Best Of grow

Birth Story and a Change of Heart

WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about your birth story and share a link with us in the comments section.
WARNING: This post contains a few graphic photos of my delivery. Nothing too crazy, but just wanted to give you a heads up.


It’s no secret that pregnancy is about my least favorite experience ever.
I spend the entire pregnancy counting down the days until I get to hold my precious bundle in my arms and put the misery of the previous 9 months behind me.

And for those of you who have been keeping up with my blog (read here),
then you’ve gotten an ear full about how Sawyer was likely my last pregnancy…
An earful about how I couldn’t imagine spending another 9 months hunched over a toilet, with a severe migraine, repelled by the smell of my husband and too sick to play with my kids.  Pardon my french, but those conditions basically equate to my idea of a living hell. And I’ve lived it, twice.

Even on the day that I walked into the hospital for my scheduled c-section…
Even on that day, I was adamant that this would be my last pregnancy.

Only one kid into this whole business of parenting and I was already tired.
Happy. Grateful. Humbled. But tired.
And adding another little to the mix certainly wasn’t about to increase my energy level.

I remember feeling guilt for the first few weeks after Ben and I discussed this being our last baby.
Guilt that I was being selfish in this decision.
That if only I could suck it up for 9 more months,
then Ben and I could have that growing family we envisioned during those early days of our engagement and marriage.

Eventually the guilt dissolved as I focused on what I thought was best for our little family.
And what I knew for certain…was that my family needed me.
Needed me present and participating in life…in their lives.
Not slumped over on the couch wishing the minutes away.
Not depressed despite the growing miracle in my tummy.
They needed me happy, healthy and engaged in their lives with a smile on my face.

So it was decided.
Sawyer = last baby.
And we were going to embrace it.


Now enter day of Sawyer’s birth.
(excuse the rather long and detailed account of his delivery)

My mom picked me up at 5:30 am while Ben dropped Wesley off at a dear friends house for the day.
I hadn’t slept a single minute the night before.
Having a c-section is a bit different because you get to prepare.
You get to shower, blow dry your hair, put on some makeup and then stroll into the hospital fairly relaxed and ready to go.
I had already been through this experience when I had Wesley 3 years earlier, so my emotions were purely excitement rather than nerves.  I knew what to expect from the surgery, and I knew I could handle it.

After checking in with admitting, we headed upstairs to Labor and Delivery so they could get me prepped for surgery.  At this point I have been fasting (no food OR WATER) for 12 hours. I’m uncomfortable and cranky and more thirsty than you could ever imagine.  You see, I have this random condition called “diabetes insipidus“—which pretty much means that I need to drink mass quantities of water all.the.time or else I get faint, dizzy, have hot flashes and pretty much become a miserable person to be around.

I was to that miserable-to-be-around stage of thirst and all I wanted was to get that IV of fluids in my arm.  But I was scared. After a terrible experience during my delivery of Wesley involving lots of blood, a blown vein, and 4 different nurses—I was not looking forward to getting this IV put in.  Lucky for me, I had the world’s most delicate nurse who put it in before I even realized what was happening. I nearly kissed her–really.

Ten minutes into the IV and I began to relax as I felt the fluids calming my urgency to drink water.
Now I could focus on the excitement of having this baby.

Before I headed into surgery, my doctor and the anesthesiologist went over all the details of the procedure.
Again, I knew what to expect, so I wasn’t nervous.
I remember being shocked when I delivered Wesley, because they had him out of my tummy only 7 minutes after we had entered the surgical room. My doctor explained that this time it would take a little bit longer since this was my second surgery and there would likely be scar tissue that they would need to work around.
My Mom and Ben got dressed in their scrubs while the anesthesiologist took me back to get my epidural.

Major props to the anesthesiologist, because I hardly felt the mondo needle enter my spine.
And an added thanks to my surgical nurse for letting me bury my head in her chest and squeeze her hands with a death grip as I anxiously anticipated what I thought would be a painful experience.  Seriously, I would take the pain of the epidural over the pain of getting an IV any day.

A minute later the nurses placed me on my back (since I was already losing the function of my lower body at this point), and they started to drape the surgical curtains around my body–you know, those curtains that ensure I can’t see them removing vital innards from my body and setting them on a cold metal tray while they deliver my baby.

So now I’m laying on my back.
I’m taking deep breaths as I feel the numbness begin to swoop across my body.
The anesthesiologist places an oxygen mask over my face and tells me to relax.
But I don’t remember this oxygen mask from my last c-section.
I wasn’t prepared for this, and for some reason I feel like the mask is smothering my face.
I attempt to adjust it several times, but with each adjustment I feel like it is becoming more difficult to breath.
Me: Is this mask necessary? I really feel like I’m getting more oxygen with it off…
Doc: Yes, its VERY necessary. You will need to keep it on.  We can switch to the tubes that go up your nose if that would be more comfortable.
My thought: how could tubes up my nose be more comfortable and less suffocating???
Me: No, I think I’ll stick with the mask.

