Our Hospital Stay

We’ve been home two weeks now, and look back on our hospital stay as such an exciting and emotional time.  We’ll never forget those first few days of getting to know our baby boy.  Because Tate was early, we were placed in the Special Care Nursery, which is the NICU at Boulder Community Hospital.  We could not have asked for a better setup or nicer accommodations.  It was like a fancy hotel!  When Tate was under observation or under the phototherapy lights, he was in a room adjacent to ours, connected by a doorway.  Otherwise, he was in the room with us.  No massive nursery or shared space…our own private little suite.  He had to be under the lights for two full days, which was so hard because we could only hold him during feeding time.  The rest of the time we just had to hover over him and stare at our beautiful little glo-worm.

We stayed at the hospital for 5 days and 4 nights.  The day Tate was born, all the trees bloomed!  Spring arrived with our baby boy, and it stayed beautiful for the entire time we were there.  That made it difficult to be cooped up inside our room, but Travis and I did get to take a few walks outside.  Travis was in and out – he had to shoot a wedding on Saturday!  We had visitors too, which helped pass the time.

April 22, 2012 - 6:23 pm

Kristin - these pictures are amazing…the last one melts my heart <3

Back to Work

They were both there, nestled into the blankets, Tate’s tiny head poking out, his hands curled up by his left cheek, looking for all the world like something so sweet and perfect that it had to have dropped from heaven sometime during the night. Laura, my love, lay across from him. Their eyes were closed, both resting so, so peacefully, so, so sweetly. I gently kissed them both, giving Tate an extra 12 kisses for good luck, and got out of bed. Every fiber of me wanted to be there, next to my beautiful son and my sweet, sleeping love, to wake up and start the day with them like we’ve been doing for the last 2 weeks, since Tate was born.

The catch? I work for myself, so getting up was of my own volition. My friend and colleague, Jeff Walters, and I are starting a non-profit organization called Second Mile Water, and we’ve got four months to get this thing funded and off the ground. So, here I sit in a coffee shop, back at work, striving to do good, take care of and provide for my family, and, in the moment, scale the mountain of email piled up over the past weeks.

I can’t stop seeing my beautiful family, laying in bed so peacefully. God, would you take care of them this morning, allow them to sleep well, bless them as they sleep and as they rise? Thank you for such a life.

As we went to bed last night and as I considered my life, my wife, our child and everything that life holds and has held for us, I told Laura that if nothing else good ever happens for the rest of our lives, we have already experienced more blessing, more good, than we could ever deserve. God is such a good God – and from this coffee shop in downtown Louisville I’m thanking Him this morning.

 

 

 

Tate’s Birthday

In the hours and days following Tate’s birth, Travis and I talked and talked, recounting the details of the morning of Tate’s birth.  We compared specific memories and emotions, shaking our heads and laughing in disbelief and awe.  Much of my side of Tate’s birth story is similar to Trav’s.  I remember looking at my phone when I got up the first time: 3:36 am.  Looking back, I wonder how in the world I truly didn’t connect the dots that I was in labor.  It was too early, too unexpected; I was too unprepared; it was the middle of the night; I had gone to bed the night before without any clues to prepare me for the imminence of our baby’s arrival.

We were quiet on our early morning drive to the hospital.  I was scared, and uncomfortable.  I remember watching a light turn yellow and then red, and wishing we didn’t have to stop.  The lurching of the car made my stomach hurt worse.  We got to the hospital and slowly walked in the emergency room entrance and down a long hallway to the main part of the hospital.  Travis made me stop for a picture; I tried to smile through my pain but thought to myself “there will be plenty of time for documentation when we do this for real!”  We were both convinced we’d be going back home that night.

