Asher’s Birth Story

birthThe day of my due date, I was so over being pregnant. I was uncomfortable, tired, in a lot of pain from endless pelvic pressure, and I was just ready to hold him. My nerves over whether my VBAC attempt would be successful or not were getting the best of me, and I was almost ready to just schedule a repeat cesarean.

The week prior, I spent the afternoon in L&D thinking that my water was leaking (it wasn’t) and after being checked, I was ecstatic to learn I was just over a centimeter dilated and about 50% effaced. For someone whose body did NOTHING on it’s own the first time around, this was beyond exciting. Drew and I decided that we would be induced if I didn’t go into labor by 41 weeks, and scheduled the induction while still remaining hopeful that my body would work on it’s own.ashFast forward to my due date. Not a single painful contraction or cramp, no more potentially leaking fluid, Asher seemed comfy in there. I went to my 40 week check up fully prepared to hear that my cervix had just closed back up. Imagine my surprise to learn that I was actually at two centimeters and 75% effaced.


Again, that may not seem like a big deal to some, but to someone who barely even progressed WITH drugs before, it’s a big freakin deal.

My midwife offered to do a membrane sweep (it hurts. a lot.) to try and get things moving. She told me Asher was head down and low, and she had a feeling we’d have a baby by the weekend.IMG_1741Drew was at the firehouse and Aiden was with me so we went to get some dinner before going to my small group meeting that evening. I noticed I was beginning to feel a bit crampy, but nothing major. We arrived at the small group meeting, and I was having what I assumed were contractions. They weren’t super painful. Just irritating and hindered my ability to focus.

Halfway into the meeting, my contractions became a little more intense. I sent Drew a text telling him I was going to head home, let my co-leader know that I felt like I needed to leave, and left. My husband had my fathers-in-law come pick up Aiden just in case (I never in a million years imagined I wouldn’t see him again until we brought his brother home!), and after a hot shower, we climbed into bed to try and rest in between contractions.

Bad idea.

I could not get comfortable. The contractions stayed about eight minutes apart the entire night. They weren’t unbearable, but made it impossible to sleep. I don’t know how many times I got up in my sleepy stupor to pee or to pace around the room willing them to get closer/more intense. They didn’t.

Drew woke up, and asked if I thought he should go to work or not. At that point, my contractions were more intense, but further apart. I reluctantly told him to go, but to keep his phone close. The idea of having a quiet house to labor in sounded amazing at that moment. He left, and I waddled out to our living room with some breakfast, a timer, and my birth ball.IMG_1754I spent the entire day moving back and forth from the ball to the couch. I was exhausted, and the ball made my contractions pick up, but as soon as I would lay down they would essentially stop. I don’t think I ever really believed that this was it, and that I was actually in REAL labor. Finally, in the afternoon, I lost my plug and was hopeful that it meant I was making some progress.

Drew got home shortly after, and we decided to go get some dinner and walk around, hoping it would make things progress a little faster. The contractions picked up the instant I sat in the car. Gracious. I struggled to make it through dinner at Jason’s Deli, picking at my food between contractions. (Which were now down to 6 minutes apart.) After dinner, we went and walked around Target. I braced myself against the buggy while walking through each contraction. My contractions stayed around 5-6 minutes apart, but were getting more intense by the minute.

[At some point, I called the midwife, whom I remember told me to wait until they were a little closer together. I also remember temporarily hating that midwife. I do not, however, remember exactly when I called her.]

We left Target and headed home, and I hated this ride even more than the first. We arrived home around 8pm, and I laid on the bed to try and get a few hour’s rest. As soon as I hit the pillow, my contractions became unbearable.

Around 10ish, I got up and told Drew that I thought we should go to the hospital soon. I was losing more and more of my plug, my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. Our hospital was 30+ minutes away, so I wanted to go. Even if it meant waddling through my contractions around the hospital.

I called the midwife to tell her we were coming, and texted my mom to let her know she needed to head to our hospital. We gathered up everything and got into the car.jess2Longest drive of my life.

At one point, my contractions were down to three minutes apart and I seriously thought I would give birth in the car. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed my Hubs speeding more than five over until that night.

