Grayson’s Birth Story

by jenna on May 21, 2014

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I can’t believe I’m actually writing this…that our son is actually here and currently napping on me as I type. My life is completely different than it was a week ago, when I stood in the shower and cried because I wanted him to come so badly. I’m really proud of Grayson’s birth story. It went completely different than the way I had it all planned out in my head, but isn’t that life? I’m naturally a type A person and went into labor with a detailed birth plan and a set of expectations. I feel like labor taught me a valuable lesson in being flexible and letting go of some things I was holding onto too tight.

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My water broke around 7:15 am on my due date, May 14th. Adam’s alarm had just gone off and we were laying in bed chatting about how it was Grayson’s due date and wondering when he would come. I had felt completely fine the night before and woke up feeling great and not the slightest bit abnormal so I figured my chances of delivering on my due date were on par with average at about four percent. Right then, however, I felt a really strong kick or punch followed by a  bad stomach cramp..completely out of the blue.”Well, that was different!” I said to Adam. I got up to use the restroom and as soon as I stood up, liquid started leaking down my leg. There wasn’t a big gush like in the movies but I knew instantly my water had broken. I wrapped myself in a bath towel and hollered out to Adam that I thought my water had just broken. “Looks like Grayson has decided to be punctual after all!” I shouted from inside the bathroom.

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My contractions started just minutes after my water broke and at that point I knew this was the real thing. I went into the kitchen where I found my mom drinking a cup of coffee {she had just arrived a few days before} and said, “My water just broke! I think I should eat a bagel.” Famous last words, indeed. I only managed to eat half the bagel before the contractions became too strong. I texted Mollee, my doula, and my midwife, took a quick shower while Adam and my mom packed the car, and together we headed to the hospital. I had been hoping to labor at home as long as possible but since I’m GBS positive and my water had broken, knew we had to get to the hospital soon.

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We checked in and headed to triage to wait for my first dose of antibiotics. My contractions weren’t regular yet but they were already so painful that I was down on the floor on the triage room on all fours because I couldn’t lay still on the bed. I couldn’t believe how quickly everything was happening and how painful even this stage of early labor was.  My midwife walked in and got down on the floor with me while I took another contraction and told me she wasn’t planning on checking my cervix just yet since my water had already broken and she wanted to minimize anything invasive. Soon after, my doula arrived and we changed rooms from triage to a labor & delivery suite. Her and Adam took turns going down to the restaurant downstairs  and eating lunch while I practiced my deep breathing {waaaaay easier said than done} and felt the rest of my water break all over my flip-flops.

At around 3pm, Mollee talked me into going into the shower. She and Adam took turns basically hosing me down with the shower head while I sat on the bench and tried to breathe. The hot water felt wonderful but it was about at this point when I began asking, or begging, rather, for an epidural. I know everyone says this, but the pain literally was like nothing I have ever felt before. To be exact, it felt like a meat grinder was working its way through my belly. Despite my hypnobirthing prep and my true desire for a natural birth, I could feel myself starting to panic from the intense pain. I mean, of course I knew labor would hurt but I just felt completely unprepared for just how MUCH it would hurt. My contractions were coming fast and strong without much break in between. Per my birth plan, my team was supposed to ignore me if I asked for an epidural and nurses were instructed not to offer me any pain medication.

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I sat in that shower and begged Adam and Mollee for an epidural. I think I asked about twenty times. By this time, it had been almost ten hours and I needed relief. I know my limits and I knew I was past them. It was, hands down, the right decision. So, my midwife called for one and I called the anesthesiologist my hero and told him I loved him. The relief was almost immediate and I was able to relax in bed for a few hours, which felt amazing after my previous ten hours. I wasn’t sure what to expect with an epidural, but realized soon that even though you don’t feel the crazy searing pain of contractions, you still feel super intense pressure during them. Mollee held my hand and told me her birth stories and Adam massaged my back for what seemed to be hours.

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My biggest worry with getting an epidural was that it would stall out my labor, which had been progressing incredibly quickly until then. However, that wasn’t the case at all with me. When I got checked around 6pm, I was already at 9cm and had started to bear down with each contraction. The hour and a half before pushing was the most intense part of labor for me. The epidural had seemingly quit working at this point {I could totally feel my legs} and each contraction brought more pressure than I’ve ever known in my life. The only thing that helped was tricking myself into each contraction lasting eight deep breathes. I would count in my mind with every breathe/moan for a count of eight then find a brief moment of sweet relief until the next one.

For some reason, I was really scared to start pushing. Looking back, I shouldn’t have been scared because pushing actually felt good compared to what I had been feeling. I got checked again close to 7pm and at that point was 10cm and it was go time.

I pushed and pushed and pushed for two hours, making little progress. Every time I pushed, he would inch down a millimeter then inch right back up. I didn’t feel like I was making any progress at all and was put on oxygen. The nurses and midwives kept alternating me from side to side because Grayson’s heart rate kept plunging then going back up. I was incredibly scared. At about 9pm, the OB on duty came into my room and told me that unless I could get him out in the next few minutes, I would have to have an emergency c-section…his heart rate was getting too low and he needed to come out NOW. Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with c-sections, but one of my goals was to try to have a vaginal birth if possible. I really didn’t want surgery after laboring for the past 14 hours. So, I kept pushing…and pushing. My doula and midwife asked the OB if there was any other way – that’s when she suggested the vacuum. At this point, I was beyond scared but there didn’t seem to be any other way. It was a vacuum extraction or an emergency c-section…so, we went with the vacuum. She told me I had three pushes with the vacuum to get him out and I just gave it all I had left in me. I’m pretty sure I shook the hospital walls with that scream {his head was almost 15 inches, y’all…}. I screamed, pushed, tore and finally Grayson made his way into this world and was thrust on my chest. No one expected such a big baby – no wonder I had issues pushing him out!

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Adam didn’t get to catch our baby, like we had been hoping for but he did get to cut the cord after it stopped pulsating. Unfortunately, I also didn’t get the amount of immediate skin to skin contact that I had wanted because Grayson was having some trouble breathing and had to be taking to the warmer with Adam by his side as I got stitched up. I’m tearing up as I type this because it was actually quite traumatic for me. I kept calling out across the room to see if he was okay, feeling like he must be so scared, but happy that Adam was there with him. After the pediatrician checked him and his heart rate and breathing were back to normal, I got to hold my baby and never wanted to let go. We feel so blessed that he’s incredibly healthy, especially after that little scare.

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We spent three nights in the hospital and I’m not going to lie — they were really hard. I was {still am} incredibly sore and we had some issues with feeding him that were soon resolved but really hard to go through. Needless to say, we all were incredibly happy and relieved to go home last Saturday and start life as a family of three! Grayson has been eating like a total champ and has almost, after a week, gotten back up to his birth weight. I’ll write a separate post on breastfeeding and the first week postpartum, but let’s just say I did not expect breastfeeding to hurt so much in the beginning. It hurt. A lot. Thankfully, by day six it stopped hurting completely and I’m hoping to only enjoy it more in the upcoming days. I feel very lucky that I don’t have any issues with milk production so far and Grayson has been a wonderful eater.

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So, did I get the birth I had hoped for?

Yes and no.

Yes, in the fact that obviously my first goal was healthy baby, healthy mama. No, in that I didn’t expect his actual delivery to be so traumatic for the both of us. Pushing him out was, hands down, the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life and I can’t look back on the experience just yet without getting super emotional. I think it will just take time. I’m actually okay with the fact that I didn’t birth naturally. Honestly, I wouldn’t try to again either. Next time, I’ll probably ask for an epidural as soon as we roll up to the hospital. :) The end result was a healthy baby boy so what more could I ask for? I really don’t know how I could have gone through labor without our doula. From constant encouragement to a vial of peppermint oil under my nose while pushing, her guidance and support was invaluable. Also, my husband deserves a medal. My love for him has just skyrocketed over the past week.

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Thank you all so much for your sweet comments and prayers! We really feel incredibly blessed and happy with our little butterball!

xox

jenna, adam & grayson

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{ 187 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristy May 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Good Job Mama!! My first one was traumatic and it was rough too. He had to be resuscitated after birth. I didn’t hear him scream or see him for over an hour, let’s just say I had a freak out moment or two! Then, I was so scared when I had my second baby and yet her birth was wonderful and she practically flew out! Both were so different, I had lots of issues post birth that made it extremely painful for a while but it is completely worth it and then you will totally forget about it and have another one. ;) Enjoy those moments, they grow so fast, literally you blink and they’ll be starting school!