So I suck it up.
Focus on relaxing my breathing.

Next starts the pinching.
Where the doctors pinch different parts of my body to see what I can still feel before they make an incision.
Now…there’s always a bit of anxiety for me at this portion of the surgery.
As if there is going to be some part of my body that doesn’t go numb, but is also exactly where they will need to cut me open.
And to compound my anxiety, they’re pinching me while I have a suffocating mask over my face.

Ben and  my mom are still in the hallway—not allowed in until right before the first incision is made.

The pinching continues as I very assuredly tell the doctors that I CAN still feel all their pinching.
Me: Shouldn’t I be completely numb by now?
Doc: You should, but sometimes it can take a bit longer. We’ll lean you back to help speed things up.

And with that, the anesthesiologist sets the surgical table at a reverse incline.
Before I know it, my feet are pointing towards the sky and I can feel the numbness rush through my body and towards my face at the speed of light.
I begin to silently panic.
I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest.
I certainly don’t remember feeling like this last time.
What’s going wrong?
I start pawing at the mask on my face as I try to tell the doctor that I’m really having trouble breathing–but no words are coming out.
Where’s Ben? I want Ben.

Before I know it, my mask is off and replaced with the nostril thingies.
Ben is by my side, holding my hand and talking to me about planning a dream vacation in Hawaii.
And my Mom is smiling over his shoulder.

I catch my breath.
Close my eyes.
And calm down.

I turn to Ben.
Me: I think I was having a panic attack.
Ben: I know. But you’re okay.
Me: How did you know? Did it last a long time?
Ben: I just knew. And it was only for a minute. You’re gonna be fine now.
Me: Well, it felt like an eternity.

Ben gives my hand three gentle squeezes.
1. I
2. Love
3. You

I mouth, I love you too.


I had never had a panic attack before.
And let me tell you, it’s pretty scary.
I imagine it’s about as similar a feeling to thinking you’re dying as one can get.
Seconds feel like hours as you struggle to regain control over your body and your thoughts.
Lucky for me, my doctors recognized my reaction before I even had a chance to say anything.
They brought Ben in early to give me comfort, altered my oxygen and removed me for the reverse incline position.
I was calmed now and ready to have this baby.

These are my bloodshot panic attack eyes.


I knew the first incision had been made when I saw the woozy look on my Mom’s face.
It made me smile as I watched her attempt to hide her nerves by snapping photos of the experience.
I was getting anxious and excited now as I knew I was only moments away from meeting my son.

There was tugging, and cutting, and a bit of pushing.
And then…there was that moment.
That moment when I knew he had been pulled from my tummy.
The moment where you wait for those first cries and simultaneously feel more relief than you could ever imagine feeling in your entire life.

And while I was certainly overcome with relief when I heard those first cries,
I was also completely overwhelmed with another emotion.

Right then, in that moment, when I heard my new son’s voice, when I heard his call to the World…
I knew I would be doing this again.
I knew, even before I held him in my arms, I knew I wanted to do whatever was in my power to give him another sibling.
To grow this miracle of a family that we have created.

Ben was still holding my hand as he looked across the curtain at Baby Sawyer.
Ben: He’s beautiful Lee. Absolutely beautiful. I’m so proud of you.
I started to hysterically cry.
Like shoulder shaking, nose running hysterics.
This time felt different than with Wesley.
I was more aware.
More appreciative.
Perhaps wiser.
Me: Go be with him. I’ll be alright.

He gave my hand three more quick squeezes and rushed off with a smile on his face.
For many planning to have a c-section, this is the hardest part…not getting to hold your baby immediately after giving birth.
And perhaps it’s because it’s the only way I know, but I actually enjoy these post-delivery moments.
It’s in this time that Ben bonds with our son.
Holds him for the first time. Kisses him. Is right along side him through their Apgar testing.
I know my baby is in good hands as I lay there for the completion of my surgery.

And while sure I’m anxious to have him in my arms,
I take this moment to process the last 9 months.
To take it all in. To give thanks for my blessings. To feel grateful. To say a prayer.
To imagine life with this new little person in my home and in my heart.

These moments are precious and sacred to me,
and they are only made that much more special when Ben walks over and places my son in my arms.

He’s perfect.
And I wish time would stop. I wish I could enjoy this next minute for hours–days even.
Because in these 60 seconds, I am meeting my son. Kissing his lips. Taking in his sweet smells.
And completely realizing that my joy in this moment is far superior and overpowering to the misery I experienced while pregnant.
Totally worth it.
And I would do it all over again. and again.
I WILL do it all over again–God willing.


Congrats to the winner of the River & Bridge giveaway!

Kara from Mine for the Making, you WON!

