Welcome Home Navy James

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

BEST day of my life!

Welcome to the world Navy James Lee, 7lbs 1oz, 19 in. We’ve had a few weeks of healing from some unexpected bumps but we’re all happy and healthy and that’s more than we could ask for.

That said, not much went according to our birth plan. It all started Wednesday night after a 5 mile walk that evening. I contracted all through the night and into the morning. It was so intense that I got up in the middle of the night to clean from 1-3am…hoping the motion would provide relief. At 6am that morning, I had some very abnormal bleeding (much more than typical bleeding towards the end) and I knew it was time to go to the hospital. I woke Mad, we grabbed the bags, kissed the pups and we were off!

We went through triage quickly, and after being put on a monitor, discovered Navy James’ heart rate was variable with a lot of decels. After talking with my doctor, we decided it was best to go ahead and induce and take Navy James – given the abnormal bleeding and her heart rate.

Little did we know that was only the beginning 😉

What followed was a 24 hour labor with little progression – I never dilated past a 5. Even after 18hrs on a max Pitocin dosage.

After multiple bedside interventions, including an intrauterine catheter and 14hrs on the Pitocin drip the pain was unbearable so I chose to have an epidural. This was not a part of my original birth plan, but with little progression and no response to other measures, we hoped the epidural would relax my body.

Meanwhile, Navy’s heart rate was not tolerating the labor, and even more so the longer we went. She had multiple runs of 80-90 for several minutes (a typical baby heart rate ranges from 120-140bpm), however would pop back up as they put oxygen on and decreased my Pitocin. Also to add— my epidural wasn’t working on my right side; l was still in a moderate amount of pain.

At 4am Navy’s HR dropped to 70 for 8mins and didn’t respond to the nurses interventions. My doctor came in and we urgently went to the O.R. for an emergency c-section where we discovered Navy’s body and neck were both wrapped multiple times in her umbilical cord. This prevented her from descending through the birth canal, and was also affecting her heart rate with each contraction.

Ultimately not much went as planned, especially a c-section. The second night we were home it finally hit me. Talking through it with Mad helped. Ultimately I’m so grateful for an amazing team of nurses, incredible doctor (Dr. Donna Crowe), and my doula (Liz Whip) that helped get our baby girl here healthy and safe.

The whole process taught me it’s great to prepare AND to go in with an open-mind. So much is out of your control.

Taking Navy James home from the hospital felt like we were stealing – how could we be so lucky to leave with something so precious!?!

Mad and I have been treasuring these moments with our little lady these past couple of weeks. They have been priceless and even sweeter than we could have imagined. Thank you for all of the love and support – it really does mean so much. Answering a few specific questions you guys asked below!



1. How did you decide her name?

James is a family name on both sides of Mad and I’s families. We liked the traditional and biblical roots of James and we wanted to pair it with something a little more unique and modern. When we heard the name Navy, we thought it sounded strong to us. No relation to the color ;).

2. What did you pack in your hospital bag – what did you use/didn’t use?

One thing we didn’t pack that we wish we would have – our personal towels!! The hospital towels were pretty rough – says Mad ;). One of the best things that we brought was our Bluetooth speaker so we could play our personalized playlist. Also – you need an EXTRA LONG iPhone chord (we brought 2 10ft chords because you need the length to reach to the hospital bed and the couch.

Side note – we loved having our adidas slides!! Neither one of us felt like putting on sneakers – especially me because my feet wouldn’t fit!

Also bring loungewear – I would recommend black because you won’t be able to control what comes out of your chest for a while – ha! And a ROBE! I had my cashmere robe from Restoration, and it was so comfortable to have that after birth. Really any small comfort that you can have for yourself after a long labor is worth it!

