jackson's birth story.

JUNE 20:  40 week appointment. hadn't dilated past a 1, 60% effaced. our doctor scheduled an induction for friday, june 30th - unless i went into labor before then.

JUNE 27:  almost 41 weeks. i am super emotional at our weekly doctor's appointment. our doctor moves the induction date up to thursday.

JUNE 28:  another doctor's appointment to check dilation to see if i needed to get my cervix prepped the night before. i was at 3.5 cm dilated, so i got to go home. my mama came up and took us out to dinner. i was surprisingly not nervous at all that night and slept fairly well.

JUNE 29:  41 weeks. induction day!

i woke up at 3:30 a.m. and couldn't fall back asleep. my alarm was set for 4:30, so i laid there for about an hour. i got dressed + packed our hospital bag. [yes, i waited until the very last minute. literally.] we arrived at the hospital at 5:45 a.m., checked in, and headed to our room. i changed into the hospital gown and answered a lot of questions. they asked me if i wanted an epidural, and i confidently told them i was opting for a natural birth.

pitocin was started around 8 a.m. i was hooked up to the fetal monitors for a little bit. i remember being so annoyed with this because i wanted to get up and walk around. when i finally was able to get up and move around, the contractions had started, but they were really mild. i started to get some bloody show, and it freaked me out! i kept asking our doula and the nurses if that was normal. in my defense, i wasn't aware that there would be that much. i just thought it would be a tiny trickle. #TMI

i walked around our room and labored on the exercise ball off and on for over an hour. jared and our doula kept me distracted with coffee talk and conversation for quite awhile. i'm not sure of the time, but somewhere between 10 and 11, the nurses came in to hook me up to the monitor. by then, the contractions were starting to really pick up in intensity and frequency.

i was allowed to sit on the exercise ball while they monitored me, which was nice. i bounced and swayed thru the contractions. i had to be hooked up to the monitors intermittently for 20 minutes each hour. toward the end of that twenty minutes, i felt a pop and a gush. ohhhh, snap! i told the nurse what i felt, and she said she didn't see any bloody show, so it was possible my water had broke.

the doctor and nurses had me stand up and WHOOSH. water came gushing out like a river. i laughed and jared asked why. i told him my water broke, and i needed a new pair of socks. priorities, people. i sat back on the ball and that's when contractions started to reeeeeally pick up.

what happens after my water broke is really hard to relive. i went my entire pregnancy with the mindset that i would go all natural, no drugs. i prayed and read all i could about how to deliver naturally, so i thought i was well prepared.

the doctor came in to check me. i was dilated to 4 cm. i remember feeling a little bummed about that, but i also knew that as a first-time mom, i could labor for hours and dilation could still be minimal. somewhere between 12:30 and 12:45, i broke down. i remember thinking that i couldn't labor like that for hours upon hours. the pain was unreal. i tried each technique my doula offered, but i finally asked for the epidural.

getting the actual epidural wasn't painful, but OH MY GOSH, having to sit still while it was being administered was pure torture. my contractions were insane by this point. i was moaning loudly and crying a lot. jared told me later that he thought it was because of the epidural. ha! no.

once the epidural was in, they laid me on my back. after a couple minutes, one of the nurses came over and started turning me from side to side. that's when i knew something wasn't right. the doctor checked me again, and i was dilated to an 8 within a matter of minutes. after what seemed like forever, another doctor came to my side and bent down so that she was face to face with me. she was kind and told me that baby's heart rate dropped by over half, and that they couldn't get it back up. she recommended that i be taken to the OR and if they couldn't find the heartbeat in there, they would have to do an emergency c-section.

i remember looking over at jared and seeing the concern on his face. those moments that they were wheeling me to the operating room were surreal. it was like an out-of-body experience. i kept waiting to just wake up - like it was all a dream.

once in the OR, everything went fast. i remember them telling me that i would feel pressure, and i kept yelling OWWW. i felt them moving my belly, and i was so worried that they were going to cut into me before i was numb. what happened next was just plain weird. anesthesia made my mind all wonky. i woke up and felt like i was in a trance. days later, i finally remembered jared holding jackson up to my face. i'm thankful someone snapped this photo - even though i'm totally out of it. jackson was born at 1:20 p.m.

the guy in the green scrubs is the anesthesiologist. every time i think of jackson's birth, i thank the Lord for that guy. he put my epidural in, and he was also in the room during my c-section. he stood off to the side with jared and reassured him that jackson + i were both doing well. i'm so thankful that someone was there to be with jared. i can't imagine what those moments were like for him when they wheeled me back and he was left in the room by himself to put the scrubs on.

once i was in the recovery room, that's when everything hit me. the natural birth i desired, the skin-to-skin time with jackson - it didn't happen and i broke down. my doctor came in and he was so compassionate. he even shed a couple tears with me because he knew how broken my heart was. jared tells me that the first thing i said to him once i was in the recovery room was: we are NOT having anymore kids. i definitely don't remember saying that!

once i was finally coherent enough, jared told me that the cord was wrapped around jackson's shoulder, which is what caused his heart rate to drop. jackson was taken to the NICU for just a little bit because he had some fluid in his lungs. cue more tears. i was so upset, but i was also thankful that my baby was doing well. those moment in recovery were rough. i was going in + out and shaking like crazy from the anesthesia. but finally- the nurse told me that i was ready to go to my room. and even better- jackson would be there, too!

they wheeled me down the hallway. we stopped at the entrance of my room, and as they turned me around, i saw him. my baby. one of the nurses pushed the bassinet up next to my bed and i completely lost it. [and i'm losing it again as i type this. goodness.] there he was, so perfect. once they got me on the bed, everyone left the room and a nurse brought jackson to me. he curled up right on my chest.

that moment - when they placed him on my chest - is the moment that overshadows all the unplanned, broken pieces of my labor. that is the moment i will always remember. a flood of tears and praise came out of me. the Lord was so close to me in that moment - it's the closest i've ever felt Him. when i'm old + grey, i will still remember that moment so vividly.


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