From the very beginning of the pregnancy, Jared was kind of a little miracle baby. We had a bit of a difficult time getting pregnant and then things were kind of put on hold when Jonathan left...obviously ;).
The pregnancy itself was fairly easy compared to when I was pregnant with Michael. I was only sick until about week 16 and then it was pretty breezy ;). I was able to exercise the whole time and was crossfitting all the way up until a couple days before he came. We had a few confusing ultrasounds and weren't completely confident we were having a boy until midway through the last trimester. I was a little better at taking pictures this time around :)
As we got closer and closer to the due date, both Jonathan and I started to worry that he wouldn't make it for the delivery. Every morning between 2-2:30am Jonathan texts me to say good morning. The morning of June 20th, Jonathan and I decided to pray together that Jared (at this point unnamed baby boy Ridge) would come at the beginning of the following week. I had my weekly appointment later that day. When my doctor came in the see me, her first comment was "well you look uncomfortable." I was, but I was only experiencing the normal end of pregnancy discomforts. Before I said anything she then said, "are you sure you don't want to have this baby on Monday?" I was a little shocked and responded with "Is that an offer?" She said it was if there was an opening. I asked if I could call Jonathan to find out if we could get him to California in time for it, and while I called, she checked if I could be scheduled. I already knew it was the answer to our prayer several hours earlier, but I still wanted to make sure he would be there. He was able to talks to the cadre and get permission to schedule the flight and come. There wasn't a slot available, but one of the mothers scheduled to be induced that Monday morning was currently in labor and delivery and I was told if she had the baby that day , the slot was mine. I was heading to San Diego to visit Diana straight from my appointment and while driving down, my doctor personally called me to tell me that I would be having my baby on Monday, June 24th. As soon as I got to Diana's, I booked Jonathan's flight and he was in San Diego with me less than 24 hours later. We spent that Friday evening with Jeff, Diana, and Andrew (and Michael and Stephanie) and then drove back up to Anaheim. Sunday night I started having consistent contractions and by the time we reported to the hospital for our scheduled induction Monday morning, my contractions were already 5 min apart and I was dilated to 5cm. I think regardless of the induction I would have had Jared that day. However...the induction turned out to be a blessing in more ways than getting Jonathan out to Anaheim faster. After they hooked me up to all the fun IVs, they started pumping in the pitocin and within just a few minutes the contractions were getting stronger and were now 2 minutes apart. I lasted almost 2 hours with the pitocin before I asked for the epidural. The anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural and as he put the needle in my back I started to cry. He asked if he was hurting me...the thing was it didn't really hurt, I just felt stupid for wanting the epidural...and being on the hormonal roller coaster I was on, the waterworks just starting pouring. The past 2 hours I had been watching the monitor intently as it gauged the intensity of the contractions while monitoring Jared's heart rate. I was feeling kind of proud of myself as I watched the contraction peak and not feel like I was going to die. But I had to pee. So Jonathan had helped me get over to the bathroom with my IVs and when I got back, the contractions seemed to suddenly get stronger and stronger, but according to the monitor they were getting weaker. They were now a minute/minute and a half apart and I watched the intensity on the monitor somewhat bump up slightly but feel like it was skyrocketing. So when I asked for the epidural and he gave it to me I started crying because I didn't understand why the monitor was saying the contractions were tiny while they felt like they were getting so so so much worse! The nurse then explained to me that more than anything they were watching the baby's heart rate during the contractions and when I got up to pee the monitor had shifted so the reading was a little different AND because it was just strapped to my belly it wasn't an accurate gauge of the true intensity....they tried to make me feel better but I still felt like a pansy. Anywho...as to be expected, the epidural was wonderful and while I didn't have as much control as I did when I had the epidural with Michael, it definitely did its job! :) Another hour or so passed and suddenly the nurse came back in and started watching the monitor very intently. Every time I contracted, Jared's heart rate plummeted. They shifted me to my left side and his heart rate dropped even more. The next thing I know they are giving me oxygen and they called my doctor in the room. She checked me and I was dilated to a 9. They watched his heart rate drop again now into the 40s and she says "we need to get this baby out of you now, you ready to push?" So a few pushes later he was out. We then found out the reason his heart rate was dropping...
There was an actual knot in the umbilical cord. They thought the cord might be around his neck, but it was just next to it. Every time I contracted the knot was tightening and cutting off the oxygen to the baby. I was later told that true knots in the umbilical cord are rather uncommon and often result in still births when undetected. I was also told that had it been detected earlier in the pregnancy, I probably would have been scheduled for a c-section. I was confused as to how the knot formed, and they explained that when he was smaller and there was much more room he literally had to of somersaulted and looped through the cord himself. I read the statistics later...he's definitely our miracle baby.
Jared Takeshi Ridge was born on June 24, 2013 at Orange Coast Memorial Hospital at 10:33am. He was 7lb even and 19.5 inches long. We feel so blessed to have him as part of our family, and Michael has LOVED being a big brother.
Jared and I spent the next two days in the hospital with daily visits from Jonathan and Michael and a few close friends and family. Jonathan was able to spend two weeks at home with us before having to fly back to Fort Benning.