After making it to Labor and Delivery, dressing in a gown and being fitted with monitors, we found out just how quickly this was all going to go down.  I could hardly process hearing 1)my water had, in fact, broken; and 2)I was 9 centimeters dilated.  I started having intense and painful contractions with no break in between them, and somewhere in the hazy background of my consciousness I remember a few things from that time.  My eyes were closed in pain as I tried to find a comfortable position, but I was aware of a flurry of activity as the nurses prepared the room for delivery.  I remember hearing Shaunti say “she’s in transition.”  And I remember Travis, right by my side, talking to me, a strong and steady presence.  He gripped my hand, knelt next to the bed and said, “Laura, this is your room.  This is your space.  You are safe.  I’m right here with you.”

Less than 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital, it was time to push.  Halfway through, I couldn’t tell if anything I was doing was working.  The nurses and midwives and Travis, probably 5 or 6 people surrounding me, encouraged me with every contraction.  Travis had told Shaunti that he wanted to catch Tate, so she instructed him to put on gloves and get ready.  When it started to take longer than expected, and Tate’s heart rate began to slow, Shaunti told Trav that he would need to go talk me through some really strong pushes to get him out.  I remember Travis’s voice encouraging me to push 3 times, 4 times, longer, harder!  Finally, I felt every inch of his little body pass through me, and an instant later heard his precious cry as he was placed on my chest. The nurse exclaimed, “7:30 on the dot!”

All-consuming, indescribable, overwhelming joy.  Perfect baby boy.  Family of three.

 

Because Tate was a 35-week preemie, we were taken to the Special Care nursery and he was monitored for 8 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

Rewind: Maternity Photos!

Just four days before Tate made his entrance, my friend Ashley came to Boulder to take some maternity photos for us.  I’m so glad we didn’t wait any longer and miss the opportunity – we’ll cherish these images of our first pregnancy.  It was an amazing experience from beginning to end: to first see the little line on the stick, then to watch my belly grow, feel our baby squirming and kicking, hear his heartbeat, see him on the ultrasound, carry him around with me every day, and ultimately to hold that little life in my arms.  Thanks to Ashley for capturing these for us!

April 12, 2012 - 3:15 am

Ashley - You are more than welcome! xoxo!!!

Tate William Ramos

Cue the trumpets!!!! Shine your shoes!!

Family, friends, and world, we have an epic announcement:

 

Laura and I welcomed our beautiful son, Tate William Ramos, into the world on March 29, 2012!!!!!

7:30 AM

35 weeks, 5 days

5 lbs  14oz, 17.5 inches

Perfect!!

Our sweet Tate

Here’s the story (from Travis’s POV):

 

Taken Wednesday, March 28 around 6:00pm

 

March 29, ~3:30am, sleeping soundly.

Vague memory of opening my eyes and seeing the edges of the bathroom door connected to our room haloed with light – Laura must have gotten up to go to the bathroom.

 

~4:00am, sleeping, not so soundly.

Laura’s been stirring, in and out of bed (not that abnormal), and she finally wakes me to tell me that she was having slight pain in her lower abdomen.  She kept getting up to go to the bathroom, thinking she had diarrhea, and once when she got up felt a trickle down her leg. In a haze, I tried to remember what we learned in birthing class about signs telling when to go to the Hospital or ER. Abdominal pain? Uncharacteristic discharge? I’m not sure, but I ask her if she wants me to call our midwives.  It’s 4am and Laura is hesitant, and we reason that since we had an appointment later that day, we could just wait it out and ask them about it then.

 

 ~5:30am, things start to get interesting.

I was in and out of trying to sleep, somewhat worried and thinking about calling the midwives. Laura had been quietly doing laps to the bathroom and back, the abdominal pain had been increasing, and finally, while in the bathroom she throws up and begins shaking and moaning a bit. I decide it’s time to make the call to the midwives. I tell Laura, she agrees, and I go to the computer, look up the number, and dial.

“Hi, this is Travis Ramos; my wife is Laura, and she’s at 35 weeks and having significant abdominal pain and discharge. She’s been up and down

since 3:30, and also just threw up.”

“OK, well, let me call Angela and see what she thinks. I think we’ll have you come in just to make sure everything is OK. I’ll call you right back.”