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Charity May 22, 2014 at 11:37 am

My first was quite traumatic as well. 9 lb 5 oz, 3 hours of pushing, vacuum extraction and my sweet baby ended up in the NICU for 3 days because of the trauma of the birth. It was very scary. The great news? #2 is sooo much easier!!

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CaitlinHTP May 21, 2014 at 6:47 pm

He is such a beauty!!! I am glad everyone is recovering and settling in :)

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Kristy May 21, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Oh and with the first one I didn’t last breastfeeding, my second one I was much more determined. I was told just hold tight those first two months and then it gets easier. It did and breastfeeding was much more convenient than bottle feeding as I did with my first one.

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jenb May 22, 2014 at 5:29 am

I agree. It gets harder before it gets easier. Give it 7 weeks and you’ll have gotten past the hardest part. It takes some grit and determination. You can do it! Find some other moms who have done it successfully and be encouraged, you are not the only one to struggle (if that happens). I’m nursing my third and I still have difficult times.

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Lauren May 21, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Congratulations Jenna! What an amazing, tense, dramatic, beautiful birth story you have. I’m sure God is already using this experience for the best and giving you chances to minister to other new moms going through similar experiences. Praying for your precious family of three!

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Jennie May 21, 2014 at 6:51 pm

It reminds me of my birth story with my son. I pushed for 4 hours and every time I pushed, he came back up as well. I was on the c-section board and did not want a c-section after nearly 24 hours of labor. So, like you, I somehow managed to push him out with a 4th degree tear unfortunately. Thanks for sharing your story. I love hearing other birth stories. :)

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Danielle May 21, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Congrats on your beautiful baby AND for an amazing birth! I have been reading your blog for years and I just could not be happier for you. Enjoy every minute– these days are so precious.

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Julie May 21, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Oh my, this sounds just like my story! My little girl was born in January, and I had planned a hypno birth with no epidural. I lasted 11 hours before I begged for one! I ended up being in labor for 27 hours and pushed for 4. We also stayed in the hospital 3 days due to her white blood cell count being elevated. But she’s healthy now! So glad your little boy is here safe and sound, as well! Congratulations!

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Estela @ Weekly Bite May 21, 2014 at 7:00 pm

What a beautiful baby!! You have a gorgeous family! Congrats to you all :)

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Wendy mecke May 21, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Gorgeous baby, gorgeous family. God bless you all.

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Ruby May 21, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Congratulations!!!!!! He is so beautiful. And well done, mama! Hope you have a quick recovery and wishing you lots of rest and snuggles. Keep some snacks by the bed for when you wake up starving and thirsty in the middle of the night!

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Angela Hunter Geiss May 21, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Congratulations…Amazing story! Enjoy this time you have been transformed and it is magical! <3

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Christy May 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Wow! Congratulations!!!!! So happy y’all are healthy and happy and that your little boy arrived on time. Thanks for sharing this…it’s amazing insight!!

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Andrea May 21, 2014 at 7:26 pm

He is just precious – and after having 2 children, I can say labor is not fun, nor easy and I opted for epidurals both times – and I am a-ok with that! You have to do what is best for you and your baby. I can say the second time was much easier/quicker but I still saw no reason to go without meds! So excited for you – my son is now 14, and I still remember so well when he was born. Enjoy that little (?) guy!

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Jen May 21, 2014 at 7:59 pm

Wow. I’m so glad everything worked out and that you guys are both happy and healthy. Shout out to Adam too! Thanks for sharing your story! :)

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Sharon May 21, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Congratulations again on your little man! I believe he is his daddy’s twin!

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Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) May 21, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Birth stories always make me tear up and yours was no exception. So happy for you and your family! Grayson is adorable! I can’t believe what big baby he is. Also, kudos to you for going natural as long as you could. :)

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Betsy May 21, 2014 at 8:21 pm

Thank you for sharing your birth story, I’m sorry it didn’t go as well as you were hoping, but the end result is beautiful. I love the name Grayson!

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Emily @ Fit as a Mother... May 21, 2014 at 8:23 pm

What a beautiful baby! And your first taste of the flexibility of plans required when you have kids. :)

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Heather May 21, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy. My boys didn’t follow my birth plan either.

P.S. I loved my epidural too.

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Alexandra Aimee May 21, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Jenna, your baby is absolutely beautiful and thank you so much for sharing this! I’ve been reading your blog for years, and I am so happy for you and your (now bigger!) family. I personally have a lot of, lets say, “trigger” issues, with the natural birthing/pro-breast feeding movement because I have a condition that is not going to allow me to breast feed. I feel like pro-natural movements do amazing things… But they can also often lead to a lot judgement that ultimately induces shame in women when natural ideals are simply not possible. I’m so sorry everything didn’t go how you had hoped– I can only imagine how much it must add to the fear and stress of birth not to have things go according to plan. But, I am also so happy to hear you write about rolling with the punches and getting what you needed to done in order to do what’s most important: bring a healthy loved baby into the world! He is lovely, and even if you didn’t get quite as much skin to skin right off the bat as you had hoped I am 100% sure he will grow up knowing he’s loved :-)

– Alex at Cashmere Kangaroo

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Allie May 21, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Your cup runneth over.

Congratulations to you all…..can’t wait to hear more!

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Blair @ wild-and-precious.com May 21, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Love you friend. So proud of you! And so happy for you. You are a FEIRCE momma!

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Blair @ wild-and-precious.com May 21, 2014 at 8:43 pm

Typo alert. *fierce

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Melissa May 21, 2014 at 8:46 pm

He’s super cute – and listen, you gave birth naturally. To me, natural is simply carrying a baby and getting him out of you – an epidural doesn’t make it “unnatural,” it’s simply a modern invention created to assist women with their natural births :)

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Gen May 22, 2014 at 5:35 am

Definitely want to echo what Melissa said. I’m in nursing school and one of my professors made a big distinction between “natural” and “unmedicated”–using medication during birth makes it no less natural! You did the best thing for yourself and your family, and you should be so proud. Congratulations and enjoy your new little one!

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Jess May 21, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Congrats to you and your precious family! And thank you so much for sharing your story. Wishing you all the best as you continue to recover and adjust to life as a family of three.

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April May 21, 2014 at 9:06 pm

He’s SOOOO cute!!! :D

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Tammy May 21, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Oh, Jenna, I’m just tearing up as I read this! What a beautiful story. Our birth story is so similar to yours, I can’t even get over it! From the trying to go without an epidural, to getting an epidural, to the vacuum (and the large head!), to the tearing and the difficult healing, to the warmer and the fluid build-up. I just can’t get over it. I remember so clearly calling over to see if our daughter was ok because she was bluish and not making any sounds. It was one of the scariest moments of my life. It was such relief when I finally got that skin-to-skin contact and could hold our precious baby. I can relate to the emotion you are feeling, and you will be strengthened by this incredible bond you are sharing. So much love to you and your precious family!

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health May 21, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Not having children yet makes me so curious to hear others birthing stories so thank you for sharing. I often question if I could do it naturally but I’ve heard so many horror stories on how awful the pain is. It seems like it’s better to have the epidural so that the memory isn’t quite so traumatic. I’ve also heard the first few weeks to months can be really difficult, between trying to nurse and deal with the changes in your body but also that things will work themselves out sooner than later. I hope it gets easier for you as time goes by. Congratulations to you both on your beautiful baby boy!!

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Deirdre May 21, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Jenna: Congratulations, he is beautiful. I think your birth story would be perfect for all first time moms to read at about 30 weeks. It’s just how it goes, from labor on into parenting, you have to let go of some control and be ready to adjust. You did great. So glad you have such a positive attitude about it all and not holing onto that birthing plan.

Grayson is one lucky little dude. ; )

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Bryony @ Bryony Cooks May 21, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Jenna, your family is beautiful! Congratulations to both you and Adam and thank you for sharing your story with us. So happy for you!

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christina May 21, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Wow, what a story. Thank you for sharing so many details of his birth! You are so strong. He is such a beautiful little boy! Congratulations to you. Can’t wait to hear more and see how you all are doing. :)

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Dot May 21, 2014 at 9:46 pm

A birth story remarkably like my own except I didn’t have an epidural…I did deliver via vacuum after 2+ hours of pushing though! We are lucky ladies to end up with gorgeous healthy babies. Glad to hear you are all safe & sound, and I love his name. Not sure I’ve ever commented before but I’ve been following your blog a long time and just wanted to reach out and say “me too!” Enjoy these special early days – they are hard but there is nothing like them.

