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The Story of Jack-Jack Joseph Grant

Ask any woman. Once you bring up childbirth, it begins a discussion that can only be killed by a man walking into the room, or a mandatory trip to the emergency because your child is bleeding from his head. Or a new episode of Grey's Anatomy. My point is, women who have been through childbirth love to talk about, share, and dissect their experience.

And for the most part, my experiences have been relatively boring. I don't get sick (however, I do get VERY grumpy), I don't swell up, and I don't crave weird things. But with the birth of each of my 3 boys, the umbilical cord was wrapped around their necks... multiple times. And with Jack, it was not only wrapped around his neck, but his ENTIRE body. And that was only the beginning.

Another similarity in the births of my 3 boys, is when my labor started, how it progressed, and when they ultimately made their little way into the world. All contractions began early in the morning... around 4am. And all arrivals happened in the afternoon. 2:22pm, 4-something, and 3-something. (I really am a bad mom.)

But Jack's labor was different. It REALLY hurt REALLY bad. And when I asked for an epidural immediately, the epidural didn't take like it should have. It only numbed the pain on my left side. I honestly thought I was going to die. And my sweet, tender-hearted husband was amazing enough to take pictures of me. In the middle of a contraction. Feeling all of it- ALL OF IT, on my right side. (Nice, Aaron. Real nice.) And I am WAY too vain to post them on my blog. They are ugly, and you'll just have to take my word for it.

So Mr. Epidural came back and we tried it again. And he gave me "extra" to make up for my almost dying, and since I was dilated 8 centimeters (you men will never know), and close to pushing, it would help so much, right? WRONG. Totally, totally wrong. It made it so I couldn't feel to push. I was in heaven without pain, but when my doctor said "Let's get this baby out" I said, "You go for it!"

Because when you can't feel to push, all you are doing is squinting your eyes and making your cheeks really red.

I couldn't get him out. I tried, and tried, and tried. And I could not get him out. And his poor little heart rate was dropping, and his oxygen level was too low, and the choice had to be made to either pull him out, or c-section him out.

My doctor pulled him out. And in the process, made my condition worse... but in a total effort to save my baby's life. He wasn't breathing. And the Respiratory Team came running to his rescue. And I had no idea what was going on.

That was on a Tuesday. After a fainting spell, multiple stitches, a 2nd opinion, and 3 blood transfusions, we went home (FINALLY) on Saturday. And it was a LoOoooong recovery.

But back to Jack. He was beautiful. While the R. Team was working on him, I asked Aaron who he looked like. He said he looked like Charlie. When I finally got to hold him, I thought he looked like Max. And today, he is a total combination of the 2 of them. But he definitely has his own personality.

Here is Jack's birth announcement that I never sent out.

He was 5 lbs, 14 ounces, and very hairy. Like, so hairy, that he had to have a hair cut once a month. And we finally shaved it so that he wouldn't sweat so much. By the way, he sleeps like a champ since we buzzed it. He went from 2 hour naps to 4-5 hour naps. (And yes Mom, I check on him to make sure he is still alive.)

And here is Jack at 1 year.

My baby is 1 year old. Hold on, I need a moment to cry about that.

When Charlie was a week old, I had a feeling that there was 1 more boy for our family. And although he came sooner than we had planned, we are so grateful to have him in our family. He is so sweet. And so good. And such a jaber jaw. I've never had a child make so much noise- jibberish noise. I love it. And he mimics everything he sees. The chorister at church. His brothers playing trains. His mom making goofy noises and using words that aren't even words.

Oh, yeah, and he's brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Just see for yourself!

Happy Birthday Lub. My little Lubbas. Chub-Lub. Jack-Jack. Gack-Gack. Little Brother. We love you so-OH-oooooooo much!


Happy B-Day, Jack! Time sure flies by fast!

Yeah, you're right, men cannot say that they understand our suffering. I've been there even feeling under the knife!

May many more happy memories to come...
Neva said…
Oh I want to cry, sob, sob that was so sweet.
Happy Birthday Mandee, you did all the work to get Jack here, with a little help, so it should be a special day for you too.
Love you!
Aimee said…
Ok, how is it that I never heard that story before? Happy Birthday Jack!
k8shoe said…
Happy Birthday little Jack! Cute little tribute! And I'm sorry, forgetting the time that your baby was born, does not make you a bad mom (maybe forgetting their birthday all together.....)! Anyway, just think, he'll be going to nursery in no time. Crazy!
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday Jack Jack.
Awesome story. Love it. Jack is such a little stud. As you know Jack is my favorite name for a boy, but since I don't have any, I couldn't use it. His middle name rocks too!

-Joey Romine
Mandee said…
You should love Jack. He was named after you! That guarantees us that he'll be a good boy and end up successful and happy, right?

Aimee- how DID you not ever hear that story? That's why your mom came to live with us for, like, a month after he was born. Which is an entirely different chapter in itself. All of the help that I had after he was born- your mom, Josh & Cally, and my sister Abby- totally saved our family. My kids would have been orphans had it not been for them.
Anonymous said…
You are a great mom. don't ever say you are a mean mom again, seriously! A sweet tribute to a very special little boy. thank you Mandee.

It can't really be a year since I was there trying to be a help to you, can it?

I love Jack Jack and can't wait to see him this week.
Happy Birthday Jack Jack.
Anonymous said…
we love you jack jack!!!11
heymaughan said…
Wow Mandee, what an entry! You are right, moms love birth stories, and I really enjoyed learning more about yours. Happy bday to your adorable little man.
Alifinale said…
So cute! I totally agree with nothing stops women from wanting to tell all about their labor is fun to have your own war story - and Jack's is a good one. He is so dang cute, I am sad that I didn't get to see you while I was in UT, but I'll be back. BTW, did Emily give him his buzz?
Deby said…
What a story! I'd love to hear all the birth stories of the other two. They are war stories that only other women can truly understand. (sorry guys)

I can't wait to finally meet Jack on Saturday and be able to hug all of your kids! And you too, Mandee.

Such a beautiful photo montage!
Rachie said…
Happy Birthday little boy!

He looks a lot like, Aaron, Max, and Charlie. What a cutie!
heather said…
you are so good at making these. He is so precious!

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