Joanna’s birth story

Our sweet Joanna is a year old today and I’m finally ready to tell her birth story and share some photos.

I am so grateful to my dear friend, Hannah, who captured the labor and delivery photos for us and was an added support to me during labor. Words cannot express how much the photos mean to me.

We went in early on a Friday morning for a scheduled induction. I was a week overdue and last time that I went late it caused complications with Caleb’s birth, so we opted to not let it go too long. It was funny but not funny that when we arrived they didn’t have us on the schedule. It was an oversight on the hospital’s part. However, due to being 41 weeks they “squeezed me in”. It took several hours for the Pitocin to get things going, but once it did it went pretty fast.

I was pretty bound and determined to labor as long as possible without an epidural because I knew I’d be stuck in bed. So I walked some, but the most comfortable position was on the birthing ball and listening to my worship music playlist.

This experience was different than with our boys. I was much more at peace and not fearful of the process of delivering. Justin was strong, steady, and very attentive. Though, I think he was grateful to have Hannah step in and give him a couple breaks.

Even in the intensity of labor there was so much joy and peace. I opted for the epidural because it was getting very difficult to rest between contractions. I don’t know any different, I needed Pitocin for all three of my labors, but I’ve heard that it intensifies contractions. I also tended to have mild ones and cramping between the major ones so I couldn’t really rest. However, this time the epidural wasn’t 100% effective because of how Joanna was laying or where her head was located. I had a “window” area on my belly that I could still feel everything. I don’t share that to scare anyone because it really wasn’t terrible and I made it through just fine.

I specifically remember how I was feeling in the next photo. I was so aware of God’s goodness while I was pushing and knew I was just moments away from seeing the Promise He made to me. There was so much JOY. Once Joanna dropped lower the “window” disappeared and I no longer felt any pain. I was fully present for pushing and am so thankful. I could hear and receive all the encouragement from Justin, Hannah, and my amazing nurses. I still remember their smiling faces and looks of anticipation. It makes me weepy thinking about it as I write it out because it says so much about a nurse that she (or he) attends so many births and still celebrates each one as the unique gift that baby is!

Seeing her for the first time, like for our boys, was nothing short amazing. A miracle. My favorite thing was that she looked up at me straight in the eyes as if intentionally to look at her mama for the first time. Then she wanted to nurse right away. I breathed in that new baby smell and could feel the God-designed bond happening.

We were so excited to be a family of five! Our oldest, Noah, was trembling he was so excited to meet her. Caleb wasn’t sure what to do at first, but he warmed up pretty quickly.

We were so thankful for friends and family celebrating Joanna with us.

This next photo is the only photo I have, but this is my dear childhood friend Joanna who happened to be in town from Texas when I had our Joanna. If that isn’t God’s sweet timing, I don’t know what is.

If you made it all the way to the end of Joanna’s birth story, here’s a virtual hug from me to you! You must love babies or are looking for encouragement and inspiration for labor and delivery. If so, I pray peace over you.

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