It’s crazy to think that two weeks ago today, we were driving to the hospital to HAVE A BABY! 40 weeks of growing a human, and here we go. I’m so thankful for a pretty good pregnancy experience. I had no big complications, and I’d say the toughest part of the 40 weeks was just worrying that he was ok in there. I felt pretty good (considering) the entire time. I never had any weird cravings. Despite gaining about 40 lbs, I feel like I was able to stay relatively healthy. I worked out the entire time, modifying more and more the further along he got. My body tolerated eating pretty healthy 70-80% of the time. There were few foods/drinks that I was unable to enjoy. You get the picture.. Really, a pretty good experience.

And here we were.. Driving to Anderson. I felt so prepared. We had a car replacement (from the wreck a couple weeks back). So, the car seat was IN. The bags were packed. I even organized some outfits for Jaxon and had them individually separated in plastic bags (born primitive shipping bags FTW!) We got so much done the days before. I had all my clients’ programming for the week sent out. The house was somewhat clean and tidy. The dogs got ALL the LOVE all weekend. We were ready. 

We made some homemade pizza, knowing it would be a long while before I could eat anything again. And when I say “we” I mean mostly Daniel. We watched some good TV. We stopped by QT on the way in for some ice cream (random, I know, but CFA was closed). This stop lasted a little longer than we thought, and we were 5 min late to our 9 pm appointment. 

We got to the hospital, and I was SO surprised how fast they got us checked in, in a room, IV in, drugs going. I thought it would take a few hours to get everything started. 

AND OK NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW THAN TO PRAISE THE NURSES AT ANMED W&C HOSPITAL. The nurses, along with my doctor (Dr. Mitchell) made this experience so wonderful, despite it not going how we would have loved. They were so kind, helpful, and just all around great. I’m sure I’m going to miss some names here.. But thank you Cristina Winn for keeping in touch with me the whole time. Thank you Jalicia and Kayla for being so great pre birth. And thank you Rebecca, Ellen, and a few other nurses, for being so awesome post birth. The lactation consultants were the bomb too. And so was the pediatric NP. I can’t remember any of their names right now because I am tired. 

Anyway, before I get started, please know that I am not 100% educated when it comes to terms and such. And also, I’m not asking for any DMs with unsolicited advice or criticism. Now that I am 2 weeks into this, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Everyone has their own beliefs on how birth should go, and I know being induced, epidurals, and C Sections aren’t on everyone’s list. But it’s a part of our story. Thankfully, we had a great doctor, who we’ve both known for awhile and we trust 100%. While I would have loved for the experience to go like I perfectly imagined, I know that life throws us curveballs all the time, and we have to adapt, and run with it and just stay grateful. I also believe everything happens for a reason. I almost didn’t type this up, and share it for that matter, because I felt a little insecure about it. But I wanted to type this up for me, and even share it, for me.

Ok, so.. I was a tiny little 1 CM dilated pre labor. The pitocin made me feel pretty sick, which made me assume things were moving right along. Well, joke is on me, because the next morning, I was still 1 CM. We just hung out, waited, watched some good TV, including the Today Show, Family Feud, and The Price is Right. I could feel some contractions, but they were pretty light. I liked watching the monitor to see how consistent they were and how big they could get. 

I’m pretty sure I got an epidural around noon. No shame in that for me. My water broke shortly after. However, IDK what made me feel so nauseous after that, but I ended up throwing up five times – basically every hour on the hour. I’m not a fan of dry heaving and throwing up, but it’s all good. They allowed me to have popsicles. I LOVE popsicles, so that was great. But I also loved them in this instance because they made the throw up come on faster – instead of just being extremely nauseous and dry heaving for 15 minutes. 

Around 3-4 pm, I decided that I wanted the epidural pulled back. I couldn’t stand not being able to feel my legs (like really couldn’t feel them) and I didn’t want to feel as sick anymore. I was also 3 cm dilated now, so in my optimistic head, I assumed that it’d be ready to push any time now (haha) and I wanted to be able to actually feel myself pushing. I was pretty tough with the contractions for a couple hours..but then I was cool with them bumping the epidural back up. 

Around this time, I was a 5, I think. Dr. Mitchell was in and out, checking on me. They took the monitor on my belly off, and stuck something up me to get his HR. There was a nurse who noticed that his heart rate was dropping some when I’d have contractions. So, a few nurses kept helping me shift how I was lying to see if that helped. My blood pressure was also dropping pretty low, which is also probably why I felt so sick. 

Around 7:30-8 pm on Monday night, my doc suggested that it would be best to go ahead and have a C Section because he just wasn’t loving these contractions. His HR kept dropping as I’d have contractions. She wasn’t nervous or alarmed or anything, which made me feel like it wasn’t an emergency,, but he did need to come out that night. She said that if I was almost fully dilated, we could ride it out. But because I was only a 5 by this time, it was best to just make it happen now. 

It took about an hour before I was rolled into surgery. But that was the LONGEST HOUR ever. I cried a little bit, as I did not want a C section. In fact, that is why I went ahead and got induced, instead of waiting it out at home longer. I was terrified. It wasn’t even about the recovery process for me. It was more about having huge insecurities of not being able to bond with him immediately after. I had dreamed of that moment for a long time. I also felt SO SICK (like who am I?!? And why do I feel so sick?) and I was terrified that I was going to throw up during the surgery and then my guts would go everywhere, and then I’d die. These were legit thoughts I was having. Usually when I have negative thoughts, I can redirect them and calm myself down and be more realistic. I pray. I’m so thankful I have a God that I can talk to and pray to all the time – but especially in times like this.

