Thank you for visiting my blog! If you are visiting because you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss, let me say that I am so very sorry. I started this blog shortly after our Baby Grady was stillborn on November 12, 2008. Please visit the sidebar below called "Labels" to find the topic in which you are interested, or just read as your heart desires.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Only One

I always wanted four children. Gib always wanted two. I guess, in a way, we both got our wish. Kind of...

We have two earthly children (Jessica, 10 and Emma Grace, 6) and two heavenly children (one miscarriage and Grady, stillborn at 36 weeks, 5 days on 11-12-08). So, he has his two, and I have my four. Not exactly what I would have chosen for our family. I, of course, wish that we could all be together here on earth as one big family. But I don't get to choose, now do I?

But there's one...only one that I got it right with...

Jessica Nicole

And I can't tell you how thankful and grateful I am for her, "the only one"!

I decided to make Jessica's birth into this world my Wednesday's Walk this week. I have written Grady's birth story on my blog, and I've also covered Emma Grace's premature birth, here and here. It's time to talk about Jessica's birth, too!

Last week we celebrated her 10th birthday. It was very emotional for me. Not just because she turned double digits, but because something hit me. And it took me by surprise. The weight and reality of it...

She's the only one of my children with whom I had a normal, healthy, uncomplicated, non-worrisome, beautiful, just-the-way-it-should-be pregnancy.

And she will forever be the only one.

Pregnancy is just not what it used to be for me. The innocence of pregnancy was shattered after Emma Grace was born so early at 25 weeks. But the innocence of pregnancy is simply, utterly GONE for me, now, after Grady's stillbirth.


You see, when I was pregnant with Jessica it was a beautiful, innocent time in my life. I was so naive. Once I made it out of my first trimester with her, I honestly NEVER worried about another thing. At that point the biggest concern in my life was how much weight I had gained (50 pounds to be exact!), giving birth to her and proving my husband wrong. Proving to him that I most certainly did NOT need any kind of medication to help me bring this 8 lb. 7 oz, 20 inch long baby girl into this world!


I proved him wrong and it felt DARN good! I have to say that I think he was shocked. No, I KNOW he was shocked because he told me how proud he was of me when it was all said and done.

Labor was long but beautiful. YES, I just described labor as beautiful!!!

I labored at home for a very long time, walking around the block, hanging on to Gib when I would have contractions, swaying and breathing through them. He was ready to go to the hospital LONG before I was!

We finally went to the hospital around 10pm, and Jessica was born at 4:23am, May 28, 1999.

I was 3cm when I was admitted. The midwife, Kim, got to the hospital around midnight, and I was 5-6cm, just from sitting on the bed and finishing paperwork. I labored in several standing positions; then Kim suggested the bathtub. I can't tell you how wonderful it was! She had a pillow (still wrapped in the plastic with a pillow case over it) behind me, a towel over my front and I just relaxed in the water. I actually went into a zone, breathed through my contractions and let my body relax to do just what it needed to do. I remember hearing James Taylor playing in the background (we brought our own cd player - come to think of it, I don't think I've listened to that cd since she was born!).

Kim stayed in the room and did paperwork, but she coached Gib and let him take the lead on being my support person. She showed him pressure points to help me, and we changed the water, as needed, to warm it up. She checked my contractions the old fashioned way, pressing on my uterus using her hand, and she timed them with her watch. She used a water doppler to check Jessica's heartbeat.

I was in the tub for about 2 1/2 hours when I felt the urge to (watch out - possible TMI coming!) have a bowel movement. Kim suggested that I get out of the tub so she could check me. Problem was...I couldn't move. My contractions had suddenly turned into something VERY different, and I had the HARDEST time getting from the tub to the bed. But after about 20 minutes, I made it! (And BTW, I did NOT need to have a BM. It was just the contractions of transition that I was feeling!)

I was a whopping 9cm when I got back to the bed. Kim broke my water, and I instantly progressed to 10cm. I started pushing, and Jessica was born 1 hour and 23 minutes later. She was big (and I was so glad because I was big!!!).

In the midst of huffing and pushing, Gib couldn't find my mom's phone number in the book. So I huffed it out to him. I had promised my mom that she could be outside the room to hear Jessica's first cry. (Gib and I had decided we wanted to be alone for her birth.) They lived about an hour away from the hospital, and I was so afraid that they wouldn't make it. But, thankfully, they made it with about 5 minutes to spare :-)

Another important piece of information...we did not know if Jessica was a boy or a girl. Her gender was a complete surprise for us, and I swear it made me push harder!!!

She made a funny noise instead of crying. It was a high-pitched yelp/screech/scream. Short, but loud. She would whimper, then make her noise. It was really funny! She had dark hair, blue eyes, and extremely long fingers. Two of the things I loved the most were her chubby cheeks and her chunky, lovable rolls on her newborn legs! I also loved that she didn't have any eye lashes when she was born, and I watched them grow as I nursed her the first months of her life (now they're long and beautiful).

She nursed like a champ, I recovered well, and we went home just like we were supposed to. Two days later, I was wheeled out of the hospital with a baby in my arms.

