Sunday, November 25th, 2018 is the day we welcomed our second son, Coen Ryker, into the world. It's a day I'll never forget.
// BACK STORY //
We made a cross country move from Nashville, TN back to near where we grew up in Southern California when I was 7 months pregnant. Through this whole process, I think I gave a whole new meaning to "nesting." We packed up an entire house, stayed with our in-laws while we had minor renovations done to our new home, and finally moved in in October, when I was 8 months pregnant. To say we went through some crazy transitions in 2018 is an understatement. I stood on step stools that I wasn't sure could hold my weight, ran a million errands with an anti-napping almost-three year old, attended family gatherings, and tried to get as settled as we could before welcoming our sweet, second son. We had big family get togethers with each of our parents. Saturday, November 24th was our family gathering with my dad, who had just finished his 12th, and final, round of chemo. I really wanted to make it to this BBQ before having the baby. I was out in the garage on Nov 23 at midnight, staining a 10' shelf we had just made for our house. Well, I made it through the BBQ, we got the shelf hung, and Coen came the next day! Here is an account of his birth story:
// BIRTH STORY //
Nov 20: 38 week OB apt
I was 3cm dilated and 75% effaced. The doctor laughed at me when I asked if there was any chance we'd reach a point where I might need to be induced. She had a student in training with her and they said "Oh girl, you are about to have a baby; we wouldn't be surprised if we saw you at the hospital in a few days."
Nov 22: Thanksgiving Day
We woke up that morning and I told Joey that I thought I was having either minor contractions or Braxton Hicks. I really was hoping baby boy would stay in a bit longer. We went to my moms for Thanksgiving and spent the day surrounded by family. I continued to have minor, non-painful contractions.
Nov 24: Family BBQ
Non-painful contractions continued all day. We had a family BBQ, swam, and hung out here at our house. My dad asked to take a picture with me since he didn't have any with me while I was pregnant. This turned out to be my last pregnant photo. After we ate, I didn't feel very good and I told my sister that my dad either made a bad burger or I might be in early labor. I had a few June Park orders so after everyone left, I sewed. My contractions started feeling like period cramps. I finished the orders and went to bed around midnight.
Nov 25: BIRTH DAY
I was woken at 4am to contractions that were consistently 9-10 minutes apart. I downloaded a contraction timer, messaged a few friends/family, and started tracking the contractions. I didn't want to wake Joey because the contractions were still bearable, but not anything I could sleep through. Every time I'd start to drift off, I'd get woken up by another contraction. This went on for an hour and a half before I woke Joey and said "I think I'm in labor, but I want you to get some more sleep. I just wanted to let you know I am going to shower so you don't worry." I showered and the contractions picked up - I had 3 in a quick shower and they were getting more painful. Then, they slowed a bit. I laid in bed for a while. I can't remember what time I woke Joey up again, but I showered once more and the contractions picked up again. I remember standing in the shower, feeling every ounce of pain, but also feeling so empowered. I was so happy that I went into labor naturally (something I didn't get to experience with Cru), and that I could feel my body progressing, and I knew that all this pain meant I got to meet my newest, littlest love soon. Now, they were getting much closer. I finished packing some things, tried to hang out with Cru (just an hour or so earlier I tried to convince myself that we would be able to have a slow morning, decorating the Christmas tree together as a family, possibly in between contractions - Joey told me I was crazy), but the contractions started becoming super painful - like, I couldn't stand or talk through them kind of painful. Finally, around 8am, I called my mom at to come watch Cru. I am so thankful I called her, because by the time she got here at 9, my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart and I was having to squat and breathe and work through the pain and Cru was a bit confused. Cru was so excited to see his "ammie and cha cha (what he has decided to call them)" so we headed to the hospital (not without a few tears on my end because I was so sad leaving Cru and worried for how he would adjust to it all). I had multiple contractions in the car (a 15 min drive) and a few in the parking lot and in the hospital hallways as well. I remember thinking "I'm THAT girl; the one who walks into the hospital truly IN labor" (again, all new to me). The triage nurse checked me and I was 6cm dilated. We were admitted at 11am, and Coen was born at 1:38pm after pushing for 3 contractions/10 minutes.
And, here he was. My tiniest boy. So perfect.
We did an hour of bonding time before the nurse even came in to weigh him. I felt so alert and so happy. I felt relieved that the pain was over, but also almost *sad* that it was over. I was so thankful to have a normal, and quick, and honestly "dream" delivery with Coen. **Not to say my delivery with Cru wasn't equally as special and amazing, but I had a life threatening syndrome with him and was unexpectedly induced and given tons of meds that made me feel really out of it and I almost felt a bit robbed of my "awareness" if that makes any sense.**
Anyways, I couldn't WAIT to see my Cru boy and for him to meet his little brother. Their meeting was joyful and sweet and full of love... so, so much love.