the birth of seth tyrus maxwell, part two.

Be sure to read the first part of this incredible birth story, here.
Where was I? Oh yes, this incredible, and surprisingly big, baby boy was born.8lbs 14oz 21 14/in … and with a set of healthy lungs!Precious moments with his momma. It was so amazing to watch him just watching her face.Daddy stood by as they did a newborn screening and footprints. 

Big brother Anthem meeting him for the first time. <3
I’m pretty sure he loved him. :)

Such an honour to know such a beautiful family. What a memorable day, the birthday of Seth Tyrus Maxwell.

the birth of seth tyrus maxwell, part one.

October of 2011, I was incredibly honoured when I was asked to photograph my dear friend, Brittany’s birth of her second born son (due this past spring.) Here is my side of one of the most beautiful things I was a part of this year. I am so very excited to share some of the photos I captured from the incredible birth of Seth Tyrus. (My friend had hoped for a home birth but was unable to work insurance issues out. Thankfully she was still able to have a natural birth with a midwife – like she’d hoped!)I received the call at 6:30am Saturday, April 28. The anticipation was over, the day had come for Brittany and Taylor to meet their second son. Her water had broke and they were on their way to the hospital. As things began to progress, Brittany and Taylor updated their family of the news. He was coming! Today was the day!  And what a beautiful day it was; Blue skies and Colorado sunshine to welcome in their sweet baby boy. They walked the halls to help (and at this time, I felt I should let them have their time to talk and process.)When they returned, her midwife arrived and they began to check her progress. Things were speeding up. Having had a quick first labor with their son Anthem Tate, the midwife felt she would most likely have another quick labor. I could see fear and anxiety flicker across my sweet friend’s expression every once and a while. What would this labor be like for her? I prayed quietly as I documented their story.
As quickly as things were progressing, the labor and delivery nurse began preparing for the little one’s birth.The contractions became stronger and her pain became more and more evident.
Her hubby, Taylor stuck by her side and comforted her as she needed it. I could see many emotions in his eyes throughout the birth process but mostly that of pride: pride watching his bride, so strong, sweet and beautiful, as she selflessly birthed their second born.
Her doula, Bethany, documenting the stages of her labor (she is also a friend of mine, I just recently photographed the birth story of her baby girl.)

About 4/4.5 hours in she went into the jacuzzi tub for comfort. This is the part where I prayed my heart out while she labored away. I could sense her fear rising up again.She was so strong, she just needed to believe that for herself too. Taylor stood by her side, affirming her. Bethany and her midwife Julie, also did the same. Her midwife stood, swaying back and forth with her, helping her fight through the contractions. Things began to speed up rather quickly from this moment on out. Her contractions falling closer and closer behind. The time was near. Everyone could feel it. Especially this sweet momma. (If you look at the clock in the photo – to get an idea of just how fast things progressed, she had him about 30 mins later.)There is such an incredible helplessness you feel as you watch a loved one in labor, in such pain. At this point Taylor just simple held her as the waves of labor swept over her. It moved me to tears.
As the time to push drew nearer, Britt closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Taylor never left her side. Bethany touched a cool rag to her forehead for comfort. I prayed and captured these incredibly emotional moments before her son was born.
Perhaps my favourite photo. What an incredible strength. In both of them.I thought it was so beautiful, that in her pain, she reached up and literally clung to her husband, her rock. She clung to him with each push until finally, Seth was born. I don’t even had words. Just tears. Such a beautiful moment and moments to follow. My sweet, strong friend Brittany was incredible.Seth Tyrus Maxwell

April 28, 2012 1:26 pm

8lbs 14oz 21 1/4in

You are an incredibly lucky little boy to have such an incredible, selfless momma and a strong, loving daddy! (Part two to follow…)

Thank you to Brittany and Taylor for allowing me to be a part of your beautiful, miraculous day!

the countdown {with photos} & a prayer request

I thought I’d do one final post before S comes! For those who can’t see my twitter or facebook, here is a belly update from the past few weeks. You {might} notice that I wear the same shirts a lot. It wasn’t staged for these photo, it’s actually because I really only fit in about 5 shirts max right now! ;)

(forgot to take a 35 week belly shot besides this heart one)

I attempted to zip up my hoodie and this is what it looked like :) Today I’m 39 weeks and days! Which means…

Yep, just {4 days} until Boy S arrives!