We finally arrived at UNC Women’s Hospital. I think it was close to or around 11 by that point. Drew drove up to the curb, jumped out of the car, and ran over to help me. We walked inside and he let the guard know that he would come back to move the car after he got me up to L&D. My contractions were still coming steadily at 3-4 minutes apart, and multiple times we had to just stop walking and Drew would literally hold my body up when I couldn’t. We were checked in and triaged. I was only at 4cm, so the midwife said I could be admitted if I wanted. I chose to be admitted and receive some pain meds to attempt to get some rest. We were quickly put into a room, my IV was placed and the monitors were put on my belly. The first sign of a potential uterine rupture in VBACs is the baby going into distress, so I chose to do continuous fetal monitoring. I wanted my VBAC desperately, but I wanted a healthy, safe baby more.jess1The on call OB came in to have me sign the “just in case” forms for an emergency cesarean. I had yet to get any kind of pain meds or anything, and I was still contracting every 4 minutes or so. She proceeded to tell me that I would most likely end up with an emergency cesarean because my VBAC chances weren’t very great.

This infuriated me. I signed the papers as quickly as I could manage so she would get the heck out.

She finally left, and the next hour or so was a blur as my walking epidural was administered. The anesthesiologist was phenomenal. I highly recommend the walking epidural. I could still move and feel my legs, and also the tightness and pressure of each contraction, but with barely any pain whatsoever. It took rolling from side to side a few times but eventually it took all over.

Then the waiting game started. I was told to “rest.” Ha. Eventually, my parents arrived and helped entertain me. Hubs and my Daddy snoozed while my Mom and I chatted endlessly about nothing. I think she sensed how scared I was and knew I just needed to be distracted.

Around 5ish(?) I started feeling like I was peeing myself every time I shifted positions. I thought maybe my water had broken, but it wasn’t constant so I wasn’t sure. Shortly after, I felt this strange gushing feeling. It still didn’t feel like my water had broken, but I knew it was something unusual so I made my poor momma check. She looked only to discover that my bag of waters was bulging in a way that was comparable to a water balloon. So. Freaking. Bizarre.

I called the nurse, who called my midwife. She came in to check me, and as soon as she touched my “water balloon,” my water gushed out. I was also completely dilated. I didn’t feel the urge to push just yet so she had me sit up in my bed with my legs in the butterfly position so I could “labor down.” I sat like this for an hour or so. Somewhere in that time frame, my amazing doula, Lesa Williams, arrived. (If you’re in the NC Triangle area and having a baby any time soon, you should check her out by clicking here.)

Around 7am, nurses and midwives started trickling into my room. The baby nurse came in to set up the warmer, and I think that is when I finally had the ‘holy crap, this is actually happening’ moment. The nurse asked if I was feeling any pressure yet, (I definitely was) and if I wanted to do a few “practice pushes.”

FYI, the term “practice pushes” is stupid. They’re real pushes. There’s nothing “practice” about them.

I did a few, and more nurses and my midwife came in, as well as an OB med student. At some point in labor, you stop caring about who walks into your business, don’t worry.IMG_1858Around 7:45 or so, I started the real thing. Shortly after 8, my epidural wore off. I pushed like a madwoman. I was so freaking determined and I was so freaking exhausted. Drew was still holding me up, physically by helping me lift my head and chest to bear down, and emotionally because he knew I was terrified. He really was my rock. My doula stood next to him with a nurse or two next to her. A sea of midwifes and nurses floated around behind them, and my Momma stood next to me and my Daddy stood above my head, armed with a cool washcloth for my forehead. They both wanted so badly to be present for Asher’s birth, since they weren’t allowed in the OR for Aiden’s.

The midwife insisted at one point that if I looked at what I was doing in the mirror, it would help me have stronger pushes.

I did not want the mirror.


And it didn’t help.

So they put the mirror away, and I started making more progress. Everyone started telling me that they could see him coming and that he had a full head of hair.

And then my Husband asked if he had time to go pee. Yep. Baby’s head is coming out, Husband has to pee. A nurse told him that he had better hurry, and he went. I could’ve killed him. Asher began descending more, and I yelled (the only time I yelled..FYI) for Drew to get back out, and now. He finally did, and I was relieved.

