Tomorrow, my baby boy # 2 turns one. I think on the the birthdays of my children now and for years to come, I will always look back and remember the birthday. And the birth experience. Because, honestly, the whole thing is life changing. One day and one experience (giving birth) changes your life in a very real way.

At 40 weeks and one day, John Wicks had not made his appearance Needless to say, I was large, uncomfortable, impatient, and in typical fashion, a bit dramatic. “I cannot carry this baby ANOTHER day,” I groaned to Adam night after third-trimester-night. 30+ extra pounds around the middle gets pretty heavy  as the weeks wear on. I went into labor on my own with Luke at 39 weeks, and I was hoping to go into labor at least by my due date with JW. But at 40 weeks 1 day, I had yet to feel a contraction. I went in to see my doctor on the morning of Monday, June 3. I think I was just 1cm dilated (maybe 2?), but my doctor was leaving town that Thursday, and he felt like my conditions were favorable for a successful induction if that’s what we wanted. Since I was new to the area and had only met and seen this one doctor during the last quarter of my pregnancy, I really wanted him to deliver. So, we decided that I would go ahead and be induced. The doctor told us to be back at the hospital at 10:30 pm that night. I remember thinking, “Oh wow. This is really happening. Like, soon.” I guess I was thinking he would wait until at least the next day.

We were excited as we left the clinic and headed home to get things ready. My mom and sister already had plans to come into town that night, so it worked out perfectly. We went and got frozen yogurt with Luke as his last “only child hoorah!” I remember feeling a little emotional about it being our last day as a family of 3 with just Luke. Of course, we were so thrilled about our precious 2nd blessing, but I knew it would be a big change. And, of course, all emotions are exaggerated during and after pregnancy because, well, HORMONES. I remember wondering if Luke was going to adjust ok and know how much we still loved him.

{Oreos all over us! I “treated” myself a lot during pregnancy.}

IMG_4913Mom and Jenny got to our house around 5. The plan was for mom to stay with Luke and for Jen to go with Adam and me to the hospital. At the time, Jen was about to start her first year of medical school, and she really wanted to be in the room for the birth (she was upset that she wasn’t in the room for L’s). She had watched my dad deliver a baby or two before but wanted to see her nephew make his grand entrance. Blood and fluid and the graphicness of birth are right up her alley. Which is why she’s going to be a doctor. And why I’m not.

Jenny makes everything more fun. I remember laughing a lot when she and mom arrived as I threw clothes and shoes in a bag. Of course, I overpacked because I always need “options.” Jenny was like, “How many options could you possibly need? You’re going to be lying in a hospital bed!”

We had about a 40 minute drive to the hospital and were running late, as per usual. Jen posted some extremely flattering (sarcasm) pictures of me on instagram while making fun of our minivan, which in the end, she admitted was pretty “pimp.” Call me soccer mom, but I love my van.


The hospital has the option for you to choose a room that you can deliver and recover in, so you never have to move rooms during your hospital stay. They pride themselves on the decor in these rooms. In each room, the hospital bed has a cute comforter or quilt to make the room more homey. They funny thing is, the nurse tells you to take a quick picture with your pretty bed as soon as you arrive, and then 5 minutes later they strip the bed of all the pretty because BIRTH is about to happen. And, honestly, the hospital is too proud of all their pretty comforters to let them get ruined. IMG_2320I have been very blessed with easy and even fun delivery experiences with both of my boys. During both, friends and/or family were present to keep me laughing and having a good time. When Luke was born, some of my dearest friends spent the night at the hospital, and even though Adam playfully resents having to sleep on the hard floor, we made some good memories.

When I arrived at the hospital for my induction with JW, one of the nurses asked me what my pain goal was on a scale from one to ten (meaning how much pain was I willing/wanting to experience). Without hesitation, I told her that my pain goal was zero. Yep, that’s right. Zero. I totally admire these women who want to see how far they can make it before pain meds. It’s great to give your body a physical challenge and push yourself. I totally get that. That’s why I trained for and ran 26.2 miles. But, then again,  I have never seen movies of marathon runners screaming bloody murder, either. These women who have gone all the way through with natural childbirth (including my mom)? Well, I will readily to admit that they are some kind of brave and tough. And I am NOT that kind of brave and tough. Frankly, the imagined pain of childbearing is more than my body can handle, and since we all know it’s important to listen to your body, I opted for as little pain as possible. I’m happy to report that the fine medical professionals at Crestwood Hospital did an excellent job in helping me achieve my pain goal of zero. I may have felt one or two very mild contractions.

Jenny and Adam kept me entertained and laughing until the nurse gave me a sleeping pill about midnight. I got great sleep through the night as we waited for my cervix to thin.
IMG_4923 In the morning, they started pitocin. I got the epidural pretty early. All the details get a bit foggy after that. Our families arrived at the hospital before the birth and we got to chat and visit and see Luke for a little while. About 3 pm, I was fully dilated, and the nurses told me to do a practice push. After one push, they frantically told me to “STOP!” Little John Wicks was-a-comin’. The doctor barely made it in time to deliver. It’s hard for me to put into words what it’s like to see and hold that little life for the first time— that little life that you’ve been carrying around for 40 weeks. It’s kind of this surreal moment when you think, “Oh, wow. Did that really just happen? There’s that little boy. He’s finally here after all that waiting, and he’s more precious than I imagined. What a gift.” I remember just being stunned at the amazingness of the whole thing, even though it was my second time. IMG_4926 IMG_4931 IMG_4940 SONY DSCI’m thankful someone captured those first surreal and precious moments in the safe confines of the hospital walls. Birth was the easy part. Two days later, as we drove away from the hospital and carried our sweet new baby out into a world filled with both beauty and pain, I cried like a baby. Because HORMONES. . . but also because my heart was so full of joy and thankfulness for this brand new little gift of life entrusted to us for a time that I thought it might burst. Anticipation of the journey ahead—sure to be full of both peaks and valleys—left me teary and clinging to a Savior whom I know is faithful and good.

He has given so much grace and given us so many reasons to rejoice during this first year. Glory to God.

We are so thankful for our little John Wicks. He is the perfect addition to our family.

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