Ryder's Birth Story

* I'm so thankful for Kevin for taking notes of what happened and when, during labor and delivery. I asked him to on the way to the hospital to take notes on his iPhone, because I didn't want to forget anything and didn't know if I would be out of it or not...and I was so out of it haha :)

Original Plan:
The plan was to be induced at 41 weeks on Monday, Labor Day, September 3rd, 2012 at 7:30 pm at Medical Center of the Rockies (MCR). I was to take Cytotec (to help with dilation/effacement) and a sleeping pill so I could sleep through the night and in the morning be started on Pitocin to get contractions going. I thought it was funny I would be induced on Labor Day. Then my obgyn Dr. Micetich would deliver Ryder on Tuesday, September 4th...however this did not happen...

Ryder's Plan:
On Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 we had a long day as church had just changed times from 2pm to 8am. I am not an early morning person at all so I was tired. I took a nap after church and then Kevin, Greg & Kathy (in-laws who came into town for the babe's birth), and I all went to my parents for dinner. We made waffles, Kevin made homemade whipped cream, and we had fresh fruit to go on top. We also had multiple yummy syrups, sausage, and hash browns. We spent the evening on the dock enjoying the lake and Colorado sunset. Anyways, Kevin and I read our scriptures and said our evening prayer and got in bed. Kevin immediately fell asleep. I played on my iPhone for a bit checking out Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. I actually was thinking about having our baby and feeling a bit of anxiety about everything just because I had no idea what it would be like to have one. I had officially one day until I would be induced and that was what I was thinking of.

12:05 am - Water Breaks
So I'm laying in bed just thinking and then at about 12:05ish am I realized that there was a trickle of water/pee going on. It was NOT a gush by any means; it was a slight trickle. I thought "Oh is my water breaking?" and then went to the bathroom to see. I know if you try to stop "peeing" and then the trickle stops you just straight up peed yourself.  If you try to stop the "pee" and it keeps leaking it is most likely your waters. So I get up and walk to the bathroom and a stronger gush kind of happens. I thought this is probably my water breaking but I consider myself an indecisive person so I wasn't 100% sure.  I began googling "water break", "water trickle", etc. to see what was on the Internet. It said if you soaked a pad in a certain time frame (which I don't remember), then your water broke. So I went to lie down for a bit and got up again and tried to see if I could get a gush again. I figured if I got a few gushes it was probably my waters. By the way, when you are standing up straight, your baby's head acts as a plug so usually it won't gush if you are standing up so that is why I kept laying down and standing up. Hopefully that makes sense. Anyways, I started to get really annoyed because I wasn't sure if my water had broke or if I had peed myself but I was pretty sure I wasn't peeing myself because I've never really done that haha. I woke Kevin up and said "I think my water broke but I am not sure. I'm getting really annoyed since I don't know!" The last thing I wanted was to shower, pack up everything, get to the hospital, and have peed myself! The waters were a little bit pink sometimes so I thought, "well you can't pee pink so I guess my water probably broke!" That is what made me call the Women's Clinic (which I was advised to do once I was in labor). I spoke with a nurse and she said my water most likely had broken so I should get my stuff together and head to the hospital. She said it was normal for the water to be pink. She told me to call the hospital when we were on our way so they knew I was coming.

{By the way, I could have labored at home longer but I was positive for Group B Strep which requires me being put on antibiotics during labor so the baby doesn't get an infection. My obgyn said to come in right away if I suspected my water had broken so they could have enough time to get the antibiotics going.}

I told Kevin I wanted to shower and told him he should try and sleep since I will need him later on but he said there is no way he could sleep.  I showered (since you never know the next time you will be able to) and noticed I was having mild contractions. They weren't bad at all but just a little back pain. I blow-dried my hair and straightened some of it (so much for getting all pretty later!) and had Kevin read my list of items to throw in our hospital bags last minute. He packed up the remaining items I had on my list while I finished getting ready. He then woke up Kathy (mother-in-law) and let her know that my water had probably broken and we were going to the hospital.