We travel to Denver Monday evening to spend the night. Tuesday morning we have to be to the hospital by 6am and by 7:30am I will be in surgery! We would love and appreciate your prayers. There is quite a lot of emotion going through both Ted and I right now.

Ted and I went out on a date last night and talked about how it’s really just hit us so hard this week. The fear and uncertainty is really hard to push aside right now. We’re seeking peace but asking for prayers as we know that these next few days will probably be filled with intense emotion. I personally haven’t been able to let myself “go there” – to the morning of having S. I am more afraid than I’ve ever been this entire pregnancy. We both just want him here, safe and alive in our arms. It’s hard to explain, but it is really hard to picture that after what we walked through with Eisley’s birth just shy of 14 months ago. Anyways, I guess I’m just asking for prayers for {peace that surpasses our understanding} surrounding us.

Thank you for following our journey and praying for us. Thank you for loving us so.

Next time you see a blog post… it should be filled with photos of Boy S!

xo, Jami

One week; wishing time would stand still.

It has been one week since we first held our sweet Eisley and had to say our earthly goodbye. I wrote in my journal of how I wish time would stand still. Time is moving forward a lot faster than my heart is healing. I close my eyes and imagine myself holding her for the first time again. Remembering how in awe I was at her tiny hand between my thumb and finger. I can still picture her tiny little Chase-like nose and her beautiful mouth shape and lips. Her tiny soft toes… everything so perfect.

After she passed away Tuesday and we decided to be induced, they told us that is could take a while for my body to deliver, because it just wasn’t time. They told us that there will be changes her body will make immediately and they prepared us for what we might see. They told us that her skin would be lose and could even be falling off and that her features will have changed. I immediately wondered if we should just do the c-section so things would be over quickly. But they reminded me to think about future pregnancies and also the healing process which would be incredibly difficult on top of the loss of our daughter. I couldn’t even believe I had to face these questions right away and to think about being pregnant again… hours after losing her… it was the most difficult thing.

The 3 decisions to choose from for delivery were; one, a c-section. two, induced labor. Or three, go home and wait for my body to naturally go into labor. I knew immediatley 3 was out of the picture. It had only been 2 hours of knowing she had passed and I ached knowing that she was inside of me, but she was no longer alive. No way could I go weeks of waiting for my body to deliver her. And they also told us that Eisley would have a lot of changes during that time. I couldn’t bare the thought of what we might see weeks later.

We choose to be induced. It took 3 days (72 hours) for my body to deliver her naturally but we don’t regret the decision. We we’re able to see our daughter and she wasn’t anything like they had told us.

When I delivered her (which someday I will share about the actually delivery part and maybe soon) I was terrified to look at her. I actually asked them to clean her and dress her before I saw her, because I was so afraid of what I would see. Ted later told me, he was afraid too.

The nurse I had at the time I delivered her said, “Oh Jami, she is so beautiful.” She paused and I wondered if she just had to say that. “She is so beautiful. I was afraid of what we would see since she passed away 3 days ago… but she is perfect.” I just looked at Ted’s expression as he looked down at our daughter and realized, our nurse was right. Ted’s face said it all. She was perfect.

Even no matter what she would have looked like, she would have been perfect to us. Although, I am extremly thankful that it didn’t end up being what they had told us. Thank you God.

One thing that helps me are the photos Ted took of our little Eisley. It felt so strange to pull out the camera in a time like that, but we knew we would want photos of our daughter because our memory may fail us, although I pray we will never forget.

