I am SO thrilled to finally introduce my sweet baby boy, Jameson Andrew Iwanski. Born Saturday, September 12th, 2015 at 4:11pm (39 weeks and 6 days). He was 8 pounds, 5 ounces, 20 inches long, and absolutely perfect in every way!
I woke up Saturday morning around 6am to contractions that were about six minutes apart (at first I thought I just had to use the bathroom but I quickly realized that this was a different kind of pain haha). I had had some false labor contractions earlier that week but it fizzled out within a few hours so I thought maybe this would too. I tried to just rest in bed for awhile and when Alex woke up and I told him what was happening, we decided to just go about our normal routine and see if the contractions progressed or went away before we let our family know. We got up, had some breakfast, did some laundry, and started timing the contractions to keep an eye on things. Sure enough, they started getting closer together and more intense. It was real labor!
I tried not to get too excited and just let my body do its thing (I’m seriously still amazed at the whole labor and birth process and how perfectly designed it all is). I bounced on my yoga ball a bit, walked around and rotated my hips as much as I could (until the contractions were too painful to stand up through), and eventually ended up just laying in bed to try and focus on relaxing and surrendering to Jesus (and to the pain). Alex was a tremendous blessing and help to me through all of this… I don’t think he even knows how greatly he helped me. He kept me calm, supported me when I couldn’t stand by myself, massaged my back, kept worship music on, and made sure I was staying super hydrated. Plus he continuously prayed over me and Jameson and encouraged me so much. I wanted to labor and deliver completely naturally and he was 100% supportive of that and kept me focused on our goal. He kept telling me how proud he was of me and how I was doing such a great job and that we would be meeting our son so soon!
Around 2:30pm we called our midwife, Laura, for the second time that day (the first was in the morning to let her know I was starting to go into active labor). Right as Alex was on the phone with her, I went through one of the worst contractions of the entire day. It lasted over 3 minutes and I could feel the pain coursing through my whole body. Suddenly there was a whole lot of pressure and I knew it was time to go to the hospital. I yelled that we needed to go NOW and Laura, hearing me through the phone, said we should absolutely be heading over. Alex grabbed all our stuff, helped me down the stairs, and we started on the absolute most uncomfortable car ride of my life haha.
The hospital is only 15-20 minutes away but when contractions are hitting you a minute and a half to two minutes apart, it feels way farther than that. Alex was trying to drive as smoothly has he could while keeping me calm as I cried out in pain and begged Jesus to give me strength. I was so scared we wouldn’t get there in time…the contractions felt like they were right on top of each other, there was more pressure everywhere by the second, and then we got stuck behind a TRAIN of all things. We had to switch our route and go down a different road, but then that happened to have a massive accident which shut down the entire southbound section we needed to pass. I was screaming that this had to be a joke but also kind of laughing because I knew God was testing me to see how much I would trust Him to sustain me and get us there in time. I kept praying and crying out to Him and by His grace, we made it.
We checked in through the emergency entrance and they had me sit in a wheelchair almost immediately because they could see I wasn’t able to keep myself upright very well. I knew Alex was stressed out but he kept me calm while we waited to be taken to the triage room to monitor the baby and answer what felt like a million questions. At that point I just wanted to PUSH HIM OUT but they had to make sure he wasn’t in distress or anything and that his heartbeat was still strong. Praise Jesus he was doing fine (it was just me trying to manage the pain and keep still while they drew blood and asked me more questions). Finally Laura came to check on me and to my immense surprise (and relief!) she said I was already 9.5cm dilated. I knew right then and there that I could do this. I was through the worst part and had gotten myself almost to the finish line. Looking back, if we had gotten to the hospital and they said I was only 6 or 7 centimeters along, I would have absolutely asked for the epidural. But through the grace of God, He kept me strong and I was able to do all the hard labor at home.