As far as the announcement I selected, with your help, I’ve narrowed it down to these two:


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Use the discount code: LMM

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If you already have a CAMEO, they can get a bundle with 1 Silhouette scraper, 1 Silhouette hook, 1 Silhouette spatula, and 1 $25 download card for $29.99!
Offer valid through August 22, 2012.


I can totally vouch for these awesome vinyl tools! I used them to make this fun new sign. I used the vinyl to create a stencil for those rad chevrons in the background.

Tutorial coming soon.
Bottom line: I love my Cameo Silhouette, and you would too!

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  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 7:50 am

    What a sweet story! I love the picture of Ben and Sawyer touching noses.

    I had a panic attack last time I had a procedure done, too. They numbed the part of my arm they were going to be cutting into and started poking me with a needle to see if I could feel it. Didn’t work so they numbed me again until I really couldn’t feel anything. The Dr. started cutting and I hyperventilated and passed out. Woke up with my feet in the air and the oxygen up my nose. It turned out that I couldn’t handle the sight of my own blood. Embarrassing…

    • Reply
      August 20, 2012 at 7:51 am

      oops, not touching noses. The one where Ben is leaning over him with his nose on Sawyer’s cheek! 🙂

  • Reply
    Hannah Odarve
    August 20, 2012 at 8:15 am

    awhhhh. I totally love Sawyer’s birth story. Thanks for sharing it to us! 🙂 Looking forward to Baby No. 3, No. 4, No. 5 and so on… 😀

  • Reply
    Salena Lee @ A Little Piece of Me
    August 20, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Aww, this is such a sweet post Ashley! You have such a beautiful family and I love all your photos, they are so precious! My pregnancies are so hard, high risk, and I’m in so much pain and sick during the entire 9 months that I am scared to death to get pregnant again. When I was young I never wanted to have kids because I cannot stand pain. Well, here I am 6 kids and 2 miscarriages later… So blessed. Thank you for sharing, you are such a wonderful writer.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 8:21 am

    What a beautiful story! The love that you and your husband have and share with your handsome boys is absolutely amazing. My daughter was born the same day as Sawyer, but I think my experience was the exact opposite of yours! My water broke and she was born 3 hours later after the most intense, whirlwind labor I could imagine. Isn’t it crazy how experiences can be so completely different? Here is a link to our story:

    Congratulations on your beautiful family, mama!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Thank you for sharing your story and all those precious photos.
    15months ago I had a c-section under general anaesthetic so i missed out on the birth of my son. Tha kfully everything turned out fine but I have felt a sense of loss at having been unconscious for that experience… but after reading your story and seeing the photos I have a real good idea of what it would have been like, so thank you, it really means a lot.
    Congrats on the birth of baby Sawyer(i love his name). And for deciding to do it all again. I think you can only regret not having more children, and not the other way round!!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I love, love, love birth stories — this was beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

    Here is my birth story….

    Much love! Greta

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Thank you for sharing not only your story, but your photos too 🙂

    I shared my birth story here …

    I would love you to stop by 🙂

    Claire xox

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Hey. My first birth story was very similar. You should give it a quick read, if you find the time 🙂

    Congrats. Sawyer is BEAUTIFUL!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Ash this is is such a great story! You have me in tears, thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley smith
    August 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    sweet pictures! You always have such lovely posts!

  • Reply
    Erika @ life unfluffed
    August 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    So perfect. I loved this!

    Here’s mine!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Wow! You cannot catch a break with the medical stuff, huh? You must be one seriously tough lady. :] I love how much you share and how honest you are about your feelings and experiences. It seems like a lot of blogs are just a lot of fluff and you are nowhere near that. I’ve been trying to make sure my blog serves its main purpose – as my journal – as much as possible and remembering that sometimes over-sharing can actually help others realize they aren’t as alone as they may think they are. You do that for me all the time and really serve as a blogging role model for me because of it. Keep up the great writing!

  • Reply
    April Foss I Sew Lucky
    August 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I had my first attack 2 yrs ago when I was shopping with my son. It was the scariest thing. I didn’t know what was happening to me until later when my Mother-in-law said that is what she thought it was. Didn’t have another one until a year later and then had a string of them here and there. My last one was 2 months ago while waiting for my doctor in the office. Luckly I have learned how to calm myself down. But, I am scared that I won’t be able to day and big fear now is that it going to happen to me when I go into labor. Scary, icky feeling, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone!!
    Great birth story and as always you have beautiful pictures:)))

  • Reply
    ashleigh walls
    August 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    What a powerful story! I have only given birth naturally, but you did so great! Here is my birth story

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I’m glad you decided to have more children! I’m with you on the long painful process of pregnancy but the outcome is wonderful! Here’s our story:

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Here’s Corbin’s birth story:

    And here’s the twins birth story:

  • Reply
    Laura Wiebe
    August 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    I just gave birth to my second daughter on the 9th and I wrote about it here

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Where are the cute stocking hats from that you have on Sawyer?

