John Shea's Entrance Into the World

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


It's truly amazing how the mind starts to forget the awfulness of labor and delivery... especially as I have our darling, precious son sweetly sleeping next to me as I write this. The beautiful miracle of a child erases the pain... thankfully...! Two weeks later, I'm finally able to share the PG version and spare you the R rated one (;


Throughout my pregnancy I had a feeling that this little boy was going to come a bit early {my Mom's babies were early and fast} and make an exciting entrance. He sure did that.

On Saturday {Sept 7, two days before his due date} I started having what I thought were more Braxton Hicks contractions. Only this time they started at the top of my belly or in my lower back and wrapped around, and would not let up. I was so excited... too excited! We had been anxiously awaiting his arrival. Cam was trying not to get too excited either since I'd been having BH for a few weeks. But the afternoon went by and the contractions continued. We were still planning on going on our classy, fancy date to Chili's for burgers and queso {baby John Shea's favorite treat in utero}, but by the evening, they were too strong for me to be able to sit down comfortably, so I stayed home to start timing them and walk while Cam ran out to grab us food to-go. Haha... baby still got his burger and queso before coming out!

By about 9pm, my contractions were 4 minutes apart lasting for atleast a minute; strong enough that I had to stop and breathe through them, but not so strong that I couldn't talk inbetween each one. Cam was absolutely amazing throughout my pregnancy and coaching me throughout labor and the delivery. He was so attentive that he took me to triage at this point. The male nurse confirmed that I was definitely in labor but was still only at 3cm, so told us to go home. He guessed he'd see us back in the hospital in maybe two to three days. Cam and I knew our baby was coming that night but were grateful to go home for the time being. As soon as we got home my contractions about doubled in both intensity and timing. I laid on my side while I had Cam jam his knuckles into my tailbone {brought me so much relief!} and tried my hardest to relax through the hell that was beginning. I would have never been able to get through a natural birth without my awesome husband. He coached me through every single contraction to stop whining and breathe. To relax from my head all the way down to my toes. About an hour or two after we got home, my water broke and everything started happening so fast. I think it was just before 2am. From there, my contractions came right on top of each other.  Cam told me I had to get up, that we had to go to the hospital now, that he did not want to deliver our baby at home! He had to help me down our stairs and into the car. Ahhh, that 25 minute car ride.  I had such bad back labor that I faced backwards, grabbed onto the head rest, and had my knees on the seat as Cam sped to the hospital through every red light. He kept one hand on the steering wheel and the other in a fist on my tailbone for pressure. I was barely able to get out the word, "harder!" The one time I got a glance of his face in that ride, he had this look of, "are you serious!?" Needless to say, I had terrible bruising on my tailbone afterwards.

I had to stop and throw my arms around Cam's waist atleast ten times from the parking lot to triage to get through the oncoming contractions. He just kept talking me through each one and urging me to keep moving. At this point, I must have already started to transition somewhere from the house to the hospital, and had gone into concentration mode -- I mostly kept my eyes closed as the docs and nurses got me onto a bed as I continued to contract and hold onto my husband for dear life through each one. I heard the doc say I was almost at 8cm and "Mama, you are having this baby tonight!"  I did open my eyes for a quick second and saw the male nurse who had checked me about two hours earlier; his face had this priceless look of surprise that I was already back and about to give birth. They rushed me into the delivery room, with no time to even get a robe on. I heard the staff asking Cam about my birth plan as they ran next to my bed down the hall, and hearing him say I wanted to have our babe naturally with no medicine or IV. One of the nurses got close to my face and told me to stick to my birth plan; that I could do it. That staff was such an answer to our prayers. They were incredibly encouraging. I didn't speak at all to anyone; I was totally in the zone. The next hour was aw-ful. Those contractions were far worse than anything I'd imagined. Cam was right there with me though, coaching me through them, constantly reminding me to breathe honey, breathe! They were literally right on top of each other. Our baby was coming fast!