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Christina @ Every Little Thing She Does May 21, 2014 at 9:54 pm

WOW! What an intense and truthful story. Thank you so much for sharing, Jenna. Even though it didn’t go completely as you planned, you’re so right, the most important part is that you and Grayson are healthy and happy. You’re such a glowing mommy! God bless your family of three!

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laurie May 21, 2014 at 10:18 pm

So happy you are all well and healthy! Birth is so amazing!! I’ve had 4 births and all were C-sections because my first 2 babies were breech and couldn’t be turned. So very grateful I had them in a country where I could have a needed surgical delivery because there are millions of women in other countries who don’t have that option. Enjoy your BEAUTIFUL baby boy and congratulations to you and Adam!

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sarah May 21, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Well done Jenna! I had an epidural, forceps, tear and episiotomy with my son. I felt traumatised for weeks afterwards. But pain killers and a doughnut cushion to sit on helped loads. As did plenty of newborn cuddles :)

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Diane May 21, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your story – Grayson is a beautiful baby. I feel like no one ever talks about how hard those first few weeks postpartum really are – or, maybe they aren’t hard for everyone, but they sure were for me! The discomfort from tearing was worse than I thought it would be and the healing process took longer than I had expected. And, learning how to soothe a newborn is a challenge (a beautiful challenge – but still a challenge) added on top of all of the new body issues. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone! But, five months out, I can barely remember the challenges. Those first days/weeks were long, but it really did get easier.

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Danielle May 21, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Congratulations, mama! xo

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Liz S. May 22, 2014 at 12:32 am

Congratulations, dear Jenna. You are so strong and Grayson is blessed to have you as his mother! xo

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Averie @ Averie Cooks May 22, 2014 at 12:36 am

Thanks for sharing your story and on just a practical level, you will be glad to have this in black and white! I started blogging when my daughter was a year, so a little too late to write the ole birth story, but now that she’s 7.5, I know there are so many details I don’t remember and you will love having this documented.

On an emotional level, what a story and bravo to you for pushing out such a big boy :) And yes, breastfeeding in the first few weeks (months) sometimes is not always easy, hurts, and you’re wondering what you got yourself into! But it does get easier. Congrats Jenna! And that pic of you with him on the My Brest Friend, you’re glowing :)

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Candy Evans May 22, 2014 at 1:15 am

May your precious new born baby brings a happiness to the world and special joy to you!

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Kay May 22, 2014 at 2:05 am

So wonderful to hear Grayson’s arrival story! Congratulations! Love to you all!!!

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Amber May 22, 2014 at 3:04 am

Your birth story is so common. My first labor and birth was very similar to yours. We are not less of a woman, a worse mom, or whatever other judgement is laid down for us because we didn’t have all natural births.

The first week postpartum is so tough. Things will get easier but when you are in the throws of serious discomfort and exhaustion, it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’m expecting my fourth in the fall. But if you would have asked me when my first was a week old, I would have said she was going to by my only child.

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Kayle (The Cooking Actress) May 22, 2014 at 3:10 am

Omigosh you are super woman!!!! Congratulations on your sweet baby boy that you worked very very hard for!

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Brynn May 22, 2014 at 3:26 am

Congratulations! He is beautiful! I am 22 weeks along and really fearing birth, but know at the end, a healthy baby is all that matters. I’ve loved reading your pregnancy updates and look forward to more with the family!

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Kari Routledge May 22, 2014 at 3:38 am

My first came so fast I couldn’t have an epidural and with my second I had one. With my first my water broke at childbirth class and he was born a couple hours later 3 1/2 weeks early! Everything I had packed was at home! I always tell people I highly recommend YES to the epidural!! It made a huge difference. I’m so happy for you and no matter how different things went than planned (and they always do!) you are both healthy and blessed!

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Nan May 22, 2014 at 4:03 am

Look at your gorgeous little boy!! Wow! I so enjoyed reading Grayson’s birth story. You are strong woman, Jenna! Your story is similar to mine in that I hoped to have a natural birth but I was all about the epideral once those crazy contractions became so intense. I did it and never looked back or regretted it… it was certainly in the best interest for my son and I! I feel like birth stories can be a metaphor for parenting…. you may expect one thing but it often can vary from your expectation and you learn to just go with it and be flexible. Congratulations and I so look forward to hearing more about your journey!

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Maryea {happy healthy mama} May 22, 2014 at 4:10 am

Congratulations, Jenna! There is nothing quite like the day your first child is born and you will be so happy you have these moments written down. Because trust me, you do forget. Even the pain. :)

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Lauren May 22, 2014 at 4:15 am

Oh my gosh Jenna!

As I sit here, just shy of 6 months pregnant, I find myself crying uncontrollably. Such a beautiful story and an incredibly beautiful result. :) Congratulations to you and Adam!

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Emily @ Life on Food May 22, 2014 at 4:27 am

You are a strong woman and already an amazing mama! I am so happy for the three of you. Enjoy every second!

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Karen T. May 22, 2014 at 4:29 am

OMGee…he is adorable. That last picture is so so sweet. My first son’s birth sounds very close to what you experienced, 19 hours of labor, 4 hours of pushing and it ended in a vacuum extraction. It wasn’t my ideal but here we are 11 years later and it is just a distant but joyful memory. So happy for your positive outcome. The best is yet to come!!

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Brittany May 22, 2014 at 4:40 am

Oh Jenna, I feel for you! I wanted a natural birth for my first baby and ended up having to be induced at 10 days past due, labored naturally for 8 hours and begged for an epidural then had the same get her out or it’s a c section situation.

My second baby (born 6 days ago!) was a much smoother and calmer process and was really wonderful. Hooray for epidurals!

Grayson is one beautiful baby boy and his mom is clearly a rockstar. I’m so happy for you as you begin this awesome journey. Congrats!!

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melissa May 22, 2014 at 4:40 am

Wow! Congratulations to you and your new little family. I cannot tell you how much I appreciated your honest, loving reflection. You beautifully captured what I am sure was an indescribable event in the lives of all of you. I hope you all have a wonderful time getting to know each other and continue to appreciate this miraculous blessing! Fingers crossed that in five weeks, my husband and I are able to share similar good news about the birth of our son.

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Lauren May 22, 2014 at 4:45 am

I have been reading your blog for years and just want to say congrats on that beautiful baby boy of yours.

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paige May 22, 2014 at 4:48 am

congratulations little mommy!!!!
he’s beautiful!

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Danielle May 22, 2014 at 4:54 am

Congratulations! Thank you so much for telling your story.

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Sara @ LovingOnTheRun May 22, 2014 at 5:02 am

I love reading birth stories. Thank you so much for sharing! He is adorable and so perfect!

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Duffy May 22, 2014 at 5:15 am

GOOD JOB, MAMA!!! You did it! He is just perfect!

I took the epidural after having insomnia for three weeks straight before my little one, and it actually helped speed up labor because my body relaxed. Honestly, medicine helps. It’s not all as bad as some people make it out to sound.

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Paige Phillips May 22, 2014 at 5:20 am

“and letting go of some things I was holding onto too tight.”–Wow, Jenna. This line really resonated with me! I got chills when I read it. Lately, I have been obsessing about aspects of life that I have absolutely no control over. Your words made me realize that you can only do what’s in your power…after that, you have to let go and let the chips fall where they may. You’re a wise mama! :)

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Jojo @ RunFastEatLots May 22, 2014 at 5:20 am

Congrats on having a healthy, beautiful baby boy!

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Allie May 22, 2014 at 5:21 am

Congrats mama! My birth story was incredibly similar and I agree that no amount of prep will really prepare you for the experience. So glad all three of you are doing well, he is precious. Enjoy all the little quiet moments and sleep when you can :)

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Jess May 22, 2014 at 5:23 am

Your sweet boy is completely adorable! Thank you for sharing the story of his birth with us. Motherhood teaches us so much about letting go of our own expectations (from the very beginning). :) I’m thankful you and your baby are healthy and doing well. You are a strong mama!! Sink in and enjoy these first days and weeks. They are hard, but sacred at the same time.

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Natalie @ The Ravenous Mommy May 22, 2014 at 5:41 am

Congrats on your beautiful baby boy!

I had a couple breakdowns in the hospital too due to feeding issues. When I was telling other moms, most of them all told me the same thing! Nursing is hard at the beginning, but does get SO much easier :)

I feel your pain! My son’s head was also almost 15″ (born 8.7 lbs, 22″). After pushing for an hour I had to have a c-section because he wasn’t moving past my pelvic bones.