My last pregnant photo right before we headed off to the hospital at 41 weeks!
We packed up our Jeep and hit the road. Kevin was driving like a snail so I told him to hurry up! He was so excited he drove like a snail, not fast lol. I called my parents to let them know my water may have broken and we were going to the hospital.  I had to call a few times to wake them up. I didn't want to tell anyone else that we may be going into labor until I was admitted because I wasn't 100% sure this was it! My mom then kept texting me because she wanted to know everything that was happening haha. I called MCR and let them know we were on our way.

2:45 am - Arrive at Hospital
Kevin parked us in 'Stork Parking' and we were really excited! We walked into the Emergency Room and they asked what was going on and I told them I think my water had broken and I was going to have a baby. We waited in the waiting room with some other sickies and then a nurse came down with a wheelchair for me. I felt silly riding in the wheelchair when I wasn't even sure I was in labor. We took the elevator to the Labor & Delivery floor (3) and got put in room 5126. The nurse told me to take a pee sample and get in a gown. I told her I wasn't sure if my waters had broken or not so she said we will check and find out. Then the nurse did a test on the fluids I was leaking. Afterwards, an admittance guy came in and started taking down some information when the nurse got the results and announced, "Go ahead and admit her, she's ruptured!" Kevin and I looked at each other and smiled because it was time and my waters really were broken! They immediately hooked me up to some machines to monitor Ryder's heart rate and contractions. They gave me a Buffalo Cap and started Penicillin for the Group B Strep. We got little sleep. I started waking up every so often because the contractions were getting stronger. I wasn't very good at breathing through them haha. I did not practice any breathing techniques as I was going to wing it lol. Somewhere from here on I had talked to a nurse and told her I was hungry. She let me eat a banana I had brought.

Trying to get some R&R before delivery!
7:50 am
A nurse came in and I told her I was hungry. I said I hadn't eaten since last night and things were moving slow so she let me order breakfast before the obgyn came in. I was so glad since I was starving.

8:20 am
Doctor Vance came in and checked me; I was only 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced. The plan was to eat breakfast and then start Cytotec (to help with dilation/effacement) and see how I progress. I would then move on to Pitocin to help with contractions if needed. Dr. Vance kept saying "an obgyn is the only doctor who likes to see their patients in pain because it means the baby is coming." By this point I had let the nurses and everyone know I wanted an epidural when I could get one so they knew I wasn't a fan of pain :) Oh, and every time the nurses came in to check on me they asked me what I would rank my pain on a pain scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst.

8:40 am
My breakfast arrived and was my first taste of hospital food! I ordered scrambled eggs, an English muffin, and don't remember what else. I also ordered a breakfast burrito for Kevin as well. Apparently I told Kevin the food was "kind of blah." Kevin did some modern dance moves (I love dance) to cheer me up which was hilarious. I asked him to do it again so I could video it and he wouldn't. He was trying to be funny since my pain was only getting worse.

9:30 am
The nurses at this point were Amber and Nicky. They gave me Cytotec, a pill, to help with dilation and effacement. Gradually, as time passed, the contractions got worse and worse. Honestly, my birth plan was 1. Go to the hospital. 2. Get an epidural. 3. Enjoy the delivery laughing and smiling with nurses and family who came in... that is not what happened haha. I think at this point I asked when a good time to get an epidural was. They said they like to do the epidurals when you are at at least 4 cm dilated because if you get it too soon it can sometimes slow things down and increase the risk for a c-section. They always said though that you can get the epidural whenever you want, but it seemed like really you should just wait. An hour ago I was only dilated to a 1 so I was kind of bummed I should wait until things got painful!

12:30 pm
From when I took the Cytotec until now things were getting more intense! The contractions were every 3 minutes. Overall the Cytotec was definitely working and getting things done! Within the last few hours or so, I'm pretty sure I was given Pitocin as well. In Kevin's notes, he wrote "Ashley doesn't want to be touched much." I don't remember that but I'm sure it was true haha. I had gotten a prescription from my obgyn for a tens unit at the hospital for pre-labor so I asked the nurses for my tens unit. I figured the pain was getting worse so I might as well try and see if it would help. They brought it to me and I sat on a bouncy ball as Kevin put the pads on my back and turned on the machine. I didn't try it that long because honestly it felt like it was doing crap haha. That was a no go. Then the nurses came in again and I decided I would ask for an epidural. I asked and they said they could get the anesthesiologist to give one for me but recommended that I try and wait a little longer because the last time I was checked I was only at a 1. One of the nurses gave me the idea that I could try getting in the shower/tub because it can be really helpful for some women. She mentioned that a few girls stayed in the shower for hours because it was so helpful. It was kind of annoying that they acted like I should wait to get the epidural but I figured it was probably for the better. I decided to try the shower/tub before I got checked next. If I were to have dilated enough - after I waited it out in the shower - I could get an epidural.