I pushed a few more times, and he started crowning. By then, my epidural was non-existent and the ring of fire is a real thing, people.

There was barely any time between contractions anymore, only just enough to catch my breath. The midwife looked up at me and said, “this one is it, push.” I looked at Drew, waited for the contraction to start, and pushed with all my might.

And at 8:45am, after just over a hour of pushing, he was out.

Another push and the rest of him was out too.

It took a second for him to make a sound, but then he started crying and it was the most amazing sound I ever heard. I reached down and pulled him onto my chest. He immediately looked up at me, and I cried. I was so overwhelmed with love and joy that I couldn’t even really speak. The pain was gone, the exhaustion was gone, and it was the moment that I had spent the previous nine months praying for. We had delayed cord clamping, and then the placenta came out without any issues. He latched on and stayed there while I received a few stitches. He only left my arms for a few moments while he was weighed and measured. All 8lbs, 8oz and 20 inches of him were absolutely perfect. Drew picked him up from the warmer and I watched as his Daddy fell completely in love instantly and shed a tear or two as well.IMG_1870

This birth experience was exactly what I needed to heal from the trauma of my first one. While Aiden’s birth was beautiful in it’s own way, Asher’s was everything I could have asked for and more. The healing processes were night and day different. Ash was born Friday morning, and I was up and going to the bathroom unassisted by Friday afternoon. I took a solo shower Saturday morning. There was no obnoxious swelling, minimal pain, and I was back to “normal” within a few weeks.

PS, in case you wondered, my midwife forwarded my delivery notes to the OB who told me I couldn’t do it.jess3We’re now finally beginning to settle into life as a family of four, and you can follow our daily adventures by clicking here. 🙂IMG_1885

Asher – One Month

It’s already time to do Asher’s first monthly update. Actually, it was time a week ago. Time is FLYING. Absolutely crazy to me that he is already 5+ weeks old. I’ve also been working on his birth story, and can’t wait until it’s ready to be shared. This is maybe the third time I have touched my computer since giving birth, so if I haven’t responded to your email yet, I will be soon! I’ll be back to blogging more in May.FullSizeRenderHeight: 21.75 inches

Weight: 9 pounds 2 ounces

Clothing size: Still Newborn and some 0-3 month.. which blows my mind because Aiden barely stayed in NB for a week.

IMG_2497Eyecolor: Gray or green-ish. Still changing!

Teeth: None yet.

Eating: On the boob, all day long. (At least that’s what it feels like.)

IMG_2496 Words: Starting to make little cooing noises!

Favorite things: Tummy time, Daddy’s voice, breastfeeding snuggles with Mommy, and watching Big Brother’s every move.

IMG_2495Dislikes: Riding in the carseat.

Sleep: Varies. Some nights he’s up 4+ times, other nights just once!

IMG_3252Milestones, etc.: Can flip himself from his belly to his back without a second thought. And he does, 100 times a day.

Fastest month of my life, so far. FullSizeRender-1-1

Things Aiden Says: Volume Three

My child says some of the most ridiculous things. I often post them on facebook, but have been saving some of the best to share at once. Here are my favorites from this week:IMG_1138

Aiden: I wish I had my own special room to fart in.FullSizeRender-1

Me: Can you spell your name?
Aiden: Didn’t you name me? Shouldn’t you know how to spell it better than anyone?
Aiden: Is it going to hurt when Asher comes out of your belly?
Me: probably a little bit
Aiden: Can I watch? I’ll give you medicine and a band aid so it won’t hurt anymore. 
Aiden: Why does everyone always treat me like a dog?
Me: Who treats you like a dog?
Aiden: PawPaw.FullSizeRender
Aiden: Sometimes I get mad when I’m building things.
Me: You get that from Dad. It’s a crazy man thing.
Aiden: It’s because girls and mommies make us that way. 
Aiden: Do I have to worry about you when you go to the hospital?
Me: No, you just have to trust that God will take care of me.
Aiden: Oh, trust God. That’s right. I knew that. 
Me: How did you know that?
Aiden: VeggieTales. 


