CHARLES NICOLAS JONES: A BIRTH STORY

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It all started with a negative pregnancy test. Actually, three negative pregnancy tests.

My husband and I were ready for our second kid and for some reason, I was convinced that our most recent try was the one that stuck. Even after three negative pregnancy tests, I still had that lingering feeling that there was something happening.

Sure enough, Charlie was there, beginning his journey to existence.

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My pregnancy was strange in that it was exactly the same as my first. From how he moved to the food I craved, my two boys have been very similar from the start. The biggest difference was, I had a toddler this time to keep me busy so time didn’t move quite as slow.

So let’s fast forward to the day Charlie was born.

At 4:45am, I woke up to a sharp pain. It was dull, but I could tell contractions have begun.

This continued for the rest of the night. They were so slight that I could almost sleep through them. They were coming about every 30-45 minutes for the better part of the day.

My doctor had an induction scheduled for the next day and while I didn’t really think I’d make it to that, I was also convinced that I was going to need to settle into labor for a while so I decided there was no reason for any of us to make a fuss and that everyone should go along with their day while I made myself comfortable on the floor with a trash bag and towel under me just in case my water broke.

It wasn’t until the afternoon that my contractions started coming in a little stronger and closer together. Between 12pm and 3pm, they went from mild at 15 minutes apart to somewhat painful at 5 minutes apart. That’s when I knew things were moving forward and moving forward quickly.

With my first, my contractions were 3 minutes apart and off the charts painful for a good 10-12 hours, most of which was spent at the hospital. So that’s what I was waiting for. I was waiting for that level 10 pain to kick in and stay for hours and hours and I didn’t believe that anything but that could actually be productive.

But even as they got closer and closer together, my contractions were never too painful to talk or walk through. They never got that bad.

SO BY THE TIME WE CALLED THE HOSPITAL, I wasn’t convinced anything was really happening.

I took a bath around 3pm where I had my first contraction that hurt bad enough that I thought it may be productive. At the very least, it hurt bad enough to remind me that labor hurts and I wanted to get to the hospital to get an epidural ASAP.

I hadn’t made up my mind about the epidural during my pregnancy. Basically, my plan was to decide once I got to the hospital. If I was far enough along, I’d go without.

Once labor really kicked in, I made my mind up about the epidural: if I could get it, you better believe I was going to get it whether I was far along or not.

SO IAN CALLED THE HOSPITAL AT 3:30pm to let them know we would be coming in today.

Even with my more painful contractions coming in, I still wasn’t sure if it was time to go to the hospital. I decided to wait an hour, but when my next contraction came along, I knew we needed to leave immediately.

When we got to the hospital, my contractions had gone from pain level of 7 to 9 in a matter of minutes. Honestly, I didn’t connect the dots that maybe now that things were moving, they’d start moving fast. I was convinced that real labor had just started and that I’d be cozied up at the hospital with my epidural for the better part of the evening.

Then the nurse checked on me. I was 7cm. She knew I couldn’t get the epidural, though she kept saying, “We’re just waiting on one thing and then they should be ready.” In the back of my head I knew it wasn’t coming, but I still had hope that each of my contractions would be the last and that the epidural fairy would come in and save me from the torturous pain that is labor.

Instead, my doctor came in and said it was time. I was going to birth a baby with no epidural.

I didn’t feel quite as scared as I thought I would. I knew that this meant labor would be over soon and if I could just get through “the ring of fire” I’d be golden.

So they broke my water, because oh yeah, that still hadn’t happened yet, and told me it was time to start pushing.

AND THEN, THE BOY WAS BORN AT 5:40pm.

Only two hours after we called the hospital to let them know we were on our way. Only two hours of intense labor.

Right before pushing, I whispered to Charlie, “Help me out son.” And then I pushed a couple times, felt that dreaded ring of fire, and there he was.

It was actually a very euphoric experience. Something about pairing the relief of the pain being done with holding a baby in your hands that creates a really special moment.

Charlie immediately wanted to eat and continued to eat for almost two hours before the nurses were like, “Okay kid, it’s time to move on.”

He was born the exact same size as his brother: 8 lbs 15 oz and 21 in.

And now he sits in his hand-me-down swing in his hand-me-down clothes in true little brother fashion. He sleeps like a dream, eats like a fiend, and is beloved by us all. He looks just like his dad down to the tip of his toes and even the two year old thinks he’s the cutest.

I didn’t know for sure if we’d be able to handle two, but the minute they put him in my arms, I had a wave of confidence rush over me that hasn’t gone away. Because of course we’re ready for Charlie. He was always meant to be here and now that he is, I couldn’t imagine life any other way.

OLIVER WAYNE JONES: A BIRTH STORY

OLIVER WAYNE JONES: A BIRTH STORY - This Wild Home

The birth of my son was a long road that taught me you don’t know anything until you’ve gone through it.

The plan was pretty simple: An all natural birth plan where I did everything drug free.

