JENNIFER STUART

This is my journal on documenting love, finding joy, and living life to the fullest. I'm so glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your stay!

This is my journal on documenting love,
finding joy, and living life to the fullest. I'm so glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your stay!

HELLO I'm JENNIFER. welcome to MY blog!

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Welcome to the world, Evelyn Faith

Filed in: Personal

While I didn’t document my entire pregnancy on the blog, most of you knew about Bradley and I anticipating our bundle of joy this February. You can read more about how we announced that we were expecting and our gender reveal here: http://jenniferstuart.wpengine.com/life-lately/.

The past nine months flew by, and on February 10, 2015, we welcomed our baby girl into this world. We are so thankful for the love, support, prayers, and comfort we were given throughout our journey to becoming parents. This little girl is blessed beyond measure to have so many wonderful people loving on her.

I would also like to thank my wonderful clients who trusted me to continue to do my job while pregnant, and then remained so understanding and patient during my maternity leave. Having this time to bond with my daughter has been priceless. Our sweet baby girl thanks you all too!

Keep reading for our birth story, the reason behind her name, and of course lots of photos!

Baby Bump session with our amazing wedding photographer, Amy Arrington Photography. (28 weeks pregnant)

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If you’re not interested in birth stories, you can skip this part. I wrote all the lengthy details down for myself, but I’ll try to keep this version here short.

I was 39.5 weeks pregnant and starting to feel VERY uncomfortable and big. I had people telling me that since it was my first baby I would probably be late and I could go two weeks past my due date. I was trying to mentally prepare myself if that was the case, but I was REALLY ready to have our baby. We went to bed on February 9, and before closing my eyes, I turned to B and said “you know, this could be the last night that we sleep in a house with just the two of us”. He quietly agreed, probably thinking that there’s no way we’re having a baby tonight.

Well, I guess it was mother’s intuition because I woke up around 4am with my water leaking! We were going to have a baby! We frantically got our things together, stopped at the door to pray for our baby and a healthy delivery, then got in the car and headed to the hospital. We got checked in at triage and they said my water had ruptured but I obviously wasn’t contracting, so they gave me some medication to induce labor. That little pill took effect almost immediately, and I began have intense contractions that were 45 seconds to 2 minutes apart. I labored like this for over 2 hours before asking the doctor to check my progress. When I first arrived at the hospital, I was at 1cm, and then after all that time I had only gone up to 2cm! Having an epidural was not in my birth plan, but I was exhausted from the strong contractions being so close together. I cried out of frustration and was disappointed in myself for not being able to take the pain. However, I knew that I would never be able to make it to 10cm laboring like this, and still have the energy to push. My nurse reassured me that there was no need to feel the pain and I was doing the right thing getting an epidural, so we called for the anesthesiologist.

Another reason I didn’t want to have an epidural was because I was terrified of having a needle put into my spine. Bradley and my Momma held my hands and kept me calm as I tried to stay still through another strong contraction. Honestly, other than the bee sting I felt from local anesthesia and the strange sensation of the medicine going up my spine, it wasn’t that bad. And I was no longer in pain!

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. I ate popsicles, talked with family, and even took a nap. They checked my progress again around 3pm and we were all shocked to hear that I was already at 8-9cm. My nurse said that once I got to 10cm, I could continue to let the contractions do the work with bringing the baby further down. Around 6:30pm, my nurse informed me that they were about to have a shift change and she would be leaving soon. I had been fully dilated for awhile, so I could push now or wait for the next nurse to come in. This nurse had been so sweet and accommodating all day, so I wanted her to be there instead of someone new.

I was scared about bringing the baby into the world away from the safety of the womb. I cried knowing that when I started pushing, that I had to continue until she was here. Everyone encouraged me along as they got me ready to push, and I continued to tell myself “you CAN do this”. After about 10 minutes of pushing, they brought the doctor in for delivery. I gave another 10 minutes of pushing and at 6:56pm our baby was brought into this world, took her first breath, and was laid on my chest. Most of the next 30 minutes was a blur to me, but I remember hearing her first cries and feeling so overwhelmed with emotions. This tiny miracle, a gift from God, had completely changed our lives forever.

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I skipped publishing the labor photos for obvious reasons, but give MANY thanks to my sweet nurse for taking them all and to my awesome doctor not only for delivering our baby but then taking the time to wipe off my tears and mascara-stained face afterwards. I was so blessed to have such an amazing team taking care of me that day. Photos below taken by my dear Momma and B.

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Mimi and PaPa admiring their 5th grandbaby!

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Choosing a baby name is not an easy task. There’s so many factors to consider: will it be shortened to a nickname?; will it be made fun of?; do the initials spell something?; what does the name mean? That last one was important to me. I wanted our daughter to have a name that meant something.

When we found out that we were having a girl, we narrowed our names down and we both kept coming back to Evelyn. It was a name that I had on my baby list since college. I loved the classic sound of it, and the fact that it included “lyn”, which is mine and my Momma’s middle name. Then, I looked up the meaning of the name and found that it meant “life”.  It was perfect. The middle name didn’t come so easily and we were overly picky about it: it had to coincide with the meaning of her first name and we wanted it to be one syllable (all the longer names we tried just didn’t sound right).

Truth be told, our pregnancy was not an easy road to take. Without going into a lot of details, the ultrasounds we had raised concerns with her development, so we were on a roller coaster of emotional stress the whole time. However, this path led us closer to our faith in God, to accepting His plan for us, and utilizing the power of prayer. After another scary ultrasound in January, our baby’s middle name became very apparent to me. She would be called Evelyn Faith because no matter what the outcome was, she showed us how to lead our lives in faith and to wholly trust in God. I wanted her namesake to be a constant reminder of that.

God showed us how good He is when the doctor placed her in my arms; our prayers had been answered and our baby was healthy. We joyfully welcomed Evelyn Faith to the world and the praise God for the light that she brought to our lives.

Sweet Evelyn’s first photo shoot. Thanks to Dear Lissie Photography for these precious photos that we will cherish forever.

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