5.26.2008

Reflection...on Ryan

I am so glad that I had a chance to finally write our birth story! Hopefully you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed experiencing it. I wanted to take some time to reflect on a few different things because it's one thing to have an experience like that...and it's another to really view the situation in hindsight.

First of all, I have to say that I am the luckiest person in the world to have Ryan for a husband. When we started dating 7 years ago, I couldn't have dreamt that he would become the man, the husband, and the father that he is today. During my pregnancy, Ryan was nothing short of supportive, excited, encouraging, and reassuring. Most of pregnancy, I felt happy and excited about everything, but there were definitely some days that were harder than others. You all have read how hard it was for me to cope with all of the comments people made about my changing body. That was really the only negative experience I had during this pregnancy. Ryan was the person at home who really had to help me sort through a lot of those feelings, and he did a great job! I only had a few meltdowns...for example the salad incident. :) We got a lot of good laughs out of that story. I really attribute my lack of breaking down to Ryan. Had he not been so good to me over the past 9 months, it could have been a more challenging experience. When I told Ryan that I was hoping to have a natural childbirth, I think he was skeptical. He really didn't understand why I wouldn't want an epidural, pitocin, and other medical interventions. With time and many conversations later, he began to understand everything much better and was supportive of my goal. I really needed to believe that he truly understood the reasoning...that he bought into the reasoning...and that he would support me throughout my labor and delivery. A husband's job is REALLY DIFFICULT when you're experiencing a natural labor. Had I had an epidural and been resting in bed for several hours before it came time to push, Ryan could have just sat on a couch watching TV, sleeping, whatever. Because I really needed him to be with me while I was in labor, he had a lot of work to do! Not all husbands would be ok with having that type of role, so it makes me that more appreciative of everything he did. If only I could describe to you how supportive he was when I was in labor...you would just be amazed. First of all, Ryan was CALM...from the start to the finish...he was CALM. When we were driving to the hospital, I asked if he was scared, and he said not at all. I needed to hear that....whether it was true or not. When my labor became more intense, and I wanted to get in the shower, Ryan put on his swim trunks and joined me! He sprayed water on my back...got towels to keep me warm...and just reassured me that I was doing the work. Ryan breathed through my contractions with me, too. When I would have a really difficult one...especially those double and triple contractions that would last several minutes...I would sometimes lose my focus. My breathing would become quick and shallow, and Ryan would say, "Amy, look at me. Look at me. Breath with me." He was the only person who could help me relax, re-focus, and breath. That was probably the most valuable thing I remember him doing. When I was pushing and in my mind was questioning whether or not I was going to be able to do push out that baby, it's like he read my mind and quickly said, "Amy, I can see our baby. You can do this!" It was all I needed to really focus my body and mind to push that baby out! There is nothing more beautiful than seeing your husband take care of your son. Watching Ryan give Noah his first bath, having never done anything like that before, was honestly breathtaking. I fell in love all over again...and continue to fall more and more in love everyday. Since we've been home, Ryan has been 100% there for taking care of Noah, Layla, Kya, and me. Layla's situation was a lot for him to take on, as much of it had to be done without me there. He was so brave and courageous for taking the lead in conversations that we needed to have and visits to the vet's offices. Ever since Layla has been gone, you can imagine how lost Kya is these days. Ryan has taken on the responsibility of walking her, playing with her, and training her all throughout the day in order to help her make this transition. Dogs aside, he has been so extremely helpful to Noah and me. I can't imagine being a single parent and doing this alone. Ryan has done so much around our house. He's ran errands, cooked meals, cleaned the house, done yard work, changed diapers, helped with bathing/dressing Noah, and most of all...helping Noah calm down when he gets upset. Ryan has this magical touch. If Noah is screaming with me, I can hand him over to Ryan, and 95% of the time, Noah will instantly calm down. He loves to hear his dad talk and sing...it's really sweet! As I sit here writing this blog, Ryan is putting sod in our backyard along one of our fence lines. He just hasn't stopped helping or working since we came home from the hospital except to sleep, and even that has been much less than he used to get. :) I honestly could go on and on about how proud I am of Ryan...how much I love this man...and how incredible it is to watch him interacting with his son. I had planned to reflect on two other things: working with a doula and having a natural childbirth experience. However, I think I'm going to save those two for next time. I want to grab a bite to eat and get the baby inside. We've been on the porch getting some fresh air and enjoying this beautiful Memorial Day. I love my new family!

2 comments:

Lindsay said...

aww that was such a beautiful blog!! I am so happy that you have such an amazing family :) I can really see both you and Ryan in Noah's little face, I just can't wait to meet him!! :)

iniquity27 said...

Ryan is the man, there is no doubt about it. I can't wait for us to all get together. Not only to meet just Noah, but to meet Mom and Dad Abell as well. :)

I love you two!

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