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Maddy May 22, 2014 at 5:42 am

Congratulations Jenna and thank you so much for sharing with us!! Enjoy this precious time with your sweet boy!

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Claire @ Lemon Jelly Cake May 22, 2014 at 5:44 am

Oh my goodness, Jenna! I felt for you (literally) when I saw that you had a 9 pound boy! Even though he was my second, my 9.5 pounder was so much harder. With my daughter I pushed for 49 minutes, with him I pushed for two hours like you. It’s exhausting! I didn’t have an OB talking about emergency c-sections, but it was scary pushing him out because his shoulder got stuck after his head came through. I’m glad Grayson is here safe and sound!

Congratulations!

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Samantha May 22, 2014 at 5:49 am

Congrats Jenna on a beautiful baby! I gave birth to my daughter on Christmas Day and like you had I had planned on having a totally natural, unmedicated birth. Needless to say, the pain was excruciating and much worse than I expected and I ended up with an epidural after a 24 hour labor. I admire your positive attitude and understanding how crazy and unpredictable labor can be! My birth was nothing like I expected even after all the research and preparation I did. I love your blog and have been reading it for years but never posted before. Congratulations again to you and your family!

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clare @ fitting it all in May 22, 2014 at 5:51 am

congratulations! you have such a good attitude — you’re right. the purpose of birth is a healthy baby! I’m sorry it didn’t go as planned, but glad you have a beautiful baby boy!

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Holly May 22, 2014 at 5:55 am

I just read your birth story as I’m in labor and delivery right now with our first baby, a boy. I have been induced with pitocin this morning since I’m well over a week past my due date and I’m still hoping for a natural child birth; however I’ve been considering the epidural as my contractions become more intense. Your story has given me so much comfort and support during this time. Your son is beautiful and seeing pictures of him makes me so excited to hold my own son soon. Thanks Jenna!

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Alyssa D'Amore May 22, 2014 at 5:56 am

Great Job Jenna!! He is so beautiful! Your story made me tear up! It was so sweet! :) Enjoy your first few weeks of motherhood! You’re going to be such a wonderful mom! Grayson is one lucky kid!

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Julie May 22, 2014 at 6:04 am

Jenna, you did an amazingly beautiful job bringing Grayson into the world. Congratulations to your growing family. Your blog brings so much joy to my life. Thanks for all you do and all you share!

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Paulina May 22, 2014 at 6:08 am

Congratulations to you, and your beautiful family!

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Catalina @ Baby on Board May 22, 2014 at 6:12 am

Hi Jenna! I am very happy that both you and Grayson are healthy! I just wanted to tell you huw much I relate to ur birth story, its almost like reading my own! I hope for a natural birth too, but was very open minded, that if its gets to the pointing that I may faint from so much pain I will get the epidural, its nothing bad or to be ashamed off, you delivered a human being so epidural or not it doesnt matter! I dah the same thing, the epidural worked for me for only one hour, they had to turn if off since I had to start pushing, the baby was also bigger than expected so they gave me an episiotomy and also use dthe vaccum, his heart rate was dropping, and I didnt get skin to skin right away since he was having breathing issues, just like it was with you! I know you are sore right now, I can assure you that in one month you will feel better. After one and a half month I started doing barre workouts so it you will be back to normal earlier than you think. Delivery was a big lesson for me too, and my type A personality, but it taught me to always keep an open mind, and make best decision according to the situation, to be able to let go! I am not a SUPERHERO, I am a MOTHER, it sok if you have an epidural with every birth, and its ok if you dont. We are all so individual and unique that with birth you never know what may happen! I am glad that you shared you story, its refreshing, honest and I can tell how happy you all are! Good luck and enjoy this time with your family!

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Anne May 22, 2014 at 6:14 am

Jenna, he is so beautiful! I am literally sitting here crying reading this! Congratulations!

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sarah May 22, 2014 at 6:17 am

Congratulations!!!!
Jenna, I had thee hardest start at breastfeeding. I was in tears for weeeeks over it. I kept telling my husband I didn’t wish this upon my worse enemy. I never thought I would last past a month. No one told me how hard it would really be!!! But here I am at 4mos and still feeding. If you ever need to talk about it, I’m sure you have a LC, but talking to people who have been through it recently really, really helped me get to where I am now.
The first few weeks were really hard for me in general. I cried. A lot. So many emotions and BF issues just didn’t help.
Enjoy Grayson!! So happy for you all. Boys are theeee best. I hope you keep us updated on the baby. Love reading about it all!!!

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Jaclyn May 22, 2014 at 6:18 am

Oh Jenna, he’s beautiful.

Thank you for sharing an honest account of your birth story. That takes strength and courage.

Sending you love and patience as you learn to relish in your new family unit! xo

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Lori May 22, 2014 at 6:22 am

Please know that what you are feeling is NORMAL. And that you are not alone. I found my own birth experience traumatic in my own way (wanted natural birth, breast feeding, and instead got a c-section and didn’t have any supply to give to my girl.) I was depressed for a long time and it grew into post-partum depression and psychosis. I also didn’t fall in love at first sight.

Yes, things don’t go to plan and that is okay. I know you are saying that you are okay with it and it’ll take time, but really truly believe it. I said those same things, and at the same time I beat myself up over it internally.

You do have a beautiful baby and I’m so happy for you. Please remember to take care of yourself and that whatever you do for your boy, you are the best mama on the planet for Grayson. Enjoy!!!

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Melissa May 22, 2014 at 12:09 pm

That is such a nice comment :) congratulations Jenna!

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Lovelylillers healthy diet recipes May 22, 2014 at 6:23 am

Congratulations from Norway! thank you for sharing your story. I have chosen a chilfree life. :)

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Julia Kent @ The Domestic Blonde May 22, 2014 at 6:25 am

Congrats Jenna! Question, though – is there a story behind the names you chose?

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Catherine Parks May 22, 2014 at 6:27 am

Jenna, Congratulations! He is beautiful! And you are right, at the end of the day, it’s all about a healthy baby, healthy mama. I am due in just a few short weeks and am wanting to have a natural unmedicated birth, but I am also not going to beat myself up if I end up begging for an epi! I have a doula and have practiced deep breathing, but I think you are right. There is just NO WAY we can really prepare for what the true experience will be like. I am trying to stay calm and not get too anxious about it all. Congratulations, again! I can’t wait to read your post on breastfeeding and postpartum! Good luck :)

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Mary May 22, 2014 at 6:35 am

Congratulations! What a beautiful babe! I so appreciate your honesty in this story. My birthing experience was very similar (prepped for c-section three times, baby put on warmer immediately, NICU called to assess) and it took me a long time to process everything! It is traumatic, but you are so right to focus on the amazing outcome. Emotions run so high right now, and that can be tough, but makes it all the more meaningful. Awesome job!

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Maryz May 22, 2014 at 6:35 am

Such a beautiful story! Grayson is adorable! Congrats!

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Rachel May 22, 2014 at 6:41 am

Wow, what a wonderful story! Congratulations…you are a strong mama and your boy is beautiful!

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Heather May 22, 2014 at 6:43 am

Congrats on your handsome little guy!
I’ve never commented but I just wanted to reach out and offer some comfort … I had almost the same experience… 3 hours of pushing, injury and a kiddo I couldn’t hold immediately … I couldn’t talk about my son’s birth without crying for well over a year… and that was after therapy and a whole lot of yoga. Seek help if you need it. I wish I had talked to someone right away. I felt so guilty that I was so sad about an event that was “supposed” to be happy, so I just bottled it up and soldiered on for months. Sending you much love and peace!

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Sarah May 22, 2014 at 6:53 am

Great job! I like when someone shares the reality of the situation. Much like we can never know beforehand how much we will love this little person – we can’t possibly know what the experience is to get them here – until afterwards……..

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Kelly May 22, 2014 at 6:53 am

Beautiful birth story! So glad you posted! :-)

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Iris May 22, 2014 at 7:06 am

My son was born on second Christmas day and I felt the same. I was not prepared how sore I was feeling for the first two weeks after giving birth and how painful breastfeeding felt. I remember thinking, how am I gonna get through this if it feels like this for the next six months. But it does get better, believe me. :) and healthy baby is the biggest blessing. Congratulations to you!