The doctor said to stay at home until my contractions got to be about 3 minutes apart to keep from the temptation of the epidural and then push until he’s out. See? Simple.

So the night of July 5th hit. I couldn’t go to sleep that night so I stayed up watching TV. Family Guy, to be exact, because we had exhausted our TV shows and this was our in-between show we went to until something seemed interesting again.

Then, a very slight pain started and I did my little breathing exercise I read to do. 5 minutes later, more pain. 4 minutes later, more pain. 10 minutes later, more pain. After 45 minutes of tracking these sporadic, but very REAL pains, it was time to wake up Ian. Together we sat and waited for the next pain. Of course with our millennial brains we found an app to track the contractions and about an hour later, when they were 3 minutes apart, it was time to go.

Two thoughts went through my brain on the way to the hospital. The first being, “Wow! This is happening so fast!” and the second (after Ian told me that the doctor sounded grumpy on the phone) was, “I am going to tell off this doctor so fast when I get to the hospital. HE’S mad?? HE’S grumpy? I’m sorry Mr. Doctor Sir. I’m sorry my child didn’t decide to come right after your lunch break tomorrow afternoon. That must REALLY suck for YOU.”

So there we are, at the hospital. Contractions are coming strong and fast. I was sure my boy would be here in the next 3-4 hours. So we got settled in the room. They did their checks, they gave me the only food I could eat (a not so great juice box thing), and we waited. My contractions continued to come in, off the charts, every 3 minutes.

By hour 4 of labor, I couldn’t walk anymore. I was screaming at every contraction. I was tired. I was only 4 centimeters. I got the pain meds. I threw up. The nurses got mad at me for throwing up in the trash can and not the bag hiding behind my pillows that no one told me about until after I threw up. I did not care.

At this point I figured out that while the pain meds helped me sleep for 2-3 minutes between contractions they no, absolutely do not help with the actual pain from the contractions. So still, every 2-3 minutes I’d feel the contractions coming, I’d start screaming, and after 10 minutes of screaming I’d get to sleep for 2-3 minutes. The hours go by, the centimeter number barely goes up and my water stays very much intact.

Here we are. Hour 10 of basically unmedicated contractions. The nurses came in. They said I was 6 centimeters (only 3 centimeters more than I was when I started my contractions 10 hours before). I think to myself, “I seriously have 4 more centimeters to go? What have we been doing the last ten hours?? If I feel one more contraction I am going to die.”

So I got the epidural.

The next nurse to come in, I asked if it was too late and she said no and that was the happiest I will maybe ever be. The pain was about to end!

After the epidural, things were great! I was smiling, I slept, and 4 hours later the doctor came to check on me and said in 30 minutes, it was time to push. That’s probably the most nervous I’d ever been. Not only did I not fully remember what you were suppose to do to get the baby out, I also didn’t really know what to do when the baby got there. All of the things I never looked into, all of the pins I never clicked on with lists that may have been helpful, they all flooded my brain. Ian and I sat in silence for the next 30 minutes. The 30 minutes that felt the shortest and the longest that 30 minutes would ever feel in my life. Then, everyone came in, got all set up and it was time to go.

Delivery was actually fun! Don’t get me wrong, it was really hard. Pushing is no joke. But I didn’t feel a thing and we were all joking around. A nurse brought in my lunch in the middle of my pushing because apparently their lunch delivery schedule stops for no birth.

Within 30 minutes, at ONE o’ clock pm on the dot, came Oliver Wayne.

He was grey, that was weird. He didn’t cry, that was also weird. But I knew he was fine.

He looked at me, they laid him on me and I had no idea what to say. I was tired, the pain was gone and here was this baby I knew nothing about sitting on me. The baby I was looking forward to spending a whole hour with, but he never cried so they took him away. Ian cut the chord and they took him away to make sure the baby who never cried was okay. He, of course, was fine. He was just taking it all in.

To be honest, I never felt that wave of bonding connection everyone talks about. I knew he was mine, he knew I was his and that was that. I take care of him because I have to and sometimes because I want to. We belong to each other and that’s that. We’re not an emotional bunch, us Jones. We feel what we know is right and what we know we should feel. Our love is practical and our love is real. Sometimes we really feel it and sometimes it’s just something we know we have to do, but it’s always there and that will never change.

OUR WEDDING

OUR WEDDING - This Wild Home

Looking back years later, I realize how little I knew about what I was doing and how it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

It’s funny how you really can’t know about certain things until you’re already in it. You can read the articles and the blog posts. The countless lists of, “Top 10 Reasons Why He’s The One (And Five Reasons He’s Not),”  and listen to all the descriptions of “finding the one” but you’re not going to know… until you know. You’re not going to know which “this is right” feeling is the one you can trust until you know. No one can tell you what that feeling looks like or how it stands out through the “what am I doing????” moments. You just know when you know, and if you don’t know then you don’t know…. It’s so calculated and yet, you can never describe the feeling of knowing that the person you are with right now should be there forever.

Through our marriage we’ve obviously had ups and downs, good times and bad times.

