Before I write this birth story, I have to tell you guys how much we surprised our little lady last night. She was begging for a surprise party for her Golden Birthday, and we kept telling her that it's not a surprise if you know it's coming. Since we always take the birthday girl/boy where they want to go for supper, Jae chose Pizza Ranch for her special supper. I lined it up to have my side of the family there with balloons and cake as a surprise for when we arrived. You guys....I wish I had the pictures uploaded from my mom's camera. She took one look inside the party room and was in complete utter shock. Immediately, tears fell from her face, and you could tell she was so overwhelmed with excitement at seeing everyone there.... For her. It was so cool. I hate the growing up part for obvious reasons, but seeing her "get it". Like really understand that we were all there for her, and watch as she was just humbled. That was cool. My grandma was able to be there, and even her Uncle Justin made a call all the way from Texas to wish her a Happy Birthday. It was neat and so magical, and everything I wished for my little girl. $100 cakes and big fancy themed birthday parties don't hold a torch to good old fashioned quality family time. Even if those things are nice to have sometimes.
Anyways, back to The Birth Story......
You are the birth story that is chronologically, the furthest from today, but it is by far the one I remember the very most. You made me a mama, and I could never forget that beautiful day for anything. You will always be my little one, my "baby Jae". Your arrival was not planned in my date book, but that's okay because you were planned in God's date book, and that is far better.
I'll be honest little lady, I was scared. So so scared. I was a baby having a baby. I wasn't prepared for this, and that made me anxious. 17 year old, unmarried highschool students aren't supposed to get pregnant. There are many reasons for that. For one, highschoolers aren't mature enough to fully grasp the responsibility of caring for another life. We are wired by the world to care about ourselves first and others second, so having to learn that I was in charge of another life was overwhelming.
Second of all, I knew that Tony wasn't the person God had chosen for me to spend the rest of my life with, and getting pregnant with someone who is not your husband can make things complicated as time goes on and you grow up. In a nutshell, my life would change completely in the span of nine months and nothing I could do would be able to stop it. I would go from teenager to mother overnight, and that was reality.
Depressing preface to the birth story- Check!
I know that what you just read sounds nothing at all like what welcoming a child into the world should sound like, and that was because it wasn't, but that didn't mean that God wasn't going to use this as a vessel to grow his kingdom and to stretch me. This was just the beginning to our story. The story that God has used me to help others through scary situations and the one that scored me a best friend when we bonded over our unplanned pregnancies years later. Nothing is a mistake. Nothing.
Physically, being pregnant with you was a breeze. I was never sick. That is...unless you count the time I became nauseous over something in Biology and ended up dashing outside to ralph all over the flag pole in front of an audience thank you very much. :/ But seriously, I secretly loved being pregnant. I was supposed to have a certain guilt connected to this pregnancy because I was doing it all the wrong way, but I loved. LOVED that you were a part of me. That we were connected. That no matter where I was, I was never alone. It was always me and you baby.
I was growing up fast, and I was breathing it all in and dreaming about life and how it would all play out. And at the same time, I was still a kid. I wanted to hang out with my friends and go to prom, and enjoy being a teenager. That's a hard line, and it seriously took all of nine months and a month of bed rest for me to realize that it wasn't about me anymore. It was all about you. And I was okay with that, it just needed to be learned.
The day you were born started out about as "normal" as any other. I had gone in for our routine weekly check up, and Binky (our amazingly wonderful midwife) was concerned with my blood pressure. It just so happened that it was also your due date, and so with not much thought, it was decided that you would be born that day, or at least begin the process of being born that day. I was shocked, anxious, scared and insanely excited to meet the little miracle who had been living, kicking and squirming inside of me for nine months.
And so began the preparation for your arrival. For five hours, nothing happened. We sat around talking and resting ( I wasn't allowed to get up except for the bathroom because of my blood pressure) and hoping that contractions would start so we could meet you sooner, and when five o'clock rolled around, we were given another dose and hoped something would start. From there, it was kind of a whirlwind. Contractions started coming quickly and on top of one another. In the midst of trying to breathe and find my focal point, I somehow managed to look at the faces of Tony, my mom and Binky and realized that something wasn't right. What I gathered was that the cord was wrapped around your neck, and every time I contracted, the cord would tighten and cause your heart rate to drop, SOOOO down to the OR we went for an emergency c-section. I was told you were the first "Code Orange" the hospital had ever had.
From the time the surgeon was called in Orange City until the time you were out of my belly and laying in a warming unit in the Sioux Center Hospital, 19 minutes had passed. It was just another reminder that God had it covered. We had nothing to worry about. At 10:16 pm on September 10, 2003, you entered the world, loved by so many people. And you were perfect- all 7 lbs 3 oz of you. When I was finally out of recovery and back upstairs, I held your tiny little swaddled body for what felt like hours, and I remember just silently sending prayers of thank you up to Jesus for keeping you safe and making you healthy, and wondering how I got so lucky that God would make me your mama.
Things have been uphill, downhill, and all over the place in the last 10 years. What was part of my plan in the last ten years wasn't always a part of His, and I am constantly reminded about His faithfulness and His grace, and when I begin to question God on anything, I am quickly reminded that He's got it covered. He's got my back. His plan is always, always, always better than mine, even when I can't see it at that very moment.
And while things aren't as new or raw as they were ten years ago when we welcomed you into this world with lots of kisses and happy birthdays and I love yous, that feeling is always there. There are moments when I look at you, growing up in front of me and think......holy crap. You are mine. And I'm so very proud of the little lady you are becoming. I'm excited to see where the next 10 years take you, knowing that your dad and I will be right here cheering you on.
We love you Jaedyn Grace. Happy Birthday.
This morning we woke her up with a Happy Birthday tune, lots of hugs and kisses, Dutch babies for breakfast and a lot of celebrating the lady who made me a mom 10 years ago tonight. There's not a greater feeling than that. Happy Tuesday!