Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hospital Stay & Jase’s First Week

Our stay in the hospital was fantastic!!! We stayed from Wednesday night till Saturday afternoon.  Wednesday after the baby was born they moved us to a teeny tiny little closet of a room because they were so packed out. I asked the nurses if we could possibly be moved, so the next morning they hooked us up big time & gave us one of the biggest rooms in the hospital!! I wasn’t able to get out of bed or walk any until Thursday morning, but by that time I was getting around really well. I skipped out on the pain meds they offered and stuck with Motrin, and thankfully the pain was really NOT that bad. When they came in to press on my belly they would always apologize profusely because apparently it is very painful, but that didn’t really bother me either.

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The toughest part was getting in and out of bed. That is difficult to do without using your core!!! Good thing I did all those squats and pushups during pregnancy…they ended up coming in handy because I had to use my arms & legs to push myself up out of bed.

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Poor Jonathan hated being in the hospital because it was such broken sleep (he was exhausted, poor fella), but I so enjoyed it!! Fortunately we didn’t have a lot of visitors, so that meant we were really able to get breastfeeding going. Plus, the nurses came in regularly to check mine and the baby’s vitals. I made friends with all the nurses and really enjoyed talking to them and getting to know them. Our nurses were INCREDIBLE!! So nice, super helpful and knowledgeable, & very personable. They were all above and beyond sweet to me and doted on Jase.  They told us some of the nurses were talking at the nurses’ station and said he was the most beautiful baby they’d ever seen!! (And we agree, of course, but know we may be a little biased!) I didn’t sleep much- maybe 1-2 hours per day? Maybe more, but that’s what it felt like. We kept Jase right by my bed, & every noise he made woke me up. Plus, I just could NOT sleep for some reason.

Daddy changed EVERY diaper for the first few days. He’s such a good daddy already!

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Jase had his circumcision on Thursday with Dr. Harrison, & Dr. H told me he must have my pain tolerance because he barely cried at all. He rarely cried at all the whole time…the only thing he didn’t like was when we had to take care of his little circumcision afterwards until it started healing. He passes his hearing screening & had his vitamin K & Hep B shots.

Our hospital visitors were Grammy & Granddaddy, Mimi & Papa, Jade, Tammie, Tyler, Zach, Morgen, Stephanie, Gracie, Chloe, Amanda & Casey, Brian, Keene, Dana, & Chad and Chelsi.

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We headed home around 1:30 on Saturday afternoon. I was nervous about getting in the truck and about the ride home, but both were fine. Jase did awesome and slept the whole ride home. I squalled when we brought Jase into the house…his very first time in our home together as a family!! It was such a sweet moment for me- one I had been thinking about and dreaming about. I tried not to cry, but I just couldn’t help it.

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Dana & Ryan brought us dinner from Cracker Barrel on our first night home from the hospital. Loved spending time with them & can’t wait for Jase to be hanging with his buddy Vann.

Grandma & Grandpa & Jade and Grammy & Granddaddy came over to love on lil man too.

Weight: Before leaving the hospital, little man had lost a little weight and weighed 7 lbs and 11 oz. At our first doctor’s appointment on May 13th (5 days old), Jase was back up to 8 lbs. I was nervous they were going to encourage us to supplement, so I was thankful he gained the weight back. Dr. Carey checked out or latch & said he was having plenty of diapers, so we were good. She seemed to be all about breastfeeding- yay!

At the end of week 1 I was about 7 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight (the weight I was when I found out I was pregnant on August 27th).

Health: Jase was the picture of health at his first doctor’s appointment (5/13, 5 days old). Gaining weight, lungs & heart look good, very strong & alert. The only issue is his left hip. The ligaments felt a little loose (they did an ultrasound at the hospital and it looked fine) so we are just going to watch it. She said sometimes it takes a while for the ligaments to tighten up.


