Happy Birthday Ryder Cash

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while.

And with R1's birthday tomorrow, what better way to celebrate him than to relive his birth story?

Ryder Cash Herron came into this world pretty much just like he's still living in it 5 years later. Like a frickin' whirlwind of excitement and noise, all the while making me a nervous wreck.

The day I found out I was pregnant was just a few months after my 21 first birthday.
Big R and I had been living together for a year, I was in college and working part time at the local newspaper. We had never talked about marriage or where we wanted our relationship to go in the distance future.

Scratch that. I think once or twice we had a drunken conversation about me not wanting to stay with someone who didn't want marriage or kids, to which he replied by pouring me another drink probably. (Little did he know he would be the best dad in the history of coolness and a great husband on top on that).

So you can imagine my shock when I remember I hadn't had a period in a month in a half. I remember sitting at the computer, counting back the days, my mind reeling.

Half an hour later, we had our answer.

Here's a really hard thing for me to admit. (tears are coming as I prepare to type it.)

Do you know what I said? 

I said "My life is ruined."

I did. I said that. Out Loud.

I had no idea what I was talking about or about the joys that lay ahead. How could I know that the MEANING and purpose of my life was just about to begin? All I could think about was friends, school, our social life and the fact that Big R would only want to be with me because I had his child, not because he loved me and couldn't live without me.

My pregnancy went fine. 

There were many awkward moments, as you imagine, with me being pregnant and trying to attend classes with a belly the size of some of my fellow classmates. The male professors looked at me out of the corners of their eyes during a lecture like I was a ticking time bomb.

I was on a strict low or no sodium diet for the second half of the pregnancy due to high blood pressure. I ate PB&J sandwiches, whole wheat pasta with no sodium tomato paste and plain eggs for three months. It was awful.

When it came time to deliver, we were scheduled for a typical induction. Nothing happened that first day. We walked the halls and put together puzzles. That night, I told Big R to go home and get some sleep.

At midnight, I went to the bathroom and came back to sit on the bed. When I did, someone pricked a water balloon that was in my stomach and I started peeing and couldn't stop.

Or least that's what it felt like. Turns out my water had broken. After that, contractions started quickly. Big R arrived at 2:00 a.m. and I barely remember him rubbing my back. I started to pass out, waking up only for contractions to rip through my stomach. What happened that morning, I can't remember. I know that there were machines beeping and nurses and our doctor. And my concerned step grandmother, who was also a nurse on duty that day, rubbing my back and holding me.

I remember hearing whispers. Heart beat was low. I had a 105 degree temperature. There was no anesthesiologist on duty to give a spinal for a c-section. 

I don't remember anything after that until Big R hugged me right before they wheeled me into surgery. Apparently, he wasn't allowed in the OR for an emergency c-section. 

This is Big R waiting for the c-section to be over.

I remember shaking uncontrollably as they strapped down my arms and legs. I was completely conscious and aware that I was strapped, naked like a Christmas ham, on the OR table with people racing around me.  I realized then that they had to put me completely under for the c-section. Seriously, scariest moment of my life. They had to make the incision right as the medicine took effect on me and get the baby out before he would be effected.

 And then, they put a mask on my face, and told me to count back from 100. I made it to 97.

The next I thing I remember is this: 

Here's Big R meeting Ryder Cash Herron for the first time while I was in recovery: 

And you know what happened?

I was exactly the same person I was before.

Only better. 

And what would I say to that poor scared little 21 one year old girl who said her life was ruined?

Oh honey, it's only just begun.

Happy Birthday Ryder Cash. 

I love you beyond words.

You make me a better person.

Everything good about me comes from me striving to be a better person for you.