“OK, thank you.”

I make sure the phone isn’t on silent, that it’s connected to the M-cell so we have service, and keep it in my pajama pants pocket. I walk into the bathroom where Laura has gotten into the shower, tell her that it looks like they’re going to have us come in, and that I’ll start getting some things together. Looking down, with her hands on her knees, water pouring over her, she tells me “I’m not ready for this.” She looks up, and I can see the fear in her sweet face, in her eyes, as she says it again. I know she’s scared, and that she needs me to be the still, solid, calming presence. I assure her that we’re just going in to check things out, and not to worry – we’ll be back home before you know it.

We don’t have a bag packed, so I step out of the bathroom, grab my work pack that I know has the laptop in it, and I grab her purse. I’m thinking that perhaps we’ll go in, get checked out, and be back from the hospital before 7. In the back of my mind, however, I can’t still the thought that we might, somehow, be going to the hospital and coming back with our brand new baby boy in a car seat. While Laura’s still in the shower, I go into Tate’s room and grab his car seat (that we had just bought, tags still on it), and walk it out to the car, but put it in the trunk so Laura doesn’t see it and perhaps get more anxious. I come back into the house, scanning for anything else we might need, and as I’m looking around I see the “Birth Partner” book. For some reason I grab that as if it would help at this point, if indeed what was happening was Tate coming. I figure that anything else we need will be available at the hospital, so not to worry about it.

The phone rings.

“Hi – Travis, this is Shaunti. Angela agreed that we should have you come on in and get checked out.”

“OK; where should we go when we get there?”

“Labor and Delivery – it’s on the third floor.”

I get dressed, with the fleeting thought of ‘these might be the clothes that I deliver my son in, but then push it out of my mind and just throw on some old jeans, cover up my bed head with a cap, and just keep my white t-shirt on. After all, just a quick visit and back, right?

Laura is getting dressed, and again tells me that she’s not ready, and is scared. I take her in my arms, firmly embrace her and pray over the two of us and Tate, and ask that God would give us strength, help us trust in Him and His timing whether that is today or a month from now, and to surrender to whatever His plan might be today.

We drive to the hospital.

 

6:15am, the Big Surprise.

Fifteen minutes earlier we had walked into our room. I set my bag and Laura’s purse on the couch, and a nurse came in and asked Laura to put on a hospital gown. I was thinking Why? We’re just coming in for a quick check up; is that really necessary?, but realized that if they wanted to look at her more closely she’d probably need the gown. Laura gowned up and sat on the bed, and after a few minutes our midwife, Shaunti, came in. She took out a little yellow strip, checked the discharge, and Laura and I both saw it turn blue. A week earlier in birthing class we had learned about these strips, and for me, when I saw it turn blue I thought I knew what it meant, but asked Shaunti to be sure.

“Does that mean her water broke?”

“Yes it does.”

 The gears were turning, and I began trying to wrap my mind around the fact that the baby wasn’t going to be coming late in six weeks, or on time in four weeks, or in two weeks, next week, or tomorrow. He would be here much sooner. At the time, I wasn’t sure if it would be 12 hours or if Laura would now be in labor for 3 days (I wasn’t aware at the time about the 24 hour rule once the bag of waters ruptures). My mind was reeling, trying to comprehend the implications of what Shaunti just said. Laura and I were looking at each other, both apprehensive and unsure of what was happening, but trying to take it in.

 

6:18am, the Bigger Surprise.

Shaunti then checks to see how dilated Laura is, looks up at her, and says

“Laura, you’re 9 centimeters. I can feel his head.”

My mind immediately stops – I don’t know a lot about having babies, but I know that 9 centimeters means you are having one very, very soon. And I also know that you can’t usually reach up and feel the top of a baby’s head. This was the moment for me. My mind stopped reeling; it completely ceased filing through all the things we have yet to do. All the anticipation of 8 months, all the thoughts, dreams, talks about our future son, what things will be like, how unprepared we are, compress into one moment. The time is now. This is happening.

