when Hudson and Hayes met James Walker

A few weeks before James Walker was born, I was on Facebook and noticed that one of Hudson’s former preschool teachers was going to start a new business taking every day photos of children. One of the specific events she said she wanted to photograph was siblings meeting for the first time. I immediately messaged her to see if she would be willing to come to the hospital the day of the c-section to take photos of Hudson and Hayes meeting James Walker.

I knew that I’d be stuck in the bed for a few hours and wouldn’t be able to take pictures, and I wanted Todd to be able to enjoy the moment. And Logan agreed to come take pictures! I am so glad we did this because the emotion on the boys’ faces is just the best! I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

If you are local to Columbia, definitely reach out to Logan Fowles for children’s photography. These pictures are just priceless to me! (Email Logan at LoganFowles@yahoo.com)

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James Walker’s birth story

On Tuesday morning, March 3, I got up around 6:00 a.m. I didn’t sleep great the night before. I was up a lot of the night to use the restroom and my belly was so big that I just couldn’t get comfortable at night. So I was ready to get up and get the day going. I got a shower and dried my hair. We packed lunches for the boys. I took one last belly pic to document 40 weeks pregnant with James Walker. (I had an ultrasound at 38 weeks and they predicted his weight at that time would be 9 lbs 8 oz, so we knew we had a sizable baby in there.)

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And then Todd and I took the Hudson and Hayes to school together.

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We grabbed our bags and hugged my parents goodbye, and drove to the hospital. I was a little more nervous this time for my c-section than I was with Hayes. I think just the idea of having surgery and thinking about my kids made me nervous. But we got to the hospital and had the sweetest nurses. They did everything they could to make me feel comfortable and make me laugh. And stuck me with a lot of needles! I got my IV, got hooked up to fluids, and just waited until our scheduled surgery time.

Todd changed into his scrubs and I got wheeled to the OR. Everyone was so reassuring while I was in there without Todd- just talking to me and making sure I was comfortable. The nurses talked me through the whole thing. (And even offered to be on camera duty to get pictures of James Walker’s arrival.) Once my spinal block was set and my blood pressure was under control, Todd came in and held my hand. And I knew it was getting closer. I felt a few tugs and then I heard James Walker cry. And then I cried and cried.

The doctor and all the nurses were going on and on about how big he was and how squishy he was, and I just couldn’t wait to see him!

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There is nothing, nothing, nothing like seeing your baby for the first time. After nearly 10 months of waiting and praying and just putting so much faith and trust in knowing that everything is going to be okay, finally seeing his sweet little face is the greatest feeling.

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Todd went with him to the bassinet and helped get him cleaned up. And then they brought James Walker to me and I got to kiss his cheeks and hold him for a minute.

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While they were finishing up my surgery, Todd got to do skin-to-skin with James Walker and they sat right by my head. I was able to talk to Todd and look at the baby – and that made the full experience for me. When Hayes was born, they rushed him off to the nursery and Todd went with him so I was left without my people in the OR. But this time I got to stare at my baby and talk to my husband and it was just such a sweet time.

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They took us to recovery where they weighed James Walker. They told me he weighed 11 lbs 2 oz and I said, “No way!” I felt all 11 pounds of him over the last few months. Just so much belly and so heavy!

I was able to nurse him in recovery and got great attention from the nurses. We made our way to our room and James Walker never left my arms. It was just heavenly. Then all the grandparents got there and they all got to hold him and kiss those sweet cheeks.

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I have lots of pictures of Hudson and Hayes meeting their brother and I’ll post those later this week. We’re just loving being home with our baby boy and doing our best to get into a routine and find our new normal. My mom and dad have been here. My dad left yesterday and my mom is staying for a while- until I can drive again. Their help has been wonderful for Todd and me! I’m feeling pretty good. I’d even say the second c-section is easier than the first. We’re sleepy, but nothing that I didn’t expect from having a newborn. We’re just so thankful!

The Night Before We Meet James Walker

We’re heading to the hospital tomorrow morning to meet our precious baby boy. Our third baby boy. Most likely our last baby.

As I sit here thinking about what that means, I’m overwhelmed with peace. Almost six years ago, we were getting ready to go meet our first baby boy and I was anxious and afraid and excited and had no idea what to expect.

