Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Our Sweet Baby James' Birth Story

I love birth stories. I read them like a crazy woman before Caroline was born because I was so unsure of what to expect with my first birth. You can read her story here. I loved her birth because it made me a mommy. Baby James' birth was different and similar at the same time, and I love it just as much. Both of their births are a huge part of our family story. You guys may think I am wacky, but Jay and I have felt that both birth experiences have made us closer as husband and wife. Actually, on the way to the hospital this time, Jay prayed for me, Baby James, our delivery, our family, AND that this birth experience would again draw us closer together. I love that man so much :)

As with Caroline's birth, Jay and I were committed to wanting a natural birth. I said this before, and I will say it again... it is a personal decision. I obviously chose it twice in a row now, but I also understand that it is not the right choice for everyone, and totally respect that. It was the right choice for our kids, my body, and our family. I am very thankful again that my body decided to cooperate with me and we had no complications from James' birth. Anyone who ever wants to know more about why we decided and committed to this for our family I would love to chat about it.

Now, you want to know something funny and neat!?! Caroline was born the Monday after Easter in 2012 and Baby James was born the Monday after Easter {ON HIS DUE DATE!?!} in 2014. No way we could have planned that in a million years.  Since Easter is different every year their birth dates are 12 days apart in the month if April, but it still is neat to us. Our doctor actually joked that he was going to go ahead pencil us in for a delivery room the Monday after Easter two years from now. He said this about 10 minutes after delivery and I very promptly said no thank you!

I really thought James was going to be born the Friday before he actually did arrive. I woke up that morning with contractions consistently 6 minutes apart for 4 hours. They were uncomfortable enough that I decided to call my mom and ask her to make the 3 hour trip from NC a day before she was actually planning to come... I also packed my hospital bag, and then of course the contractions stopped all together.

This pregnancy was night and day different from my pregnancy with Caroline, and I had tons more contractions throughout the last month before he arrived. In hindsight, although they were annoying, I think they were getting my body ready all along. I know that I am thankful now that I had those 4 hours of contractions on Friday morning because they helped me to mentally prepare for the work of labor that was coming later, and then when they stopped, I was able to have a really relaxing and restful weekend with my family.

We spent Easter Sunday at Jay's parents house, and when we were driving back home after dinner that evening I mentioned that I felt like my random contractions sure were lower in my abdomen. They weren't terribly strong, just noticeably different in location. Jay suggested that we go walk around our neighborhood while my mom gave Caroline a bath. It was so nice to have a little time with just Jay, and to be outside walking. I walked pretty much my entire labor with Caroline, and I knew it was the best thing for my body to help speed things along if I really was close to moving into actual labor.
When we got back home, I laid down with Caroline in her bed to read a few books, say our prayers and sing songs. I think I knew, and Caroline knew this was our last little time just the two of us before life changed. Caroline as she was falling asleep, she rolled over, put her chubby little hands on my face and said "love you mommy." Y'all I just teared up and laid there for another 30 minutes soaking in my sweet sleeping girl. It was such a special moment, and a transition moment where I knew she was going to be okay with all that was about to change.

Jay and I went to bed about 10:30 Easter night, and while I was still having very random contractions, I was able to sleep great until 3:30 AM. I woke up pretty abruptly at 3:30 with painful contractions. When I started timing them on my phone and they were about 10 minutes apart. They were strong and painful, but were far enough apart that I stayed in bed so that I could rest and doze off between contractions.
Around 5 in the morning, they were getting really painful and I alternated between pacing in circles around our dark bedroom and laying on a heating pad in bed. Contractions were 5 to 6 minutes apart and lasted about a minute and a half. I was determined to let Jay sleep as long as I could because I knew I would need him more later... by this time I was convinced that this was true, active labor, and we were going to meet our little man that day.