Fast Forward: 7:30am sharp, the Sweet Cry.

Before I could see his face, I heard him. I heard his beautiful cry, Tate William Ramos telling the world that he is here, breathing, moving, living, in full color. I reached down and helped place him on his mother, and for the first time saw his beautiful face. I’m on my knees next to the hospital bed, looking at him, and all I can do is smile in disbelief, look up at his Mom, my love, and back at him, my new son. From somewhere deep inside, I just begin to laugh. The kind of laugh that only comes when joy, awe, disbelief and adrenaline combine, the kind of laugh that you feel – not describe. The kind of laugh that comes when you know your world just changed, just grew, and that you’ll never be the same.

Thursday, March 29, 2012, 7:31am: our first moments

Tate, welcome to the world, my son. Your mommy and  I fell in love with you the moment we saw you. We love you so dearly, truly, deeply, and can’t wait to live the rest of our lives with you as a part of them!!!!!!!!

 

Laura’s point of view birth story, more pictures, and our hospital stay coming soon!

 

 

April 5, 2012 - 3:51 am

ely - Well, here’s to making me cry…I”m so happy for you guys, you are a sweet, sweet family.

April 5, 2012 - 4:38 am

Christian - What a beautifully told, emotionally unifying way to tell that story. You made me want to experience all of that same joy, fear, expectation, and relief! I’m truly happy and proud of you as a man, Travis. And I’m so grateful for your son coming out to cry and cuddle in your arms Laura. There’s proof in this blog post of your calling as parents. Can’t wait to meet him!

April 5, 2012 - 1:02 pm

jamie - I love this story and the pictures! Congats! I can’t wait to read more 🙂

April 6, 2012 - 3:29 pm

Ashley - This post gave me major chills. Loved hearing the story from Trav’s end! 🙂 So incredibly happy for you three. CONGRATS!! xo

April 13, 2012 - 2:17 am

The John Weltin Family - Travis-you write so beautifully! We are so happy for you two and Tate is such a handsome little guy! You two will be great parents! God has truly blessed you with a precious love and now a precious son!

I love the blog! Love to all of you!

April 22, 2012 - 5:21 pm

Kristin - this was the most beautiful birth story i’ve ever read!!! tears rolling!!! got this link for the edible perspective 🙂 Congrats!!!

April 22, 2012 - 7:27 pm

Travis Ramos - Thank you all SO much!! Really appreciate the kind words :).

April 24, 2012 - 12:17 pm

Marion - Congratulations on your beautiful son! I followed this link from the edible perspective too and have to say it brought me to tears:) what a beautiful account of the greatest day of your life. It brings back so many memories from the birth of my daughter. I wish you all the best in the years to come with your simply divine little boy.

April 25, 2012 - 3:34 pm

Kaite D. - I got this link from Edible Perspective – thanks for sharing such a beautiful story. I couldn’t hold back the tears when I read about you praying over your wife and the baby, how blessed Tate is!

April 28, 2012 - 5:21 am

Lindsey - Wow. What a story. So happy for you guys and that all is well. I can’t believe our boys were the exact same birth weight! 🙂

April 30, 2012 - 3:53 am

Marillyn Beard - Oh wow! Laura was BLESSED to have that fast and easy even if it was early. So glad he was a strong dude! Loved reading your side of the story… Jon has done that with all our births. The father is part of it just as much as the mama! Can’t wait to read up on Laura’s side of the story… do tell her to hurry up! LOL!! Sorry, no pressure. I just love reading birth stories… well, at the least the good ones ;o)

April 30, 2012 - 2:41 pm

Travis - Marion, kaite, Lindsey, and Marily, THANK YOU so much for taking the time to read the birth story and for your amazing comments. I can’t say how much I appreciate them and how increasingly blessed we feel.

And Lindsey – I know, right? 5/14! Hopefully they’ll get to actually meet each other sooner than later :)!

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