Meet Jackson- He was in a rush to get here

July 28, 2017

I'm finally ready to share the birth story of our newest addition! It took me about two months to write our first son's birth story too... I thought life with a newborn was busy back then... I could never have predicted how busy things would be after the second one was born! We've been adjusting to life as a family of four with a newborn and 19 month old AND selling/buying a house. It's been CRAZY around here. Maybe even the craziest my life has ever been! But it's all happy things, so we've all been pushing through the chaos knowing that as soon as we are settled into our new home, life is going to be SO much sweeter. And I cannot wait to share our new home with you! But first, a birth story :)

Our natural birth story- a quick labor with a surprising ending. Grey newborn wrap photography.



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If you're someone that loves a detailed birth story, you may want to read my first one. This one on the other hand is much too quick of a story for many details. But it's a crazy story that I'm still trying to process...

Let's start with Tuesday... I had a visit with my midwife for my 38 week check. The midwives I see are pretty hands off if you are having a healthy pregnancy. They don't do cervical checks unless necessary because they don't want to disturb the body's natural process of preparing for labor. My first pregnancy, I was a little frustrated with this because it was hard not knowing how things were moving along, but I also wanted to do whatever it took to have a natural birth. This pregnancy, I was so thankful they weren't doing cervical checks because I was terrified it would put me into labor. My sister's wedding was that coming weekend, and I was so afraid that I might have to miss it. 

At that appointment, I reminded my midwife that I had to travel that weekend for my sister's wedding and that I had had false labor a couple of times that week and was pretty uncomfortable in general, so I was getting really nervous. She told me that since my first baby was born at 41 weeks, I would likely at least make it to my due date. She said usually second babies are only a little bit earlier, so she didn't think I needed to worry quite yet. On her exam of my belly and baby's position, she did note that he was pretty low in my pelvis, but she still thought I had time. Her words stuck with me and eased my nerves. I suddenly felt so relaxed. I was going to stand by my sister's side that weekend. I was going to make it.

That night I had the best sleep I had had in months. I slept like a rock and didn't get up to pee five zillion times like I usually did. 

Our natural birth story- a quick labor with a surprising ending. Grey newborn wrap photography.

In the morning, I felt well rested and relaxed. It was 7:00 am. My husband and I were drinking coffee over breakfast while Cade ate breakfast in his high chair. My stomach felt kind of crampy, and I was trying to remember what we had eaten the day before that might have upset my stomach. 

After breakfast, my stomach was still upset, so I laid on the playroom floor while Cade read books next to me. After a few minutes, I realized my stomach cramps seemed to be about four minutes apart... so I started paying attention... and silently urging the baby to stay in there. This couldn't be happening today! What about the wedding this weekend?!

It's probably just false labor again, I told myself. If you have false labor, it's recommended to do the opposite of what you were doing in order to stop contractions. Since I had been resting for a while and that wasn't working, I decided to walk around. I briskly paced for a while, and it didn't ease up. 

I told my husband that we needed to start getting ready to go, just in case, but that I was going to try a warm shower first, another trick for stopping false labor.

Our natural birth story- a quick labor with a surprising ending. Grey newborn wrap photography.

My first labor started out with mild contractions 3-5 minutes apart, just like this, so I was pretty sure this was the real deal, but I was in disbelief. I just couldn't grasp how this baby could be coming before the wedding. I don't freak out often, but I was FREAKING out. I couldn't miss my sister's wedding. And even if I somehow made it there, what would I do with my giant bridesmaid dress? Stay in there, little baby. Just a few more days. I quietly encouraged him to stay put just a little longer. 

As I soaked in the shower, I knew in my heart that this was just how it was meant to be. I didn't plan for it to work out this way, but I knew I couldn't fight it. Babies come when they are good and ready. So, it was time to embrace it, let the wedding anxiety go, and focus on my sweet baby. He was ready to come meet us!

My husband's parents were our original plan to watch our toddler, but they were out of town since I wasn't anticipating delivery for another two to three weeks. I quickly reached out to a couple of close friends, and thankfully one of them was able to watch him for the day! By this time, it had only been about an hour since the cramping started. I was still feeling pretty good, and since my last labor was eight hours in total, we thought we had time. We were going to be heading into Washington, DC during morning rush hour though, so we decided to go ahead and leave to be safe.

By the time we got to my friend's house to drop Cade off, the contractions were getting strong. I got out of the car while Pete took Cade inside. I was so uncomfortable, I couldn't sit. I stood outside of the car while I waited. I didn't know how I was going to make it all the way to the hospital while sitting.

Our natural birth story- a quick labor with a surprising ending. Grey newborn wrap photography.