1:05 pm
Because the contractions were much worse and I couldn't stay on the bed or bouncy ball we moved to the bath. I remember just getting off the bed, to the bathroom, and into the shower to be very hard because every few minutes you had a bad contraction! Having a contraction standing up on the way to the shower was the worst - just not in the ideal position I guess. Oh my gosh I have no clue how people labor with no pain medicine...not my style. I asked the nurses if they had a chair that I could sit on because I wasn't sure I could really stand during all the contractions. They brought me a shower chair and I sat on it while Kevin ran hot water on my lower back (where it was really hurting). Maybe if my lower back wasn't hurting it wouldn't have been that bad; that really was the worst of it. Dang back labor! Kevin wrote that we did this for about an hour. Man, I don't know what I would do without Kevin. He was always helping me and I'm sure I wasn't the nicest when I was in that much pain :) After sitting on the chair for a long time I decided to try and mix it up by getting in the bath tub to see if it would help more. Oh my gosh, being in labor and having a huge belly made it hard to just sit down in the bath tub. The bath tub was huge and was taking forever to fill up so Kevin continued to run hot water on my lower back. Sitting in the tub was not as helpful. Maybe it would have been more helpful if it was full of hot water before I sat down into it.

The nurses came in and checked on us and said they talked to someone about the epidural and said I could get it now or after I get checked. At that point, I said my contractions were at an 8 on my pain scale and said I wanted the epidural before I got checked. I couldn't wait any longer. Getting out of the tub was brutal by the way.  They require you to have 20 minutes of monitoring before you get an epidural so I sat on the ball for that time.  I had Kevin press my hips together during contractions as that helped a little. Apparently from Kevin's notes I was having the worst contractions of the day and shaking (I don't remember shaking...). It was hard to breathe deeply during the contractions but apparently it was a little better when I did. The nurses and Kevin got me on the side of the bed and readied ourselves for the epidural. I wish the anesthesiologist would have sprinted there!

2:30 pm - Epidural
Side note: So in my old church ward (before it split), I knew 2 anesthesiologists and 1 labor and delivery nurse who work at MCR. The day before labor/delivery my mom had talked with Kim Keate at church. Her husband Tyler was one of the anesthesiologists that I knew who works at MCR. She mentioned that if I went into labor on Monday he would be working and would most likely give me my epidural. Kevin and I were in nursery over one of their sons, so we knew them that way. Anyways, so I knew Tyler was working and would probably be giving me my epidural!

Who ended up giving me my epidural was Dr. Simbakin, some Asian lady. I remember her asking me if I was okay with blah blah blah, risks that she listed, etc. I didn't care about the risks. I wanted the drugs. I said I was fine haha. Her telling me all that was just making the medicine get delayed! She asked Kevin if he may faint at the site of the needle and Kevin said no, he was fine! When you get your epidural you are sitting on the side of the bed and have to kind of slouch over and not move - they are totally putting a huge needle in your back - so it is crucial you stay still. I remember her wiping something cold on my back, getting the needles and parts ready, and when it came time for the big needle I was able to relax because I wanted it so bad. I felt tingling in my legs and they helped me lie on my back. Shortly after I could still feel the pain in my lower right part of my back. I asked if that was normal or if the epidural would start working there. Dr. Simbakin said the epidural went great and that she saw no reason it wouldn't cover everything. Of course, it was my luck that I still felt the pain in my right side - a window in my lower right back. The nurses put me on my right side and gave me another dose so that the medicine could run to the the right side of me. I was still waiting for the pain to go away. The contractions went to a 3-5 on my pain scale so I was happy at the moment.

