You came slow and steady, strong and consistent.  You, my fourth.  Birthing you was no easy feat and nothing I had expected.  Your daddy and I so ready to meet you, anticipating what you will be.  Girl or boy, didn’t matter to us, we were just praising Him whom all blessings flow.

I remember one day preparing for you.  As I pulled out the sweet flowery outfit we brought your baby sister home in and then the gently unworn baby boy fox outfit we purchased a few years prior, the emotions came quick.  My heart began bounding in my chest dreaming of the day we got to meet you.  I began to cry as I whispered a prayer up to our Father, ‘God, is it selfish of me to desire and long so badly for a son?’  Guilt began to build as I folded soft cotton onto soft cotton.  ‘You’ve heard my prayer and You know my heart better than anyone.  I dream of what it would be like to raise a son, and yet I will be completely satisfied with this sweet girl.’  As the tears fell, the Lord reminded me of a dream I had while I was just weeks pregnant; a simple dream of bearing a son.  I smiled softly as my tears became tears of joy knowing that this child, whatever He chose to gift us with was just that…a gift.  No matter, son or daughter, God would meet our hearts desire through him or her.  My heart full and my love strong for this little being.

The day was long and the routine the same, yet something just felt different, so I decided to pack our hospital bag.  It was a chilly December day, the air crisp and cool.  Your daddy was preparing for his final exam the next day when I texted and told him that I thought it was time.  I continued chores around the house counting contraction after contraction, so I settled in with your Lucille on my side to drink and count, drink and count; to wait and see if they would subside.  When they didn’t I knew.  Your daddy came home to his bags packed and unsure.  *He never has believed me* 😉  We decided to wait it out a little longer, so through the bitter cold we walked and counted as your daddy studied some more.  I came and nestled in once again on my side knowing they weren’t going to stop.  So we called the Doc. to let her know and figuring we were an hour away with our fourth it would be wise to come in, so we did.  We missed your sister’s first school performance that night.  My heart ached to be there.

As we drove we prayed and I felt the adrenaline of what my body was about to bear kick in.  My nerves started to shake, but I took it to the Father and I settled.  We arrived as the sun was setting over the hills around 5pm.  It was beautiful.  I honestly didn’t know what to expect…I knew this was it, but I wasn’t sure of the timing.  We just didn’t want to have a baby in the car 🙂  We were greeted with friendly faces and encouraging words.  I think we were both nervous to have a baby in the hospital for the first time.  We felt secure in our Doctor and she knew our ‘birth plan’ and was incredibly encouraging of it, but there was still uncertainty.

hospital bed
birthing momma breathing
monitoring baby's heartbeat
tracking contractions

My belly rounder than it’s ever been and full of life, we settled in.  Having never had a baby in a hospital, we didn’t necessarily know ‘protocol’ on say ‘checks.’  I will know better for next time…if there is a next time 😉  Since I was still able to talk and walk around, they decided to check and see where I was dilation-wise.  Expecting to be further along than I was, my heart sank and for some reason I felt like a failure; like it was my fault I wasn’t farther along.  The evil one likes to play mind games, doesn’t he?  Only at a 1.5 and contractions coming every 2-3 minutes lasting 50-60 seconds I decided to get to work.  We could have left, but the Doc. wanted to see how I was progressing after another 2 hours.  My heart and my body knew this was it; it was doing everything right, it just wasn’t on my timing.  So… as Kyle studied(just in case he STILL had to take his final the next day) I walked and did lunges and squats, got on all fours and rocked, sat on the birthing ball, and did it all over again for hours and hours.

Two and a half hours later, the Doc. checked me once again to see where I was.  I knew I was further along, but not as far as I wanted to be.  I’ve done this three times before, I know my body’s progression…or at least I thought I did.  Kinda funny…in a not-so-funny way how God humbles us in every situation.  I was at a 3.5, but wasn’t thinning out.  Our Doctor encouraged and calmed us, telling me this was it, but there’s no way to know when.  I don’t now if I was just so expectant of a fast labor and deliver like Anni’s was or what, but my heart kept sinking.

husband praying over birthing momma
birthing momma in tub, listening to music while daddy holds her hand
momma hearing hard news on where she was at in the birthing process

I set out to do what I needed to do to get this babe further along, this time with Kyle by my side.  As the contractions progressed, my back labor became worse and worse.  I’ve never experienced such pain.  Oh, how it ached and burned with every intense contraction, but I knew my body would endure.  I knew my body could do it, my mind was what I worried about…