    Loved your birthing story!!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Such a beautiful story. Congratulations!! And way to look like a rockstar even when you’re full of anesthesia.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I LOVE birth stories.
    With my first I had a c-section AND the panic attack. I think because so much was going on around me, and I was stuck, unable to move, on the table. It disappeared as soon as my husband came into the room.
    Here’s a link to our stories – Every Birth Story Is Unique –

  • Reply
    Andrea Worley
    August 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    what an amazing birth story. thanks for sharing. i always love reading other mom’s stories about their births.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Loved this story!! Made me tear up with happiness for you and your family and feelings/emotions!
    It’s an amazing time and moment, and i’m so glad i wrote it all down and have so many photos and videos to remember it by!!

  • Reply
    April G
    August 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    That is a beautiful birth story! Many congratulations to you and your gorgeous family. I feel like I’ve really only heard c-section horror stories (doesn’t it seem like everyone wants to share the worst, most dramatic experiences when you’re pregnant?) and I was absolutely terrified that I might need a c-section when I was pregnant with my twins. I ended up not needing one, but I wish I’d read a birth story like yours when I was pregnant, because I know it would have eased my mind and made me see the peaceful, more positive aspects of it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tessa D'Angelo
    August 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Wow. I am speechless. This was such a beautiful, touching, honest, tear jerking (mainly from me because I am extra emotional right now due to being due in 9 days or less) and heart warming post to read. You are so blessed to have such an amazing birth story with your newest addition and handsome little babe. Your story really touched me and made me feel more at ease about when I will need to go into the hospital for d-day for my little mans arrival. I will be a first time mom and I am nervous and excited and anxious to say the least. Thank you for your open and touching post, you have reached my heart, and many others too I am sure of it. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Beautiful! I think your sons really look alike too.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Such a sweet story…thank you for sharing. Your pre-delivery pictures (and post delivery) are gorgeous! I looked like a hot mess in panic mode going in for my c-sections.
    I have just gotten around to writing my children’s birth stories.
    Here is my son’s (4th baby)…
    And, my first daughter’s (1st baby)…

    Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Sweet, sweet, sweet birth story!! And can’t wait for the tutorial:)

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    So beautiful!!! So how I felt after having my first baby, that I couldn’t think about having another one and a couple months later I had the itch to have another one again and now my babies will be 17 months apart and I couldn’t be happier!! Congratulations!! Here’s my birth story too:

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Awe!!~ Great story! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Awesome birth story. Your honesty is a breath of fresh air. I bawled. I am a little curious about your diabetes insipidus–do you only have it during pregnancy or all the time? My 6 year old has this condition and I am just curious to talk to an adult that has it. BEAUTIFUL BABY!! Congratulations.

  • Reply
    Courtney Kirkland
    August 20, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    What a beautiful story. 🙂 We’re still up in the air on whether or not we’ll have another after our second is born in November. I *hate* being pregnant. I’ve never been one of those women who thought that pregnancy was wonderful. The outcome of pregnancy IS, but the actually process and period of being pregnant? Not so much.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Awww what a wonderful story. And look at you,still so beautiful,even after a c-section. Wat a beautiful family!!!

  • Reply
    Karly @ Three in Three
    August 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I can understand the nerves that come with having a c-section. My first was so horrifying that I was terrified of the second, and then the horrible spinal experience from my second made me fear the third, which turned out to be FINE (except for the fact that I was barely getting over being horribly sick and it caused me to go into labor and then I almost died of pneumonia…)!

    The whole story is here:

    I am glad you decided to take things as they come. For all the crap I went through, I would love to have more, but I’m pretty sure scar tissue has destroyed both my tubes now.

  • Reply
    Katie C.
    August 20, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I love the chevron announcement!

    P.S. My son & yours have the same birthday. He was born last year, thought.
    7-11 is a pretty cool birthday. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I truly enjoy reading your stories! I was the same way with both of my pregnancies, had morning, day, and night sickness. It lasted for the first 6 months and I had no energy and I am sure my husband hated me, but we got through it. You look beautiful!
    Oh by the way what color nail polish are you wearing. Love it.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    You almost had me in tears, as usual! You look great in that pic (by the doors)! Here’s my baby girl’s story in aChicago snow storm!

  • Reply
    [email protected] Lillys&Lollipops
    August 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    OMG!!! This is so precious. I have been questioning having a 2nd baby for a while because I’m so scared/don’t want to be pregnant again/sad to see my daughter get jealous, and this makes me want another one for sure. It put me back in that moment of pure happiness, so thank you for that. I totally know what you were feeling with that panic attack, I had my wisdom teeth removed (which I was more scared of then child birth.) Then put a mask on my face with laughing gas in it, and I was freaking out, felt like I couldn’t breath, felt like my head was floating….it wasn’t good. Obviously your expierence is way more serious then my wisdom teeth, and i’m rambeling… Baby Sawyer is so precious. Your family is beautiful and YES you need to try for that baby girl 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary {White Peach Photo}
    August 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Such a beautiful story, and what a gorgeous little boy! Congratulations!!