Full list below…

  • toiletries
  • nursing bra
  • no sneakers!! (adidas slides)
  • water bottles – we love Powerade zero 😉
  • extra-long charging chord (again, we had 2 10ft chargers and they were GREAT)
  • nipple cream
  • pillow and bath towel
  • iPads (if you have a long labor, you’re going to get bored!!)
  • camera and charger
  • don’t forget the car seat!!
  • going home outfit (new born and 0-3 sizes) – however, we ditched our idea and went with something super cozy!! Literally a soft Gerber onesie
  • snacks, snack, SNACKS!!
  • Vueve (if you feel like celebrating after!)
  • sugar free wintergreen mints
  • change for vending machines
  • nursing pads
  • one blanket
  • lip balm – hospitals will dry you out!

3. Did you get an epidural?

I went in not wanting an epidural but ended up having to have one because I had to be put on a Pitocin drip (an induction medication) that in the end made it pretty inevitable.

4. Did you have a c-section? 

Yes – I ended up having a c-section which was definitely not in my birth plan or something that I wanted to happen. But after 24 hours of labor with little progression and Navy’s heart rate not tolerating – it dipped down to 70bpm’s for 8 minutes – we ended up having to urgently go to the O.R. (A typical baby heart rate ranges from 130-140bpm). This was also after multiple bedside interventions to try to progress labor and address Navy’s heart rate.

5. How long were you in labor?

24 hours – and once we went to the O.R. we figured out Navy’s body and neck were both wrapped in her umbilical cord which prevented her from descending through the birth canal, affecting her heart rate with each contraction. Thankfully, the nurses at St. Thomas Midtown and my doctor and OB – Dr. Crowe – handled the situation like CHAMPS. We were in THE BEST hands!!!

6. What was your worst fear going in?

We just really wanted a healthy baby.

7. Did you have a birth plan?

Yes, we did. However, we went in open-minded knowing you can’t control what happens.

8. Where is Navy’s hospital outfit from?

Lou Lou

9. How is she doing with the dogs?

AMAZING!! Even better than we thought. The pups are curious (Miles especially) but gentle :). It’s been a great transition so far.

10. How many weeks was she when she was born? How much did she weigh?

She was 38 weeks and 6 days and weighed 7.1Ibs.

11. Did you have a photographer in the room when you delivered?

We were supposed to, but since nothing went as planned, we ended up not having the photographer at all and shot hospital pictures the day after.

12. How is recovery?

Recovery has been good but slower than expected with the c-section. Postpartum is no joke. The first two days I wasn’t able to do much of anything. Thankfully Mad has been a great support, especially those first couple of days. I’m now super mobile and doing daily walks and going to start very light weight arm exercises next week with some light elliptical.

13. Does your body go back fairly quickly after delivery? 

Time will tell ;). I gained 28lbs during my pregnancy. Today marks 13 days since my delivery and I’ve lost 18Ibs so far – so 10lbs to go. My tone is definitely not the same but giving myself some grace and soaking up all the newborn moments :).

14. Any tips that would have helped you looking back?

I was anxious and so ready at the end to meet Navy, and to not be pregnant anymore. Looking back I wish I would have been present and made the most of Mad and I’s time together just the two of us.

15. Top 3 registry items?

  1. DockATot
  2. Portable White noise from Marpac – a TOTAL game changer!!
  3. Hiccapop Wipe Warmer – this was not on my registry but gifted by another mom and I’m so happy we have it!! Who wants a cold wipe on their bum in the middle of the night?!?!

16. Are you breastfeeding?

YES!! I love it!! It’s such a special time and I’m so happy that I’m able to.

17. Was it more painful than expected?

Yes, it was more painful but a lot of that was because we induced and that’s an uphill battle. My epidural also didn’t work on my right side, so I was still in quite a bit of pain even after getting the epidural.


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21 responses to “Welcome Home Navy James

  1. Congrats to you and Mad. Being a mother is the best and a love like no other. My daughter is expecting right now and I was wondering what books you read or suggest reading during pregnancy. When I had my kids I read “What to expect when you are expecting”. I recall you mentioned some books in your instories.

  2. Congratulations! I’m sooo happy for you. I’ve been blessed with 10 nieces and nephews (sadly none of my own 🙁), and I’m trilled at your news!
    Vi x

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