Beautiful Births

This post is part of an editorial series, “The Stork Stories,” brought to you by the Fort Worth Moms Blog and Texas Health. We hope these pieces provide you with helpful information, encouragement, and answers as you prepare for baby’s arrival.Stork stories

preg·nan·cy: noun. The condition or period of being pregnant.

Ummm, DUH, thanks Merriam Webster.

Actual definition: A period of 35-42 weeks of complete joy and complete terror.

My first pregnancy was filled with all of the unknown wonderful feelings you have, like wondering why all you want to eat your first trimester is bananas, despite the fact you have hated them your entire life. And then puking up said bananas the entire second trimester. Oh the joy! But then one day you’re laying in bed and you feel a flutter . . . is that gas? Yes, it’s totally gas, but then it happens more consistently. You realize your sweet babe is wiggling and jiggling and loving his home for the next few months.

Oh, my gracious, I LOVED being pregnant. I am certainly not saying it wasn’t difficult with loads of morning sickness, but, WOW, I was having a baby — what an honor to carry my sweet son. Also, it was a great excuse to drink all, and I mean ALL, of the Chick-fil-A milk shakes I could find.

Rhett decided he was in love with his home and didn’t want to join us in the outside world, and so I had the joy of being induced at 41 weeks. After a scheduled trip to the hospital, waiting, Pitocin, waiting, water breaking, waiting, contractions, CONTRACTIONS, EPIDURAL (oh, sweet heavens, an epidural), and pushing for three hours, I heard his precious cry. I had a son, I was a mom, I AM a MOM!!!

Meet my sweet boy Rhett.Rhett

Fast forward 18 months. That’s right ladies . . . I was prego on my son’s first birthday.

This pregnancy would be exceedingly different than my first. Filled with just as much joy, but a thousand percent scarier. I found out early in my second trimester that I was having a sweet baby girl, and that she would have cystic fibrosis. Everything about carrying my sweet girl was normal with all of the morning sickness, love/hate relationship with bananas, love of Chick-fil-A milkshakes (far less than with Rhett, but they were there), time on my knees praying for my babe, all was normal in that respect. I just added on consistent appointments with my amazing doctor team.

One night, at about 39.5 weeks, I woke up with a horrible back ache, so I went and sat in the shower to see if it would go away. The pain came in waves and steadily worsened. HOLY SMOKES, I am in labor. Eek, I need to  shave my legs real quick, and let’s GO! So, with hazards on, we headed to the hospital. The contractions came faster and faster. YOWZA, back labor is legit! It was time for an epidural — awe, sweet relief. I continued to progress, and the team for my sweet gal was getting ready. Because she had CF there was an unknown factor we were all prepared for.

My precious nurse came in and asked me for a test push. WHOA, STOP! (I guess I’m a super good pusher, GO ME. Haha.) The next thing I know she is asking my mom to grab something as my doctor rushes in, and with a laugh at how crazy it was that she was coming out, Layla made her debut . . . in a laugh. I prayed for JOY over this child so much, and she came out in a laugh. God, you do have a sense of humor. The neonatologist team immediately took her and began working on her to get her to take a good breath and start that sweet crying. It seemed like a lifetime, but once I heard that beautiful cry I did the same in relief, joy, and wonder at the difference between this Layla Jeanbirth story and my first.

Meet Layla Jean.

One day after Layla was born her neonatologist came in and said that Layla had meconium ileus because of her CF. Which means her poop was basically tar in her intestines that could not get out on its own, so they were sending her to Cook Children’s. The ambulance was on its way, and my doctor was getting me discharged, NOW! I thought to myself, “Seriously, like right now?? But I just had her, and she is perfect.” I got back on my knees. “God, I need you, please be with my sweet baby and help me to be positive and live in the JOY that only You provide.” That is A LOT for this mom, who just had a baby, to handle.

blogWhen the Cook’s team arrived at the hospital, the very first thing they did was give me a doll, and told me to place the doll in my bra so that it would smell like me and it could be close to Layla when I could not be. So I hugged, squeezed, prayed, and loved this doll as much as humanly possible so that when it was next to my girl she would feel all that love, and know that her momma was there and would always be there to love and take care of her.

God answers prayers, and he took care of Layla Jean while she was in the care of the incredible pulmonary team at Cook Childrens. They were able to clear up her Meconium Ileum, and we went home after a week in the NICU.

Two birth stories later and I have two amazing kiddos who bring me incredible amounts of joy and laughter. I love both of my stories and am so very thankful for each of them.

No two pregnancies are alike, but ALL pregnancies are beautiful. C-section, water birth, doula, or epidural, you are an incredible mom!

Stork Stories photo credit:

Joanna loves doing life in Fort Worth! She has two cutie pie kiddos, Rhett, 5 and Layla, 4. She works full time in marketing and loves to run. Let’s be real . . . she likes to run because she loves donuts! She and her family are in a fight to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis because Layla has the disease. They could not be more in love with their team of doctors, nurses, and dietitians at Cook Childrens. Joanna says she tries to find joy in each day even though life gets absolutely crazy at times with a full-time job, two super fun and active kids, and doing treatments with Layla daily. She can many times be found in her kitchen trying out a new recipe from Cooking Light Magazine or Pioneer Woman. (Photo courtesy of: Beyond the Blue Studios).


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