Meanwhile family was waiting...and waiting...in the hospital...
3 pm
Dr. Vance (the obgyn on-call) came and checked me. She said I had progressed like a "ROCKSTAR!" I was now at 4.5 cm dilated and 90% effaced. Everyone and the nurses were very impressed. When I heard that, in my head, I was like "Yeah!! I was in a lot of pain; that's why I wanted the epidural!" I was so glad I had progressed to that though. If I was at a 2 that would have been just ridiculous. They then put in a IUPC (Intrauterine Pressure Catheter) to measure the strength of contractions. From here on, we just were waiting to progress even more. Unfortunately the epidural was still not fully working. I kept pushing the button to get another dose (you can push it once every 10 minutes) and it was failing me :( We talked to the nurses about the epidural not working and they went to get Tyler Keate (the anesthesiologist on-call and our friend from church) to take a look at it. He said if I wanted he could try to fix it. I don't remember what exactly he said he could do but he said something along those lines. He told me he was unable to give me my epidural because he was helping another patient at the time so that is why the Asian lady gave it to me. I didn't want to get the epidural completely re-done if I was ready to push soon.  If I wasn't ready to push soon and had hours and hours to go, I'd want him to fix it. At this point, contractions were coming every couple of minutes and I was feeling a lot of it in my lower right back and my front right side. Somehow it became 5:30 and I don't really know what happened until then...

5:30 pm
I got checked by a nurse and then by Dr. Vance and I was 9.5 cm dilated! The last 2.5 hours I had progressed from a 4.5 to a 9.5 so basically I guess that is what happened. I endured contractions. Dr. Vance said I could choose to get the epidural fixed or I could start pushing and she could try to get rid of the final .5 cm with her fingers. I chose to push. I remember thinking, dang, is it time? This is it?! Already?! Even though I had been in labor since midnight the night before...

* Sometime within the past hour or so my mom had asked Kevin (I think?) to come see me for a minute to see how I was doing and everything. Everyone (family in the waiting room) were dying to know what was happening. Anyways, I let her come in. Some people like having their whole family in the labor and delivery room for the birth of their child and some just want their husband. I knew for sure I wanted Kevin there but I wasn't sure I wanted anyone else there. I definitely did not want a huge party...honestly, I think that is weird. That is just my opinion. You are basically naked, in pain (or lucky if you aren't), and birthing a baby is messy and again, you are practically naked. Then she asked if she could stay while I pushed and at that point I was so tired and I didn't care anymore so I said "yes." In the end, I'm glad she was there because she was very helpful and also took some photos. Before I went to the hospital I thought, for sure, Kevin, and honestly didn't make any decision prior and just went with it.

6 pm - Pushing & Vacuum
The nurses and obgyn kept saying push like you are trying to have a bowel movement but honestly with an epidural (even not fully effective) you can't feel that well. It is hard to know how to push. But pushing during the contractions felt better than just lying there and doing nothing since I was feeling every contraction. I'm not sure why that is but it felt better to push. I started out on my back and then they moved me onto my sides (I guess they were trying to get Ryder to move down more) and even went on my hands and knees. I didn't think I would be able to do what with an epidural but I guess since it wasn't fully working, that is why I was able to? Then I pushed on my back again and pulled a towel while one of the nurses pulled it back the other way...a tug of war kind of game lol. Somehow it gets you to push right? I have no clue. Kevin was right by me for every contraction holding my leg up and I know he was getting really tired too! He also was pushing my hips together between contractions since that seemed to help with the back labor. My mom was coaching me and taking pictures I think... They gave me an oxygen mask to wear and it was SO annoying. It wouldn't really stay on that well. The nurses also put a cool wet washcloth on my forehead sometimes but it kept falling off. The nurses and Dr. Vance kept saying he is right behind my pelvic bone. I kept pushing and pushing to try and get him around there and past it. I pushed for TWO hours! They saw the top of his head and said he had a lot of hair (which I was glad because I would prefer hair over a bald baby lol but not a big deal). When it was getting closer to the 2 hour mark of pushing Dr. Vance asked me if she could try a vacuum to get him out from behind the pelvic bone. I knew about vacuums and forceps and would prefer not to use them but at this point I was SO exhausted and had pushed forever. I wanted him out! I said yes and I'm pretty sure she listed off some risks associated with it as well... We tried it for a bit and I wasn't sure what was happening. Everyone kept telling me to keep going but it didn't seem like much was happening. No one was like saying "Oh he is getting close!" or anything like that. It was also getting exhausting deciding when to push so I wish the nurses would just tell me when to. Oh and for every contraction we did like 3-4 pushes. Kevin later told me that he could tell Dr. Vance was trying to pull so hard with the vacuum to get him to budge.