This time I know what to expect when I get to the hospital. I know what’s going to happen in pre-op and a general idea of how it will feel in the operating room. I am praying that things go smoothly and that James Walker and I both stay healthy and that other than a precious baby entering this world, the procedure is uneventful.

A couple of days ago I sat down and watched the videos of Hudson and Hayes’s birth. I cried and cried as I relived those experiences and it made me so excited to get to experience it one more time with a baby that we have prayed so hard for.

The nursery is ready. We’ve pulled out the baby gear- though we’re using a whole lot less gear this time. We’ve washed bottles and washed sweet baby clothes. And there’s just a feeling of peace.

We’re so excited for the boys. Hudson has asked me if he can put his Ninja Turtles in James Walker’s room as a welcome home gift. Hayes scrunches up his little nose and talks about how cute the baby is going to be. They can’t wait to meet their baby brother. And I can’t wait to see them when they meet their baby brother.

The instant that Hudson was born my heart grew in ways I never imagined. And when Hayes was born, I was even more surprised at how much I could love another baby. And I just know that James Walker is going to grow and soften us all even more.

I imagine a house full of wild boys who love fiercely and wrestle with the best of them. I imagine a 4-year-old James Walker playing outside and learning how to throw a baseball from his 10 and 8-year-old big brothers.

My sweet daddy told me yesterday that I was such a girly girl and never liked any “boy things.” I didn’t like sports and I wasn’t a tom boy in any sense of the word. Yet here I am. A mom to three sweet blessings and it’s my responsibility and Todd’s responsibility to grow them into men of God. And there is no responsibility that I take more seriously than that one. I may have been a girly girl, but I am a boy’s mama through and through.

I see their hearts and their vulnerabilities and their need for toughness and need for sweetness. And as we get ready to welcome this little book end to our family, I’m just overwhelmed with complete gratitude for the weight of this responsibility. To raise a little person that will one day become a man.

And on the days that I’m frazzled and overwhelmed and don’t know what to do with all the noise and chaos mixed with all the love and gratitude, I’m just going to pray that I always remember how I feel in this very moment.

I’ve carried James Walker for 40 precious weeks. My body is a wreck. My heartburn is out of control. I’ve gained a lot of weight and will no doubt be welcoming a very large boy into this world. I’ve rubbed my belly and prayed for him in the night when I can’t sleep. I prayed for the time to pass quickly in those first 15 weeks of total sickness. I prayed for his little body to grow stronger each day and thanked God so much for the promise that He knows James Walker through and through. He knows every single little thing about him and He has always known him. And I’ve found profound comfort in that.

And as this time comes to a close and I get ready to see my baby’s sweet face and to see my precious husband hold him for the first time, I can’t think of much else to say other than “thank you.” This time has truly been a privilege. To be this boy’s mama will be one of the greatest joys of my life. And the introduction that awaits us tomorrow is something that is completely miraculous and truly God-breathed.

Thank you for praying for our family and for all of your sweet words over the past few months. Please continue to pray as we gear up for tomorrow’s surgery and James Walker’s arrival.

 

Hospital Bag Packing List for Mom & Baby

I finally started packing my hospital bag yesterday. It’s a good thing I haven’t gone into labor because I’ve been acting like I have all the time in the world until James Walker arrives. My due date is March 3 and I’m scheduled for a repeat c-section on March 3. Just a few more days to get things done around here.

I decided to recreate my hospital bag packing list from a few years ago to make it easier to read. Nothing has really changed. In addition to clothes for the baby and me, toiletries, and things to keep your feet warm and off the hospital floor, I include things like notebooks (for keeping track of thank you notes I may need to write) and folders (for keeping up with important documents.) I just like to be prepared. I like to bring a few pillows- especially after a c-section, so I can make sure I’m well-supported and that getting in and out of the bed is as easy as possible.

I didn’t list specific brands or links, but I do have some favorites that I’ve used over the years. But I know everyone has their favorites and their preferences. This list is just a guideline of some things that I don’t like to be without while in the hospital. I’m expecting a 3-day stay, so while the packing list may seem long, I want to be prepared for all three days.

I’m curious… what are the must-have items on your hospital packing list?

Hospital Bag Packing List

Hospital Bag Packing List

To download a printable version of the Hospital Packing List, click here.