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Laura May 22, 2014 at 7:23 am

IN AWE that your tiny body birthed such a big healthy baby!! makes my little 7 lb squirt seem like no big deal! hahaha. Very happy for you guys. I gave birth 3 weeks ago today and I still get so emotional thinking about her birth story. At the time I wasn’t feeling very sentimental, but looking back I am just amazed at how everything played out. I wrote it down too, because even less than a month later & some of the details are getting fuzzy. Enjoy your sweet boy!!

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Karen May 22, 2014 at 7:24 am

Congratulations to you and Adam on your beautiful son. What a heart warming story of Grayson’s birth, how wonderful that you have written this story to share with him one day. Your labor sounds much like my son and daughter in law, she planned to deliver in a tub, ended up with an epidural as well, in the end you have a beautiful son to spoil and love. Have fun, each step leads you on the most amazing journey. I know your Mom is completely in love with this little guy.

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Lia May 22, 2014 at 7:24 am

Oh my goodness that was intense to read. I got all choked up. Congrats on that whole experience and your new healthy son.

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Heather || Heather's Dish May 22, 2014 at 7:29 am

This sounds really close to what happened with Wes, but we opted for the c-section instead. So thankful for happy, healthy boys for both of us! And so proud of you momma!

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Rachel May 22, 2014 at 7:31 am

Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. The birth of our daughter was nothing like my birth plan either but the perfect entrance for her. I still cry as I think about that day almost 6 months later. My guess is it will continue to be a day so full of happiness that you can’t help put tear up. Enjoy those newborn snuggles because, as much as I wish they didn’t, they grow up fast!

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Shawna May 22, 2014 at 7:33 am

this was so heartfelt and raw and honest – thanks so much for sharing these intimate details of one of the best/hardest moments of your life. praying for your beautiful family!

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Kelly Mitchem May 22, 2014 at 7:38 am

Congratulations Jenna! So glad to hear you all are happy and healthy!

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Carolyn May 22, 2014 at 7:38 am

Congratulations! So very happy for you, Adam and the rest of your family. Grayson is just a doll. :)

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Shannon May 22, 2014 at 7:39 am

Congrats on a healthy baby boy! Thanks for sharing your story, made me emotional for sure.

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Sarah W May 22, 2014 at 7:50 am

Congrats! Soooooo adorable! Love the name choice. Thanks for sharing.

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jamie May 22, 2014 at 7:50 am

Congratulations, Jenna! Grayson is adorable. I couldn’t be happier for you.

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Angela May 22, 2014 at 8:12 am

He is beautiful Jenna, congratulations!! There is nothing like the hurt of not being able to hold and touch your baby when he has just come into this world, I know it all too well. I still get choked up thinking back on my twins birth but it does get better with time. It sounds like things are going great and if you aren’t having bf pain a week out you are doing great. Hang in there mama, the first couple weeks are hard, hard, hard. I cried for two weeks straight..overwhelmed with happiness and a little fear. It’s normal.

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Jennifer May 22, 2014 at 8:20 am

I’ve never commented before but after reading your birth story I had to. My birth story from my first child was almost the exact same as yours. My daugheter was 9 pounds 2 ounces (we had no clue) and my water broke first. After 10 hours of labour I got the epidural. I pushed for 2 1/2 hours and had to finally use the vacuum. I tore quite bad and I didnt get her on my chest right away. I must say it was not the birth I expected and when I would hear other peoples great stories I would feel that i had missed out. All to say my next two children had much better birth stories, midwife, no epidural….but they were smaller babies and my water didnt break till the end…makes a huge difference! Enjoy your little one, you did the best you possibiliy could and every birthwill be different.

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Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats May 22, 2014 at 8:35 am

Such an amazing birth story – and so similar to mine. I had goosebumps reading it! Not expecting the pain to be so intense, not getting the immediate skin-to-skin contact and having to watch him from afar for the first minutes of his life, not expecting the possibility of an emergency c-section (which I had to go through with.) A lot of not, not, nots, but like you said, the end result was a happy, healthy baby, and at the end of the day – what more could you ask for? Enjoy these moments with your boys – the days are long, but months are short!

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Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution May 22, 2014 at 8:40 am

I just wanted to say that this is probably the best birth story I’ve read. I have so much respect for you for doing what was best for you and Grayson, owning it and saying you’d do it again in a heartbeat. There is so much pressure to do things a certain way, but the only “right” way is the way you do it to get through it with a healthy baby and mama. You’re awesome! It must have been so very scary to not know what was going on right after he was born like that. Great job Jenna! I hope you’re healing quickly and enjoying your little chunker. Big babies are so yummy!

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sonia the mexigarian May 22, 2014 at 8:47 am

What a beautiful story. So glad that you and little Grayson are okay, happy and healthy. Congratulations to you and Adam. Blessed be <3

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Amy May 22, 2014 at 8:53 am

Congrats, he is perfect! Great job mama!

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Kelly J. R. May 22, 2014 at 9:21 am

Thank you so much for sharing your birth story with us. I went through the range of emotions right along with you as I read. I’m so happy to hear that you and Grayson are doing well. Congratulations!

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Lisa May 22, 2014 at 9:36 am

Girl labor is hard!!! It is a completely different type of pain so take it easy on yourself! :) You carried and pushed a human out! lol Such an awesome privilege :) I wanted to have a natural birth for both of my kids but the pain was crazy! And with my first the epidural didn’t work well so I felt everything including tearing fourth degree! Congratulations!!! :) Beautiful birth story

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Lauren May 22, 2014 at 9:52 am

Such a beautiful, honest, heartfelt story. Your son is absolutely adorable!

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polly May 22, 2014 at 10:05 am

you did AWESOME momma!!!!! Love you so much.

and AMEN for epidurals, yes… next time, call ahead and have that dude waiting by the door for ya.

you are amazing and God has such HUGE plans for that sweet boy! He is so so blessed to have you and Adam. really, truly blessed.

XOXO

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Danielle May 22, 2014 at 10:07 am

I love birthing stories and I love reading yours. I am so happy you and Grayson are safe, happy and healthy. Thank you for sharing your story and I look forward to reading about your adventures as new parents!

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Whitney S May 22, 2014 at 10:29 am

Congratulations!! He is beautiful!

Thank you for sharing your birth story. I’m due in 5 weeks with my first (its a boy too!) and its encouraging to hear other peoples stories. I too am hoping for a natural birth, but hearing your story reminds me to go into the birth with an open mind – things don’t always go as planned. Although your story isn’t exactly what you planned, I am grateful that both you and baby are healthy :) In the end thats all that truly matters!

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Becca May 22, 2014 at 10:38 am

Congratulations! You and Grayson look marvelous! You did good and nowa the time to relax, take advantage of EVERY offer of help, and enjoy your baby. The time to worry about your next baby and what you’ll do is when you are in labor again. I’ve had 5 kids and pregnant with my six and each one was different and by the end of labor I was so ready to be done and was not going to do it again. Two I had without medication and the last three I’ve had a drip line with pain killer. It was nice. I will say too that the two labors where my water broke were the ones with the most intense and raw and painful contractions. It was like night and day in the bearable department. Take heart! As long as they are alive and healthy and you are too, I consider that a giant miracle very time. :)

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Christina May 22, 2014 at 10:53 am

Congratulations! I haven’t had a baby yet in life but one thing I have learned is that your body will tell you what you need and what to do. Good for you to adjusting to your situation at that time and don’t ever regret it! You did the right thing for you and your baby. So glad both of you are doing well!!

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Avery @ Young Aspirations May 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

Loved this Jenna! I related to your story SO much! We welcomed our little girl the day after you, on the 15th and had a VERY similar delivery story almost down to the wire. I made it through 10 hours of natural labor before the screaming and crying pain and welcomed the epidural whole heartedly and don’t regret it for a second! I wouldn’t try again either :) Mad props to the women who can endure the natural labor pains, but the Lord did not give me those magical powers and I think everything worked out just how He planned it – just as I’m sure He did for you! :) Similarly to you, I had 3 hours of epidural before baby girl was in our arms. My midwife said that likely those hours of natural laboring probably really helped everything to move so quickly once I did get the epidural. Anyway, just wanted to say great job! So glad everyone is healthy and happy and looking forward to your post on breastfeeding! We struggled in the beginning as well, and it’s gotten a lot better but still painful! :( It’s been fun to follow your pregnancy and now life as a mom knowing that we were in exactly the same spot, time wise! Excited for you!