At a 5 now, but still not thinning I started to worry.  So to ease my mind we settled in the tub for a bit and prayed and listened to worship music.  It was good, but I realized my contractions were slowing and getting less painful, so after 30-45 minutes of that, we decided to walk again.  The walking, the squatting, the lunging, the swaying throughout contractions were exhausting.  After about an hour they wanted to see my progression once again and after this check I was done; done emotionally, done physically.  It was one of the most painful checks and one that will forever remind me I have a voice and a choice.  **DON’T get me wrong.  I’m not mad anymore, I was honestly just naive to protocol and I understood that because I wasn’t progressing but a little bit each 2-3 hours, they needed to know.  Checks are something I never talked to my doctor about, nor knew I needed too**  Once we heard I was still only at a 5, I cried.  I cried tears of frustration and disappointment.

My heart was anxious, but no one knew.  When I cried Kyle leaned in, held me close, and asked, ‘Jac, why are you putting so much pressure on yourself?  This is nothing to rush.’  With that simple question I knew my heart wasn’t in the right place because fear of failure had overcome me.  I had this unrealistic expectation of myself and the birthing process, thinking it would do exactly as it had done with Anni, but better and TONS faster.  It’s really hard to explain, actually and now I feel guilty and immature about the whole process, but in his simple way, Kyle knew I needed to release such expectations of myself and of this baby in order for me to make it.  So he prayed and I cried some more and then we decided to walk again.

Our lovely photographer decided to go home at this point to catch up on some sleep. I think we all knew it was gonna be a long night.  We would call her once my water broke and/or once I reached 8cm.  Kyle and I walked and with each step my contractions were getting worse.  My back burned and my hips hurt so bad.  With each contraction I’d hold on to Kyle’s neck and he’d hold the weight of my swollen body as I bore down, focusing through each.  We’ve done this three other times, but I can honestly say that through this one we’ve never been stronger together.  I would never be able to do this without him.  My moaning was getting rather labored at this point, so we decided to head to the room for more privacy. *poor hospital guests*  The nurse wanted to check me once more, but this time I refused *politely* and she respected that.  It was now after 1 am.  She saw that I was rather weak and tired, so encouraged me and Kyle to try and rest.  I was thankful for that encouragement because if I hadn’t taken that time to rest, I’m not sure I would’ve made it.  So as Kyle slept nearby I lay on my left side with a birthing ball in between my legs allowing my body to thin naturally.  I lay there going in and out of sleep with each contraction, moaning deep and steady, resting assured my body was doing everything right.  Lying there gave me peace, even though my hips burned like fire.

husband comforting momma
momma birthing in the water tub
husbands hand on wife's shoulder during contraction
father helping wife breathe deep

After I don’t know how long, my doctor came in to check on me and see how I was progressing.  I felt comfortable with her, so I was okay with being checked again.  It was wasn’t a huge progress, but I was finally at a 7 and my water had yet to break.  My doctor could see I was extremely tired and fragile, so we talked over ‘other’ options.  She was sincere and honest giving Kyle and I the option of medication to ease some of the pain so I could rest or breaking my water in hopes it would progress labor quicker.  I was quick to assure her I knew my body could endure the pain, but in all honesty the second option was enticing.  I was tired and weary and wasn’t sure if I’d have the strength to push.  She recognized we needed some time to think and talk it over, so they left the room.  I looked over at Kyle feeling helpless and unsure of what to do.  He told me it was okay whatever I decided, he’d support me, but that he also knew I would regret it.  He encouraged me to wait just a little longer to see what happened.  So we waited and the doctor was perfectly fine with that.  She promised she’d be back within the hour to check on me.  It was now 3am.  They had me flip to my right side and labor there for a bit.  It wasn’t but 10 minutes and I felt a warm gush.  My heart was glad.

I informed the nurse and she affirmed I was correct.  The Lord knows all things and His TIMING and plan is FAR better than our own.  We texted our photographer and she arrived quickly after.  With my water breaking I knew my contractions were going to get 10x’s worse than they already were and my back labor was incredibly intensified.  They helped me to the birthing pool and as I labored I quickly felt the need to push, but knew my body was only at an 8 or so now.  Kyle’s breathing helped focus me on the task at hand, knowing my breathing was getting slightly off course.  He refocused me.  For reasons I don’t fully remember, we decided against the water birth and the next thing I knew Kyle was helping me out of the water and holding me through three very strong contractions from the tub to the bed.  Thankfully I didn’t have the baby on the floor 😉

husband holding wife's hand during contraction
empty baby crib awaiting newborn
hard contraction
husband leaning in to wife's head to help bear down
husband helping tired momma out of the water tub
momma pushing

I remember finally reaching the bed, lying there feeling every fiber of my being wanting to push, BUT I was still only at an 8 and not fully effaced.  My breathing at this point was way out of control so my doctor got close to my face and said, ‘Jac, you can do this!  Three small short pushes…’  I know she directed me some more after that, but I can’t recall what she said.  At this point in my labor, being it 12 hours in, I was kinda delirious.  She quickly left my side and soon Kyle and another nurse were up holding my legs.  She didn’t want me to push, but my strength and energy were waning fast and I knew it.

