The day had come! July 20th was the day that was scheduled for an induction, and we were honestly not sure if we would make it to that day due to me being admitted the week prior and being 2 centimeters dilated at 36 weeks. I just ensured to not necessarily keep myself on bed rest but just not put any strain on my body to prevent myself from going into labor earlier. I had accepted and understood it would be best to go on the induction date so that things just go as planned for the doctors to have control considering the complications I am at risk for. The day before the induction, I just remember keeping busy and I did not even sleep.

Many people may wonder why did you not sleep before the induction date?

For me, I was like, “How can I sleep knowing that I am about to give birth to our baby boy?” I had so many emotions, and it was exciting but also anxiety was present too. Months before this pregnancy, I was facing loss, and even though I know there are two different situations, it hit me that I was giving birth again because I acknowledged the loss of our first baby girl, I still had to give birth to her to miscarry fully. A part of me was sad thinking about it, but a part of me was hopeful that I would get to experience a good delivery, how it should really be like, even with the pain knowing it was worth and not the pain of dealing with loss.

Jasmine in labor - Jowen's birth story

Author’s Personal Collection/Jasmine Simmons

The induction date was bright and early in the morning.

We arrived around 7:30 AM. I was taken back to the room around 8:00 AM and they placed an IV in me and started the Pitocin by 8:30 am. Since I was already dilated, we knew I wouldn’t need the foley ball. I would say within 30 minutes I started to really feel the Pitocin and had contractions that were getting intense within the hour. They would check me and I kept dilating more.

My doctor broke my water once I reached 4 centimeters dilated. Once I reached 5 centimeters dilated, I had stronger contractions. It was nice having my husband reminding me to breathe and holding my hand, along with the nurse. It helped me get through each contraction. But, as the minutes went by, it was becoming too intense and I asked for an epidural. My doctor was saying that she recommends it when you are about 5-6 centimeters dilated, that at times it’s not good to get it too early. Even if I have been through so much pain and people may see my pain tolerance as strong, I highly dislike pain. Tears started coming more and more. I was really scared of when the time would come to push baby boy out, because the pain really made me question my ability to keep going because it just was so much. I kept dilating, and it was taking so long to bring the epidural! The epidural to me was painful and I kept having intense contractions at this point. I was about 6 centimeters or even 7 at the time.

Once the epidural kicked in, it felt much better with not having the tightening of my abdomen and the intense cramping.

However, I could feel contractions inside the vagina, and as it picked up, I got a sensation that I had to have a bowel movement. I was told to not push but I kept pushing not because I wanted to but I felt my body’s natural reaction was to. That was the most insane feeling I have ever had and I was frustrated trying to hold it and not push.

My doctor had gone to another patient and really did not think that things would move so quickly. As I reached 9 centimeters I knew that I was getting so close. I kept asking for the team to check me because I felt that it was time for me to go, because I kept pushing and could not stop. By the time my doctor returned, it was confirmed it was GO time and I was fully dilated.

This is where I got even more nervous about how things were going to go!

The doctor and nurse were instructing me on how to push. The first two pushes, they said I was blowing air and not pushing the right way. Once I did two more pushes, the last one I held on to the most. When I heard, “Keep pushing,” I felt a huge release, and there he was, our beautiful baby boy Jowen!

Jowen's birth story - daddy cutting the cord

Author’s Personal Collection/Jasmine Simmons

Born at 12:49 PM weighing 6 pounds and 6 ounces. Once I heard his cry and everyone saying congratulations, I looked over at my husband who was balling in tears. Those tears and the tears I cried, it just felt like so much joy I had never experienced before. Jowen was already looking for breast milk.

Family! Jowen's birth story

Author’s Personal Collection/Jasmine Simmons

A week after delivering Jowen, unfortunately, I was readmitted for Chronic Postpartum Preeclampsia.

One day I did not feel right. I had intense an headache and neckache. When I checked my blood pressure at home, it was in the 180s and I was told to go labor and delivery by the OB doctor on call. My blood pressure was in the 200s, and I had to be on magnesium for 24 hours to help bring my blood pressure down. That was very scary for me because this was the risk we were paying attention to during labor and delivery but it ended up coming afterward. Although my blood pressure had been great all this time, it didn’t change the fact that my body still was affected post-delivery. I feel like I am always going through something, but I just accepted my emotions in regards to it and decided that I will just look at the positive which was that it didn’t happen during labor where our son could be at risk. I am on a different blood pressure medication now and being monitored by my primary care doctor.

Jowen Akeno's birth story

Author’s Personal Collection/Jasmine Simmons

As I go back to that very amazing moment of July 20th, and even now, the connection between him and me is beyond words. Like, “Wow, this is my son,” and I can say it so many times. I get to hold him so many times! The pregnancy after loss was so hard, but the outcome makes me realize how special this journey was because of the strength and faith I had the entire time.  We got what we deserve, which is our baby boy for us to hold! It is a testimony that I can forever share and hopefully inspire other women who are going through infertility and loss: anything is possible.

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