Sleep: Jase is a great sleeper so far. Towards the end of the week he was sleeping 3-4 hours at night…usually just 3, sometimes only 2 hours. I’m not sure if it was still adrenaline or what, but I could NOT make myself do the whole “sleep while they sleep” thing. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t sleep during the day either…I just felt like there was too much to do. (Insurance stuff, Advocare stuff, responding to e-mails, writing in his journal, etc.) I did do lots of skin-to-skin though, & that was definitely his favorite. He loved being on my chest & hearing my heartbeat like in the womb. I told mom that was his happy place, & he SMILED when I said that!! (Ha! It was like he heard me in his sleep & was agreeing. SO precious!) The toughest part is that it takes about an hour to nurse…and by the time I would feed him, change his diaper twice (at the beginning & end of a feeding- sometimes throughout to keep him awake), changed his clothes if I leaked milk on him, ate a snack & drank some water, went potty, it was pretty much time to feed him again.

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Nursing: Nursing went AWESOME at the hospital!! He latched super well immediately & was doing such a great job. All of the nurses were very helpful with their tips (even though they all tell you something totally different) and so was the lactation specialist. I was PUMPED about how smoothly everything was going and on day 2 one of the nurses said it felt like my milk was coming in. I ended up getting MAJORLY engorged on days 4-6 and it was BRUTAL. Oh my gosh!! I am writing a whole post on my first few weeks of nursing, so stay tuned for that one, but I will say that the first week of nursing (after the engorgement) was TOUGH. I totally get why women quit- it is HARD, & it can be PAINFUL at first. Thankfully I have lots of mommy friends who are nursing or have nursed and they are all super helpful & encouraging. I blew their phones up daily and talked to two La Leche League leaders. I also read through more of the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and did lots of googling to try to help with some of the issues. (Engorgement= difficulty latching=sore nipples! YIKES!!) I curled my toes so much during the first week (because it was so painful for him to latch at first) that my calves were SUPER sore!!! Hahah! I couldn’t figure out what was making them so sore & thought it was totally random, and then I realized that’s what it was from. I was and am absolutely determined to nurse because the benefits for both me and baby are just so immense, so I knew I was going to have to tough it out no matter how rough. I had my mind made up well before he was born that I was GOING to do this, no matter what, no matter how hard. Thankfully things started getting a little better towards the end of week 1. It was also very helpful that we didn’t have a whole lot of visitors the first week so I didn’t have to worry about wearing a shirt or bra- wayyyyy too painful to have anything touching them. Youch! Jon had to put blinds up on the front doors for me.

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My goodness, those lips!!! I can’t even help myself…he gets about 8,000 kisses a day!!! I can’t even resist!!!!

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What Jase is up to: Lil man is SO alert & has the biggest, most beautiful blue eyes. I know they could change, but I think they’ll stay blue because we both have blue-ish eyes. (Mine are more grey.) He LOVES going outside and likes sitting in his bouncie seat with the nature sounds on. He is already lifting his head up rolled over on the couch with Grammy (she promises she wasn’t touching him). He really loves his skin-to-skin time with Mommy & Daddy and loves our prayer time in the mornings.


He rarely cries…the ONLY time we even hear his sweet cry is when mommy isn’t fast enough feeding him after he wakes up.  We left the house twice this week- once to go to the doctor, and once to have his newborn photos taken. We used Nine Sixteen Photography and Brittany was FANTASTIC!! SO sweet with him and we LOVE the pictures!! Here is the link to her blog with a sneak peek. (His hair looks more red in the pictures than it does in person?) Is he not the most BEAUTIFUL baby ever?!?!!

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PostPartum: I felt absolutely AWESOME the first week!!! I was moving around so well & had little to no pain so I would just take the Motrin & Colace every 12 hours or so, if I remembered. I had to constantly remind myself that I was recovering from SURGERY AND a natural childbirth…on top of being sleep deprived (I really think I might have slept about 10 hours total the whole first week)…

A shower made me feel like a new woman!

