Introducing… Rylan Danielle
Our little girl decided to join us 8 days before her due date on December 14, 2018 at 9:52am. She was 7 lbs 13 oz and 22 inches long. Want the full story? You’ve come to the right place! We thought it would be fun to share this special story from both of our perspectives. My thoughts will continue in this font, and Kaelyn’s will be in italics.
I woke up at 1 in the morning with a slight cramp, and I felt a little trickle. My first thought was just that I had peed a little, because up until that point, I hadn’t had any contractions or signs of labor, only Braxton Hicks. But then I rolled over in bed and felt another trickle. At this point, I was figuring that it was actually my water leaking. I sat up to go check in the bathroom, and felt a HUGE gush of water. It was basically like how it happens in the movies, and I was now sitting in a giant puddle! I urgently woke Tommy up, and asked him to call the doctor while I waited to see how close together and intense the contractions were at the time.
Kaelyn’s voice sounded pretty nervous when she woke me up, so my first thought was that there was something was wrong with the baby. When I saw that she was sitting in a big puddle, I was relieved. This was a good sign! We were finally about to meet our baby. We called the doctor and they said we could come in now, or she could labor at home until her contractions were more consistent and closer together. We decided to labor at home for a while. What a productive night I had! I had plenty of time to fold laundry, do some organizing/cleaning, and finish packing up our hospital bags with snacks, clothes & everything else we could possibly need.
At this point, my contractions were all over the place, anywhere from 6 to 13 minutes apart. They were getting longer and stronger, but nothing unbearable yet. I finished putting together a few things in my hospital bag, but was mostly focused on resting and timing contractions. Tommy asked me if I wanted to try going back to sleep for a little while, but I was so excited/nervous about having this baby, there was no way I was going back to sleep now! Things were getting real and I couldn’t believe this was actually it!
Around 5:00am, Kaelyn’s contractions were starting to get closer together and more consistent, so she took a shower while I packed up all our stuff in the car.
In our birthing class, they told us to wait to come to the hospital until contractions were consistently five minutes apart, lasting a minute each, for at least an hour. So, once I had about three contractions that were five minutes apart, I knew we were getting close. I figured we had at least 45 minutes to an hour still at home, but I was very wrong! They only stayed five minutes apart for about 15 minutes. Once I got in the shower, they started coming closer together, and now they were very strong and painful! I started to get really nervous about how quickly and intensely they were progressing and told Tommy he needed to hurry because we needed to go ASAP! I did not want to have this baby at home or in the car!
I hurried along and we hit the road around 5:45am.
On our drive to the hospital, contractions were coming about every two minutes and were extremely painful.
Thankfully, we only live 15 minutes from the hospital, so it was a quick trip! We hurried into the ER and they took us right up to Triage. It seemed to take forever for them to get all their ducks in a row with paperwork before they started examining Kaelyn. Meanwhile, her contractions were much more painful and close together. I could see the pain in her face with each contraction.
Sitting in triage was excruciating! I had to lie still on my back so they could monitor the baby, and I was feeling my contractions all the way around my belly and into my back, and wanted to be in just about any other position than that. They were having a hard time getting the monitor to stay in place long enough to get a good read, so we were waiting for what seemed like a very long time.
When they finally examined her, they said she was already 9 cm dilated & completely effaced!! Kaelyn’s immediate response was, “Is it too late to get an epidural?” The nurse told her that it probably was, but they quickly moved us to a room.
When the nurse told me how dilated I was, I was SHOCKED! I never thought my labor would progress so quickly for my first baby. I was also nervous about the potential of doing this completely naturally, as I had planned from the beginning to get an epidural.
Once in the room, the doctor came in and thankfully told Kaelyn they could still do the epidural. The nurses hurried along to get Kaelyn’s IV started. Once again, in her pain, we waited forever for an anesthesiologist to come in to administer the IV.
The epidural was the best thing EVER!! It dulled my contractions at first, and then after a few minutes, I wasn’t feeling them at all anymore. It was such a relief!
I could see the look on Kaelyn’s face turn from pain to complete relaxation. Through it all, she was amazing. She breathed through the pain and stayed relaxed all the way through, but I could tell that it felt good not to feel anything.
The doctor told me to nap while I could, but the adrenaline of it all kept me wide awake. My body was much more rested and relaxed though, and prepared to deliver!
Around 9:15am, the doctor came in and Kaelyn started pushing.
I couldn’t really even feel my contractions at that point, so the nurses monitored them and told me when to push. It was exhausting, but hearing the doctor say she could see my baby girl’s head and that she had “at least a half inch of hair!” was so exciting and motivating!
The doctors and nurses, and Tommy, were so encouraging and helpful in guiding me through the birthing process.
I proudly called myself her “dude-la” throughout the whole process. Sorry, but I can’t resist the perfect dad joke!
At 9:52, Rylan was here. She came out adorned in a full head of thick, dark brown hair! You know how on medical shows, sometimes the parents start freaking out if the baby isn’t crying right away? Our sweet girl didn’t make us wait at all! As soon as she was out, she let out the most adorable little cry. Can you blame her? She exchanged her cozy womb home for a cold December morning! Immediately, they put her on Kaelyn’s chest and my two girls were finally reunited in person! The bond they had been cultivating for 9 months was now on full display during their first face-to-face meeting.
Only a half hour after I started pushing, I was holding my sweet baby. I thought I knew how much I would love her, but nothing can prepare you for the love and emotion that floods through you when you hold your baby for the first time. There’s just nothing like it. I cried and snuggled my sweet girl close. She was finally here and I could see her precious little face. (I was also relieved that she was indeed a girl after all the dreams I had that we got surprised with a boy at delivery…I was not prepared for that-too many dresses and pink things for a little guy!)
Not to mention all the work we put into painting her nursery… pink. I would never do that my son.
I couldn’t be prouder of my wife for how amazing she did laboring to bring our sweet girl into the world. I was completely on cloud 9. I mean, have you seen Rylan? No!? Let’s fix that!
These first few photos were taken by me at the hospital in her hospital bassinet. The rest are from our newborn session with the amazing Madison Rae!