    This is my birth story – 22 long hour of labor, and a quick delivery brought my second gorgeous baby girl. I’m almost positive that we’re done after two… but you never know. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica (A Simple Kind of Life)
    August 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Ever since we had Lucy I’ve loved reading about others’ birth stories. Jordan and I have both agreed to stop after we have our second baby (we have 1 now), but I’m sure once our second comes we might change our minds, too.

    Here is ours from my point of view:

    And my husband’s (that he wrote for her first birthday last month):

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    awww, congrats Mama! I cried reading this whole story.
    Maybe because it’s just like where I will be in a few short weeks..

    Delivering my second son by a planned c-section. Even tho, it’s planned my worries and stresses are still there. Especially after the first labor and delivery! Check out my little labor of love story:

    congrats again on another sweet addition— and I totally feel you on the baby fever. I’m not even done with this pregnancy and I’ve been asking my husband for a 3rd!! <3 <3 <3

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    your posts always get me teary eyed! a big congrats to your beautiful family, your little boy is so so cute! both your boys are. hope your doing great, im so happy for you!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    You make me wanna do a sched C-section! You look AMAZING!
    My doctors tried to “make conversation” as I pushed out my first…

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I just discovered your blog through Instagram and I have been loving it ever since! I just had my first baby, Harper, at the end of May so its nice to read other Mama’s birth stories and see pictures of their littles. I ended up having a c-section after two failed inductions (gah!) and I was terrified! I appreciate your open and honest posts, its nice to know that its not all peaches & cream for everyone. Being a Mama is hard work! You have a beautiful family, thank you for sharing it.

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s musings
    August 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I’m so teary eyed reading your post. I’m pregnant with number 3, due in 2 weeks or less, and I really didn’t think I’d be here but I am and it is such an incredible blessing. Even through all the discomforts of pregnancy.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Beautifully written post as always!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Glitter and Gloss
    August 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Loved reading this!! Sawyer is just perfection! Congratulations on your beautiful family!!

  • Reply
    August 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    You made me tear up lady! I love it. I love that you knew right then that there was still a little spirit who needs to come to your family. I feel the same way…. Loves! Rachel

  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I had a VERY similar birth story (scheduled repeat c-section) at the very same hospital on June 11th. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Thanks for sharing your birth story Ashley! I’ve never had a c-section, but I imagine that alone would induce a panic attack for me. Here’s our most recent birth story:

    Hope all is well with your family! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 1:09 am

    You have such beautiful babies. A beautiful mom and dad doesn’t hurt.

  • Reply
    Olivia @ I am still learning
    August 21, 2012 at 1:19 am

    You totally made this 38 week pregnant lady cry! 🙂 What a beautiful birth story (except the panic attack, which I can totally relate to- they are SO so scary! You poor thing.) And the being miserable and pregnant? Also me! haha… although I haven’t had my “change of heart” quite yet 😉


  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Reading your story reminds me of the births of both my girls. Each c-section was different, but wonderful in their own ways. It is amazing what we would go through all over again for those precious babies. If you have time, you can read mine here.

    I wasn’t blogging much when my first daughter was born, but created a shutterfly book about her birth to remind her of her special day.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 6:12 am

    I love this. It absolutely made me tear up. Our second son is due in a few weeks and I reading this made me realize how soon that is and how long it has been since our first was born.
    Two years!! where did the time go?

    Thanks for the prompt, I’ve been so focused on the new baby being born, it was nice to reminisce.

    My post is here:

    I’m new to the blogger world, so thanks for being such an inspiration. I truly had no idea what blogging could do for me.. reading others and writing my own. =)

  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Amazing to read. Such an insight into the difference between natural birth and elective c-section.

    I started to write a post (feeling totally inspired) about my daughters home water-birth in January this year, but I realized this was a little strange when I’ve never written my son’s birth story (April 2009)and like you how I came to be ready to have another.

    So here’s my post.

    Perhaps I’ll get round to jotting down that home birth story one day soon!

    Thanks for daily smiles and occasional tears!xx

  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 11:55 am

    My mum was extremely sick every single day when she was pregnant with my two older brothers but when she was pregnant with me she had a perfect pregnancy, no morning sickness, no headaches etc. must be a girl thing! I have had 3 beautiful girls and I was not sick for even 1 day of any of my pregnancies.. I think that maybe you should test the theory and try for a girl!

