Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bridger's Birth Story

Mr Bridger arrived 2 days prior to his due date.
Aptly nick-named by all nurses and doctors "the firecracker" as he was born on the 4th of July, this is his story.

the firecracker himself

July 3rd: 
My contractions began around 11:30pm.  Matt and I were lying in bed - I was playing solitaire on my iPad while he was talking to his buddy Jess. 
I felt uncomfortable but nothing too extraordinary.  
After eating a late night bowl of mint chip ice cream, we decided to go to sleep. 
I laid in bed trying to relax and find sleep - unfortunately it didn't happen.
At this point, my contractions weren't very frequent but they were keeping me awake. 

July 4th:
At home:
Finally, at 1:30am I decided to get out of bed and start paying better attention to my contractions. 
I got out my iPhone and began timing them.
To my surprise they were coming every 4-7 minutes. 
And so the timing began! 
For the next two hours, they remained consistent.  4-7 minutes apart.
I blogged, checked Facebook, read some blogs until 3:30am rolled around.
The contractions weren't very intense but they were very consistent. 
My OB docs told me to call Labor & Delivery when my contractions became that consistent for at least one hour. Well, it had been at least 2 hours so I figured that warranted a call. 
I called and spoke with Maryellen who told me that if i was still breathing and talking through the contractions that I should wait at home longer and let labor progress where I was comfortable. 
I was ok with this, as I wanted to spend as little time in the hospital as possible AND I wanted Matt to get a full nights sleep before his pride and joy came into this world.  
So around 4am Picasso and I went for a walk outside.  The nights have been really hot lately and it was a clear sky, which allowed for plenty of stars to guide our walk.  
When a contraction hit,  I was still able to continue walking, I just had to breathe a little differently.
After the walk we returned to the house for a little more facebooking and pinteresting, then decided to go for another walk around 6am. 
Chloe wouldn't get off the couch, so Picasso and I left without her.
We headed up the dirt road behind the house.  It's a slight incline so I figured it would be a good distraction from the contractions.  We made it almost to the top when I realized there was a calf on the wrong side of the fence.  So we went wide around the calf, opened the gate, went wide back around the calf, then walked him into the gate and shut him in.  Yes - I was having contractions and herding cows... This is the ranch life :).
After watching the sunrise, Picasso and I headed back down to the house.  When we were about 50 yards away Matt called in a bit of a panic... (He was unaware of my walking plans as he was sleeping). I told him I was just outside and shortly met him in the living room.  
Around 6:30am, we talked for a bit and I realized that I couldn't actually talk through a contraction... It was more like one word then 4 breaths, another word then 5 more breaths, etc.  We decided Matt would go feed the horses, let the dogs out, and get other chores done while I showered and got ready to go to the hospital.  
Matt came back from his chores and I was ready to go - the contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart and making me breathe through each one - I decided it was definitely time to go.  
About 8:00am we left the house for the hospital.  We stopped to get fuel (someone forgot to keep the truck fueled up - it's ok, it made for a good memory) and since we were waiting to fill up we also got some hydration, aka gateorade, the blue variety.  I paced around the truck through some contractions while the rest of the gas station looked on Iike I was crazy.... I'm sure I was quite the sight.
After we hit the 100$ mark on the pump we were back in the car and on the way to the hospital. 
Being the 4th of July, we knew there would be a lot of people out as there was a parade at noon.  Luckily we didn't hit any traffic and arrived at the hospital around 9am.

At the Hosptial:
We checked in at the ER as it was a holiday and the regular registration desk was closed. 
This was fine as the ER wasn't at all busy and I had already met the receptionist who was at the ER desk when I preregistered.  Him and I shared a birthday of Oct 23rd, and while we were checking in he also told me that his wife was born on the 4th of July - pretty neat!
So I got my first bracelet and paperwork and we headed up the stairs to L&D.
We arrived and the nurses were ready and expecting us.  Maryellen, the nurse I spoke to in the early morning, had filled in the next shift nurses on my contractions and such.  
Mariah was the nurse who got me hooked up to the monitors and took all our info, vitals, etc.  
Once on the monitor, my contractions were surely coming every 3-5 minutes and babies heart rate was aptly responding. 
Mariah also checked my dilation - after laboring now for 10 hours, I figured I would have had to dilate more than I was at my last check on the 3rd - yet I was still at 2cm.  I remember looking at Matt and thinking oh no they are going to to send us home.  Matt could tell I was nervous, and I know he didn't want to go home either.  Mariah quickly assured us that even with my dilation being minimal, my contractions were too close together and too consistent for us to be sent home.  Thank goodness!  
The plan was for us to hang out and let labor progress until the on call dr, my OB Dr Rhonda Robbins, arrived to check us.  They were in no hurry as I was only at 2cm and baby was doing great.  
So they left Matt and I to walk the grounds and get this labor started!
We started walking in the hospital basement... But it was a little eerie in the silent white corridors...