(I may never share all of the photos, just some for now….)

Ted and I both wish we could have had more time with her, but we agreed that any amount of time with her, wouldn’t have been enough. We were only able to keep her with us for a few hours after her delivery because of the changes her body would go through outside the womb. I’ve already shared, but the time we did have with her were that of peace. We felt complete peace as we held our little Eisley and we knew it was right that she was with Him.

We didn’t get a lot of time with her on earth, but I do believe that I will see her again and I will spend eternity with her. Right now she’s hanging out with Jesus and He’s telling her how much she was and is loved by us and by Him.  A friend gave me a photo last night that made her think of Eisley. It is incredible.

It makes the ache inside a little easier when I think of her in heaven. Healed and whole. In the arms of Jesus, who’s showing her the universe.

Arrival.

Eisley Antalya Davis

Born September 17, 2010

2:10 pm

12.5 ounces & 10.5 inches long

She was so strong in her battle to survive. She was stunning, beautiful and perfect. And now she is whole and healthy in His arms.

We love you Eisley. You are our sunshine. Our little joy. Your little legacy and journey has changed how we view life now and has inspired us to live better lives and to be better people.

You shall go out with joy and be led forth with peace, my sweet Eisley.

Eisley rests between His shoulders.

Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the ones the Lord loves rests between His shoulders. Deuteronomy 33:12

I wanted to try to write a little while I feel the strength, because I know after today, I will not feel up to it. I won’t go into great detail of everything leading up to today because it’s too hard, but here is what is going on.

Eisley went to be with her father in heaven Tuesday morning. I was 26 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I was induced Tuesday evening at 10 pm and have been in labor ever since. We are very slowly progressing, but this morning my cervix has dropped and thinned out. Around 8 am I was given an epidural and they started a pitocin drip in order to start speeding things up.

I had a c-section delivery with Chase only 14 months ago, so they have to take things slowly on my body, so not to tear my scar. Please pray for everything to go smoothly from here on out.

We are about to go through the hardest part, meeting Eisley to say goodbye. Please pray for us. I am terrified and can’t even really comprehend everything that has happened and that is about to. We are also making funeral arrangements and making decisions like that, which is incredibly hard.

Eisley rests between His shoulders now. She is no longer fighting. She is whole and perfect with Him.

Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement.

Birth Story (Part 2): “Pain with a Purpose”

You can read the prequel here or part 1 here.

Even though I am posting this almost 9 months later this is very accurate for I wrote most of this not long after his birth. And between Ted tweeting and my mom posting every detail, I have the most accurate timeline of the events. I’m so thankful though, because I wouldn’t have remembered the very hour and timing of everything!

Birth story continued …

Induction began immediately. At 9:30 am they placed the pill Cervidil on my cervix to “ripen” it. They told me to walk around in the halls to “get things moving” and they would check on me in 4 hours and put another pill inside. My body reacted almost immediately to induction and within 1 hour 1/2 in I felt cramping, like I began a horrible period. Soon I began having irregular contractions and surprisingly only 8-10 minutes apart.

At 1:30 pm they checked me and I had already dilated to 1 cm although my cervix was still high. I remember being incredibly excited. Progress already! They placed another pill inside and again told me to walk and they would check me in 3 hours. We did this and again 1 hour 1/2 in I felt even more intense cramping and contractions were coming closer together now, but nothing unbearable yet.

As the more regular and stronger contractions came, my mom or Ted began using the many pain coping techniques we had learned and/or brought with us. They would use a “head wizard” massager to relax me, we also had white noise playing in the background and Ted or my mom stood by my side soothing me with distractions such as back scratches or foot massages. My mom also read me the comments people were leaving on her facebook and mine to distract and encourage me :)

At 5:30 pm they checked my cervix again and this was when they began the Pitocin drip (the first time). I was still at 1 cm and my cervix was still high, but my contractions were getting stronger. I remember telling my mom and Ted that I had never in my life been so excited for pain to come. I knew it meant progress. “Pain with a purpose”. I remember this teaching our birthing class and it was helpful when the hard contractions began.