But I couldn’t get this thought of death out of my head. I was like, “ok, here we go. I’m going to die, and Jaxon won’t have a mom, and Daniel is going to have to raise him all by himself.”

The anesthesiologists were the bomb. There were two of them, and I can’t remember their names. But they kept me talking, which I’m sure was interesting convo because I was pretty drunk. They told me that they wouldn’t let me throw up, and they’d keep giving me some meds to get my blood pressure back up. I’m pretty sure the 15 minute procedure lasted 2 hours in my head. I couldn’t wait for it to be over – mostly so I could see Jaxon safe and sound.. And also so I could throw up 

I could hear Jaxon crying. I heard that everything was great, and he was healthy.  I was fine, etc. I heard them say he was 7 lb 7 oz and really long. I wanted to see him so bad, but I also felt like I was going to throw up any second. What was supposed to be the coolest memory that I’d treasure forever ended up being me feeling SO drunk, unable to even look at him. I felt so guilty and so sad. They ran all the tests on him, and Daniel got to bond and chill with him for awhile. When I was stitched up (probaby 15-20 min later) but felt like 2 hours.. I got to see him and lay with him and just look at him. I was so happy, but I just felt pretty guilty about not feeling so well and not being there for him right after he was born. 

We also planned on getting Guys Pizza for dinner, but I wasn’t allowed to eat anything, nor did I want any food for awhile. I was surprised how sore everything felt…like I couldn’t even move. They said everything was looking so good and my incision looked great. I had a catheter so I didn’t have to worry about getting up to pee. It felt weird to just have to lay there. 

I felt so guilty that first night because Daniel had to do EVERYTHING. He had to change Jax’s diapers, literally put Jax in my arms, take care of me, etc. All I could do was just lay there. One of Jax’s diapers was pretty rough. I felt so bad that he was having to do everything.

We had a hard time breastfeeding – as I know most people do. He couldn’t latch, and really the only time he would cry was when he was trying to figure it out. I tried to stay calm during this, but it was really stressful because I felt like I was failing him. Barely anything was coming out. The LCs were so helpful, but the whole latch thing just wasn’t happening. I was determined to not give up though. Unfortunately, by the time we left the hospital, Jax lost close to 10% of his BW. One of the nurses got me pumping to see if that would help, and all I could produce was like 2 Ml of colostrum – and we were almost 4 days in. We did weight checks at the peds office for 3-4 days in a row. He initially went down even more (the day after coming home from the hospital). I lost it to the lactation consultant at the peds office. Poor lady. I’m pretty sure I cried more in the office that morning than I did the whole time I was pregnant. IDK WHERE THESE EMOTIONS WERE COMING FROM but they were there. Thankfully, he went up a few oz the following day (Saturday) and then he went up 5 oz between Sat and Monday! My milk came in sometime Saturday evening, and by Sunday, I was able to pump a decent amount to where we didn’t have to feed him by syringe (since that was all I could produce at the time). 

What a difference a week makes though because I wouldn’t say we are THRIVING by any means, but we win MOST IMPROVED in a week when it comes to BFing, latching, and producing a good bit of milk. I am so thankful that pumping has worked well for us. Daniel loves feeding him too, and that gives him an opportunity to feed him. I know not everyone is as fortunate as us, so I am so thankful that it worked out for Jaxon to have my breastmilk.  I still try to actually BF him more times than not. But the bottles work great, and that way I can monitor it and make sure he is getting enough. The kid is thriving though – pooping and peeing all the time… but it didn’t come easy. I’m so proud of how hard we’ve worked the past two weeks. I feel like he is the best nutrition client I’ve ever had, and we are making gainz together. 

He looks so much different now than he did even a week ago. I can’t believe how fast he is growing. We sit around a lot, and that has made me want to be on my phone more. So, I am working on putting my phone down and just being as engaged as I can with him. Daniel has been a rockstar. I’m so thankful Jax has him as a dad. This has grown my love for him even more. He has taken great care of us, and we’ve been a great team, to where he even feeds him first thing in the AM, and this allows me to get an extra hour of sleep. We’re both averaging about 5-6 hours of sleep right now, and I’d say that is pretty good!

I didn’t think I could love something as much as I do Jaxon William Stall. He’s already taught me so much about myself and given my life purpose and meaning that I didn’t even know was there. He is grace in my life and something that I feel like I don’t deserve, but here we are! He likes to keep us awake at night (because he’s hungry and because I feel like we’re always checking him to make sure he’s ok 🙂 but it’s so worth it. Being a mom is really great, and looking back, I know everything happens for a reason. I wouldn’t change this story for anything. 

I’m thankful that we are recovering well! We’re getting the hang of it. We’re staying positive, and giving each other a lot of grace! Post partum is tough, not going to lie. Emotions can be a little all over the place. But overall, I am so thankful to be healthy and feel healthy, and most importantly, to have a healthy 2 week old (or almost 2 weeks) who is so loved and cared for, and who I can just stare at all day. I’m thankful for our walks, and I’m glad that walking isn’t painful at all for me. I know everyone’s journey is different – esp after a C section. 

Thank you to everyone who has been so loving and supportive to us. Thanks for the meals, texts, calls, and prayers!