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renee @ savoring life through the lens May 22, 2014 at 11:20 am

you did GREAT!!! after having given birth, twice, I always say, everyone’s labor experience will go just the way it’s meant for them. and it’ll be different for everyone. and in the end, whichever way the experience went (the way we wanted it to go or a way we didn’t want it to go) we end up with our beautiful, bundle of joy. i’m SO sorry it went the way it did for you, but i promise you, each day as you grow more into a mama to grayson, you’ll see that the experience helped you to grow SO much more into WHO you are!! these little beings make WHOLE new beings out of us!!

and what i LOVE the most, is how you said your love for your husband grew SO SO much during this time…oh yes!! that’s EXACTLY how it goes!! each day it’ll grow more and more and more…more than you could have ever imagined as you watch your hubs and your son bond and form a relationship!! amazing, amazing stuff!!

i actually didn’t use an epidural with either of my kiddos. the first, i was in labor for 12 hours. never wanted a thing. i pushed for 2 hours! the second, things progressed quicker…labored for 8 hours. i knew that i was more dilated then they were telling me…while standing laboring, i could just feel it!! but when they’d check me after a contraction, they’d tell me i wasn’t that far along. i was like WHAT!? they finally checked during a contraction and I was ready to push!! but if they had kept telling me that i wasn’t further along than where i needed to be, and it being 6:30 pm…i knew i wasn’t gonna make it until 12:55 am, like I did with my first. i was ready for some meds. but, i was there and with the help of my cousin, she happened to get on work right when i was about to push, i pushed him out in 30 min. BUT…i only did because she EDUCATED me SO much!! pushing was SO hard for me!!!

my water trickled with my first…they had to break it eventually…it didn’t break until mid labor with my son..oh WHOA!! that was a lot of water. i had NO idea. i also tore BIG TIME with my first. took me WEEKS to sit normally…i didn’t heal right so I was hurting for about 8 weeks after.

but, here’s the thing. i had all these plans…i was gonna breastfeed both of my kiddos. i knew i wanted natural birth…no meds. i got the natural births…but i didn’t get the breastfeeding. i tried SO hard with my first. i wasn’t getting much milk at all. i was pumping like crazy. after almost 3 months of stressing and really wanting to breastfeed…i ended up in the hospital with mastisis. after that i said, forget it. it’s not worth it. i tried one day with my second. it was too much. so just because i did natural…doesn’t mean i got everything i wanted. we all have some difficulties. but, i now focus on “whatever works will be just fine!” something i didn’t connect with ’till baby #2.

i just wanted to share and send my congrats and to tell you that even if things didn’t go as planned…that you did an AMAZING job and grayson is SO lucky to have you and your husband for parents. enjoy!!!! parenting is an amazing ride!!!

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Kati May 22, 2014 at 11:26 am

Jenna,

What a story! I felt myself wanting to tear up reading it because some of your story sounded like mine…dr broke my water, contractions, and finally asking for an epidural, wanting to MARRY my anesthesiologist! And give him a medal. :-) I also had a 3rd degree tear which was the worst part of the whole thing hands down.

Give it time, take some dulcolax. Know that you’ve just gone through a huge monumental event and your hormones and body will be unsettled for a while. So, SO happy for you and that you’re all home. Hugs!

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Sarah May 22, 2014 at 11:30 am

Congratulations! What a story. Nice of you to share your plan and then what happened. It is always good to have a plan but necessary to be willing to change it as needed. I had both my kids with no meds and breastfed both, but I got to tell you first one was rough because we found out he was tongue tied after about 10 days of being bitten- I am a dietitian and so determined to breastfeed I went through 9 weeks of heck but ended up nursing until he was 14 months. My second labor was a piece of cake except for the last 30 minutes and by that time it is too late for any interventions- just gotta do it. Good luck with Grayson and just do what works best for you!!!!

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jen May 22, 2014 at 11:36 am

Congratulations to you! There’s no more wonderful journey than motherhood, complete with all its challenges.

I hear you on tearing up about not getting to hold your baby right away. I still tear up thinking about my first and she’s about to turn 3. I’ll never forget laying on the OR table feeling utterly helpless while my 5 week early girl screamed across the room after our emergency csection. Then they whisked her off to the NICU. I sobbed with a pain and misery I didn’t know was possible until that moment, and it was 4 long, sad days before they finally said she was stabile enough for me to hold her.

And boy mama, once you finally get to hold that baby don’t you just want to clutch him/her snug against your heart forever! I suppose we do just that, in a manner of speaking, no matter how big they get.

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Sarah May 22, 2014 at 11:37 am

Great job mama!! I loved reading this post. As an adoptive mom, I really don’t think it matters at all how a baby was delivered…natural, non-natural, C-section, according to plan or not according to plan…whatever! Birth is a 24-72 hour process and then it’s over. What matters is what you do with the baby AFTER birth and how you love, teach, and grow that little one in the real world day after day and year after year. I know that you and Adam are going to do an awesome job and I am so excited to see you be the amazing mom I know you will be!

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Sarah May 22, 2014 at 11:37 am

(and already ARE!)

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Sarah May 22, 2014 at 11:39 am

(and already are!!)

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Christina May 22, 2014 at 11:38 am

I loved reading your birth story! I also found breastfeeding extraordinarily painful in the beginning. It all worked out in the end and all I think about now is how wonderful it was to be able to breastfeed my son. I think most of the tough times in parenting are overshadowed by the sweet memories.

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Kara May 22, 2014 at 11:50 am

Hi Jenna… First of all, congratulations. He’s beautiful. I think what the ultimate thing we learn about the birth process is that, now. None of it is in our control and with the ultimate goal being healthy baby/healthy mom, you use whatever resources necessary. As I said after my emergency c section because my son was also in distress, there are no trophies at they end of the birth process for not having an epidural, having a c section, using the vacuum etc. Just the beautiful baby. :) and That is the goal.

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Kimberly May 22, 2014 at 11:55 am

This brings back sooo many emotional memories and my daughter is nearly four. I was induced a week before my due date because I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. I spent 21 hours in labor and finally gave in and received an epidural at hour 18. Best relief of my life!!! Thank you for sharing your story. You were a rock star and have such a precious little bundle to snuggle with now. Enjoy every single little blessed moment!!!

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Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves May 22, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Congratulations, Jenna and Adam! Grayson is beautiful. God truly strengthened you through it all. Best wishes for the journey ahead!

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Grandma Honey May 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm

When I read, “I kept calling out across the room to see if he was okay, feeling like he must be so scared…” I teared up and thought…yep, she’s a real mom in every sense of the word! Some Moms take a while to bond, but you are already there. Thank you for sharing your precious story with us all.

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Hilary May 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Congrats on your big guy! I’m the mama of two 9+ Pounders. Every birth is different so don’t be surprised if your next is born in 4 hours with no pain medication! Maybe your next baby will be the one that goes according to ‘plan’. I loved both my unmediated births and wouldn’t change a thing. My next one is being born at home and praying that it goes as smoothly as the last baby. Enjoy every minute and get in touch with your local La Leche League if you need a little support with nursing! I have loved all the LLL groups I have been too.

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Kaye L May 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Congratulations on a beautiful baby! What a story!

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April May 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Congratulations! I got teary just reading your story.

My first was with an epidural and my second was natural, and 4 hours start to finish, thankfully! :) I think going into it with experience and knowing you’ve done it before (and will do it again) helps immensely the second time around!

But for now, obviously, the focus is on Grayson! Enjoy that little chunk of yours. He looks absolutely perfect!

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Linda May 22, 2014 at 12:51 pm

As the mom of three–9, 17 and 19–your birth story brought back so many cherished memories of my children’s births. No matter how the birth unfolds, holding your healthy newborn is truly a gift from God. Though the years pass quickly, the incredible memories are easy to summon. God Bless you all.

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jill n May 22, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Jenna
so proud of you! for working so hard and being so open to deviating from the plan – that is the best gift you can give that baby! I have 2 little ones and I am also a PT trained in craniosacral therapy for infants and new mamas – I am happy to give you more information on infant PT work for newborns that can help quite a bit with their development and resolving any birth trauma early on..it also helps with breast feeding issues as well.. if you are interested you can just message me directly..Enjoy every minute and welcome to the world,baby Grayson!

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erin @hooleywithaz May 22, 2014 at 1:43 pm

i love what you said at the end about getting the birth you wanted…”yes and no.” this is exactly the attitude that i think more people need to have, because if the end result is a healthy baby and healthy mama, then the birth was successful. the end. there may be emotions around it, there may be traumatic feelings for a while, but you have your darling little man with you now. very happy for you lady.