I did not have much of an appetite until Jase was about 5 days old. I made sure to stay hydrated and made myself eat, but did not feel hungry. My mom brought some of “my kind of food” (organic fruits & veggies, nuts, Greek yogurt, etc.) to the hospital for me and made some veggie soup for when I got home.

One new thing I experienced for the first time was night sweats! My gooooodness…..I woke up totally SOAKED every night!!! I am very cold-natured, so this was a new thing for me & pretty gross. It wasn’t smell sweat or anything…so I know it’s just hormonal.

Not to be gross, but I didn’t go #2 for about 6 days. I was (am) super worried about my digestive system going back to normal because all of my friends who have had c-sections seem to have issues afterwards…IBS, gall bladder, etc. I am still crossing my fingers all goes back to normal in that department.

Hormones…ohhhhh boy!! I had about 2 days where I cried over the littlest things. Part of it was hormones, part of it was sleep deprivation. I don’t know if it was full out baby blues because I didn’t really feel sad- I was just crying. We learned in childbirth class that about 80% of women experience baby blues, which is different from post-partum depression and only lasts for a few days. I cried when I’d talk about our birth story; I cried when Jonathan went back to work; I cried when he turned a week old because he was growing up so fast! Thankfully by the end of the week everything was back to normal and I felt more like myself.

I had strict instructions not to lift anything heavier than Jase, not to drive, & not to go up any stairs, so my mom came over to help every day when Jonathan went back to work on Monday. She was SUPER, SUPER helpful!!! Still, I miss Jonathan SO MUCH when he’s at work. It makes me sad every single morning when he leaves for work…(I still made his sandwiches for his lunch every night when I would wake up in the middle of the night.)

Thoughts: LOVING this sweet little blessing more and more each day!!!! It’s crazy…with every passing day you wonder how you can love him an more than the day before, but you do. The first week is not easy- not gonna lie. It’s actually really hard. You’re exhausted…recovering from putting your body through some INTENSE work…have crazy hormones…and are figuring out this new little person. I really don’t know how people do it with other kids?? But even though it is tough, it is SO worth every sleep-deprived second & painful latch. We are seriously SO in love & can’t imagine life without him already. It’s pretty indescribable and no one can prepare you for how full your heart feels and how much you love them so instantly. Jase has completely stolen our hearts!!!! I feel like I was MEANT to be a mommy and am loving, loving, loving every second. These two fellas are my world….


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Meeting William “Jase”…Our Birth Story

I absolutely LOVE our birth story!!!! 

Sweet William "Jase" Butler has absolutely changed our lives, and the moment I met him for the first time melted my heart and made me a new woman...a mommy.

I am so thankful the Lord is ultimately in control and had His hand in us welcoming Baby Jase to the world.  I am thankful for every prayer that went up for us and that He continues to prove He is faithful. One thing I learned from this is that no matter how much prayer and preparation you put into something, ultimately it is in the Lord's hands...and there is no greater comfort than that.

From the very beginning Jonathan and I have both said that our goal is to have a healthy baby and healthy mama, and we totally trusted the Lord's plans for us. That is exactly what we got- a healthy baby and mama- and for that we are so incredibly thankful. Really, there isn't much more you could ask for...

That being said, everyone knows we did a lot of research while I was pregnant and felt/feel really strongly about natural childbirth.  I know it is not for everyone, but after being introduced to Bradley Method, we felt certain this is the route we wanted to take and it was a perfect fit for us. The main reason is because I don't take medicine EVER (I didn't even take a Tylenol or Tums the entire pregnancy), so it didn't make much sense to start during delivery.  I really didn't want Baby Jase to have any medicine in his system when he was born.  We also loved the idea of having a husband-coached delivery & I knew Big Jon would be an awesome coach.  I loved the idea of him having such an active role in the birth process and knew it would make our relationship even stronger.  We worked really, really hard to prepare in every aspect possible....knowledge (lots of reading, childbirth classes, Bradley classes), nutrition (I ate clean about 90-95% of the time), exercising (I worked out 3-4 times a week and even walked 3 miles & did planks/pushups 2 days before the baby was born), Bradley exercises to prepare for birth, and lots of prayer. We were 100% READY & confident. 