 So we migrated outside.

St Lukes Wood River Medical Center in Ketchum is set in the foothills of the Sawtooth forest.  Pine trees, sage brush, elk - it's very nice for a Hosptial setting.  (Our nurse even saw a bear the night baby was born!) So Matt and I headed outside to walk these contractions out.  With ma in her hospitalgown and Pa in his is cowboy hat, we were quite the sight on the bike path that surrounds the hospital.  
We walked and walked and then I would tell Matt one was coming, we would stop and I would hang on his shoulders and we would rock through the contraction.  Then we were back on our walk and continued this pattern for about 40 minutes of every hour.  
The hospital requires you to be monitored for a 20 min strip of contractions and to record the babies heart rate - the other 40 min there are no regulations or rules of what we could or could not do (except leave the hospital or eat).
So from about 9:30am till 3:00pm we walked and contracted and walked and monitored. 
Finally at 3:30pm my OB came in to check me.  We just knew after laboring at the Hosptial for over 5 hours I had to have progressed a bit more... My contractions were still every 2-5 minutes and getting more intense... And yet, there I was... At 3cm!!! 5 hours and only 1 more cm?!? I wanted to cry.
I was 90% effaced - which was really good progression on that front.  
So, Dr Robbins thought it would be a good idea to strip my membranes again.  (I had them stripped around 3pm on July 3rd at my last office visit). I was so game as I would have done anything not to go home! 
So she stripped them - holy moly!!! She said she felt a knot of scar tissue and was going to "work it out" - I then tried to climb up the wall.... Wow it hurt! After a few MINUTES of her working the scar tissue, she was done and I let go of the ceiling and came back into bed.  She then told us she would come back in about an hour or so to see how I was progressing. 
We took another walk outside and soon 5pm rolled around and it was time to be checked again.
Dr Robbins came into the room, checked me, and to our surprise I was at 5cm!!!  Woo hoo her torturous massage had worked!  
We were officially admitted at 5:30pm and I was given some more bracelets, an IV with a saline lock, and had some bloodwork done.  

At this point Dr Robbins wanted to discuss our options with us.  She asked how my pain level was, and I said it was about a 5/10. She said that my contractions would get worse and asked if i was interested in an epidural.  I looked at Matt and after he gave me the "you can do this" smile, I said no.  She then said that there were some pain medications they could give me now to help me rest.  She went on to day that many women who have labored without meds for hours on end finally get to the point of pushing and are too tired to really give it what they need to give it... So we discussed what drugs were options and Matt and I both thought it would be good for me to try one of them to see if it would help me sleep.  (At this point I hadn't slept since Wednesday night, had awoken Thursday morning at 4:30am, So I hadn't slept for about 36 hours).  
We opted to go for Nubain  - although a narcotic drug, the effects only last up to 2 hours with a full dose.  I am a lightweight when it comes to drugs, so she gave me 5mLs instead of the normal dose of 10.  
The only drawback to having the Nubain was that I had to be given IV fluids while the Nubain was in my system.  But it ultimately was ok as I slept for a full hour after receiving the Nubain.  I even slept THROUGH my contractions for the whole hour!  It was awesome.  
Around 7pm I awoke and needed to pee, so I waddled over to the Lou then waddled back.  On the return trip I told Matt I didn't feel too well and he was able to get me a barf bag just in time... Thank goodness she only gave me half the dose or I would've been quite sick!  
After I was done throwing up, Mariah checked me and I was at 7cm!
It was really happening!!!

7 centimeters!!!!!

At this point they would no longer let us walk outside the hospital, so I resorted to pacing the room.  They unhooked me off of the IV - thank goodness - and I walked from corner to corner.  I tried bouncing on the birthing ball but found it too uncomfortable to sit on.  I did end up putting the ball on the bed and leaning on it, which was helpful for about an hour or so.  

