Well, he's here! Born November 4th at 9:18 pm, weighing 8 lbs. 3 oz. and measuring 20 inches. He's absolutely perfect, and we can't stop staring at him. He's got light brown hair--my first brunette baby! We'll see if it stays brown. His eyes could possibly turn hazel like Zac's. He's so beautiful.
The labor/birth of Julien was very long and traumatic at the end. Everyone expected him to come quickly, since he's my third. Things progressed slowly, even though I demanded to be able to get up and walk around and move through the labor. That's what helped things go smoothly and easily with Jonas, so I knew I had to have that again. I did move a lot, but I was still uncomfortable. It was a typical hospital birth--hooked up to tubes and monitors and looking like a sick patient. I kept saying over and over that this is just wrong! Births weren't meant to be this way. I just wanted him here, though, so I was willing to do anything. I was induced slowly Wednesday night and was even having regular contractions before they started anything. But we found out later that Julien's head was laying sideways against the cervix, so only part of it was dilating. That's why it was taking so long. When I was about 8 cm, the nurses became frantic and were calling people in. Julien's heartrate was dropping after each contraction. They said it wasn't too serious as long as it didn't keep happening. Well, it did keep dropping and so they actually "refilled" the amniotic fluid inside me, which had broken earlier that afternoon. They wanted to keep him suspended so it would help the heart rate somehow. I'm so glad I refused to have them break the water first thing that morning. Knowledge is power and I knew that rupturing the membranes could possibly slow things down, and in my case Julien could have been in further danger. Then they attached a heart monitor to his head so they could get a more accurate reading. It began dropping lower...and lower...and they were panicking and started moving me around onto my sides trying to get it up again. Zac and I were unbelievably terrified. They put an oxygen mask on me. I came close to hyperventilating out of fear. The sound of Julien's heart slowing down to almost silence was the worst thing I've ever heard with one exception--the silence I heard on the heart monitor when they were searching for Jonas' heartbeat. I prayed and prayed and kept begging God, "Don't do this to us! This was supposed to be a safe and uneventful birth!" (But God doesn't DO things like this to us...that's another topic, though). I begged the nurse to do a c-section--get him out of me! I was about 9 cm and so very close, which is why I think they were waiting. I didn't care though. I prayed that I would feel the urge to push, and God answered me. I felt Julien descending and began to push. I pushed so hard that I almost passed out. I wanted him out NOW because his life depended on it. Finally he was born and when they put him on my chest, I cried out with joy.
Joy! It's something I haven't truly felt in awhile! It's been almost 2 weeks since he arrived (even though the date of this post says the 10th--it has taken me awhile to get this written out!). He is melting my heart. Breastfeeding has gone fairly well, besides the initial pain that comes with it. He has made it way easier on me than Josiah did. He has such a happy look on his face and doesn't cry too often. Not that crying is bad or anything, but this baby seems very peaceful. *knock on wood* Of course it IS only the second week, so we'll see how it goes.
Giving birth again definitely brought back many emotions and memories of Jonas. It's those little things that I remember. The smell of witch hazel pads will always remind me of birth. It has always made me feel sad, but I'm hoping I can now find peace in the memories of all three of my sons' births. I feel sad thinking that Jonas never got a chance at life besides the 9 months I carried him. But then I feel peaceful knowing that he was only making room for Julien's arrival. I see both Josiah and Jonas in Julien's face. He definitely has his own distinct features, though--different from the other two. He's beautiful. He is the perfect gift from God.
I will never be able to say that the hole in my heart has been filled. If Jonas were here, it'd be filled. That can never happen, though. But I can say that God has overflowed the rest of my heart with so much joy and love by bringing this baby here safely. I will always feel sad when I think of my baby boy who was too beautiful for Earth. His coming and going has shaped me into the person I was meant to be. But so has the births of Josiah and Julien. Everything falls into place eventually.
Welcome to our family, baby Julien Reese! We are now complete, and our empty arms are now filled. Just as Josiah lit up when he saw you, I know that Jonas was just as happy to become a big brother. You and Josiah are very lucky boys--you've got your own guardian angel up there.
This page has been written in loving memory of our baby boy, Jonas Elliot, who was born quietly into the arms of Jesus on March 12th, 2009-a day after his due date-in Wittlich, Germany. He will forever be in our hearts.
Zac and I are also blessed with our son, Josiah Liam, who keeps us entertained and busy! On 11.04.2010, we were blessed with our rainbow baby Julien Reese! Our little comedian. :)