I remember at one of my appointments I asked the doctor to look at my birth plan, and he told me he didn't need to...they wanted it to be as enjoyable as possible and were okay with whatever I wanted.  Their only "requirements" were that I have a place for an IV port (hep lock) and they wanted to monitor the baby. He also said that he could GUARANTEE things wouldn't go as planned, so I might as well expect the unexpected.  Now I have to be honest, I didn't really buy that. I appreciated the advice, but also knew that many moms probably go in wanting a "natural childbirth" without having
prepared at all. I knew this is not something where you can just wing it, so I felt like our preparation and work would ensure everything would go smoothly.  Jonathan & I both felt very confident going in that we had done everything we could possibly do to prepare, and knew the rest was in the Lord's hands.

I had a doctor's appointment on Monday, May 6th- just a regular checkup. The night before I hadn't been able to sleep from 3:30-6:30 am, so I was pretty tired at my appointment. I was still measuring around 1+ cm, so of course we had to discuss induction, even though I REALLY did not want that to happen. Our midwife wanted us to do an ultrasound to check my amniotic fluid and the baby's size. The baby's heart rate was great and my amniotic fluid was still looking good at around 14. Although ultrasounds are not always accurate this far along, ours showed that he was probably close to 8 lbs & 14 oz, putting him in the 90th percentile. I left that appointment very discouraged and cried some when I got home.  Jonathan had to do lots of reassuring that my body was made to delivery this baby (I was getting a little worried about his size) and that he would come in God's perfect timing (I was also getting nervous he wouldn't come on his own & I did NOT want to be induced!!!!). Crazy pregnancy hormones!

That night I had my bloody show around 1:30 in the morning and started having contractions throughout the night. I didn't wake Jonathan up because they were not consistent, so I decided to just use my relaxation techniques and breathe/relax through them myself. They definitely felt different than any of the other Braxton Hicks...these were more like intense period/gas cramps & they were very low. I could feel a distinct start and stop to them & continued having more bloody show throughout the night too.

The next morning, May 7th (our official due date!) Jonathan woke up for work and I told him I'd been having contractions throughout the night.  He asked me if I thought we should go to the doctor, but I told him to just go on to work because they stopped around 7 am. Still, that meant I didn't get much sleep (for the second night in a row), so I laid back down till about 10 am. When I got up, I realized the baby wasn't moving as much (he was normally a wild man) so I drank a Spark and hopped in the bathtub- two things that normally get him going. Still not moving as much, so I decided to go in to the doctor to get them to check him out. They checked me first, & those contractions from the night before had definitely gotten some work done...I was now at a 3-4!! (Lots of women go to the hospital at this point.) They put me on the monitor to check him, and although he seemed a little snoozy at first, it picked back up by the end so I headed home.

I had more bloody show throughout the day and night and continued having contractions. I didn't feel like they were consistent or close enough together to start timing yet, so I just continued to use my relaxation techniques and let Jonathan sleep through that night too. I knew he'd need his energy to coach me through!

The next morning our midwife, Lauren, (whom I ADORE!) texted me to see how I was feeling & I told her about my evening. She suggested I come in just to be on the safe side because she'd hate for me to be walking around at a 7 or 8 and not know it. Jonathan & I hopped in the truck and took some trash off to the dump. We also stopped at Dunkin Donuts because I wanted to take a sweet treat to the nurses at the doctor's office since I was becoming such a regular (3rd day in a row!).