At 6:00 I woke Jay up and told him that I knew this was the real thing... filled him in on where my contractions were, and told him I was going to take a shower. He started getting a few things together, made a few phone calls to let people know that he wasn't going to be at their weekly chick-fil-a restaurant leader meeting, and to let his parents know what was going on. After I got out of the shower, my contractions were 4 minutes apart and painful. I was determined to make it till 8 when our doctor's office opened so that I could go there and get checked before heading to the hospital.
Jay kept telling me we needed to get going {He had this fear that he was going to be delivering this baby either in our house or in route to the hospital}, but I was stubborn about the fact that I wanted to know how much I was dilated before walking in to the delivery room. I wanted to be able to make the decision of coming back home and walking as opposed to walking the halls of the hospital if things weren't progressing quickly.

Caroline and my mom woke up about 7 and we filled mom in on everything. Mom fixed me a piece of toast with peanut butter and a banana {I wasn't hungry, but knew I needed some fuel for labor}. We left for the doctors office about 7:50 and called them at 8:00 on the dot telling them we would be there in about a minute. When we left home my contractions were so painful that I was tearing up and  couldn't stand still. It was hard to see Caroline see me in pain and to leave her confused as to what was going on, but I am so thankful my mom was here with her.
The nurse practitioner at the OB office checked me right away and said that I was dilated to a 6. She said we were good to head straight to Labor and Delivery and called to let them know we were on our way over. Luckily our home, the OB office, and hospital are all pretty close together because riding in the car was NOT comfortable. I even had Jay park as far away from the hospital as he could so that we could walk outside through the contractions to the hospital. Can you tell I wanted to be walking?!? :)

We walked into the hospital about 8:30 AM. It was so neat, and reassuring to find out that the same nurse that helped me deliver Caroline was my nurse again for James. Truly a God thing and such a blessing. She was completely supportive of everything being a natural as possible. She couldn't have been more encouraging, accommodating, and reassuring. I don't know her well, but I just love her! It makes me smile even now to think of just how perfectly God orchestrated things for her to help me bring both of our babies into the world.
They monitored my contractions and James' heart rate for 20 minutes and then they let me walk around the room. I think I was in transition while pacing back and forth in our room because I remember thinking, I just want this to stop, but I also knew that I wanted the pain to continue because it was brining us closer to meeting our baby boy.

Jay and our sweet nurse kept asking me if I wanted to get in the bath tub, and I almost did because I knew it would feel good, but kept stalling for some reason because I think part of me knew that I wasn't actually going to have time to get in the tub, and that I would be all wet and cold when it came to the pushing stage. {This happened with Caroline and the transition from the bath tub to pushing with her was by the worst moment of her entire labor!}
I remember having a really strong contraction, holding onto Jay's shoulders, and then my water broke. It kinda startled me, but as soon as it broke I knew things had changed and I felt like I wanted to push. 4 pushes later and our sweet baby James was on my chest at 9:42 AM. Only 6 hours after my labor started, and only an hour after walking into the hospital. It was intense, but totally worth it when I saw that sweet face. My contractions were overall more painful and much stronger this time around, but my body also seemed to know what to do, and moved things along pretty quickly!

James Crawford Hawkins V was born at 9:42 AM and weighed in at 7 lbs 14 oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. He has tons of dark brown hair... with blonde highlights! Its the best y'all! It is so fun to be a mom to a boy, and to have one of each. I am loving the differences and similarities between my two kiddos
It sure is an adjustment going from one to two kids... but God's grace is sufficient, we are taking it one day at a time, and Jay has been the biggest blessing of a husband... and y'all my mama is a saint. She has cleaned and cooked and entertained a toddler and forced me to nap. And we have some of the most amazing friends and church family who have played with Caroline, and brought us meals and loved on us in this transition phase. It sure does take a village, and we are thankful beyond belief for our people. We love you.

Pin It!


  1. Beautiful! So happy for all of you!!!

  2. Such a sweet story! He is beautiful! Congrats Katherine!

  3. Ah this was SO great to read! Going now to reread Caroline's. :) thank you for sharing them! The way you write is so personal and easy to read. So thankful for you!