Arianna’s Journey

The best part of my birth journey is that I didn’t have to travel far from home to have an exceptional birth experience right here in Bogalusa. 

For my third child I wanted to stay close to home and repeat the great experience I had when I delivered my second child at Our Lady of the Angels Hospital. I will tell anyone who will listen they should have their baby in Bogalusa.

I’m a 30-year-old photographer, and my husband Jonathan and I welcomed Jett James on November 18, 2022, after an induction at 39 weeks. Jett joins our older children, Anna Grace, 5, and Jesse, 1.

Anna Grace was born in another town, and with that first delivery I felt like I was rushed and trying to have her on the hospital’s schedule. With Jesse I was able to be slow and steady and had a very different experience. It was the smoothest birth ever.

From Planned to Surprise! As a planner, I wanted to and was able to get pregnant with Jesse easily. The timing allowed me to get back to work in time for my busy work season, wedding season. After Jesse was born and I started a diet, I realized I was not losing weight and my pants were even tighter than when I’d started. After randomly deciding to go buy a pregnancy test, I took it on the way home to make myself feel better. SURPRISE – I was pregnant. Again!

Jonathan was excited about this pregnancy and so happy. I was the one who was immediately like oh my gosh what are we going to do? Once I worked through that shock of expecting another baby within months of my second child, we were all excited together. It’s going to be so good.

Even Gender Reveal Plans Change

We planned to take pictures and pop confetti as our gender reveal, but it didn’t go according to plan. When I was pregnant with Jesse I got the lab results back in two days. This time it took longer, and our photographer had an emergency. As a fellow photographer, I completely understood!

After doing my hair and makeup and waiting all day for the results, I finally had Jonathan’s sister use my camera to take pictures. She took both versions, and I popped both confetti colors, pink and blue. In the middle of the night I woke up and saw the lab results in my email: It’s a Boy! So, I sent my whole family the blue confetti picture at about 3 a.m.

Establishing Pregnancy Care

When I decided to get pregnant with Jesse, I started seeing Maria Christina Sunio Buenaflor, MD, or Dr. B as she’s known. Once I found out I was pregnant, the schedule worked out that I saw Ronak Shah, MD, and I just loved him. My sister-in-law had a good experience with him, and I felt a connection. Dr. Shah and I have a very open relationship, since I’ve been seeing him nonstop for two years. I just really love him and all his nurses are so sweet. He’s a hidden gem in Bogalusa, and I tell everyone that.

Health and Symptoms

My job keeps me very active, and I’m on my feet a lot, which helped me stay healthy while pregnant with both my boys. And although I eat a lot while I’m pregnant I only gained about 18 pounds with this pregnancy. I’ve been obsessed with popcorn chicken from Sonic with a large ice water, and I could drink ranch with a straw.

With my boys I didn’t experience much morning sickness or other pregnancy symptoms early on. I did have to take it easy for a week or so when I had some minor bleeding.

During the second trimester I started to get heartburn, and into the third trimester Jett lived on my sciatic nerve. He’s a big baby, and the pain made it hard to care for a one-year-old, which led to my induction at 39 weeks.

The heartburn got bad enough that I couldn’t eat dinner, and my back hurt so much that even washing my hair was difficult. I would get so exhausted, out of nowhere. I kept working as long as I could, up until the week of my induction. My adrenaline would get me through a session, and when I’d get in my car to go home I’d be so tired it would be hard to move to get inside.

Birth Wishes

My birth plan really consisted of wanting it to go roughly like it did last time with Jesse.

With Anna Grace, my first baby, my whole family was in the room, I was sick and the epidural didn’t take like it was supposed to. Jesse’s birth, in August 2021, was very different because of COVID-19 restrictions.

For Jett I wanted my husband and mom in the room for his birth and then have space for just the three of us.

Packing List

It seems like the internet makes you think you need to be overprepared. But I say don’t overdo it or overthink it. You don’t need 90% of the stuff you think you’ll need when you’re in the hospital. And you won’t want to have to juggle it all when you’re heading to the car after discharge.

I like to keep it simple when packing, and I think mainly about toiletries and comfort items—blanket, fuzzy socks and PJs I can button. I do recommend an extra-long phone charger. Otherwise Angels has you covered with everything you need, pads, peri-bottle, diapers and wipes.

Jett’s Birth Day!

I didn’t think I could have a birth smoother than Jesse’s, but Jett’s was a DREAM! I literally laughed Jett out.

My nurses felt like my best friends, and when we were discharged I was sad to leave them because they all took such amazing care of me. I also felt empowered, supported and able to make every decision myself.

With Anna Grace and Jesse I wasn’t able to breastfeed more than a few days, but with Jett breastfeeding is going really well. I truly believe it’s because Angels’ staff didn’t make breastfeeding feel complicated. Three is definitely an adjustment from two, but both siblings adore their baby brother. Jett has been the easiest baby of all three, and for that I am so, so thankful!

Arianna’s Favorite Posts

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Through All Maternity celebrates moms and babies who experienced birth at one of our hospitals across our Louisiana health system. We are grateful for the families who shared their lives with us, and our OB-GYNs and other team members who provide such exceptional care.

We would be honored to become part of your family’s birth journey. You can feel confident that we will be with you every step of your pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care.

Through All Maternity

Every journey is unique.
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