It was an honor to document and now share the birth of Chloe and Matthew's long awaited baby boy. It's hard to believe sometimes that clients trust me fully to join them in such important and intimate moments and document the way I witness it. The love that Chloe and Matthew share is palpable and watching their family grow was such an amazing experience. I'm forever grateful that I was able to be there for them to capture these memories. <3
No one expected our amazing son Jack. I have a very rare genetic condition called a balanced translocation. It basically means that I'm completely healthy, but any kids my husband and I conceive typically have mixed up chromosomes...Jack has four siblings waiting for us in heaven. Even before we found out about the translocation we had always looked forward to adopting at some point, but we were crazy enough to try one more time...and thus baby Jack was conceived!
A statistical near impossibility, little Jack kept us on our toes our entire pregnancy. With almost weekly ultrasounds, numerous specialist visits, and very expensive blood tests, we were completely prepared to lose him...even after the tests came back "normal." From 16 weeks onward I experienced quite a bit of bleeding completely unrelated to my translocation, some due to placenta previa and some due to a suspected placental abruption. On Mother's Day, after a particularly surprising bleeding episode, I moved 2 1/2 hours away to a hotel in Oklahoma City to be closer to the hospital just in case. We spent a week inpatient with the wonderful team at OU for monitoring. No one could figure out why I kept bleeding and why Jack's little heart kept beating along, completely oblivious and happy as can be. At 33 weeks I started contracting for hours and dilating 2cm, and went back to the hospital for another inpatient stay. The doctors said it was a mystery but to prepare for a preterm birth. I signed up for every NICU class I could find at OU. We took our maternity pictures in the hospital in the observation unit, complete with fluorescent lighting and IVs in my arm. We are actually grateful for that time...it reminds us continually of the amazing gift each day with baby Jack really was.
To our great surprise Jack made it full term and we induced at 39 weeks for obvious medical reasons. The nurses were so accommodating to everything we wanted in our birth plan, and we felt so thankful to get to deliver our baby with such a great medical team.
When we got to the hospital I was 3cm dilated, and we spent the day hanging out on a Pitocin drip, reading Bible stories to our little guy, and ordering an endless supply of red Jello and orange juice from room service. My husband was pretty much the best ever. He has such a strong, calm presence that I honestly feel like I can do anything when he is around. He continually rubbed my back, kept me laughing in between contractions, read me Scripture about peace, and coached me through every contraction and every irrational fear. By 6:30 that night I was just 4cm dilated. Around 10pm I was 4.5-5cm dilated, and around 11:25pm we reluctantly decided to break my water.
Things started happening quickly. Around 12:50am I told Matthew I was feeling a lot of pressure. Stephanie called the nurse, who checked me and said I was completely dilated. She made a call and suddenly there were about 12 nurses and doctors in the room. Matthew propped me up on a bunch of pillows and they brought me a squatting bar for leverage. We were ready to push! Around 1:05am I started pushing with the contractions, tuning in to the strong, steady sound of Matthew's voice counting to 10 each time. After what seemed like a million contractions and lots and lots of pushing, Jack Matthew was finally born, happy and healthy. The sound of his cries are still music to our ears, even weeks later at 2:30 in the morning. He is here. He is alive. And we are in awe of the God who created him despite the odds.