  • Reply
    Beth Davisson
    August 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Ashley, your story brought me to tears. I loved being pregnant and the outcome is one you cannot explain to someone that has never been through it. If I was younger, I would have more children. I stopped at 3 when I had my little boy at age 40! He is now getting ready to turn 5.

    Also, thanks for the discount code for the Silhouette. I went right over and bought myself one. I can’t wait to use it! Also looking forward to your tutorial. Love your sign!

  • Reply
    Happy Home Fairy
    August 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I think that God helps us to look past the toughness of pregnancy and childbirth so that we DO keep having babies. 🙂 Sounds like you are doing just that. What a beautiful metamorphosis! Thanks for sharing it with us and encouraging us to do the same. Your perspectives are always so uplifting!

    I had 2 c-sections. The first one was unexpected – you can read about it at this link –

    The second one landed our precious baby in the NICU for 100 days… We just brought him home in July. You can read about that one here…

    I always love hearing about your sweet Happy Family! God bless you!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Oh, I love this. I’m expecting my first baby any day now (my due date was yesteday), and reading birth stories just makes me crazy to meet my own babe. Congratulations, and thank you so much for sharing your and Sawyer’s story!

  • Reply
    Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life
    August 21, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I love reading other mom’s birth stories. I had a similarly awful time with both of my pregnancies and being horribly sick with ‘morning’ sickness. (Whoever came up with that name, clearly wasn’t sick for 9 months all day!) I also had a horrible IV experience with my firstborn. It was awful. They tried at least 6 times before they got it right. And four of those pokes were on my left arm with the blood pressure cuff. So when they finally got the IV in my right arm, the blood pressure cuff would expand on my left arm and cause horrible throbbing in all of the places they had poked me. And I ended up with two blown veins. Not. Fun. We have two beautiful kids and my husband really does not want any more kids, but I felt exactly the same way you did after my second was born. That I would totally do it all again if given the chance. Hugs to your new family!

  • Reply
    Melanie Segalla
    August 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Dude, it was crazy to read about your panic attack, it brought a lot of memories rushing back for me. I had three boys when I got preggo with my girl, and since my third boy was 10 lbs, 6 oz, we decided to go ahead and have a c section. (Good thing because at a week early she was 9 lbs 9 oz. and stuck sideways, can you imagine trying to push that out? Geez. : ) Anway, I was so uncertain about the c section but I fasted and prayed a lot and felt as though it were the right thing to do. I even had a blessing right before that said, yes, this was the right choice. When they put the spinal block in, it occurred to me that I couldn’t feel my toes. I couldn’t feel or move them. That FREAKED ME OUT. I began yelling (so embarrassing to remember now, haha) I CAN’T MOVE MY TOES!! Well, despite the nurses trying to calm me down, I began thrashing and yanking out my IVS, hyperventilating, I even yanked my oxygen mask off and threw it. It took 4 nurses to hold me down! Finally they pumped me full of something to calm me down (and subsequently knock me almost all the way out)and it was over. I too remember it as being the most terrifying moments of my life. I was awake, I was aware, but I wasn’t me. I was some crazed panic woman. To this day, I am grateful that happened with my LAST child because after that come hell or high water I am NEVER going through that again. I feel ya sister! And your babies are gorgeous : )

  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Oh I love birth stories. What a great story and he is so adorable!! Here is mine with my 2nd baby

  • Reply
    Michelle Tanner
    August 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    This actually helped me out a lot. I will be having my first c section in 6 weeks. I have 2 girls already (both a vaginal delivery) and now we are expecting twin boys. This was very helpful to know what to expect & to just focus on all the positives like you showed. Sawyer really is so very precious!

  • Reply
    Gabrielle Hansen
    August 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Birth stories are my fave! There’s something about them that just can’t be rivaled!
    Here’s my most “dramatic” birth story:


  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I love hearing birth stories! I am just 8 weeks pregnant with my third. I keep thinking it’ll be our last, but who knows. Thank you for sharing your story!! Once again, I love your blog:)

  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I’m just hitting 7 weeks pregnant, and I’m terrified already of the labour because it was so awful with my first. I’m sitting here in tears but I feel a little more calm. Thanks for this post. It was beautiful.

  • Reply
    K Jones
    August 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Great story!! So happy for you!

    Here’s the birth story of our little miracle baby!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    So beautiful..

    Can’t wait to have my own story some day!!


  • Reply
    August 21, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Just cried my face off in the middle of the laundromat. LOVE this so much. And you.
    I know we are already friends here in this place but we have to spend REAL time together. Cause I know you would just get my heart. And I think I get yours too.
    Love you and thank you for sharing this beautiful, honest and wonderful story.

  • Reply
    August 22, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Love your birth story.

  • Reply
    gillian greding
    August 22, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Oh, I loved that and I LOVED the pics.

