Rylin Muphy was born on Friday, July 16th. A very timely baby that showed up EXACTLY on her due date. I had been to the doctor earlier that week and she told me we would likely see a baby any day. Given that Reign (my first daughter) had come just 2 days after her due date, and the “ready” position my body and cervix seemed to be in, we were still expecting Rylin right around the projected due date.
Even though our birth story TECHNICALLY starts early Friday morning, we are going to back this story up to Wednesday night, as that is when things start to become relevant and well, you need the WHOLE story to understand. Wednesday I wasn’t feeling all that great, but really assumed it was just labor coming on and overall exhaustion from being pregnant in July, closing on and moving into our new house two weeks earlier, and having a 22-month-old. However, Wednesday night, I was up puking about every 3 hours. I am STILL not sure if this was a stomach bug that my toddler brought home from daycare, or my body preparing for labor by “emptying” which I have since heard is a common occurrence. But either way, I was obviously miserable. Getting sick all night is exhausting and not fun, getting sick while nearly 40 weeks pregnant with a toddler is downright miserable. Obviously, I hardly got any sleep that night (Wednesday into Thursday) and spent most of the morning Thursday trying to get any kind of food or fluid in me, and just puking it up. I was getting so worried that we ended up calling the doctor and she called in a nausea medication for me just so I would be able to stop puking and hold down some liquid. I finally got relief around dinner time on Thursday and stopped throwing up. I got as much fluid in me as I could for the rest of the night and went to bed early.
My in-laws arrived Thursday night while I was asleep (just after 10pm). They were scheduled to come in from Nebraska so that they could be with my toddler while I had Rylin. We obviously had no idea when Rylin would arrive, but they were prepared to stay for about a week if needed. We didn’t know how “just in time” they really were!
LABORING AT HOME
At 3am on Friday morning (Thursday night into Friday), I was woken up by contractions. They started pretty light and I was able to sleep (or at least lay in bed and rest) on and off for about 2-3 hours. It should be noted here that my labor with Reign (my first daughter who I gave birth to 22 months prior) included “back labor” from start to finish. If you are unfamiliar with this, it happens when your contractions are present ONLY in your lower back. I felt absolutely NO abdominal contractions through her labor and instead just had constant pain and pressure in my lower back with no real “waves” of on/off that happen with abdominal contractions. I could not sit down, I could not get ANY relief. It is incredibly intense and painful and makes for a much longer labor as these contractions do not push the baby down as efficiently, and feel intense much sooner in the process. They don’t completely know the reason for this and my doctor told me that could have been the way my uterus was positioned (something I anatomically can not change, which would mean it would happen every time I birthed) OR the fact that Reign (my first) was “sunny side up” meaning the back of her head was to my back, causing the pressure, instead of her nose being toward my back which is ideal. Needless to say, I was hoping so much that my 2nd birthing experience would NOT include back labor. To my relief, the first few contractions I felt with Rylin at 3am were in my abdomen (like normal) and I actually wasn’t completely sure if they were even contractions at first, as I had never felt them before. BUT, about an hour in, I started to experience some back contractions again and got REALLY nervous that I was going to have back labor from there on out. I IMMEDIATELY got into a rocking frog position (belly down) and stayed there until a few contractions in a row returned to my abdomen. I had been given this advice before this birth and was told it would help make sure baby was in the correct presentation (it helps gravity carry the heaviest part of baby – the back of the head – forward in your belly) as she got lower and engaged and I truly feel THAT small adjustment in position that night early on in the labor process, saved me from another back labor birth.
By 530/6am I got out of bed and labored on the birthing ball in the living room, as well as got some food and liquids in me since I was so dehydrated and empty from being sick the entire day before. My first labor lasted over 24 hours, and I knew I needed some kind of calorie intake going if we were going to do another marathon like that. I could feel contractions were progressing MUCH quicker than my first pregnancy though and had a feeling we would be at the hospital soon. By 7/730 I woke my husband up and let him know it was going to be a birth day! We both took a shower and got ready, got my in-laws prepared for the day with Reign, and I just continued to labor at home – in my bed and on the birthing ball – until I felt we needed to go. By 11:15 am, my contractions were about 1:30-2:00 long with about 5-7 minutes between. Brenton reminded me we didn’t want to have this baby at home and not to wait until the very last minute LOL. We headed to the hospital to have a baby!
ARRIVAL AT THE HOSPITAL
When we got there, I was really pleased to see my doctor was on call and ready for me. They put us into triage so that they could monitor baby and check to make sure my labor was progressing before moving me to an actual room. As SOON as I got into triage I told them I was wanting an epidural. Since I had not slept very much the past two nights (first up all night puking, then up all night with contractions the next), I was EXHAUSTED and was hoping the epidural would allow me to sleep for a few hours before pushing baby out (this was the experience I had with Reign when I got one and if you have read that birth story – I truly believed it was the best thing for that birth!). They quickly got us to a birthing room as I was dilated to about a 6-7 when we arrived at the hospital. Labor continued to progress pretty quickly. I will say, as much pain and discomfort I was in laboring, NOTHING compared to back-labor with Reign and what that felt like. Rylin’s labor was intense and hard, and painful as expected but overall I felt like it was much more bearable as I was getting a true break between contractions (even just a few minutes) which I did not get at all with Reign.