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jones May 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm

He is adorable and thank you for being so honest with your story. I feel like there is a big push now to try to give birth without drugs and many women are very critical of those who get epidurals. I am not great with pain and am planning to have an epidural. You must have been all baby to have such a big baby b/c you never looked that big in the pictures you posted.

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Beverly Aragon May 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Thank you for sharing this beautiful birth story. Love and blessings to you, Adam and Grayson!

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Elisabeth May 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Such a beautiful story, Jenna! Congratulations again to you & Adam. Your boy is precious – looks just like his daddy ;)

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Nic G May 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm

What a beautiful story and adorable baby! I just had twin girls a month ago vaginally and the second baby got stuck on the way out and the had to use the (gasp) foreceps. She came out limp and blue and they whisked her off to the warmer. I feel your pain because I kept asking if my baby was ok and no one would answer! She is perfect now and so is her sister! Enjoy your snuggles with your boy, in my limited experience as a mother the first month flies by! PS – epidurals are the best!!

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em@simplypresent May 22, 2014 at 4:57 pm

What a wonderful, personal story to share. Each woman is so brave!

Welcome to the world little Grayson! :)

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Meg May 22, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Congratulations!!! And, thank you so much for writing this honest post. I’m 16 weeks pregnant and reading “the truth” really helps me prepare.

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lucinda May 23, 2014 at 7:07 am

wow, i almost teared up reading your story – what a beautiful telling of the tale! you are one strong woman and should be very proud or that beautiful and healthy boy. he and adam are lucky to have you. my son was born almost a year ago {on the 27th!} and i’ve been getting super emotional recalling the details of the day he was born. enjoy this special time, it is so precious and goes so fast. the difficulties and challenges just make all the good stuff sweeter. so, so happy for you, congratulations!

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Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner May 23, 2014 at 7:17 am

I loved reading your story! I am one of the few commenters who hasn’t had a baby yet, and I love hearing people’s birth stories. Your baby is beautiful.

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Susan May 23, 2014 at 7:21 am

Grayson is an absolutely gorgeous baby! You did good, mama (and daddy)! Listening to your story, reminded me of my first delivery – also didn’t go the way I had planned. Delivery difficult. Breastfeeding wasn’t working for me and the postpartum emotions were more than I expected…but we got through it. And I couldn’t have loved my little guy any more than I did the moment I laid eyes on him. By the next pregnancy, I had my first experience as a reference and was more prepared. Even though my second pregnancy was different in many ways from the first, a lot was still the same as well. I didn’t succeed at breastfeeding the first time, but the second time I knew exactly how I wanted to go about it and took charge of the situation (the first time I had so many people telling so many different things – confusing!) and everything worked perfectly! We women have our “war stories” all different and the same! So proud of you! Congratulations!

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Colette May 23, 2014 at 7:44 am

Jenna and Adam, Congratulations. Hold Grayson as much as you want. They really do grow so fast and you will not spoil him. Let him nap on your chest for the next month or longer! Nap with him or as I did stare at the dear face for 2 hours. Bliss…my third baby is 7 months old and I can’t really do this anymore without waking her and I am back at work, so enjoy this time while he is small. Welcome to parenthood! Prayers of strength as you watch your heart encased in skin walk into this world.

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Christine May 23, 2014 at 8:06 am

Congrats, he is beautiful! And I don’t think you could have done a better job at delivering. I am expecting my first in November and reading stories like yours makes me feel better because I’m learning that nothing goes as planned for delivery, that you cannot be a super hero, and its okay to be okay with it all! Of course I have an ideal birth plan in my mind but honestly I’ve never delivered before so I can I plan when I don’t know what to expect. So congrats again! Cheers to your beautiful family!

p.s. look at that hair on Grayson!! Love Love Love!!

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Ilana May 23, 2014 at 8:07 am

Thanks for sharing your birth experience. I think it’s really important for women to know that each birth will happen as it will regardless of our plans. You seem to have a great attitude about your birth experience not following your birth plan. I totally agree that the outcome of healthy baby/healthy mom is the truly important thing and however that outcome is achieved is a successful birth experience. Good luck and good life with your beautiful bundle of joy.

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Natalie May 23, 2014 at 8:09 am

Congrats Jenna! Thank you for sharing a “real” birth story and for being honest about the pain. It is totally 10000% percent worth it, but that sh*% hurts. Enjoy your special time with your little fam. Its goes so so so fast. Natalie

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Lauren May 23, 2014 at 10:45 am

Wow. What a story! I’m very happy for you, Adam, and your families! Wishing you joy and peace with Grayson as you journey into motherhood. God bless!

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Leslie Means May 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

he is so sweet! Congrats to you guys!

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Katie May 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Congratulations! Our stories sound somewhat similar- I too wanted a natural birth, but experienced close together contractions from the beginning with no break (like two minutes apart) and despite wanted to labor for a while at home, had to leave for the hospital earlier than planned b/c we had lost power during heat wave (I gave birth in Virginia in July). I was at peace with my decision to get the epidural but I want to try going natural again. However I anticipate some soul searching about that when I get pregnant again because that pain was unreal. God bless your family!

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Lara May 23, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Very sweet story. Congratulations! I, too, had an unplanned epidural after wanting and planning for months for a natural birth. I had a harder time with it emotionally, but reading your thoughts of acceptance is very refreshing. Nearly two years later, I have a lot more forgiveness with myself. Birth is beautiful and kick-ass no matter how you do it!

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Julie May 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm

Ha ha I told my anesthesiologist he was “a wonderful man!” ;) Your story reminded me a lot of mine, but I def had it easier on the pushing end, & my epidural didn’t wear off. I, too, have changed my opinion of them. :) Congrats on a beautiful, healthy baby!

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Stephanie May 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm

I teared up while reading your story. It’s never what we plan, is it? Hugs to you sweet, beautiful mama! Rejoicing with you.

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Marilyn May 23, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Congratulations! I am tearing up reading this because I just had a boy 8 weeks ago and have fresh feelings of how emotional the whole thing is. He is beautiful! I think he looks a lot like Adam. Having a little boy is such a blessing! Love to your whole beautiful family!

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Howard Long May 23, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Awww, congratulations for bringing to this world such a beautiful angel. He looks healthy and he’ll definitely grow up to be a happy kid. You have a wonderful family. God bless!

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Andrea May 24, 2014 at 5:41 am

Congratulations!

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dervla @ the curator May 24, 2014 at 9:13 am

i’m so excited for you, you’ll be so thankful that you have that birth story written down, as you’ll be surprised how quickly some of the details fade (especially the pain part!). Super congratulations!!!

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Pam May 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Thank you for sharing your birth story, it’s amazing how you can plan every detail and then life plays out a little differently. So proud of you and amazed you pushed out a 9# baby! He is adorable and one lucky baby to have you for a mom :)
XO

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purelytwins May 25, 2014 at 10:08 am

Jenna thank you so much for sharing your birth story!!! It is amazing to me to read other mom’s stories, each one different and so inspiring. Michelle and I are so happy for you and Adam!! I am doing my best to have a ‘plan’ for by labor… but also know that I need to be flexible as anything can happen ;)

Once again congratulations!! xoxo Lori

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Amanda May 25, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Congratulations to you and Adam. You’re already a wonderful momma.

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India May 25, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Jenna, wow. So brave of you to share and let go of what you had envisioned. I’m so proud of you! Congrats on your new love.

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Amy May 26, 2014 at 8:34 am

Congrats! What a beautiful baby boy. Birthing is a lesson in letting go, for sure, but nothing sweeter than a baby boy and momma love story. My sweet munchkin is 19 months and it gets more fun every single day. My breast feeding experience was very traumatic. Liam had to have a tongue tie clipped at 6 months, then self-weaned at 10 months, but eats like a champ now. He LOVES food, especially salads, fresh fruit, and veggies. Couldn’t ask for more strong-willed, determined, sweet, happy little boy.

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Melissa @ Mango About Town May 26, 2014 at 9:48 am

Your story was beautiful! Congratulations, and I wish health and happiness to your new family of three :)

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Dolores Flanagan May 26, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Congratulations ! loved the photos

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jan May 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Congratulations!! He’s gorgeous, and even though maybe your birth story wasn’t what you scripted, your end result was even better than imagined, right!? :) Enjoy your sweet boy!

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Jessica May 26, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Your birth story has a lot of similarities to mine — and similarly, it was hard for me to talk about certain parts of it for a while without getting teary. It did pass, eventually, but it was hard! I’m proud of you for being flexible with your birth plan. It sounds like in the end you got the ultimate prize – healthy baby! He’s beautiful!!!