    I, on the other hand, WILL NOT be sharing my “special” birth story on my blog– and you can probably guess why! 😉 xoxo

  • Reply
    Ashley L
    August 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I have two birth stories. Both pretty different from one another. But the results were both healthy, happy, beautiful, baby boys.


  • Reply
    August 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    wow, such an amazing story. He is so precious! congrats mama!

    My birth story:

  • Reply
    August 22, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    My word you have beautiful boys! Congrats to you mama!

  • Reply
    Kassi @ Truly Lovely
    August 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    As someone who has yet to have any children… Thanks so much for not scaring the you know what out of me… 🙂 I get that it can be scary and nerve wracking, but it’s nice to know that it’s so worth it!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2012 at 2:45 am

    What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing. It’s funny how seeing one tiny person can totally change your world! 🙂

    Here’s the link to my birth story 🙂

  • Reply
    August 25, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Oh Ashley!!! I completely understand your feelings about pregnancy! It is the most difficult thing I have ever done and after 3 beautiful boys – we are done too!!! I never have to worry about carrying a barf bowl wherever I go, nor to I have to worry about going any where near the kitchen and having to cover my nose to prevent my gag reflex from bringing on more vomiting, etc…

    Don’t let other people’s comments, hints for when baby #3 will be coming, etc… make you feel guilt!!! You have nothing to be guilty for! You have multiplied and replenished the earth – two times!!!! That is wonderful!!

    Thanks for sharing Sawyer’s birth story and congrats on two beautiful boys!!!

    Hugs to you,

  • Reply
    August 25, 2012 at 1:42 am

    So sweet! <3 I like the second card 🙂

  • Reply
    August 27, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Such a big fan of your blog! I was happy to see you posted your birth story, it’s nice being able to read and relate to other people. Good luck with the boys! It looks like you’re doing an amazing job with them so far 🙂

  • Reply
    August 28, 2012 at 4:22 am

    I’m a fairly new fan of yours.. I’ll be yours for a long time to come. I can just tell. This was so beautiful, I loved it! Your boys are absolutely STUNNING. Can you say that about boys? I hope so. PS You’re adorable!!

    Here’s a link to my Luke’s birth story..

  • Reply
    ana {bluebirdkisses}
    August 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I’m crying at my desk…at work. I relate 150% to everything you wrote. The pregnancy misery, the thoughts of never doing this again, the anxiety of the surgery, the feelings while there, the panic and fear. And then the relief of delivery and the instant that all the negative disappears and instantly forget you swore off another pregnancy just minutes before.

    I’m crying because we’re already talking about having another baby, and because when that time comes I will go through another c-section just like you. And its all become very real to me while reading your story.

    Thank you for sharing Ashely

  • Reply
    August 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm


  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Wow, what a beautiful little family you have. And you sound like a very tough cookie. I’m not a mom yet, but love the idea of becoming a mom someday, and really enjoy reading about your experiences!

  • Reply
    Morgan C.
    August 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Here is my 2nd Baby Girl’s Birth story (repeat C-section):

    1st Baby Girl’s Traumatic Labor Story (26 hrs of labor + Emergency C-Section + Panic Attack):


  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I’ve been a silent reader for quite some time now, but after reading this, I can’t help but comment. This entire post brought tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. You and Ben are clearly incredible parents – why SHOULDN’T you bring another baby into this world?! If anyone can do it, YOU guys can. Congratulations on baby Sawyer, and I must add, your boys are absolutely gorgeous. Seriously. Delicious.

  • Reply
    September 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Beautiful Birth story. You worded that incredibly and it sounded alot like my birth story. I hated my C-section and went completely numb from my toes up to my eyeballs. Infact I had a panic attack and passed out b/c my blood pressure had dropped so much. I didn’t wake up until they were pulling my daughter from my tummy and they reduced my meds a little bit. Scary! Your pics are beautiful and you have a gorgeous family. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Kristen LaValley
    September 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Ok I love this story so much. And honestly, even though I had a “natural” delivery, I felt so many of the same emotions you felt. I had an uber panic attack when the nurses were refusing me any form of comfort other than an epidural. I completely freaked out and couldn’t breathe and my husband was my calm voice of reason and assurance. Love your blog. Just found it today and will definitely be sticking around. Awesomeness.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2012 at 2:16 am

    I love all the pictures!! I wanted more pictures as my baby was being born; however, she needed to be vacuumed out so my husband was comforting me instead of taking pictures!!

    I know I’m a little late with it, but here’s my birth story 🙂

  • Reply
    On Being a Better Wife - - Little Miss Momma
    September 20, 2012 at 2:35 am

    […] just celebrated our 6th anniversary while I was in the hospital after delivering Sawyer. Still, every day I have to work at being the kind of wife he deserves. I […]

  • Reply
    October 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful birth story. One year ago today we welcome our sweet boy who was born by scheduled c-section. A much calmer experience compared to his sister’s emergency arrival via c-section 4 years ago! I can completely relate to your love for the anesthesiologist….mine was so kind and told me stories to keep me from panicking as I waited for my husband to come in the room! Meanwhile my husband was taking goofy self-portraits with the camera in the hallway as he waited for the nurses to let him in…apparently he was much calmer the second time around too!