I decided to start timing my contractions on the way to the doctor (I still don't think Jon even knew I was having them?) and they were around 10 min apart for an hour, so I sorta felt silly for even going in. When we arrived this time though, she checked me and I was 7 cm & my nitrazine strip showed that my water might have broken sometime....Time to go to the hospital!!! We were all shocked I was so far along & didn't know it.  Lauren sent us on and told us she'd meet us at the hospital. WOO HOO!!! It was such exciting news- GAME TIME!! I texted everyone on my text list to get our prayer warriors going and off we went!

When we walked in to the hospital around 11 am, the lady at the check-in desk asked if I was there for a c-section or induction. Jonathan told her neither- I was just in labor and needed to check in. She looked shocked that I was so calm & still smiling. They took us back to L&D room 4 to get us settled in.
“Ready or not….Here I come!”
Game time! Can’t WAIT to get that sweet baby in my arms!!
This is where I met our first nurse...Tiffany. She was FANTASTIC!!!  All of our nurses were absolutely incredible the entire time at the hospital, but I loved that Tiffany was so supportive and encouraging of our desire to go natural. She was so helpful the whole time & really pulled for me.

They hooked me up with INT (place for IV) & about that time Lauren arrived and checked me again....8 cm! She said if she had to guess I'd have that baby in my arms by 2!!
They were awesome about letting me drink my water, eat snacks, and move around in different positions. I think a big part of it was because I was still smiling & relaxing through contractions like a champ.

They brought me the birthing ball & I sat on it some....
We really couldn't believe how great I felt for being so far along. The contractions were intense- don't get me wrong- but our Bradley preparations made them totally doable. Jon wanted me to take this picture to show everyone what a "9" looks like. He was super proud.

I got up to take several of the pictures myself....
And these were the goody bags we made for the nurses. They seemed to really appreciate them, but I wanted them to know that we had prayed for them and were super thankful for their awesome care! Seriously, I could not have hand picked better nurses!!!
Daddy acting crazy...filling up Mom's water bottle.
We had lots of guests in the room since I was feeling so good. I didn't mind the company, but lesson learned...next time it will only be Jonathan & I once I start transition phase.  It was fine to that point, but then it became too much and I was too in the zone to say anything.
I also squatted on the bed...
And Jon got pretty good at hooking me and unhooking me from the monitors so I could go to the bathroom.
Of course I did some regular squatting too...one of the best exercises for moving the baby down the labor canal.
And when the contractions got really intense during the transition phase, my favorite position was standing and leaning in to Jonathan. Bradley refers to this as the slow dancing position, and I thought it was super cheesy, but it brought the most relief.
We are almost PARENTS!!!!
At 3:30, I was at a 9 1/2 and 95% effaced. There was a small piece of cervix (the cervical lip) in the way, so they decided to break my water. I remember it being super warm and feeling like I was peeing myself!! Everyone in the room was cracking up because I was so certain I was peeing myself. Jonathan said it had a very distinct smell, but I couldn't smell it. It didn't hurt at all either like I was expecting. They were hoping this would help get things moving and move that piece of cervix. I was still in the transition phase at this point and my contractions were getting super, super intense. I remember feeling nauseas and thinking I was going to throw up a few times, but I never did. At 5:30, I still hadn't made any progress so we decided to go through a few rounds of pushing to hopefully move that last little piece of cervix.  Jonathan said I was pushing like a champ & definitely moving the baby. (I was super thankful that I had a strong core because it helped with the pushing big time...)
Of course I drank Rehydrate during labor...
I went through two rounds of pushing, and after each round my blood pressure would drop and the baby's heart rate would drop. They would roll me onto my side and give me oxygen, and let me rest through a few contractions. We both still felt a peace that everything was okay, but there were a couple of scary moments where the nurses would rush in. They were a little concerned about my blood pressure because it was so low, but decided it was okay because it's low anyway. The thing that made everyone so nervous is that the baby's heart rate would drop when I would push. They didn't know WHY that piece of cervix wouldn't get out of the way and were concerned that the cord was possibly wrapped around his neck.