Cam scrubbed up around this point to deliver our son!! I pushed as hard as I possibly could for about an hour, collapsing after each time and crying out repeatedly, it hurt so much. The nurses joked with me later that they can tell all the way down the hall when a natural birth is happening by the screams. Ha. Lovely. I was so exhausted and knew I couldn't get through that intense pain on my own. God met me right there in the thick of it. I felt the prayers in earnest for us, and knew the Lord had already gone before us and prepared the way for the hardest part. I love how my friend Anna described birth: "The phenomenon of willingly giving up your body to be broken for another being so that they can have life. Sound familiar? I certainly have a whole new level of gratitude to God for His sacrifice for me..."

I see now that the Lord invites us into experiences like birth and parenting, to better understand the depth of His love and what He has done for us.

Baby John had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and his heartbeat was rapidly dropping. The cheering from Cam and the staff was no longer a tone of encouragement, but one of urgency as they told me I needed to push with everything I had. At 4:41am, Cam yanked out his shoulders and immediately untangled the cord from around his head. Our baby boy was born!! The next moments all happened so fast as John coughed and then his amazingly strong and loud vocal cords rang out. I think I was still collapsed {wanting to sob but too tired to} when I heard his cry, but Cam said I was so jacked up on adrenaline that I immediately grabbed him and brought him close to me, blindly forgetting my total exhaustion. He said he's never seen me more elated or alive. I'll never forget Cam handing him to me, seeing his dark head of hair, smooshed nose, beautiful little face. Cam says it was the most inspirational thing he's ever seen... to watch his wife carry that burden and then to witness how much life and love was in that room. There is just no way to describe the love and joy that immediately washes over you as new parents for your child. Or how close Cam and I felt to each other. I've honestly never been so in love with him before.

Labor and delivery really was hell. But seeing our beyond precious son... this little person we'd prayed for and dreamt about for nine months -- alive, pulsating with life, hearing his glorious cry, was truly one of the most beautiful moments of my entire life. Second only to marrying his daddy. 

We had about an hour with our John Shea before he was taken to the NICU for the next five days. Our hearts broke watching our new baby pricked over and over again and hooked up to machines when all we wanted to do was hold him and bring him home. I had quite a few meltdowns, and though I know my husband shared the exact same emotions and exhaustion, he held it together for the both of us. The beauty in those long days was watching how specific prayers for him were continually being answered. God really works through stressful, trying times for our good. We are so, so thankful for our beautiful, healthy, darling son! It's going to be so much fun watching this boy grow!

62 comments:

  1. What an amazing birth story, it brought tears to my eyes. You go girl on having him naturally! Love the pictures of your naked baby.

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  2. I'm tearing up at work reading this, how precious! Thanks for sharing your story.

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  3. I got chills and I was tearing up while reading this. I'm so excited for your family and I'm so glad everyone is healthy and happy.

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  4. totally tearing up. can't help myself. that was a great story--go girl!

    (also, even a moment in the nicu is like the hardest thing imaginable... five days! i am sure you are overjoyed to have him with you now!)

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    1. I teared up in yours too!!

      Yes, totally overjoyed to have him with us all the time!

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  5. LOVE this Amanda... you truly are inspirational and I hope to be as amazing and awe-inspiring as you one day when my turn comes to invite a little boy orgirl into our world! Thank you sooooo so much for sharing your special birth story! I know that i will read it again one day ;) Take care and much love to you and your family! XXXX Robyn (SA)

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    1. Awww thank you SO much, Robyn!! So kind of you to say!

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  6. What a beautiful story! I am two days past my due date and anticipating my daughter's birth every moment of the day. Reading this and seeing how much beauty can come from such pain is so inspirational. Thank you for sharing! That baby is precious!

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    1. Thank you Sarah and congrats!! I hope by now you're precious little girl has arrived!! sending you love!