this is when i put the birthing ball on the bed

Around 8pm I was getting quite uncomfortable.  Walking wasn't helping and leaning over the birthing ball was barely manageable... So I decided to try getting in the shower to see if the water would be soothing. 
The nurses had a shift change, Mariah left and Maryellen, the nurse I had talked to early that morning came on.  Maryellen wrapped my saline lock and I hopped in the shower and finally felt some relief!
(A warm shower always helped me throughout my pregnancy, so it was wonderful to have it help in the hospital too)
About 45 minutes into my shower my water broke!
(Throughout my pregnancy I wondered if I would be able to tell if my water broke if it happened while I was showering - now it's safe to say you can tell! There was no significant change in temperature of the liquid vs the shower water but there was a "relief of pressure" if you may...)
I yelled for Matt and he told the nurse and they told me my shower was over :(
Of course at this point my contractions were pretty darn intense and it took me a good 15 minutes to get from inside the tub to the bed.  
And the whole time I was fighting the urge to push... Which is no fun by the way.  
When I finally got in bed the contractions were really intense and I might have uttered a few choice words under my breath. 
Matt really had to keep me breathing at this point. He kept me from pushing and helped me breathe (and grunt) through each contraction.
At 9pm Dr Robbins came in to check me since my water had broke.  
She looked at me, smiled, and said I was complete! 
She said that there was a small lip of scar tissue left, but that I could push through it. 
She then asked it I was ready to push... So of course I responded with a question of my own... I asked her if it would hurt.
To my surprise she said no, that it would actually be relieving, that it would feel good!
And by golly she was right!
They had removed the end of my bed - who knew it all came off for baby catching - turned the overhead lights on, opened up the cabinet that contained the baby warmer, brought in an extra nurse, and then... It was go time!
(My room was an all inclusive labor, delivery, and post partum recovery room)
At 9:10pm I began pushing. 
Dr Robbins told me when I felt the next contraction come on, to grab both my legs under my knees, take one collecting breath and to push for 8 seconds, breathe, then push another 8 seconds, breathe, another 8 second push and if I was up for it, one last breath and 8 second push.  The idea was to push for the whole contraction.
Wow it felt sooooo nice to push!  I didn't feel the contraction at all - no pain, hallelujah! 
The nurses and Dr Robbins all said I was pushing like a champ... They kept yelling "perfect, perfect, PERFECT!"  
(Thanks to my friend Jen who told me to push like I was pooping.... Apparently that is the key as that is what I did and I only pushed through 4 contractions before baby came!  And I didn't actually poop... Another hallelujah!)  
The first two contractions I pushed through were fabulous - 4 pushes each one and no pain.
Then... The crowning came .. And I no longer wanted to push.
But I knew I was close so I beared down and pushed.
Dr Robbins helped his head angle past the scar tissue and after the 3rd contraction his head was nearly out!
His heart rate was dropping and my oxygen level went low as well so they gave me oxygen and told me to push one last time.... 
The 4th contraction came and I pushed and his head came out!
So me being quite the novice asked in a panic "what do I do now?!"
Dr Robbins said keep pushing! 
Duh.... Why didn't I think of that!
So I pushed again, his shoulders emerged and then his little tush and at 9:33pm he was out and on my chest! 

20 minutes of pushing - Dr Robbins called me a "machine" :)
Matt was to call "boy" or "girl" but he was in disbelief and stuttered a bit on the call, so as soon as they put him on me I said "it's a boy!!!" We couldn't believe it - a little Ingram boy!!!

his first picture

He was perfect! He let out the teensiest of cries and they cleaned him up a bit and then left us to just look at this precious baby in awe! 
(They were still in the room of course, tending to things like placental delivery, fundal massage which is really not so FUN, perineal sutures etc, but it felt like we were all alone... Just the three of us.) 
After the cord stopped pulsing, Matt cut it and Bridger was a free man.

one proud mama and one sweet Bridger boy

oh those lips...

Bridger Daniel Ingram weighed 7 pounds 10.7 ounces and was 19" long.
He had 10 fingers, 10 toes, bright blue eyes, adorable pouty lips, a nose identical to his dads... He was  just perfect.

matt was a little too excited to have the camera on the right setting... but you get the gist...

Bridger was perfectly happy in Matt's arms.
The look of joy on Matt's face is something I'll never forget!
He was and is such a proud daddy.

We had a great first night in the hospital - he nursed for about an hour and then had his inaugural newborn nap.  I passed out as well. 
Every time we woke up to nurse he did awesome and then went right back to sleep.  
It felt so wonderful to have him in my arms... So surreal.

some beautiful 4th of July flowers for the little mister - thanks grandpa garth!
and please excuse the pregnant belly... it really doesnt go down... 

first family photo 

It's still surreal at times...
My pregnancy was perfect... No complications to speak of even when I was high risk.
It went by so fast! 
My labor was perfect... I can't believe I did it... My scar tissue held us up for a bit but ultimately I overcame any complications from my past surgeries and had a natural vaginal delivery!  And it wasn't incredibly painful! 
It was an awesome experience!
And now my son is perfect!  
And already 2.5 weeks old! Wow... So cliche but where does the time go!?

Well... That is all folks!
Feel free to ask any questions...  And I mean any...
Mariah told me when we first arrived at the hospital that all my dignity would be gone before I left the hospital... And I'm here to say that's totally true... Many women all staring at my nether regions, the incontinence that follows delivery, the stool softeners.... Need I say more!?
No shame here... Just one proud mama!
And one perfect baby.

going home!



  1. Great job! Like you I felt the laboring/contractions were far worse than the actual delivery. How did you come up with his adorable name?

  2. How lovely is this writing of your baby's birth. You are definitely a champ! Giving birth is a most cherished experience that's for sure. I got teary eyed reading this and remembering my baby"s beautiful