Things I Forgot About Pregnancy

2As my pregnancy is coming to an end, I’m reminded daily of details that I clearly blocked from my memory. Maybe for good reason. Pregnancy is a beautiful, messy experience.

  1. You may not LOOK pregnant right away, but you will FEEL like you look pregnant right away. I was so bloated that I was convinced EVERYONE knew I was knocked up weeks before we made it public.

  2. Morning sickness doesn’t happen in the morning. All day errrrrrryday. 
  3. The exhaustion is overwhelming. Especially if you already have one child or more. 

  4. Finding out the gender of your womb-dweller is ridiculously exciting. Enough said.
  5. People will think they have a right to touch your belly. Even if they’ve never seen you before that moment, ever. It’s okay to smack them. 
  6. You can be the tiniest pregnant woman ever, and you’ll still be asked if it’s twins. I like to respond with, “…I’m not pregnant.” The shock is so worth it.

  7. A cold in the late second trimester or early third trimester is horrible. Cough, sneeze, contraction, pee, repeat.  
  8. Everyone will have an opinion about how that baby is DEFINITELY COMING EARLY. He more than likely won’t. 
  9. A breech baby after thirty weeks is painful. Feet. In. Your. Cervix. And sometimes crazy yoga poses will flip them.

  10. Around 37 weeks, people you see daily will start asking you “isn’t it about time?” EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. It’s about 22 hours closer to that time than the last time you asked me.
  11. You will get up to pee more times a night than you would get up to feed a newborn. But at least you’ll be prepared to be exhausted.
  12. You will get to a point where the pain of labor no longer intimidates you (that much) because you just want him out. I may or may not be at this point. 

  13. Numbers one through twelve will be 100% worth it once that bundle of squishiness is snuggled up to your chest. And I can’t wait.

    Coming Soon: Things I Forgot About Postpartum (Assuming it ever gets here.)  


Follow me instagram and check out the hashtag #ACDCBumpWatch to be the first to know if/when our kiddo ever arrives.

Being Just Aiden’s Mommy

momIn a few days, my time being a mommy of one will end. Asher will be making his debut, and Aiden will go from being an only child to one of two.

The other night, I came across videos of two-year-old Aiden on the iPad. Naturally, (read: stupidly) I watched them. Then it suddenly hit me that my BABY wouldn’t be THE baby much longer, and then I cried for an hour while eating my pineapple.

For over four and a half years, it’s been all about Aiden. I have spoiled him, praised him, and loved him in every way possible. When it was just Aiden and me, he was the center of my universe. He still is, but now shares that space with my Husband.

Now I have this third beautiful baby boy joining our little family, and I can’t wait, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t also terrified. How in the heck am I going to love another little boy as much as I love Aiden?

Everyone keeps saying, “your heart just makes room,” or “you have nothing to worry about.”

I can’t help but still worry.

I’m scared that Aiden will think he’s being replaced, or that Mommy doesn’t have time for him anymore. I’m scared that he will resent his brother for getting the attention when it’s been all about him for so long. I remember my “baby blues” turned full blown PPD with Aiden, and I’m terrified it’ll happen again.

But my biggest fear is balancing my time, energy, and love between both of my children. I’ve had a newborn before, and I remember how stressful and exhausting it was. Trying to wrap my head around doing that again with an almost five-year-old in tow seems next to impossible. Until recently, and only because of my lack of comfort, I haven’t really gotten annoyed with being pregnant. Realistically, I know he will eventually be coming out. But honestly, the anxiety about having two children is greater than actually giving birth.

Thank God I have an amazing Husband in my corner this time.

Things we’ve done to try and prepare Aiden for brotherhood:

  • Let him have an active role in getting baby things ready. (I let him go through all of his old baby clothes with me, let him go through the baby toys, let him pick out nursery details, etc.)
  • Talked to him about how he will be such a great helper for Mommy once Dad goes back to work. (He even says he will change peepee dipes, just not the others.)
  • Kept his schedule as consistent as possible, despite snow days trying to ruin it.
  • Taken him on numerous Mommy-Aiden dates and “Mantime” with Dad over the last few weeks, but made sure to talk up how soon we can bring brother on our dates too.

And a few other little details. Hopefully they work.


