January 6, 2021

Jack’s Birth Story

I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Destin, Florida and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains in Virginia or the ocean on the Florida Gulf Coast, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!

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Jack's Birth Story

Some situations shake us from the inside-out. And just thinking about it resurfaces the traumatic experience all over again. Throughout the past three weeks, I’ve been mentally and physically recovering from Jack’s birth. This type of painful recovery you’ll read below was not what I anticipated, but nevertheless, I want to share his birth story with you! 🙂

It took me a while to talk about Jack’s birth without getting emotional. I never imagined that this would be the case… I’ve read and heard friend’s birth stories. All different but beautiful! I had occasional dreams of what my first meeting with Jack would be like — I had no doubt it would be a beautiful and spiritual experience!!! I imagined my labor playlist playing in the background, Alex holding my hand, encouraging every breath and push… and suddenly, cries from my son as he makes his way to my arms! I could hardly wait for that first meeting with Jack and to experience God’s presence in an entirely new way!!

The Worst but Best Day Ever

That dream I vividly envisioned for months quickly diminished on December 16th. Earlier in the morning, we had some hint that something may be wrong…

Jack had multiple drops in his heart rate as he prepared for his big debut. The nurses were able to change my position, give me fluids, and oxygen. Fortunately, his heart rate recovered during those brief scares! However, In the late morning, Jack’s heart rate rapidly plummeted into the 50s and stayed down for a prolonged period of time. I’ll never forget hearing the dropping heart rate beep on the monitor and seeing the panic on Alex’s face as he told me to quickly rollover before the OB team stormed in. Instead, of this beautiful vaginal birth I frequently dreamed about, I found myself surrounded in the room by nurses and doctors desperately doing whatever they could to raise my son’s heartbeat. I knew this was a matter of life and death for Jack when I saw the fear and tears in Alex’s eyes…

After all measures failed, and without any time to process the situation, I was rushed to the operating room on all fours for an emergency c-section. As I was rolled to the operating table, I internally pleaded for God’s protection over Jack and myself. When they pulled him out, they found that the umbilical cord was pinched in between his hand/arm and his head, causing the dropping heart rate during the contractions. A c-section in any form was a nightmare for me. But hearing Jack’s beautiful cry made me realize perhaps, my dream delivery did not matter. <3

Jack's Birth Story

The Recovery

Over the recent weeks, I’ve been processing the emotional trauma. Of course, I was upset that I completely missed out on the traditional birth experience I had in mind. But to relive the moment when everyone rushed into my room after hearing Jack’s distress on the monitor is something terrifying that I still process to this day.

I’m learning to not erase the haunting memories, but instead, heal and accept the story and the scar I wear. Despite Jack’s birth being way different than I ever imagined, I thank God every day that I get to cherish, hold, and nurture His perfect and beautiful creation. I thank Him for His protection, for the docs/nurses who responded so quickly and efficiently, for a healthy baby, for my healing, and one incredibly supportive husband. Alex knows the pain I went through, mentally and physically, and has been so caring throughout my postpartum journey.

I went into labor with an open mind. But to be honest, I’m not a fan of needles, blood… basically, anything medical related (haha!!)… But I completely trusted my team to deliver Jack since my main goal was, “a healthy mom and healthy baby!” From the moment my OB said we needed to proceed with an emergency c-section to Jack’s delivery was in the matter of 8-minutes! I owe so much to my incredible team for making sure my goal was achieved. 🙂

We are over the moon in love with our sweet angel!!! After going through this experience three weeks ago, we cherish the baby snuggles even more. <3



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