Finally they took me to the delivery room, and not a moment too soon. I felt like Jameson’s head was about to come shoving out at any second. I asked Laura if I could please get him out now and she advised me to sit on the toilet and try a push to see if that relieved any pain. I sat myself right down, pushed on the next contraction, and my water broke immediately. I screamed that he was coming right now and the nurse rushed over to check. She quickly told everyone else that his head was crowning and they had to get me to the delivery bed. I wanted to stay on the toilet haha. I told them I couldn’t move so the nurse and Alex helped me over to the bed and by that point, everything hurt and there was so much pressure all at once that I knew my son was about to be born. I pushed and screamed through the next four or five contractions with Alex rubbing my back and telling me how close we were. It only took about 10 minutes from the point of my water breaking to the moment my baby was born. I remember them telling me his head was almost out and I asked Alex to see what color his hair was. “Very dark,” he said and I focused on the fact that I wanted to see it myself to help me get through the rest.
The scariest moment was when he was almost out and I heard them all frantically talking low and telling me I needed to keep pushing and get him out as fast as I could, even though the pushing contraction was over. I knew something wasn’t right so I did my very best to push as hard as possible and get my baby to safety. I never saw what happened, but the cord was wrapped around his shoulders and he was a strange blue color. One last enormous push and he was out and being carried across the room where I saw him for the first time. The nurses were surrounding him and he wasn’t making any noise. I started crying and asking if he was okay. Before anyone could tell me, he let out the most beautiful cry and I felt relief wash over me, knowing he would be just fine. He was still a bluish, whitish color but he was crying and breathing and wiggling around. They brought him back over to me, plopped him on my chest and I kissed him for the first time…the moment I had been agonizingly waiting for since January 1st when we found out I was pregnant. My baby was here.
Alex and I just sort of stared in awe at him while the nurses and midwife checked our vitals and helped get me clean and comfortable. I honestly don’t remember much except for Jameson’s face because that’s all I really cared about. We prayed over him and thanked Jesus for our perfect boy. They moved us to the recovery room and we stared at him some more while we played some worship music. Everything was perfect and there was so much love and joy and thankfulness to God in my heart. Our families arrived a few hours later and I got to see each of them fall in love with my son the second they saw him. It was beautiful.
We made it through the night at the hospital (lots of trial and error with breastfeeding, lots of figuring out Jameson’s likes and dislikes, and lots of kisses for his sweet face). We didn’t sleep all that much but we all squished onto the hospital bed and snuggled together, just the three of us. Jameson got his first bath that night around 1am (he screamed through most of it until the nurse ran his little head under the warm water…must have reminded him of his home for the past nine months). We had a few close friends come visit and hold him, but we kept it small so we could enjoy those precious first moments with our son.
The next day was filled with more tests on Jameson (hearing, jaundice, that terrible heel prick) and he cried through most of them haha. I wanted to, too. Poor guy just went through the biggest trauma of his life and was still getting beat up left and right! He passed everything, though, and after a few more visitors that day we got discharged around 5:45pm (it would have been at 5, but right after Alex carried all our stuff down to the car and we got Jameson snug in his car seat, he started crying for food and then had a giant poop explosion that ruined his outfit hahaha. Oh well, I guess that’s how it is with kids. Doesn’t always go according to plan).
Now we’re home (I’ll be posting more pictures of our first few days later) and enjoying every single second of our sweet baby boy. I love absolutely everything about him, even his cries. He is so perfect in every way and I feel overwhelmingly blessed to be his mommy! I can’t believe he’s mine and I get to love on him and enjoy every special moment with him for all the time we’re given. There is absolutely nothing like this feeling in the whole world.
Jameson, you are SO LOVED by so many people, but especially by me and your daddy. We can’t get enough of you, sweet boy. 🙂 I am so thankful that God kept him safe and healthy through the entire pregnancy and through our entire labor and delivery. I am absolutely amazed by His goodness and grace. Thank you Jesus for our Jameson.
The last bump pictures I took. 38 weeks and 4 days on the left & 39 weeks and 5 days (the day before he was born) on the right.