Nici woke up at 5:00 a.m. with what she thought was a gas pain so she didn't wake me. At 6:00, she had another and I was just getting up for work. Ten minutes later she had another. By 6:30, we realized contractions were coming every 10 minutes but we thought we had plenty of time, until the following set of contractions came at 6:37, then 6:45, and again at 6:52. I told Nici we were going to the hospital!
We left the house a little after 7:00 and Nici’s contractions were coming about four minutes apart. Before we even got to the interstate, they were coming two minutes apart. Rush-hour traffic in Minneapolis is like any major town–SLOW. We made it about two miles before we hit a stand still. Of course Nici was not standing still. So I did the only thing a good paratrooper would do. I broke the law. I drove down the right hand shoulder at 60 miles an hour. And wouldn't you know it, there was not a police officer in sight. We made it to the hospital by 7:45 and went straight up to the labor and delivery room. Nici was already 7½ centimeters dilated and it was too late for any pain medication. That’s right, she was going to have to do this one au natural. By 9:00 a.m., she was fully dilated and ready to push.
But our baby didn't want to come out. After about an hour of hard pushing the baby hadn't moved down. So the doctor decided to use a vacuum assist, and our baby still didn't want to move. After several tries the doctor decided to switch to the forceps. Two more tries later and the baby still wasn’t coming out. The doctor went back to the vacuum.
It was at about this time I knew the doctor was going to say C-section. I knew Nici didn't want a C-section so I told her she had to push one more time. And with a nurse pushing on the top of her stomach and the vacuum pulling, the baby came half way out. One more push, and at 10:32 a.m., June 19, we welcomed Christopher Ryan, born at a healthy eight pounds, one ounce and 19½ inches long! I do believe he’ll be a paratrooper someday as well!