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Jessica May 26, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Congratulations!!!! Way to go Mom and Dad! ????

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Tatyana May 27, 2014 at 6:25 am

Huge congrats!!! My little boy was born on May 14th, 2013. Pretty special day!

So glad to hear that you were flexible with your birth plan, and it all worked out with a healthy baby being delivered. Hope you heal up quickly. The first two months were the hardest for me, then it’s been such a fun ride. Enjoy it as much as you can. Time flies.

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Allison Staiger May 27, 2014 at 11:09 am

Hi Jenna,

I’ve been lurk-reading you for about two years now, just enjoying all your recipes, and never feeling compelled to comment until now.

Your birth story is SO, SO similar to mine, complete with the feeling of being traumatized and guilt-ridden after it. My water broke early in the morning two days before my due date, but I didn’t have any contractions, so they induced me that evening. I too wanted a natural birth and tried to get through the contractions (that slammed into me out of NOWHERE due to the pitocin), but eventually called for an epidural because i couldn’t even breathe or move from the pain. However, I had been trying to avoid pain meds mostly because I knew I wouldn’t like how they felt, and I was right. The epidural, while preventing me from feeling pain, completely freaked me out, and hindered my pushing because I couldn’t feel anything I was doing. I too kept pushing and pushing and there was nothing happening. My daughter’s heart rate was spiking and dropping and I had a fever and an infection (choriocentesis, I think). They did the vacuum, but unfortunately that didn’t work either, and I needed the C-section. I cried while reading your story because except for a few details, it’s identical to mine, and it has taken me a long time to “let go” of the bad feelings and “what ifs” of the birth, even while feeling totally in love with the end result. I felt like every birth story I read after mine was what I had wanted, and not been able to have, and it was very difficult. I am much better these days (my daughter Violet is 13 months), but I totally understand. I’m glad you wrote about this, because maybe other women feel badly when things don’t go as planned, and just bury it away. But a birth is a birth and one is as natural as the other, depending on what the baby is telling you. We should cherish our stories and be proud that our bodies were able to do what they did. Thank you so much for sharing!

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Christina May 27, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Congratulations! You should be so, so proud of yourself for doing such an awesome job. I promise that breastfeeding only gets better and easier and more wonderful after the toe-curling pain subsides. My baby is 10 months old now and we are still going strong with nursing. It’s such a wonderful bonding experience for us.

I also got a wonderful epidural after nearly 24 hours of being in labor. It was awesome. I also pushed for a long 1.5 hours. My midwife told me her heart rate was going down and that she was thinking of giving me an episiotomy. That was motivation enough for me to push her out with the next push. I didn’t get to hold her right away and my husband didn’t get to cut the cord because she had meconium in her waters. That was the most traumatic part of her birth. I was crying and calling out to her trying to comfort her. It still makes me teary-eyed. But in the end, everyone was healthy and that was all that mattered.

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Christin S May 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

CONGRATULATIONS MAMA!
I had my first 4 months ago and she is the most wonderful person on earth…it is SO WORTH THE PAIN isn’t it? I also wanted a natural birth and ended up getting an epidural and i knew it was the right thing to do. Good for you knowing your limits!

The first week or two are the hardest, but it gets easier I PROMISE!!

Stay in touch with other new moms…do you have PEP or another mom group in your area? if so JOIN IT! it’s unparalleled how important it is to have that camaraderie.

lots of love and prayers!

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DessertForTwo May 27, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Jenna, first and foremost: muchas felicidades! I’m so happy your little family is healthy.

Thanks for being honest about your birth story. I get so much shit from friends because I’m going to request an epidural all the way. I’m 95 pounds. There ain’t no natural birth happenin’ ’round these parts. Sorry. I’d rather enjoy the process, not invent new curse words and shatter glass windows with my screams in the hospital, which I know I would do, hehe.

Thanks for sharing your story. We’re all so happy for you :)

MUCH love,
Christina

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Claire Zulkey June 3, 2014 at 11:44 am

Your friends kinda sound like asses. Don’t listen to them!

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Polly @ Tasty Food Project May 28, 2014 at 12:44 am

Congratulations on your precious baby boy!! He is so adorable!

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Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork May 28, 2014 at 10:15 am

Thank you so, so much for sharing your story! I totally understand when people don’t want to share theirs–after all, it it one of the most deeply personal times of your life. I do appreciate when people feel comfortable to tell. I think it’s important to have it out there–to acknowledge our wishes and wants and to talk about what ultimately happened and how we’re dealing with all of it. I feel that a lot of the truth around pregnancy, labor, delivery, and post-partum can be glossed over and it’s not to say it’s of ultimate importance compared to a healthy child, but it is important. Thank you.

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Dana May 28, 2014 at 11:29 am

love your story and it sounded very similar to mine! Grayson is gorgeous!

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Stephanie May 28, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I know you are getting a lot of comments, but I just have to say thanks for sharing your story. It is very similar to mine including the 9 pounds. I loved having a big baby and now you know how hard it is. Good job. So glad you stuck with the nursing too. It is very hard at first and then so easy. Congrats and blessings!

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Michelle June 3, 2014 at 4:52 am

Beautiful and honest story. So thankful that Grayson is here, happy and healthy, and I think your experience is like many women’s: full of thanks, but a little traumatizing. Don’t worry- you WILL forget those things and focus on the many happy memories of your new son in a matter of months. I announced that our daughter was going to be an only child after having her, and now 10 months in, I am already getting baby fever again. Cherish this time, and it gets EASIER and easier. I promise.

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Claire Zulkey June 3, 2014 at 11:40 am

Congratulations! He is beautiful. I am glad you’re doing well (just read your most recent post.) I also was surprised by how traumatized I was by labor and delivery–for many months after I would relive the whole process in my head when I couldn’t get to sleep. I think we just expect that if we can control so many things in our lives, have a healthy pregnancy and are well-educated and have good medicine, we can kind of get what we want. Not the case. (It’s sort of a good introduction to motherhood in general!)
Get some rest!

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Nancy June 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Jenna,
I have been reading your blog for a long time, and I love your stories, your writing and your faith. Congratulations on your new son and your new life. There will be hard times and wonderful times. God’s love will get you through and your life will never be the same.
Enjoy him and be kind to yourself.

Again, congratulations!

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Nicole @ Broken Road Creative June 5, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Love your birth story and glad you and Grayson are healthy!

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Brittany June 5, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Healthy baby, healthy momma! <3 Grayson is absolutely adorable, Jenna! Congrats to you and Adam.

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Dee June 9, 2014 at 3:14 am

Congrats on your healthy baby! Please remember that unless you gave birth to a giraffe (which you didn’t), then you “birthed naturally.” Don’t look at this as a failure, please. All plans (of all kinds) are fluid. You grew a healthy baby boy, then delivered him into this world safely. That’s impressive. I don’t have it in me. You’re a rock star. Enjoy your growing family, and be proud of yourself!

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Debbe June 15, 2014 at 10:53 am

I love your site and have been using your recipes. But, I missed your pregnancy. I stopped by to check out some more recipes and saw your absolutely precious and gorgeous baby. Congratulations mommy and daddy! Thank you for sharing the birth story. It was amazingly similar to my own first birth, right down to the antibiotics, vacuum suck, and tearing. But, it is all worth it and you will be an incredible mom. You will sleep again and yes your world will never be the same. It will be a zillion times better!!!!!

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Trendy Tummy Maternity June 20, 2014 at 2:05 am

I’m so happy to read your story.Thanks for sharing and congratulations to both of you.

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Stoich91 June 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Beautiful story, beautiful baby, beautiful family! Thank you so much for sharing…it’s always an incredibly emotional roller coaster – feelings are super-normal/cool/okay! :D xoxo and hugs to your new posse!

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Kelly July 15, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Late to the party but wanted to congratulate you on the birth of your son. Having had six pregnancies and four kids, I seriously try not to be one of those women who try to scare pregnant women with pregnancy/labor&delivery/newborn horror stories but I do often times find myself saying “you won’t know until you’re in it.” You don’t know the pain of labor until you’re in it, you don’t know the overwhelming exhaustion of having a newborn until you’re in it, and you don’t know the incredible, never ending love, until you’re in it :-)

The best is yet to come.

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Alli July 25, 2014 at 6:04 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this Jenna! I literally just finished crying in the shower~ I’ve got six weeks left and I’m in pain, I want him to be here already and my husband is away on military duty. Reading your story made me realize that all birth stories are not cookie cutter and neither are the pregnancies. Bless you and your growing family!

A

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