When I got into my room, it was an entire ordeal trying to 1) give me a COVID test amidst really intense contractions and 2) trying to get my IV started (they were trying to do both at the same time LOL). Because I was so dehydrated from the day before, there were numerous nurses struggling to find a vein that would not collapse that they would be able to put a needle in. After about 5 tries, they found one that would hold BUT on my hand. If you know anything about putting in an IV for birth, the hand is the last place you want to do it. This was incredibly painful and incredibly unlike me (who usually has very full/visible veins) and REALLY showed me how dehydrated I was. Something I will NEVER forget in the middle of that labor.
Similar to my birth with Reign, this time around I had a “low intervention room” at the hospital. This meant that I was able to get up and move around with a portable monitor on the baby and myself. I loved this option and spent quite a bit of time laboring on the toilet, in different positions on the bed, and even standing and moving around at certain points when it felt like I needed to in order to progress labor. I was obviously still waiting for my epidural that I had requested literally THE MOMENT I SHOWED UP at the hospital LOL! I am not sure if they were super busy or what, but they had taken (what felt like) a really long time to get to me. When they finally arrived I was REALLY relieved as I was clearly progressing fast and in really intense contractions by then, as well as just plain old exhausted from the past few days/night of poor sleep and not feeling well. They were able to get it going for me. The nurses waited a bit for me to start to feel it. I explained I could still feel really intense contractions on one side (the other side it was certainly working on), so she rolled me onto my side in bed to let the medication kind of settle into that side. One contraction passed, and it felt like it worked great. I told her that and she shut the lights off, walked out of the room and told me to finally get some rest. Man was I so excited for a little nap.
BUT – the next contraction came with me on my side. I barely felt pain – but felt IMMENSE pressure that I had not felt yet. I can’t say I KNEW what the pressure feeling meant, but my body 100% instinctually knew. I whipped my head around to Brenton and said “you have to go get her, I need to push”. His response was something like “Babe no way, she JUST laid you down”. I said, “I know, but I have to push NOW!”
Sure enough, the same nurse rushed back in, turned the lights back on, checked me, and saw Rylin’s head. She yelled to get my doctor and that it was baby time. I did one solid push through the next contraction while my doctor was making her way to us. Then, with the next contraction with doc present, I got another solid push in and out popped Rylin in a really relieving moment. Just like her sister, she arrived with no trauma and no tearing.
At 2:46pm, less than 12 hours after my very first contraction, on the day they told me she would come 10 months ago, Rylin Murphy (7lb 6oz) became the 4th member of #TeamRoggow. Crying, squirmy, slimy, and PERFECT – I could not believe how fast I birthed that child. If you haven’t yet, go back and read my birth story from Reign. It was a marathon filled with agony and lots of pain. My birth with Rylin was not painless, that’s for sure. But it felt so much quicker, under control, FAST, aggressive, yet simple. As soon as she was out, they immediately turned off my epidural. I was likely medicated for no more than 30 minutes, so it wore off very quickly and I was able to move around pretty soon after having her (way sooner than I was with Reign). If you ask me what I remember most from the moments right after Rylin was born it was how insanely HUNGRY I was. It’s as if the days and weeks of heartburn, nausea, and not being able to eat normally all caught up with me the moment my body realized baby was out. I sent Brenton right away to go find a lunch tray for me 🤣. His love and support during the birthing process cannot be understated. I found out how much I needed and relied on him during my birth of Reign, and birthing Rylin reaffirmed it. From the minute I told him contractions had started, he jumped right into super-dad mode and got all the parts moving to make sure Reign was taken care of, my job knew what was going on, and that the hospital got everything set the way they needed to when we arrived, and that he was exactly what I needed in each moment of labor. There’s something SO REASSURING about having te person you love and trust most there next to you when you are uncomfortable and in pain. There is no doubt that I did the hard part to bring Rylin earthside, but it would be a hell of a lot harder without him.
Just as my first experience was, in a completely different hospital in a completely different state, the L&D nursing staff and my doctor were absolutely amazing from start to finish. Even in weird COVID times, they made me feel safe, taken care of in every minute, and gave me insane confidence and reassurance of my ability to birth this baby girl. Both of my birth experiences were so very different yet both ended in perfect, healthy baby girls and for that I am so grateful.
It took me 18 months to write this story down. It is Jan 12th, 2023 and I am currently 24 pregnant with my 3rd baby. Rylin turns 18 months this week and Reign is just shy of 3.5 years old. I have remembered every detail about Rylin’s birth for the last 18 months, but as I learned to navigate 2 babies (now 2 toddlers) I never got the chance to write it down. The longer I waited, the more daunting the task felt like. I was afraid if I didn’t write it down now, I would lose the little details after another birthing experience so I made it a New Year’s Goal to get this story published and “premenent” before she was 18 months old. Looking back, her arrival into this work is VERY similar to her personality from day one – spicy, steadfast, aggressive, passionate, strong, and TOUGH. She came into this world SO FAST and determined, just like we’ve watched her do everything else this last year and a half. I love you Baby Rylin! You have added so much love and value to our family and I cannot wait to see you be a big sister soon!
Rylin’s mama, Nicole