Then Dr. Vance said, "If he doesn't come out in the next couple of pushes we are going to have to do an emergency c-section." I was shocked to hear that at first but in reality, I wasn't progressing and I was in labor for 20 hours. They also like to not have you be in labor for too long (24 hours) with Group B Strep. When she first said that I remember crying a little because that wasn't what I wanted and I was just so tired and out of it. So, I tried SO HARD to push for those last few pushes and unfortunately he was not going to come out.  Then Dr. Vance declared we must do an emergency c-section.

8 pm - C-Section
The minute it was decided to do an emergency c-section I wanted them to wheel me down to the operating room, slice me open, and just get him out. I just wanted it to happen ASAP. I wasn't really supposed to push so I just had to lay there through contractions which wasn't fun, and the reason why I was impatient although I didn't say anything to anyone about that. They let my mom and Kevin go into the operating room so they both got scrubs on.
I felt like I was laying on the hospital bed forever while they did who knows what!! Finally, they wheeled me down to the operating room.
They asked me if I could move to the other bed where they would perform the procedure. I told them I couldn't feel my legs that well so the nurses picked up the sheet I was laying on and moved me by lifting the sheet onto the other bed. They had me lay with my arms straight out to the side and I think strapped me down. They gave me oxygen and I remember asking what is it because it reminded me of when I got my wisdom teeth out and I had weird laughing gas going into my nose? I hated that feeling lol. When they told me it was oxygen I could relax. The nurses and doctors were shouting things at each other prepping for the procedure. Tyler Keate introduced me to someone, I think, another anesthesiologist.
My mom and Kevin were let in the room, in their scrubs, and they put up a sheet so we couldn't see what was going on. My mom had my camera so that is how we got these pictures. From the picture below, I guess Kevin was stroking my hair but I don't remember that at all. I was so out of it and delusional sooo haha.
The doctors and nurses were all yelling stuff at each other, asking for this and that. I was kind of numb from my waist area down but could still feel things so it was weird. I don't know how to explain it. They told me they were going to cut my incision and I could feel them doing it, but it didn't hurt. Then they told me I would feel tugging and pulling - which was them trying to get the baby out - and boy, was it the weirdest sensation ever!!! I did not like it at all. It was so uncomfortable and your insides were getting moved all around and at one point I swear they were pushing hard down on my ribs! Oh my gosh that was so weird and uncomfortable. If you have had a c-section you know what I am talking about but if you haven't, it is so hard to comprehend. Then I heard a gargling cry and knew my baby boy was out! The doctors were like "Whoa this is a huge baby!" and Dr. Vance (obgyn who did the delivery) said, "Whoa Ashley this is a huge baby! You could have pushed for three weeks and never got him to come out vaginally!" Kevin later told me that they said because of his size and my pelvic bone shape/structure there was no way he would fit. So much for all that hard work! I would rather them just get him out first with the c-section! Dr. Vance also said that she cut me in a way that I could try for another vaginal delivery if wanted or I could just have repeat c-sections in the future. Anyways, I was so out of it, it was hard to comprehend things. I knew I had my baby out and he was huge but that was about all I could think of. They then lifted him over the curtain and I saw him and he looked mad lol.

8:41 pm - Birth
Here he is!!!
Born at 8:41 pm on September 3, 2012, Labor Day
8 lbs. 11 oz.
21.25 inches long

