 4th, 2020 (at this appointment I was technically a few days shy of 38 weeks). During my check up I was almost 1cm dilated and almost 50% effaced. I was very excited my body was progressing naturally since I was planning to have a natural labor. I remember asking my doctor if she thought I was going to go into labor before 40 weeks and she said it was of course a possibility but since it was my first pregnancy she didn’t expect me to. She believed I was right on pace to have him around my due date. Overall, I was feeling good for being 38 weeks pregnant with the common things that get uncomfortable like swelling and him pushing against my ribs. Up until this point I was very active in my pregnancy. I typically worked out most days, but I definitely started to feel more tired around 37 weeks. There was one day where I actually felt extremely dizzy and both my doctor and Zak told me it was time to slow down and relax as much as possible. This was hard for me, but I decided to fully embrace the fact my body was telling me I was doing too much. After my 38 week appointment we spent the weekend relaxing around the house before I started my last week of work and starting my maternity leave at 39 weeks. I thought I was doing a pretty good job slowing down…I was working from home with the pandemic so I wasn’t on my feet much and I wasn’t working out anymore. I was in full nesting mode and I decided it would be a good idea to clean the house on June 9th. Since I had a gut feeling he would be coming early, I wanted to come home to a clean house after he was born. I went to bed that night and had no idea what was in store for us the next 24 hours!!

Before Leaving for the Hospital

The night of June 9th going into June 10th I was waking up every couple hours with contractions but because they were so far apart/I wasn’t in much pain I didn’t think much of it. I actually didn’t even wake Zak up to tell him because I thought they were just braxton hick contractions. I woke up around 7am on June 10th to pee and I had an overwhelming feeling that my water was going to break. I have no idea why I got this gut feeling but I thought it was so strange. I brushed it off and told myself what a silly thought and laid back down. Right as I started to doze back off I felt a huge gush of liquid come out. I sprung up and started to shake Zak telling him my water broke. Literally I CANNOT make this up!! I have always been very in tune with my gut, but this was one of those moments were I was in shock. At first, Zak didn’t believe me. I mean I understand where he was coming from… it was only June 10th and I was waking him up from a sound sleep. He thought I maybe just peed myself (since that is common in pregnant women lol), but I knew for a fact my water broke. I could just tell! I had a million emotions going on at this point. I was so excited my water broke naturally, but I also got a wave of nervousness like, “Is this really happening?! Are we really going to be having our baby TODAY?!”. I called my mom and Zaks mom right away to tell them what happened and then I called the doctor. The doctor asked me to start timing out my contractions and to call her back in an hour with how I was doing. At this point my contractions were mild averaging about 10 minutes apart but only lasting for around 30-45 seconds. Luckily I had the majority of our hospital bags packed, but I had to get some last minute things together. Throughout the rest of the morning I was in touch with my doctor and laboring at home until my contractions were about 6ish minutes apart and lasting for a minute. The contractions were still manageable at 6 minutes but getting a little more painful. I was focusing on deep breathing and positive affirmations.

Some positive affirmations I was using were

•I am strong

•I am capable of delivering our baby boy

•I can do this

•Everything is going to be ok

•I trust my body can do this

•My body is made to do this

We decided it was time to leave for the hospital. The hospital we picked to deliver at is 40 minutes from our house so we wanted to head in sooner than later since things were progressing quickly!

Arriving at the Hospital

We got to the hospital around 10:45am. My doctor requested we came into the doctors office first so she could confirm my water broke and to check how dilated I was. I knew my water broke especially because after the initial incident at 7:10am it continued to come out. I know, maybe that’s a little TMI…trying to keep it real for you guys, but it was dripping out and occasionally there would be another gush of liquid. At this point my sweatpants were soaking wet from the 40 minute drive to the hospital and contractions were starting to feel a little more intense. She confirmed quickly that it did break and that I was 4cm dilated. It was time to get admitted to labor and delivery! By the time we got checked in and settled into our room it was around 11:45am and I was contracting every 2-3 minutes apart and my pain was increasing by a lot. The pain was ALL in my back which I did not expect at all. I had heard of back labor but I never expected to experience it because Ryder was in the ideal birthing position up until this point. I can not even describe how horrible back labor is. I know I don’t know what else labor would feel like *all labor is painful* but the nurses and my doctor said back labor is known to be pretty horrible. Back labor is when the back of the baby’s head is resting on the mama’s spine rather than the baby’s face facing the spine. The back of the baby’s head puts a lot of pressure on the mother’s spine which causes a intense shooting pain throughout your spine. This position of baby is also known as, “sunny side up”.

My plan going into labor was

1. To keep Ryder and me safe even if the plan had to change

2. To have a natural labor with no epidural

*I want to say I don’t have anything against epidurals other than I was terrified to get a long needle in my back, I was worried something would go wrong with the procedure, and I was afraid I would be too numb to push at go time.* I thought I had my mind made up about the epidural and damn was I wrong!


Around 12:30pm my contractions were getting very close together but I was only 4cm dilated. To manage my pain I was moving around a lot. I was using the birthing ball they provided to bounce and to roll my hips out. I also was standing and leaning over the bed with my chest resting on the bed and my belly hanging to relieve the pressure in my back. Between 12:30-3pm I ended up laboring on my own without the epidural and my contractions were consistently 1-2 minutes apart. At one point they even were 30-45 seconds apart which was unbearable. Unfortunately my body was stuck at 4cm dilated and I was not progressing further. Around 2:30, I decided to get the epidural. I felt like I could not take another second of the pain and decided it would be best to get it. I couldn’t imagine laboring for hours to come with contractions so close together especially since my cervix wasn’t dilating past 4cm. I was beyond nervous to get it but Zak, my mom, Zaks mom, and my sister reassured me multiple times it would be okay and it was okay to change my plan. I was sad to let go of my original plan but I knew I needed to trust my gut and allow myself to get help with managing the pain. I was also proud of myself for labor for hours without it and using my breathing techniques. I had to wait for about 40 minutes before the anesthesiologist was able to give me the epidural and I’m pretty sure that was the longest 40 minutes of my life!

To be continued…

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