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  7. I have had doctors tell me my entire life that I would most likely never be able to have a child. This week however, one doctor told me that I CAN! After reading your birth story I can not wait to experience it for myself one day (as weird as that may sound :) )

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    1. Ahhhh don't listen!! what do they know!!! I have a feeling you're going to prove them all wrong. Doctors do not know everything. Just look at the docs who told me repeatedly that I had gestational diabetes and my baby would too -- they finally after lots of testing have realized oops, that was wrong, we're both totally healthy and GB free!

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  8. oh Amanda!!! Tears of happiness! you are amazing. you and cam are so so inspiring! And little bits of your story reminded me of my parents and baby me :) while driving my in-labor-with-me mommy to the hospital, my dad got pulled over! he was going a wee bit too fast. My dad was like my WIFE IS IN LABOR!!!! hehe, makes me smile thinking about it. the cop escorted them the rest of the way. my mom had all 3 of us naturally. It’s amazing. and to hear that, that is the way you went about it….. so inspiring. So beautiful! Congratulations!!!

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    1. Haha that is hilarious about your parents!! Im surprised that didnt happen to us too!

      thanks, Chels. love you so much!

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  9. I LOVE that quote you shared from your friend Anna. That brought tears to my eyes immediately! Beautiful birth story :)

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    1. Have you read Anna's birth story? Its ammaazing. I cried each time I read it! She's incredible.

      and thank you!!

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  10. What a beautiful birth story!! Thank you so much for sharing!! Prayers continue with y'all!!!

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    1. Thanks for all your faithful prayers, Rebecca!!

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  11. amanda! go mama! what an incredible story! he sure did make quite an entrance, didn't he! you are a STRONG woman, and beautiful, and inspiring!! so glad your little family is getting all settled in together, painful labors and nicu stays behind you!! john shea is gorgeous. job well done :* i know your hub has got to be SO proud!

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    1. awww thanks my friend. love you!

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  12. Wow! This was beautiful and intense! Thanks for sharing. I'm so glad you're doing better!

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  13. What an amazing story! As a woman who plans a natural birth someday, it's very inspiring to hear stories of others. Congratulations. What a beautiful description of the expansion of love for your babe and your husband.

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  14. I"m in tears. Birth stories are the most amazing things to read. I actually had to go back and look at the photos, because I was so enthralled with what would happen next. Congratulations to you :)

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    1. Thanks, Jess!! Hope life back home is going so great for you guys!!

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  15. I got teary-eyed through this - you are such a fantastic writer, and I think you were able to express your feelings throughout the experience very adequately (although I'm sure it was a far cry from the real thing). So happy for you and your family, and so proud of you for being something fierce! And that baby bum!! Enjoy his deliciousness! :)

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  16. Lovely story! Thank you so much for sharing this emotional and amazing experience with all of us. It's incredible to see how God works and how powerful he can be in moments like these. May Jehovah bless your family and newborn baby <3

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  17. Such a beautiful story! I am about 5 weeks (+/-) from delivering my baby girl and am planning on a natural birth. It is truly amazing what our bodies will go through to bring our children into the world. You go mama!

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    1. Woohoo!! Yes, totally amazing how our bodies were designed to do this. You're going to do great!! Congrats!

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  18. This story made me cry! So beautiful! I'm planning a natural birth, too and love to hear the positive birth stories and not just the scary ones! Thanks for sharing!

    How was the recovery process from a natural birth if you don't mind me asking? I hear it's a quicker recovery time usually than medicated births?

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    1. Thanks Danielle! Ehh the first few days I was really really sore (I was supposed to be in my room resting but was actually walking back and forth all day and night to the nicu to see our little lamb) but since then Ive definitely been healing really well. And thats after having so many stiches the doc lost count!

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  19. What a great birth story! Congrats to you and Cam!!

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  20. Truly amazing birth story!! Love that you had a completely natural birth! And those buns...seriously the cutest ever!

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  21. Thank you for sharing! Our babies are just 2 days apart!!

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  22. Amanda, this story totally made me tear up--thanks so much for sharing! How wonderful that you have your sweet little boy home with you now :) Also, you are such a gifted writer, the way you shared everything was so beautiful and also such a great testament to God's faithfulness! xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much, Jane !!