Around 6: 45 pm I began felt the most intense cramping and pressure yet. This is when I began my breathing that I had learned.  At this point I wasn’t walking around because I was hooked to the monitor, watching the baby’s hearbeats and my contractions, as well as on the pitocin drip. Sure enough, one contraction immediately followed the next putting them at 3 minutes apart!

The next few hours were very intense. My mind and my energy, all focused on getting through each contraction. I began moaning deeply through each and Ted and my mom were constantly by my bedside helping me along. We also tried different techniques that we had learned in our birthing class and rotated them often; the birthing ball, the glider chair and finally I asked to sit in the bath tub in hot water. The put a mermaid monitor on my belly and in I went.

That was such a relief to get through the contractions which now were giving me close to no break due to the fact that we were unnaturally induced. I found out later that my body reacted to be induced and this made my contractions literally fall one on top of the other. I remember we had been taught in our birthing class, one of the only times the contractions would be unbearable would be when you are induced and especially if you are on Pitocin. My mom also told me she once had to use Pitocin and she too felt “as though she was going to die”. That might sound dramatic, but seriously the most intense pain I’ve ever had.

Side note: Before labor I read the worst things about Pitocin; it could cause the baby to become drowsy and/or his/her heart rate could drop dangerously low or the opposite… just as much as the mommy may have little to no break between contractions… the baby also struggles and this could cause stress on him/her. (Later, most of these were true in our case.)

It was in and out of the tub for hours, rotating between the birthing ball, the glider and draining and refilling the tub with hot water for my comfort. At 10:08 pm, in the tub I felt “pop” from within and then a gush of something come out of me. (Weirdest. feeling. ever.) I told Ted I thought my water just broke so he flipped on the light (we mood lit the bathroom). I looked down to see the nastiest things floating around with me. My mom paged a nurse with the news. Ted and my mom checked it out and Ted said “baby, don’t look.” He later told me he wasn’t sure if it was normal and if everything was okay, so he didn’t want me to see. After he “examined” it  he said, “Baby, I think you pooped yourself.” And my mom agreed with him. I was still staring at the fluid and suddenly questioned myself, some of it did look like poop. Then I said, “I know that didn’t come from… there!”

Seconds later a nurse walked in and told me that my water had broke and that we actually were seeing poop. It was our baby’s meconium or “first poop”.

That was when the worst of the contractions began, much stronger than before. We spent the next two hours trying our dif techniques and nothing was helping. Contractions were barely 2 minutes apart, even with them having taken the pitocin drip off before the tub (due to Chase’s heart rate). So I got back in bed and began to moan through each one, my mom and Ted by my side.

16 hours in, 1:30 am, I was devastated to hear I was only 2 cm. Our nurse told us we had a ways to go and the offered us a two choices; an epidural or narcotics through IV.

Side note: I had researched a lot of the two and honestly, the epidural ruled out to be the safer of the two meaning an epidural would affect the baby slightly, causing him/her to have drowsiness when born. The drugs through IV would flood through my blood directly to baby and effect him/her immediately and could result in fetal respiratory distress along with extreme drowsiness.

I regret to say, I actually said yes to Stadol, even having known the side affects, (but only ONE shot) which caused me to feel the pain slightly but I was completely out of it. Ted and my mom said I kept saying “you have no idea, the pain I am in”.

When the Stadol wore off,  I talked with Ted and tearfully decided to do an epidural. I felt so dissapointed in myself, but knew this was the best decision, knowing that I wouldn’t be having a baby anytime soon. Ted told me when we made that decision he felt sick to his stomach. He knew if anything happened to our baby, I would blame myself. My mom left the room when we decided and later told me she had cried because she knew this wasn’t our dream birth plan, this wasn’t what I wanted.

