James’ Birth Story

Dear James,

You were scheduled to arrive on April 7 at 10 AM, but I secretly hoped you would pick your own birthdate, and you did. You were born on April 4, my father’s birthday, at 10:37 AM at Rex Hospital in Raleigh.

You still came via c-section as we’d planned, but you tried to come so quickly towards the end that we thought you might come vaginally.

It all began Sunday night when I started having mild contractions. I already had a doctor’s appointment Monday morning, so they hooked me up to monitor your heart and my contractions. Everything was fine and mild, so they sent me home. I labored through the day and night, but the contractions weren’t strong. I was able to sleep through most of them. But at 5 AM Tuesday morning, I had a contraction that woke me up and scared me. I woke up your dad and said “it’s time to go.” I wish I had a video of your dad trying to get himself ready to go to the hospital. He was a bit frantic trying to get himself together and ready.

We made it to the hospital by 6:30. The shift changed at 7 AM and Dr. Brazeale came on. I was happy about this as I knew he’d do a great job. I was still not contracting that strongly or frequently, so I would have to wait to make it into the OR. They told me 1 PM. I got my mind right for the wait. Your dad held my hand and supported me through it all.

I got up to use the bathroom and on my way back to the bed I was hit with a 5-minute-long contraction that was more intense than anything I experienced during my 32 hours of labor with your sister. I barely made it back to the bed and writhed in pain. I yelled for your dad to get the nurse. She came running in and checked me. She could feel your head! I panicked and asked “Am I about to have this baby?” The nurse looked nervous, which made me more nervous and she answered, “I’m not sure. Maybe. Do you want to have a vaginal delivery?” I answered with a hard “No. That’s not what I planned for. I’m just not prepared for that.” So for a few minutes, we thought you might be coming right then, and I was trying to wrap my mind around pushing. But then Dr. Brazeale came in and reassured me I’d make it to surgery, but we went right back. And thank goodness, I didn’t have to experience another one of those contractions!

The only other part that didn’t go according to plan was after I’d gotten my spinal (which was a breeze) the power went out! Thankfully, surgery hadn’t started yet. Your poor dad was still waiting to get into the OR and was stuck in a little room with all the lights off. He was just a bit worried. But the power came back on and all went really smoothly. When you came out, there was a pause but then I heard you cry, and then I cried. They brought you to my chest and said, “It’s your mommy. I’m here,” and you began to calm down. The nurses all remarked on what a big boy you were. You were 8 pounds and 6 ounces and 21 inches of sweetness.



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