I knew that if I didn’t push through the fire; through the pain sooner rather than later my body and my mind wouldn’t endure.  So as Kyle pulled one leg, a nurse the other, and he holding my shoulders off the bed with his right arm I pushed with a force.  A force I didn’t know I had and his head finally slipped past.  Kyle remembers the doctor saying, ‘oh, well…she just did that!’  I don’t ever remember anyone telling me, ‘okay, now you can push’ or giving me any sort of ‘go ahead,’ I just remember bearing down and screaming.  Yes, I was ‘that birthing momma’ this time.  Boy heads, anyone?!  I finally got his head out, but his shoulders were manly and large… I’m thankful I was a little oblivious to the time and focused on pushing, but I was also fading fast.  Everyone noticed.  Kyle said he remembers his head being out for awhile and the doctor looking quickly at the clock.  She soon and efficiently ‘broke down the bed’ and started maneuvering Lewis quickly.  At the same time she told Kyle and the nurse to help me and for me to push as hard as I could.  *I didn’t realize the severity of it during the moment, which I’m thankful for, but my poor husband saw*  He wrapped his whole arm and shoulder under and around me and pulled me up and my leg towards my chest as did the nurse to my right and I roared.  Quite literally.

baby being held by doctor

I remember finally feeling release and his being slip through as they held him up in the air and all yelled, ‘IT’S A BOY!!’

baby lying on momma's breasts getting wiped off
father cutting the cord
momma's exhausted face
father holding his son

Born at 5:39 a.m. on Tuesday morning weighing 8lbs 6 oz, we welcomed our first boy <3  I wish I could say I was ‘on cloud 9’ and ‘over the moon’ to have been blessed with such a sweet little man, but in that moment as they laid him upon my chest I could barely hold my arms up to embrace him.  I hadn’t heard his cry yet nor had I really even seen his sweet face, so I worried, but all of me just wanted to sleep.  I didn’t have the energy to move him closer or turn him towards me so I could have a good look at him.  I just trusted my husband and the nursing staff to make sure he was alright.  They did.  I usually nurse them within the first 20-30 minutes, but this time it wasn’t for a good hour, I believe.  I have guilt from that time, but I’ve prayed through it and the Lord has washed over that guilt with grace and understanding.  Soon after Kyle cut the cord, he took him and loved on him.  Although I wasn’t fully able, he was right where he needed to be and I’m so thankful for that.

son looking into his fathers eyes
baby's tongue sticking out

The placenta delivered within 15 minutes or so(seriously worse than delivery, am I right?!).  I was dreading hearing I would need to be stitched, as I have never needed to be with the girl’s, but I had a feeling after this one I would need to be.  To my surprise and the Doctor’s, I didn’t tear at all! PRAISE HIM(*good thing I had had three before him*) 😉  I remember getting my ‘annual, after-delivery chocolate milk’ from the sweet nurse and then my Doctor coming over to talk with me.  Sadly I don’t fully remember what she said to me, but I do remember her smile and her being proud of me <3  We are so thankful to her!

momma finally being able to hold and cherish baby boy
momma and daddy marveling at their newest son
father kissing sons cheek
baby boy getting his measurements
baby boys foot print
sweet boy looking right at the camera on momma's chest

We gave him the name Lewis after his Grandfather’s middle name on Kyle’s side.  Lewis means ‘renowned warrior’ and he most certainly has been celebrated!!  Wade is Kyle’s middle name.  We knew that if we had a boy we’d want him to be named closely after his daddy <3

Dearest son, you are such a light in each of our lives.  Your birth tested me beyond my strength and made me realize none of it had to do with my strength or my timing at all.  Yours nor your sister’s.  For you, we’d go through the fire again and again trusting God every step of the way.

**Lots of the images at the beginning and very end(after this text) are iphone images.  The one’s of me laboring and birthing are from our lovely photographer, Rebecca K.  Love you, sister <3**

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