Once I receieved the epidural (around 3 am) I slept so well. Until 6:45 when they woke me, check me, told me I was at 3 cm and began the Pitocin drip (again).

The next sequence of events still haunt me. Again, I know it sounds dramatic, but I am serious. To me, this was the hardest, scariest part of my birth story. I ask if  you are pregnant, please do not read below.

At 8: 45 am, I awoke to a loud beeping sound from the monitor. Chase’s heart rate has drastically dropped. Two nurses came in and rolled me from one side to another. It took them a few minutes to get his heart rate back to normal and those few minutes terrified me. I thought I was losing my baby.

From that moment on, I couldn’t take my eyes off the monitor. I watched my baby’s every heart beat and occasionally would shut my eyes. Ted, my mom and my grandma all tried to convince me that everything was okay, that I didn’t need to watch the monitor and that I needed to rest. I didn’t listen to them. They couldn’t convince me.

They then called the nurse in to have her comfort me and she tried but honestly, I was just too terrified.  She then put me on oxygen, checked me, told me I was 4 cm. She told me I must calm down and relax for our baby’s sake. I did calm and only watched the monitor every once and a while, trusting the nurses.

At 10:15 am I watch as my baby’s heart rate drops and then goes silent. Again two nurses come in, try to roll me to find a heart beat. Nothing. Another nurse walks in with a tool in hand. They have me lie flat on my back, insert a heart rate monitor inside and still find nothing. I panicked, we were so close and here I was losing my baby, or so I thought. Seconds later, they found his heart beat. I couldn’t calm down this time around, I was terrified. I just wanted our baby out and now. I wanted a c-section. The nurse and soon, Dr. Hill came and calmed me down. Apparently our baby wasn’t reacting well to not having breaks. Even though I couldn’t feel the contractions, the baby sure could and he wasn’t getting a break. They decided to take me off Pitocin for good.

Around 12 they check me and received good news. We were at progressing; 5 cm. At this rate, we would have him/her that evening!

We were totally wiped, ready to meet our little one, weary of the emotional ups and downs. But this was the good news we needed to hear to keep pressing on. Because each time they checked me, we were one step closer. Maybe, just maybe, we could have him naturally (vs. cesarean) after all.

The final part coming soon…

Birth Story (Part 1): The Biggest Decision.

(If you haven’t already, you can read the birth story prequel here first.)

I had this “feeling” that I was having a girl, and that I would have “her” early and the labor would only be 6 hours long…

So imagine my surprise when all of my “feelings” turned out to be waaaay off! I was due July 9th and was incredibly surprised when I passed this date, not by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 days but 9!! Nine exhausting, emotional days where each hour felt like an eternity. If you’ve been there then you totally know that this is not an exaggeration. If you haven’t been there, then I hope you never have to experience what I am talking about!

(I now know when I talk to first time moms to gently let them know, they might need to prepare themselves mentally, for being overdue or if their birth plan is altered! I would have appreciated more of that!)

I met with our Doctor almost every day after that. Each appointment he told me the same thing; my cervix was high and posterior and I wasn’t dilated at all. He gave me natural induction ideas and exercises, but none of which worked for me. Each time we walked away with our baby still inside, gaining ounces daily. Our arms ACHED to hold him/her.

(my last official prego pic before Chase arrived)

On Thursday July 16th we had another appointment, by this time 7 days overdue. For how huge Baby and I were, I felt surprisingly good, just emotionally worn out and ready to meet our baby.

