The Greatest Day- December 1st, 2017

Hello all! Now that we are settled home, so many have been wanting to see pictures and hear all about our birth story. So here we go! 

It's so crazy how you think you're ahead of the game by planning outfits, packing all the necessities in the diaper bag, making sure everything is washed in Dreft baby detergent, and making sure everything is absolutely perfect when a new baby arrives. And as a photographer, I packed all my camera lenses, cute newborn outfits, etc. expecting to have photoshoots all day of our new bundle of joy. But reality is, when you see their face and hold their tiny fingers.. all you want to do is hold them, stare at their chest breathing, and thank God for this beautiful miracle of life. Nothing else matters. Nothing. So now that he's a week old, I knew I'd better get on the newborn pictures before he starts to change! Maybe I can freeze time just for a second so I'll never forget the way he looked when he came on December 1st, 2017. This ones for you, my Jackson.

First let's flash back to the last 9 months. Pregnancy was amazing, up until the last 2 weeks I was growing bigger, uncomfortable, and so anxious to meet him! I shot 23 weddings and I'm SO thankful I was able to continue what I love! Everything was going well for my doctor visits, except when we got to 36 weeks and realized we have a big boy on the way! I was packing on the pounds as they detected polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid), baby was weighing 7lbs. 10oz... and I still had 4 more weeks to go! My doctor monitored my levels each week and thank God everything turned out okay, but we decided to induce at 39 weeks to avoid a possible c-section. 

Thursday Nov. 30 at 5pm we packed our bags to head into the hospital to get prepped for the induction on Friday. My doctor expanded my cervix with a balloon catheter from 3cm to 6cm overnight and then Friday morning it was time to start everything! Will and I planned for a natural, unmedicated birth. I'm not one for pain medicine and needed to feel "in control" so we thought this would be the best route. Thursday night the contractions began in my back and wrapped around my belly. We didn't get much sleep that night as Will held hot packs on me and diffused oils to help with the pain. Finally by morning I was 6cm, so my doctor broke my water and things really started kicking in. From 7am to about 10:30am I paced around the room, showered, bounced on the ball, and listened to music. Things were working and I was getting through the contractions until they came back to back. I couldn't focus on breathing, I didn't want Will to touch me, I was giving up. Will was pushing me (as I told him to!) but this was really getting hard. They checked me again and said, "You're doing great, you're 7cm now!" I thought, "Really, it's been 3.5 hours and that's it?" So I decided to get the epidural and I'm so happy I did because it finally relaxed me! About 30 minutes later, the doctor came in and said "Okay, it's time to push!". I pushed for an hour, legs numb, but still feeling the pressure (and I'm so glad for that because I was able to still be "in control"). The last few pushes I was tired and giving up. Will was holding my leg and kissing my forehead, tears down his cheeks, telling me I can do it. Finally, Jackson was born at 12:40pm as he let out a cry and they laid my 8lbs. 8oz. baby boy on my chest! Imagine the last time you were happiest you'd ever been, and then multiple that x1000! Pure joy. 

The next few days in the hospital were filled with so many emotions.. exhaustion, joy, happiness, etc. Jackson slept so good the first night, we were amazed! But that 2nd night was the hardest of all. At first, I only was taking Motrin for pain until I realized I needed something else and then I remembered why I hate pain medicine! That evening I started feeling nauseous and lightheaded. It was about 1am and all I could do was lay in the bed feeling so sick. I told Will, "You're going to have to take care of him.. I can't sit up I'm so lightheaded." It was the worst feeling in the world.. providing Jackson with food and feeling that yucky! I nursed him until he fell back asleep and Will laid him back in the bassinet. About 15 minutes later, he was awake and crying. We were both so drained. Will rocked him and laid him down. And then 30 minutes later he cried again. Finally at 2am our door opened, and the best nurse came to check on us. I told her I was lightheaded and feeling sick. She said, "How about I take him for a few hours, we can do his labs tonight, and you guys can sleep?" We both said YES! I will forever remember Rebecka and how amazing she was the entire shift she was with us. 

We got home that Sunday and the first night was really hard (as it should be with new parents and a newborn!), but we made it through! We both took turns napping on Monday and by that night, Jackson slept so good! I actually had to wake him up to nurse him! We'd like to give credit to the Rock n' Play because that thing is MAGIC! Any new parents out there need it, and I promise you your baby will sleep. Jackson sleeps throughout the night and naps in there as well. 

Jackson is now 1 week old (yesterday) and we can't imagine life without him! He has been such a good baby so far eating and sleeping like a champ! I love being a mommy and have fallen more in love with his daddy. He has taken care of me and Jackson this last week when I'm drained, forgetting to eat, etc. he is there. I'm the luckiest woman to have them both in my life! 

To my Jackson- We love you more than you'll ever know! We try and imagine what you'll be like, sound like, etc. but as for today we love you being our newborn. 

Pregnant mommy-to-be shooting a few weddings!

Jackson's first few hours into the world!

And last but not least, my baby boy.. 1 week old!