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  23. What a beautiful story, made me tear also! My sister is about to have her baby and her husband is away due to his military career so I am the one taking care of my sister. I am in the process of getting all of her hospital supplies together and finishing up the nursery. I can't wait to meet her baby (never found out the sex of the baby)! I definitely have to share this amazing story with her, she will love it. Enjoy you little bundle of joy!

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    1. Amazing. I hope all the best for her, especially with her hubby away. Thats so tough. Thank goodness she has you!!

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  24. Oh my goodness I couldn't stop crying!

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  25. Birth truly is a miracle! Thank you for sharing your story with us. #2 is due any day now and I really hope I don't have the same back labor as I did with #1. I'm going for a water birth this time so hopefully that will help out a lot!

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    1. Yay, congrats on your soon-to-be-born little babe!!!

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  26. Whew...this was so hard for me to read, because we're getting ready to start trying for our first baby and I'm already freaked out. You are incredible for going natural. I have such a high pain tolerance, but I don't think I could do it. Your son is gorgeous!!!

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    1. Thank you so much Andi! I'm sure you could do it - seriously, if I could, anyone can. I have terrible pain tolerance!

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  27. wow. yeah definitely makes me want to have a baby soon... NOT!

    hahah love you amanda you are amazing. seriously. so so so happy and glad baby john is happy and healthy and you are too. he as the cutest little butt cheeks! lots of love! xoxo

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    1. hahahah. and this was the PG version!

      thank you!! love you!!

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  28. What a great story. I have been following along this whole time as I'm about 4 weeks behind you (currently about 10 days away from delivery) and was so glad to hear you went natural. I'm going to try and your story gave me courage to know that it's harrrrrrrrrrd work but it can be done. I too wonder how your recovery was since there were no drugs involved. Congrats again, he's precious.

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    1. Congrats, Susie!! I'm sure you can do it. I think my experience was probably worse than most because our baby had to be yanked out which caused a lot of tearing. Hopefully you'll have a much less intense birth! (: Recovery has been good so far - the first week I was so sore, especially from walking, but since then I've been taking ibuprofin and tylenol and feel so much better.

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  29. tears. in tears. i love this. you're such a strong mama, john is beyond blessed. and cam delivering him? oh my word. love. this story is pure love.

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  30. Thank you so very much for sharing! I read this word-for-word to my fiance and he was astounded. We have several years until we even want to consider babies, but we had such a wonderful conversation about the possibility of natural birth when we are ready. Never before had I ever even contemplated the idea. What got me? The line where your friend related natural childbirth to the breaking of ones own body, thus relating it to God and His sacrfice for us. Had me in tears. Thank you!

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    1. Anna is so inspiring! You have to read her blog & birth story... she's just amazing!

      Thank you so, so much.

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  31. Amanda! Tears are literally rolling down my face! What an incredibly honest birth story... I love how Cam described the feeling afterwards. I can only imagine :) So glad you and baby are ok... he's overwhelmingly beautiful. xxx

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  32. Yay! God is so good Amanda. I can't believe that baby John is finally here. You are a superhero to give birth with nothing. I did it with gas and air, twice, and truly felt like it was hell on earth. You are just plain amazing. Giving birth gives you such an amazing appreciation for what Jesus did for us! John, is so unbelievably cute. Well done to you two!!
    Geri
    www.thesweetlittle.com

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  33. Congrats on your new little man, he's just precious!

    ~ Bev

    http://bevedlybev.blogspot.com/

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  34. You guys are amazing.

    p.s. love those little baby buns!

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  35. I waited to read this story till this morning, because I didn't want to risk being too tired last night to fully catch the whole experience -- and all I have to say is, wow! It is amazing you had a natural childbirth! And Anna's line about being broken to give life -- is beautiful. Something to think about today... He is beautiful Amanda - Congrats, friend!! xo

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  36. Wow - thanks for sharing! Way to stick to your plan and now you have a beautiful baby to make it all worth it!

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