At 8:30 am Dr. Hill checked my cervix, which was still closed, posterior, high and baby was head down but still high. I was so disappointed to hear that again. This time Dr. Hill sat us down in his office and laid out our options;
1. We could “wait out the weekend” and see if I went into labor on my own, baby and cervix cooperated and I deliver. I asked him, “What are my chances of going into labor on my own this weekend.” He didn’t think I would and even if I did, he thought it would end in a c section.
2. He then told us what he recommended; a scheduled C-section for Monday July 20th.
3. But he knew our birth plan and knew we wanted to try to deliver naturally, (vaginal) so he gave me the final option; being induced right away.
I felt so torn, nervous, afraid, even terrified that we might make the wrong decision. The questions flooded my mind; Why couldn’t I have just gone into labor on my own? Why did this have to be so complicated and difficult? I looked over at Ted. I already knew what he wanted to do. We were both so weary of coming in appointment after appointment and hearing nothing new and that it would be an even longer wait until we met him/her.
One encouraging factor was I did not have to make this decision alone. Ted was very much apart of every single step along the way. He was phenomenal. And this was the biggest decision we had ever run into as a couple, I mean, it had to do with another human being! We were an array of emotions that morning, more than I could describe to you with my words.
The final decision; I wanted a chance. I knew that I needed to at least try to deliver him/her naturally and I knew that this was my chance. I knew if I didn’t I would always wonder if I could have given birth naturally. This might not make sense, but it’s what I needed to do. Even having had an abnormally long labor, I still do not regret this decision. {Not one bit}

I told Dr. Hill that I wanted to be induced if this was my chance to try. He immediately picked up the phone, called the hospital and then told me to head over. The short drive to the hospital and the walk to the birth center was incredibly emotional. We were thrilled but I was mostly so afraid of the unknown. Even with all of the preparation we’d had, nothing could have prepared us for what we were about to walk through. Nothing could have prepared us for how emotionally rocked we would be during the next 42 hours and 12 minutes… (and for me, regarding this birth story, months after).
We both felt strongly of giving our son the name Chase Journey so to us it was not at all ironic or coincidental that his birth was in fact, a journey.

Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon…

My Journey Begins…

7 weeks ago I had a 42 hour labor ending with a C-section to deliver my beautiful (and big) baby boy Chase Journey Davis. Since that day I have been on the road to recovery. Recovering from a C-section has been absolute hell for me. It’s not at all what I dreamed it would be, in fact it is the polar opposite. I always dreamt of having an easy, unmedicated and natural delivery, recovering in a matter of weeks rather than months and a chance to begin working back into my pre-prego body almost immediately.
That didn’t happen, BUT here I am. A hopeful momma on this journey back into being a fit me. I am excited about working out, more than I have ever been in my life. I hope this excitement stays. Here’s to hoping!
This blog is dedicated to my journey of becoming healthy and fit. I will blog about the struggles and the victories as I make my way back down to my natural size. I am determined to become healthy and fit again but most importantly, this time I am determined to learn to love my body throughout this journey. I am determined to have a healthy view of myself and my body image, which is something that I have struggled with even when I was at the unhealthy size 1/2!
I want to have a healthy perspective now more than ever before because I want my son and the children to come to be secure in who they are. Mommy needs to show them this. Oh boy, here we go!
I still have a little less than 3 weeks before I am able to work out. Doctors orders due to some complications my incision has had. I am going to s l o w l y ease into working out and it shall begin with walking! I can’t wait!!
I must say, making a blog about this new journey of losing the baby weight, already makes me feel 10 lbs lighter! Now if only that could be literal. Whatever the case, I am loving it and I am excited to begin this journey!

Our Journey: Chase Journey Davis

It wasn’t what I had imagined/pictured, but it brought our beautiful son.
We decided if we had a boy, we would name him Chase Journey and as it turns out the name suits him quite well. It was quite the journey to bring him into the world. 42 hours of labor which ended with a cesarean. We are just so thankful that he is well and here with us! We are in awe!

Waiting to meet our baby. The longest wait.

July 18th @ 2:12 am
8lbs 15oz 21in

He had a rough start because of the long labor. He is so strong though!

My first time holding my little Chase.

My little sunshine is here! It’s so surreal!

He has his daddy’s eye shape, my nose and lips.

Holding onto mommy.

Ted is already blowing me away with how great of a father he is.

Daddy & Chase

He is so perfect, even in spite of his battle wounds :)