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!!!!!
35 weeks, 5 days
5 lbs 14oz, 17.5 inches
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!