I have loved being just Aiden’s mommy for the last five years. In my heart, I know that once Asher is in my arms instead of in my ribs, I will be so overwhelmed with love and I’ll have what I didn’t even know what was missing in the first place. I can’t wait for that moment.

[Still] Really Pregnant.

cb 8Technically, my due date is still twelve days away (but who’s counting). But, I have had contractions on and off for a few weeks now. He finally flipped head down, AND has dropped quite a bit. The nursery is 99% ready, co-sleeper is put together, clothes/diapers/etc are all organized and ready to go.

Just need a baby.

How far along? Thirty-eight weeks and some change

Are you showing? Absolutely.

Gender: Baby BOY #2! 🙂

Total weight gain: Just over 20 pounds. 

Maternity clothes: Leggings. All day erryday. Nine months pregnant in the summer was easy because summer dresses. However, winter means if I don’t feel like doing the yoga-pilates-hybrid that shaving my legs requires, it’s perfectly okay.

Stretch marks: A few little ones up near my ribs from my belly dropping.

Sleeping: Rough. I’m always exhausted but never sleep well. He’s soooo low. And I’ve had a lot of pelvic pain and “false” contractions the last few weeks.

Food Cravings: Sushi.

Anything making you sick or queasy? Everything, if I get too full. 

Miss Anything? Sleep and wine. And sushi. And wine.

Movement: Um, yes. He tries to stretch out as though he has enough room to do so. He doesn’t.

Labor signs: Braxton Hicks. Pelvic pressure. Etc. But, for weeks. So, I’ll believe it when it happens. 

Symptoms: Uncomfortable and tired. But overall, I feel okay!

Belly Button in or out: OUT. 

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody: All of the above.

Best moments this week: Asher wiggling like crazy when Aiden talks to my belly. Melts a momma’s heart!

Looking forward to: My last days with my Bubba before he’s no longer the baby!

Things Aiden Says: Volume Two

My child says some of the most ridiculous things. I often post them on facebook, but have been saving some of the best to share at once. Here are my favorites from this week:


A: What is this on my butt?
M: A scratch
A: Oh, I thought someone glued a long red hair to my butt cheek

The wipes feel phenomical (phenomenal) on my tush.

Why do they call them booby traps? It sounds like boobies. Boobies is a funny word… …boobies…. -laugh-

A: Why are you crying?
M: Because I just love you so much.
A: Okay. Girls are so weird.

A: What does deadifying mean?
M: Huh?
A: Like in Harry Potter when he deadifies them.
M: Oh, petrified?
A: Yeah
M: It’s like he freezes them.
A: Ohhhhh. Wait. How do they go poop if they’re frozen?

A: Can I tell you a joke?
M: Sure
A: What happened when the chicken crossed the road?
M: What
A: He got squished by a car.

[Dad starts eating a bag of jalapeño chips in the car]
A: Is that smell food? Or a fart?

A: -indecipherable whining-
M: Sorry, I don’t speak whinese.

Little Girl at Museum: I have one mommy who stays home with me all the time and another mommy who goes to work.
Aiden: Well my dad has two dads and my Uncle has a husband. So that seems normal to me.

Be sure to follow me on instagram for more frequent Aiden-posts.

Things Aiden Says: Volume One

My child says some of the most ridiculous things. I often post them on facebook, but have been saving some of the best to share at once. Here are my favorites from this week:aidenseriesMommy: Why is it so cold in this car? 

Aiden: Well, I’m not a scientist, but isn’t the knob supposed to be on the RED side and not the blue side?

Aiden: Sometimes I pray to God.

Mommy: What do you say to him?

Aiden: Sometimes I thank him for my family, other times I thank him for not making my poop smell so bad. I’m full of poop. 

Mommy: What happened to the rest of my tea, Aiden?

Aiden: …it must’ve emapovated in the sun when you weren’t looking. 

Aiden: When Asher comes out, we’re going to snuggle for a while, and then we’re going to pray for a baby sister together. 


Mommy: [after listening to A plan a playdate] …but how will he know how to get there?

Aiden: He will just have to tell his Mommy to goggle it. Obviously. 

Aiden: I think I want to stay short forever.

Mommy: Why?