We got back on the road, and my contractions continued getting more intense. Eventually, I couldn't take it anymore, and I climbed into the backseat (looking back, I'm not sure how I even squeezed my big pregnant self over the seats into the backseat!) I sat in a squatting position and was so much more comfortable. But I could tell things were progressing quickly, and we were hitting every stop light. My husband kept encouraging me... "Just 20 more minutes." "We're almost there."

I started feeling my body involuntarily pushing. When this happened with my last pregnancy, it was still hours before he was born, so surely, we still had plenty of time, right?

Wrong. Within minutes I was telling my husband to pull over. "He's coming now," I told him. As I realized what was happening, somehow a calm took over me. I couldn't force this baby to stay in any longer. He was coming now, and freaking out wasn't going to help. I was hyperfocused on his safety.

My husband pulled over and called 911 as he walked around to my side of the car. The person on the call was trying to walk him through what to do, but it didn't matter. In two pushes, I was scooping our little boy into my arms. Bystanders on the street were frantic and yelling, but I tuned them out. Somehow my RN instincts kicked in. My baby was pink and breathing, I wasn't bleeding, and the time on the clock was 10:05. Jackson Elliott was here in my arms. A firetruck pulled up at that moment. I was filled with adrenaline as my husband and I explained to the EMT what had happened. 

Our natural birth story- a quick labor with a surprising ending. Grey newborn wrap photography.

They helped get us cleaned up, and suggested I put the baby skin to skin and try to nurse him. I was surprised that they were willing to let us do this instead of rushing us to the hospital. I soaked in the moment, snuggling my baby in the back seat of my car. He didn't even cry when he was born. He seemed so content. He was happy to be here in my arms finally.

About 45 minutes later, an ambulance transported us to the hospital. When we arrived to L&D, the nurses and midwives all wanted to hear our story. It's the kind of thing you hear about on the news, but in reality, they said it doesn't happen very often. They were all amazed.

They checked Jackson and I out, and neither of us had any major complications, so we spent the rest of the day snuggling. Pete and I were on a high. It started to sink in that we delivered our own baby. I had a three hour labor, delivered on the side of the road, and as the midwives put it, I got to "catch" my own baby. Wow. Just, wow. So much to process.

Our natural birth story- a quick labor with a surprising ending. Grey newborn wrap photography.

We were discharged home 24 hours later. Big brother Cade came home with his grandparents to meet little Jackson. And the next day, our newly family of four piled into the car to go to my sister's wedding. I made it. It wasn't quite how I had envisioned it, but I stood by my sister's side as she said I do to her soul mate. In my heart, I knew that Jackson was just meant to attend that wedding. And the best part of it all is that he was born on my sister's birthday. Meant to be. It's funny how things work out...

Our natural birth story- a quick labor with a surprising ending. Grey newborn wrap photography.

As crazy as it all was, it was an incredible experience. It took me a while to actually be able to fully process what happened. I feel so blessed that we had no complications and delivered safely. As I slowly got over the shock of the experience, I actually started to feel empowered as a woman. It was all a huge reminder of the beauty of birth and the miraculous things our bodies are capable of. Birth happens in lots of beautiful ways these days. As a medical professional myself, I have a healthy respect for intervention. The things we can do in the medical field have always fascinated me. Birth is no exception. We can stop labor, we can start labor. We can intervene, we can not intervene. We can watch and wait, or we can encourage things to speed up. But sometimes, nature just happens whether we intended for it to or not. Sometimes the body just does its thing. And if you stop to think about it, it is the COOLEST thing that our bodies our capable of growing and delivering this little tiny bundle of life. It's amazing. 

Our natural birth story- a quick labor with a surprising ending. Grey newborn wrap photography.

My husband and I have spent a lot of time in the last two months explaining to people what happened and answering LOTS of questions. People are in shock when they hear the story. And we were too at first. I would certainly never wish a car delivery on anyone, and I certainly don't want to go through it again myself, but I am thankful for this experience, thankful for the reminder that we are ultimately not in control, and thankful for our healthy, precious baby boy. 

Our natural birth story- a quick labor with a surprising ending. Grey newborn wrap photography.

PS- This is the grey newborn photography wrap I used in these photos if you're interested in taking your own newborn pictures!

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2 comments

  1. I read your entire story. Wow! That is one for the family album. I just want to tell you something from my heart. I have one daughter, two grandsons and seven great grandchildren. Not one of them was as beautiful a baby as Jackson. This child should be an infant model. Btw, my great grandson is also named Jaxson! I know, different spelling! Many happy years ahead with your beautiful family,

    ReplyDelete
  2. He's simply perfect! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete

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