I'm glad I didn't know then what I know now. I did savor those days, and I do cherish the memories of my pregnancy and birth with her. But I wish I had not assumed that I'd do it again. Because little did I know...

...she would be my only one.

My sweet, beautiful Jessica Nicole!

Thanks for sharing this memory with me today.



  1. Tonya,
    Thanks for sharing Jessica's birth story. I used to love reading birth stories but now it's hard to b/c if they're "innocent" I can't help but feel a little mad at them for that. Anyone, I'm sorry that this beautiful experienced that you cherished (birthing a baby) is no longer the beautiful thing it once was. I pray God will redeemed that beauty for you, that someday you can help one of your beautiful daughters bring a new life into this world and rejoice with her when that baby arrives healthy, strong, and screaming. I understand this "brokenness" you feel. Praying God's strength for you today and bright hope for tomorrow!

  2. Tonya!! I really enjoyed your Jessica's birth story! Thank you for sharing your special memory. I can understand how you would feel that way about pregnancy... your Jessica's birth will forever be a special day for you.

  3. What a beautiful birth story. All of mine (my birth stories...not my babies!) are tainted with imperfections. And, I know what you mean about being robbed of innocence...having pregnancy forever mean something much different than it once did. No longer a guarantee of joy. I'm so glad you had this time of innocent joy...what a beautiful baby!

  4. Enjoyed reading your memories of your oldest daughter's birth. Very special indeed. :)

  5. Wow, I didn't know that Emma Grace was born at 25 weeks. What a miracle! Maybe you can share her story next. Id like to hear how that went.

    I think we share a lot of the same feelings on pregnancy. When I first got pregnant I thought once i was past 12 weeks or so, I was in the clear. I had no idea what could go wrong!

    Josh has always said he wanted 7 children. I always just laughed it off, because yeah right, I don't ever picture myself having more than 3 or 4 max!! But, after we lost our Beans, having 7 children is now obtainable. God willing!


  6. Thanks for sharing Jessica's birth story. I am glad that you have that special memory.

    I am sorry that the other pregnancies and births weren't "innocent" as you say,...but you are who you are today because of God's marvelous grace throughout your experiences, so it is bittersweet.

    You have beautiful girls. And their mama is beautiful too.

    Love, Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

  7. Thank you for sharing Jessica's birth story! By the way, I love your choice of girl's names - my daughters are named Jessica and Emma as well!

  8. What a beautiful story. I understand the "I hope she's big because I'm big" think! :) I gained a lot with my first and she was 9'8!

    I went back and read your other stories as well. I have tears in my eyes. I will be praying for you in the coming months...

  9. What a sweet story & lovely memory for you. :)

  10. It's a beautiful story. I will say, it's nice to read a birth story that went well and had a successful outcome - as you know very well, they do not all happen this way. It was refreshing to read and to hold happy thoughts all the while.

    I have only had one son myself (born Oct 22nd, 08) and I plan on having more children. I suppose I am in the naive position that you found yourself ten years. I will, however, choose to stay here because it's comfortable :) and I am excited to get pregnant again. But having awareness, as so many blogs have given me, will help to prepare me if God's plans are different from my own.

    Thank you for sharing.

  11. Thanks for sharing your birth story about Jessica. I just love hearing these kind of stories. Happy Birthday to her too!

  12. Tonya,
    I loved hearing about Jessica's birth, but like Rachel said it is hard at the same time. I know now when I look at pictures of the birthdays of my other kids that they are tainted from our experience with Samuel. I just can't look at them with the complete JOY that I used to. Why did Samuel's end so differently? So hard.

    Her birth sounded similar to my Anna's and Elijah's... lots of time in the tub. That was the best place and it did help to make the labors and deliveries Beautiful. I know people always laugh when I say it was an amazing wonderful experience. I now need to go back and read Emma Grace's birth story:)

    Tonya, I am praying for God's sustaining power to be yours today. Rest in HIM, he loves you, your husband, grady and the girls deeply. Thinking of you!

  13. That sounds like a perfectly wonderful birth. My first one wasn't nearly as lovely - I hate birthing by the way - but I, like you, didn't worry about a thing. I just enjoyed every minute of the pregnancy. Life would never be the same after that, as my second was our Samuel who had anencephaly. And of course the rest of my story you know.

    Thanks for sharing. Praising God with you for your children (here and there).

  14. What a sweet, sweet memory of Jessica's birth story! Your Jessica will cherish this... She is a beautiful blessing, as well as your other children.

    I praise the Lord for his mercies and grace through the births of ours (I am such a wimp, when it comes to the slightest "pain" truly amazes me that they were born without medication..although with our son, I was ready to give it to me, when the nurse said I shouldnt be feeling much since my contractions weren't registering on the machine! Thank you Lord for their speedy births! 8lb 2oz-2 hours...9lbs 2oz-40 min..8 lbs (whew...not 10 lbs 2 oz)-6 minutes after realizing the machine was not connected correctly, checking me and breaking my water.

    Blessings & Aloha!

    (Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your sweet comment! Come back any time. And Yes, we are in GA, right outside of Savannah :o)