The beginning was full of realizing that being married was a good idea, but that we had no idea how to do it. We didn’t know how to compromise and we didn’t know how to be a team. We fell hard, we fell fast, and we went 5,000 miles an hour. Then all of a sudden, it was just us and our life we just created and we didn’t know what to do with each other. We still felt like winning an argument was how to end an argument and that just because our wedding was small and we didn’t spend too much time thinking about it, we were already marriage experts and would be perfect at everything always because we knew better than to spend a billion dollars on a wedding.

I frequently think back to a post that I wrote after only a few months of marriage and realize now that I knew what it took, but not quite how to execute. We’ve learned so much in our time together. We’ve grown into a real family that works together to make life amazing. We’ve learned how to fight, how to let go, and that sometimes you’re going to bicker… and that’s okay! We’ve learned how to appreciate, not just lust or love, but how to really understand the value of the lives we’ve merged together. It’s not always easy, but it’s not always hard. It’s life! You don’t always love each other, you don’t even always like each other, but you know in your heart, always, that they are worth it.

So now, thinking about our wedding day, even though it was just a few short years ago, all I can say is: You crazy kids have no idea what you’re doing, but you will be so happy you did.

At the beginning of the day, I had my girls. 

I’m not used to “having my girls.” It’s funny how a wedding can bring together more than just the couple. You really have to think about the people you value most and then the people you value even more. Who are your friends? Who are your best friends? And then, who is your family? It took me even until after my wedding to truly understand the value of the girls I had in my wedding party. They each played a part in making my day all I could hope for it to be and they’ve all continued to be a standard that I couldn’t do without.

Most of my morning getting ready, trying to live up to the stereo-type that I was going to be the most beautiful I will ever be, I kind of just sat and halfway followed along the conversations between my long time friends, my current family, and the family I was about to gain. I don’t remember what we talked about, I don’t remember what was said. All I remember is freaking out and thinking “I need to eat, but I’m not hungry. I can’t pass out at the alter!!” My sister-in-law, Savannah, hosted us in her candy filled guest room (she is the best host) while my sister-in-law, Kelsie, actually did wind up making me look the most beautiful I’ve ever been. After sitting to get my hair done by my lovely friend, Jessica; my sister, Celia, sat with me as I tried to get some quiet time and snack on as many carrots as I could. My friend, Mary, snapped some photos and my friend, Emily, drove me to the venue and kept me calm as we made our way to the biggest decision I’d ever make.

Throughout the whole day, my mom took my lashing out of nervous emotion like only she could and made me feel like it was okay to freak out. My mother-in-law, as I’d learn she is so good at doing, remained a calming support in all the mayhem happening in my mind.

Why was I freaking out? I honestly couldn’t tell you. I wasn’t afraid of the choice I was making. I think it honestly is just a requirement for the day no matter who you are.

When I finally got to see the venue and see Ian in his handsome get-up, I felt joy. Just pure joy.
We decided to do a first look so we could get the nerves of seeing each other for the first time out of the way and make our first moment together personal and private (and photographed). Seeing him remain so calm helped me to remember to have fun. He was handsome, he was witty, and he was and sweet. These things have remained throughout our time together and it’s how I remember to enjoy everyday.

I cried through the whole ceremony.

The whole thing. I don’t often cry, especially in front of people. But I cried.

We kept it short and sweet. We both wrote vows, we both started out reading them, and we both put them back in our pockets and just spoke from the heart. We were done in about ten minutes beginning to end. The whole things happened so fast and is such a blur in my mind. If we didn’t have a video, I’d probably forget it ever happened.

Honestly, I think my favorite parts, the parts that really stand out, were the quick moments I got to be with just Ian. Especially the moment right after the ceremony as we were walking to take our post ceremony family photos and to get our ordained friend to sign our wedding certificate. We just looked at each other and said, “We did it” and the wave of, “I made it and I finally don’t have to talk in front of people anymore” swept over me like a calming breeze.

I could finally breath, and we were finally married.

We wound up bolting from the reception pretty early to head to our hotel in downtown Atlanta. There was a top floor bar that looked like something out of Mad Men and we went to have a drink in our full on wedding attire (highly recommended. People love it, you get to feel super fancy, and you get free stuff like drinks and $20 from old people). We sat and drank champagne on a couch in the rotating bar that was at the top floor of one of Atlanta’s tall buildings, looked out at the city, and took in the day.

All the love that started the journey has never strayed. If there’s one thing we’ve always known, it’s that we are happier together than apart. Now we have our family of four and we’re continuing to grow. We’ll always be kids and we’ll never fully know what we’re doing, but we’re always learning and always loving.

I love you, Dorkus, with all of my heart and you’re still the coolest boy in school.

Our wedding video made by Zak Washburn and our late friend Kevin Sheidt.
Song by my wonderful wonderful husband, Ian Jones that he wrote for me to walk down the isle to.

Some more credits: PhotosVenueFlowersDressShoesGuest BookCake.