By this time our nurse had switched shifts and we had Haley, who was also fantastic!! She was super sweet and took such great care of us!! She didn't get to be there when I was so calm & smiley- by the time her shift started I was in transition, so she only got to see my "intense concentration."
About this time, Lauren came in and started to discuss some options with us. The doctor wanted something to be happening by 10 pm because I had been in labor for SO long and my uterus was wearing out. (Really, it makes sense. It is a muscle...and I had been having contractions for the two days earlier too.) Because my uterus was getting tired, the contractions weren't as strong as before (even though they felt stronger & closer together), so we needed them to become stronger so I could break through that barrier and push the baby out. She suggested that we try Pitocin as a last resort to get that piece of cervix out of the way & increase the contractions. I have heard terrible things about Pitocin, but knew it was our last option before a c-section. Jonathan & I took a minute to talk about it.  He tried to get me to tough it out...he said this was just like hitting a wall in my marathons. I had to listen to my body though & I knew there was some reason that little piece of cervix wouldn't move, so we decided to give it a shot. I had a feeling at this point that this might end in a c-section, even though I didn't say that out loud. I still felt a total peace about everything & knew after that Pitocin I could honestly say I had given this 100% and my absolute all. I also knew the baby would be here within the next hour or so (one way or another) & this wouldn't have a lot of time to get in his system, so I felt okay with it.

They came back in for one more round of pushing after the Pitocin, hoping to get some progress, but it didn't work. My contractions didn't pick up and I actually started to swell down there after my third round of pushing. My blood pressure continued to drop and the baby's heart rate dropped drastically when I sat up after the last round of pushing. They weren’t sure if it was the cord wrapped around his neck or not, but there was some reason he couldn’t get his little head through there.

At this point, Lauren said we really needed to consider a c-section before it became an emergency. I know she fought really hard for me to continue on as long as I had, but with the swelling & being in labor so long, it was becoming dangerous. There was still no sign of that cervical lip getting out of the way, and she told us of course it was up to us, but we were becoming at greater risk of hemorrhaging or the baby becoming in distress. They still didn’t know why he wouldn’t come, & it was a possibility the cord was wrapped around his neck (which can have traumatic and even fatal effects on the baby).
I asked her if we could have just a minute to pray about it first and of course she agreed. Jonathan & I talked about it and prayed about it and both felt like there was some reason the baby wasn't coming vaginally and we needed to trust our doctors and just get him out safely. We still had a peace because we KNEW so, so many people were praying for a healthy mom and baby, just like we had been the entire pregnancy. We knew this is how the Lord must have wanted the baby to come out....and ya know what is so ironic? Looking back, throughout my pregnancy I pictured my labor...the relaxing through contractions, the pushing...but I never could picture actually pushing the baby out. I wonder if that was some kind of a sign??  I do feel like I got to experience natural childbirth (I went through everything except actually pushing the baby out) & had given it my all. I can confidently say I KNOW I can handle natural childbirth and may possibly be able to deliver that way in the future.  Looking back, I feel really certain he couldn’t fit through because he had his little hand by his face the way he did the WHOLE pregnancy. I truly believe 100% he wouldn't move that hand & it meant the rest of his head couldn't come through the labor canal.

We decided to go for it. The anesthesiologist came in to give me the meds for the c-section, and the doctor came in to tell us about the risks. He said because I had been in labor for so long, I had an increased risk of hemorrhaging, needing a blood transfusion, becoming sterile, or needing a hysterectomy. That may sound scary, but we still felt a peace about everything and knew we were both going to be okay. (I know I keep saying that, but it's the truth. Thankful for all the prayers- they totally worked.)  My mom prayed with us and left the room. Everyone else had gone at this point too. Jonathan put on scrubs and we headed to the OR about 10:20 pm...