  • Reply
    October 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Your story is so touching. It brought me back to the birth of my daughter (although she was not a c-section) and your story has encouraged me to write my whole birth story to put in my daughter’s baby book. I have never read anyone’s blog before but yours is very captivating. You are so inspiring! Your story brought me to tears. You have a beautiful family and God bless you all ♡

  • Reply
    January 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    It is so sad that I am just getting to read your birth story now!?! It was beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Your family is growing and beautiful! Congratulations. Blessings to you!

    Laura st FindingEncouragement

  • Reply
    Rachel Lewis
    January 20, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Thanks for sharing Ashley. I don’t enjoy pregnancy either. We are about to have our second baby and I am pretty convinced this is the last biological child we will have…We’ll see if I experience a change of heart after I deliver. 😉

    Here’s the birth story from our first baby.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Ashley, I am brand new to your blog and just read this account of your gorgeous boys birth with my mouth hanging wide open. Almost every detail was the same for MY birth with our third son, not sleeping the night before, scheduled section, sharing the unusual diabetes insipidus (PS: I have never met anyone., other than my immediate family, who knows what this is!!!) to having multiple nurses miss my bulging veins, to a short lived panic attach where the anesthesiologist yells at me to stop moaning (lol)!! Oh yes, and we both are little blonde mamas!

    I just shared my difficult prenatal birth story here (

    I cant wait to read up on all of your stories as it looks like you have a whole BOOK written about your love story! I love that!

    Thanks for making me feel less weird with sharing the whole drinking-like-a-fish-all-day-long-thing. 😉

    your new friend


  • Reply
    February 28, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    New follower! I’ve commented on a few posts but thought I would also comment here. I have a Ben too, so it makes me kind of smile when you talk about your birth story and your husband because it reminds me of my Ben- Ben’s make great husbands and daddy’s 🙂

    here are our stories!


  • Reply
    Sawyer's First Words: a video - grow - Little Miss Momma
    March 27, 2013 at 6:15 am

    […] in case you wanted to see some of our other quick video, try here, here, here  and […]

  • Reply
    April 21, 2013 at 1:55 am

    Oh my … I can TOTALLY relate to your c-section story. I had my 2nd c-section in June, and it was also completely different than my first! I had the same panic attack feeling, and it was awful. Just reading your account brought back all those memories … you describe it perfectly! However, you are so right .. . totally worth it. We have a precious baby girl named Hope … a little one we waited a long time to meet.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    LOVED your birth story! LOVE your blog! I see so much of myself in you and Ben and all your stories. I have a blog that I have created but have not entered anything in it as of yet. You are an inspiration to me to continue what I started. I pray you have many, many children so that your family will be big and wonderful and you all make great memories to cherish. I have one son that is truly the very beat of my heart. We lost one and were unable to have any more. I had to have a complete hysterectomy at the age of 38 and it shattered my world. So grab every single moment you can with your precious babies and love them totally and completely because before you can turn around they will be grown. Many blessings to you, Ben and the boys and all of the other little angels you may have later. Keep writing…you have a gift.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Your story actually brought tears to my eyes! I had an emergency C-section with my daughter and I recall every scary moment. Four years later I’m like you were with your 2nd pregnancy–I’m not sure I can do it again (I also very much hated being pregnant). Reading this makes me reconsider and have a 2nd 🙂

  • Reply
    June 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    My second son’s birth was one of sadness and I don’t want to ever experience anything like it again. I now have an angel in heaven to look forward to meeting one day and that’s one of my only comforts. Here’s our story.

  • Reply
    August 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    better late than never … here is my birth story … in 2 parts … its honest, its not all sunshine and daisies … but its real … its honest … and its probably going to scare some new mumma’s to be … but better they know now , that not everything goes to plan :p

  • Reply
    First House Spouse
    November 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Three and a half weeks ago we had our son by unplanned c-section as well. We shared the whole, daunting and detailed First Birth Story – Not According to Plan. Although everything was different than expected and overwhelming at the time, we are a stronger family from it and are simply happy to have our baby boy in the world 🙂

  • Reply
    April 10, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I came to catch up on current posts but I will have to do that tomorrow cause I got distracted and had to look at these pictures…. O……M……..G!!! I wanna die over baby Sawyer…. DIE! He is as cute as he could possibly be…

  • Reply
    May 15, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Thanks for finally talking about >Birth Story and a Change of Heart – Mommy Tales, My Life, Real Life – Little
    Miss Momma <Liked it!

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