I can’t find an account of Ryler’s birth. Maybe I’ve told the story in my head so may times I’ve convinced myself I’ve jotted it down, but while sharing my birth stories with a new friend recently, I couldn’t find his. So, today seemed like a good day to wrack these old brand cells and get it down on ‘paper’.
I was 40 weeks and 3 days and we were getting anxious. My husband had what was possibly the most prestigious speaking engagement mere days away. He was the selected student speaker for his 2014 graduating class at Regent College. He was speaking the Friday. Today was the Monday. He had told me that he was not going to miss the honour of speaking to his graduating class, and so we needed to get birth a-happening. I still question him on the authenticity of that statement, but he sticks to it.
So we did. If my memory serves me correctly, I had an appointment with my midwife that morning, who performed a solid stretch and sweep, I had induction massage, induction acupuncture, ate a crap load of pineapple, took evening primrose oil (both ways!), went for walks, ordered curry from the takeaway spot across the road and had sex. Comeaaaaaan cervix. We wanted this baby OUT. The induction acupuncture included burning Chinese herbs by my toes – we weren’t messing around.
The following morning I woke up at 4:30am with a sharp pain in my back. YES! Things were happening. I jumped up, grabbed my lower back mouthing a silent ‘OW!’ and made my way to the bathroom, thinking that I’d let Theran sleep, because labouring moms are awesome like that. 2 more sharp contractions frighteningly close together and I realised that, nope, aint no-one gonna let Theran sleep. So I woke him up.
I remember the next hour in a blur of: calling my friend Amy to watch our sleeping Clayden, calling the Doula to meet us at home, I think I hopped in the bath and chatted to an on-call midwife (a locum who I hadn’t met) telling her things were happening. Important point to note in the story: the locum asked us to call her back when we decided to head to the hospital. (Which, spoiler, we didn’t). My Monday of desperately wanting labour to get going was coming thick and fast. As if all our labour inducing techniques were about 12 hours delayed and then hit at once. BAHM. No time to breathe, no time to think, and no break from INTENSE back labour.
What followed, was something about Amy arriving, knowing this was in FULL BLOWN labour, a TENS machine on my back, our doula arriving, coffee in hand and eyes wide, her holding me while Theran packed the car, and her following us to the hospital. My contractions did.not.stop.
Bad baaaaad words came out my mouth as Theran raced through red lights. My membranes ruptured spontaneously in the back of the car at 45th and Cambie. In my Lululemon pants no less. And this was not a waters-breaking ‘trickle’ situation. No, no, the word gushing comes to mind – pouring, streaming – a real bold waters-breaking experience.
Theran screeched up to BC Women’s and I waddled into Emergency as if the baby was half out already. A first time mom was being admitted and the staff taking one look at me yelled ‘multip?’ and I screamed ‘YES!’ (as in, not my first baby) and I was ushered ahead, straight into a curtained off section, and a nurse rushed in to check me. I begged her not to check how far I was dilated and promised her I was 10cm. Promised. I may have even offered her some bribe to send me straight to delivery but, I knew she had to check. Shoes kicked off, and pants pulled down and fully dilated I was. To this day I have no idea how they (my shoes and pants) made their way back to me (I’m presuming my doula had eyes on it all).
10cm dilated, with my doula holding my hand and Theran still in admitting, I was wheeled up to delivery. I remember VIVIDLY, gripping the rails on the bed SCREAMING while the elevator climbed floors slower than a snail could’ve crawled them. The car trip, the 10cm, the elevator pinging in slow motion – this is the stuff movies are made of, man.
Into the delivery room I was wheeled and my doula ran the bath (ah, doulas). I was GBS positive so needed an antibiotic drip. (CONTRACTION). Also, where was Theran and my midwife? (CONTRACTION). A little lady walked in, (CONTRACTION) saying she was going to cover for my midwife until she arrived (CONTRACTION), and that she specialised in premature babies and I could hop (CONTRACTION) into the bath (CONTRACTION) once my midwife had arrived. (CONTRACTION)… you get the idea.
Side note: we now refer to contractions as surges (hypnobirthing-style) but back then these bad boys were full speed, cranked up, non stop, knock you over CON-TRAC-TIONS.
Theran ran into the room, I squirmed on the bed through what seemed like a never ending stream of relentless back stabbing; up, down, squatting, lying, standing, squatting, all 4’s, squatting, groaning, moaning, screaming… contraction, contraction, contraction. The concentration of oxytocin was overachieving that day. Finally, my midwife ran in. She slid behind the foot of the bed with her hands open as if to catch the babe. I saw her and in my not-so-finest moment yelled “WHERE the HELL have you been!?” (something we laughed about after, considering we were the ones who forgot to call her back). She chuckled (we love midwives). I hopped in the bath. With a nurse trying to put the antibiotic IV in my hand to distract me (she kept asking me if she should and I kept asking for the distraction) within minutes he was born, in water. This perfect chubby little boy. Our Ryler Cael Knighton-Fitt. At 6:30am, Tuesday 29th April at BC Women’s in Vancouver, Canada.
At that very minute, birthing Ryler was the most knock-the-world-off-its-axis moment. I had so much adrenalin pumping through me. I felt like an absolute hero. I loved Clayden’s birth – it was, after all, what inspired me to become a doula – but this was so different. A wild ride of raw hormones, emotion, disbelief and massive, MASSIVE adrenalin. And within (what felt like) minutes, I was up, showering, breastfeeding, calling family, having mates arrive, enjoying a hot coffee (post birth request – a good coffee) and then I took a nap. Ah, I was in post-partum heaven. I was so proud of US.
We made it to Theran’s convocation, as a family of 4, with a 3 day old on my chest. As you might know, that 3rd day is quite something. With milk coming in, and hormones peaking, emotions POURED out of my eyes, as I watched my husband speak to his graduating class, graduate with a double major, and receive 2 awards we did not know he would be the recipient of, chosen for him by his professors and Regent faculty. I don’t think I’ve EVER cried as much as I did that night (oh no wait, maybe during my marathon, I may have cried as much during my marathon).
And that, my little Rylie pops, is how you were born. Damn, your birth was epic and you made me feel like a champion – that car ride to the hospital is something I will never, ever forget. I’m also really grateful for your super speedy arrival. Thanks for that.
I love you my little bud. Thanks for joining our family.