I remember shaking like crazy from the medicine. I'm sure my body was in shock because I seriously mean it when I say I didn't even take a Tylenol the entire pregnancy. When they were prepping me, I remember hearing one of the nurses ask Dr. Lake if he wanted Pandora on. He said of course, and she asked him if he wanted something he would like or I would like. He said "Something she would like, of course! Let's get it on Chris Tomlin radio." Honestly, I'm not even sure if they meant me or someone else, but I'm assuming me.) That was so funny because he barely knows me (I always see the midwives when I go), but he knew what I would have chosen. The song that was on was TOTALLY a God thing!! It's already one of my very favorites and is so powerful to me, but now it has a whole new meaning in my life and I don't know that I'll ever be able to listen to it with a dry eye again. 
At 10:51 pm, William "Jase" Butler entered the world!!! That sweet cry (he still has a sweet cry- it's not annoying like most babies' cries) was absolutely the sweetest sound I have ever heard. They let me see him & Jonathan went with him while they stitched me up.
When Jon brought him over to me, I started talking to him and he immediately opened his eyes and turned his head towards me.  Of course he knew my voice & that I was his mommy!!! Jonathan & I both started crying at this point....it was absolutely the most precious moment of my life.
Our first moment together….his very first picture & first time meeting mommy outside of the tummy!!!
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They got us to the recovery room really quickly & I was able to nurse him immediately and get some skin to skin. I was SO happy to have that sweet, beautiful, HEALTHY baby in my arms!!! After 9 whole months....40 weeks of growing that precious miracle....and now here he was in my arms. Jonathan told me they really wanted to give him a 10 on his APGAR score because he was so perfect, but they don't give 10's. He weighed 8 lbs, 5 oz, and was 20 3/4 inches long....and beyond STUNNING!!!! He was also incredibly alert, & I was thankful to have only had the meds for a very short amount of time before he was born.
Check out my baby’s giant hands!! He will be an awesome pitcher, quarterback, pianist, & guitarist some day…

Reading back through it, I know it sounds like it was a crazy, stressful, or scary experience. But it wasn't in the least. It was incredibly calm and peaceful the whole time. We never felt scared, frustrated, upset, or worried, and honestly, I truly ENJOYED the whole experience!!! I do not have any regrets looking back, and I am so thankful for the peace Jonathan & I both have about all of it. (The ONLY disappointment I have is that Mr. Jase was born with some medicine in him…something I really did not want, but there was obviously a purpose.)  We smiled every time we talked about it in the hospital, and he kept saying over and over that he thinks we seriously have the BEST story ever! 
I’ve read lots about c-sections since I had one (I didn’t do ANY research on them before because I didn’t even consider it as a possibility) and have read that lots of women feel disappointed or like a failure after a c-section. They feel like they are weak or their body failed them. That is SO not true!! If anything, I feel stronger than ever! I feel like I totally experienced natural childbirth (minus the head coming out- but heck, I even went through pushing), and for whatever reason this is how God wanted Baby Jase to come into the world so he could be healthiest.  I am 100% okay with that plan and wouldn’t want it any other way!! And gotta say, I feel like I’m pretty stinkin’ tough. Even a few of the nurses and doctors commented on my pain tolerance. So no, my body didn’t fail me….God just had a different plan. So here is my encouragement to you if you’re pregnant, thinking about it, planning it for the future…Prepare for the unexpected and ALL scenarios. Know that you are NOT any less of a woman if you have a c-section. Focus on a healthy baby & healthy mama, no matter what that means. And if you’re going for natural, you CAN TOTALLY do it!!!! I mean that 100%!!! I was blown away at how doable it was with proper preparation & a supportive coach.
It was one of my favorite days and I am so proud of how it went. I am thankful for how it turned out and that we both made it through very healthy.  I'm thankful for Lauren allowing me to try so long so I wouldn't have any regrets or doubts. Thankful for the nurses who took such fantastic care of us. Thankful for our protection and that we both came out healthy.  And most of all, THANKFUL for that sweet, sweet soul that has absolutely stolen my heart. What a precious gift and blessing!!!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above." -James 1:17

"My cup runneth over." -Psalm 23:5