Aiden: Because if I get big, you won’t love my cute little booty butt anymore. 

Aiden: Sometimes my farts stay in and go all the way up to my neck and turn into burps that don’t taste good. 

Mommy: -coughing-

Aiden: Why are you coughing so much?

Mommy: I have an itch in my throat.

Aiden: Well, come here. I’ll just scratch it for you and then you can stop getting on my nerves with that coughin.

Aiden: Why do you have to go potty every time you stand up?

Mommy: Because when I stand up, brother falls onto my bladder. It’s what happens when you’re pregnant.

Aiden: Yeah. Pregnant and old. 

Aiden: -laugh, laugh, snort, laugh-

Mommy: Why are you laughing so crazy?

Aiden: I’m laughing like a pig like you do. -Snort-

Mommy: Ready for bed?

Aiden: Have YOU seen Katy Perry yet? Because I haven’t.

Mommy: …


Thirty-Four Weeks

34I only have six more weeks (ish) left in this pregnancy. I feel like we shared the news with the world YESTERDAY. It’s so crazy how fast it has flown by.

At this point, I feel pretty good overall. I’m exhausted, no matter how much rest I get and often find myself dozing on the couch during Aiden’s quiet time.

Asher is currently breech, but has gone sideways (transverse) a few times. I’m doing a lot of spinning babies exercises and downward dog to try and coerce him into flipping, or my midwife is going to try to flip him manually (yay…) around 36-37 weeks.

Please pray he flips.

Last weekend, a great friend threw me a baby shower! So I’m feeling a little more prepared than I did a week ago. My parents gave us Asher’s crib, and my mother-in-law sent us his car seat! We pretty much have all of our basics prepared for his arrival now. Well, maybe not “prepared.” But they are here! Hubs and I are planning to get some things ready for him this weekend.

I’m having a lot of anxiety about my upcoming VBAC. I find myself getting really overwhelmed at the unknown and seriously contemplating scheduling a c-section. Then I remind myself how much my first c-section SUCKED, and continue gunning for that VBAC. Luckily, I have a supportive Husband, doula, and midwives in my corner.

I’m always hungry these days, but after two bites I usually either feel full or nauseous, or both. Asher’s head is chilling right up in my ribcage, so I’m sure that’s taking up most of the space in there right now.

My next appointment is next week at 35 weeks and some change, and then I start going weekly until Ash is born! Preferably, right on time, on his due date, in a short and easy labor.

Realistically, it’ll be April.

How far along? Thirty-four weeks

Are you showing? Absolutely.

Gender: Baby BOY #2! 🙂

Total weight gain: About 15-17 llbs

Maternity clothes: Leggings. All day erryday. I wore jeans yesterday and spilled coffee on them. Took that as a sign that I shouldn’t be wearing them.

Stretch marks: ONE NEW ONE. Gah. Right on my ribs. Hoping it’s a coincidence that it’s located where his head usually is. 

Sleeping: Rough. I’m always tired but never sleep well. He’s soooo low. And I’ve had a lot of pelvic pain and braxtons hicks the last few weeks.

Food Cravings: Today, I want Panera something fierce. Trying to wait until the weekend and convince Hubby we should go there!

Anything making you sick or queasy? Everything, if I get too full. 

Miss Anything? Sleep and wine. And sushi. And wine.

Movement: Um, yes. He tries to stretch out as though he has enough room to do so. He doesn’t.

Labor signs: Braxton Hicks. Usually only if I sneeze, or cough, or have to pee, or he moves suddenly. Basically all the time. 

Symptoms: Uncomfortable and tired. But overall, I feel okay!

Belly Button in or out: OUT. 

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Happy or moody: All of the above.

Best moments this week: Asher wiggling like crazy when Aiden talks to my belly. Melts a momma’s heart!

Looking forward to: My last few weeks of QT with my Bubba before he’s no longer the baby!

Stay tuned for something new coming next week, by popular request! If you follow me on Facebook, you know that my kid says some of the most ridiculous, hilarious, and wise (beyond his years) things. I’ve started writing them down to share with you. In the meantime, read his birth story by clicking here to find out Why I Won’t Just Schedule a C-Section.