Daddy and Ryder!
Kevin apparently cut the umbilical cord...which I was unaware of until after he told me! Meanwhile I was probably getting my placenta taken out and sewed back up with sutures.
I don't really remember this...I don't know what I was doing. I may have been sleeping in and out of it? I remember my contacts were so dry that I couldn't keep my eyes open and I was all medicated...I started shivering intensely and couldn't control it. My teeth were chattering and everything!
They then took Ryder to the nursery and I think my mom went with also (since we have these pictures). They cleaned him, measured him, weighed him, gave him some shots, checked and gooped his eyes, checked his misshapen head (thanks to the vacuum which actually did a lot of damage as well as trying to push him out for 2 hours), checked his vitals, checked his apgar score, etc. Kevin put his inked hand-print on a baseball which turned out great (my idea :))!
I love this.
Ryder getting all checked on.
Kevin put Ryder's foot print on his arm for a tattoo...so cute :)
Sometime in between Ryder getting checked out and them finishing me in the operating room I was taken to another room to recover for a bit. Kevin brought in Ryder and we had some skin to skin. I vaguely remember anything from this point on.  I was still shaking uncontrollably with my teeth chattering and everything.  It was crazy! I think it freaked out Kevin quite a bit but apparently it is normal.  I was then taken to the room where I would stay the rest of the time at the hospital (Room 5106). On our way, I remember the nurses or whoever was bringing me to our room told me that they were going to play the song on the hospital loudspeaker for Ryder. Whenever a baby is born they play a lullaby and everyone in the whole hospital hears and knows a baby was born! I remember them telling me that but don't remember hearing the song haha. Then we were in our room and family came to meet Ryder. I was tired and somehow it was time to go to bed. Kevin and I said our first family prayer with Ryder and we tried to get some sleep. The first time the nurses left us I asked them "So, what do we do if he cries?" I'm sure they made fun of me for that! Kevin said he and the nurses looked at each other and smiled. I was so out of it and I didn't know what to do haha. Anyways, that is the last thing I remember...
Here is Kevin kissing Ryder :)
And apparently Ryder slept for 5 hours and only woke up because we wanted to try to feed him. He had a lot of drugs going through his system which made him sleepy!

I do not regret anything that happened because he arrived safely and with no lasting complications. I do wish that I was more alert because this whole day was a blur, especially the end when he arrived. I was very tired with a 21 hour labor and delivery and very medicated so I guess there wasn't much I could do. I'm so grateful everything went well. We are so excited that he is here and so excited to be his parents!!!

We love our baby Ryder!!!
Happy 1 month birthday Ryder!!! He is officially one month old tonight!


  1. oh my,
    thoughts about labor scare me. really. haha.

    that's a heart-melting moment! the look in Kevin's eye when he's holding Ryder

  2. wow, you did have a pretty tough labor!
    maybe next time will be much easier for you.
    thanks for sharing. hoping this will be in the next year!

  3. i follow you on instagram and saw you posted your birth story! i don't know if it is because i am pregnant but i love reading everyone's experiences! you are amazing girl! sounds like a tough labor but you stayed so calm and positive about it! i hope i can be the same way and just go with whatever happens! you are darling girl! ryder is adorable! p.s. i am mormon too! :)

  4. I loved reading your story and hearing about how the complications turned out great in the end. Your baby is gorgeous and Im so happy for you three!

  5. Labor is crazy! But it's all so worth it in the end! Happy One Month to your perfectly adorable little boy!

  6. Ryder's little mad face has to be the cutest thing ever. And his hair and cheeks!
    Tyler Keate's little brother is my very best friend! Love that family!

  7. The same thing happened with my water breaking! I'm glad Im not the only one who didn't know for sure if it broke and was scared I'd get home from the hospital because I was peeing myself! :) Ryder is adorable!!!

  8. wow! good job ash. so proud of you guys. sounds scary. labor is hard...but amazing no?! love you guys. sweet photos. happy to finally hear this story. xoxox want to meet him SOON!!!

  9. Holy. Crap. I'm terrified of having to have a c-section. I'm hoping my "birthing hips" don't fail me. :)

  10. YAY! I'm so excited for you guys. I loved reading this. Since I haven't had any babies yet, I'm glad that people like you are so willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thanks!

  11. Congrats to all of you xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  12. Oh my goodness you poor thing. My heart broke for you! But SO glad he is here and healthy. Can't wait for him to be buddies with little Ryan! Love your little family!

  13. Oh man, what an experience! My labor & Martin's birth didn't go exactly how I thought it would, but I don't regret anything either. (: I'm so glad to hear he got here safely!

  14. Oh my gosh, this melted my heart! You both look so beyond happy and Ryder is such a cute little guy. What a tremendous blessing. I can't wait for these moments.