A Decoupage Birth Story, Part II

If you missed Part I, click here.

Our third baby, a girl, yet unnamed, had been in a transverse (sideways) position for much of my pregnancy. In response, I ventured out to chiropractic appointments multiple times a week, utilizing a specific type of chiropractic care called Webster’s technique. I was familiar with Webster’s because it had been successful with Finn, my second baby, who was breech for almost the entire pregnancy.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about this baby’s positioning; it was the main subject of so many of my prayers. I even recruited my close friends and family to make it a matter of their prayers, too. I felt mostly sure that she would end up head-down, allowing for a typical vaginal delivery just like I had with my other babies.

Our last photo as a family of four!

May 21, 2019. It’s the day of my induction, four days past my due date. Every last one of my babies have had to be evicted…they just get way too cozy in there. My doctor has been out of town but is now back, so it’s time to get this baby out! I sneak in a last minute chiropractic appointment (baby is head-down, best we can tell), then I rest for the remainder of the day in the living room chair I’ve claimed for the majority of this pregnancy. Soon we kiss our babies and make our way to the hospital. 

Third baby, yet it’s every bit as surreal as the first go around. 

A Decoupage Birth Story, Part I

To jump to a different part of this story, just click these links:

My last baby’s birth story. Big, deep breath. 

It’s not the story I wanted to write. In fact, I’ve basically avoided it for a full year. 

On May 23, she turns one (!!!), and it’s finally time I share the story of how she got here. It’s a wild one, a total whirlwind, and unlike any of my other birth experiences. 

Finn Jameson: a birth story

By the time my due date was in sight, I was ready. So. Very. Ready.

Maybe it was being pregnant with a boy this time, or maybe it was because this was pregnancy number two for me, but growing a baby was not as easy this time around. Borderline polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid) that made me look and feel so much bigger so much faster, a breech baby, ridiculous swelling, Rhogam shots, two rounds of antibiotics….certainly nothing major, but still, it made my first pregnancy look like a walk in a really lovely park.

IMG_0862_edAt my 39 week appointment, my doctor joked with me about the massive amount of amniotic fluid I was still carrying around, and said she hoped it would break in Walmart. (Good thing I can totally appreciate a warped sense of humor like that). I told her that would be impossible considering I don’t shop at Walmart because my mental health cannot handle it. But Target? Highly likely. And actually a scenario I welcomed because COME ON OUT BABY BOY. I was really, really ready.

I left that appointment believing he would be coming – on his own – any day now.

But unlike me, he was in no hurry. My babies must love life in the womb, because my due date of February 14 came and went uneventfully, just as it had with my daughter three years ago. And since she had weighed over 9 lbs at 9 days late, we decided to go ahead and induce me on the 16th.

Continue reading

the year of surrender

I don’t always create resolutions or “find my word” when the new year comes around. Some years I’ll feel drawn toward a specific theme or prayer but it’s not something I’m particularly diligent about. Especially this year — in the midst of baby prep and my toddler’s third birthday happening right around my due date — I’ve got a lot on my mind and lists of to do’s written e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e., so the new year came and went without much of a signal on my radar.

The funny thing is, I didn’t set out to find my theme for the year, but I’m pretty certain it found me.

When I think back, it actually began pursuing me at the last bit of 2016. I’m currently expecting baby #2 and things are altogether different this go-around. Nothing major, so please don’t hear me complaining, just different.



From the beginning of my pregnancy, I kept feeling like the Lord was asking me to surrender myself to this pregnancy. Now, let’s be real a second and acknowledge that surrender is an inherent part of pregnancy – we give over our actual bodies for nearly a year’s time, so there’s that. But this calling was deeper; more toward a yielding in my spirit rather than just my physical body.


So, surrender.


Even from the start, this pregnancy has been much more draining and taxing on me than my first ever was – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.


At 35 weeks along, my doctor began my check-up with me laying flat on my back and her hands pressing into my belly feeling for my little boy’s position. She thought out loud, “where is his head??” as she searched and pressed.  I had been taking some peeks of him at work (I’m a sonographer), so I knew he had been breech for at least the past few weeks.

I hadn’t been concerned about it. Like, at all.
Until that moment.

Having a breech baby wasn’t something I had ever considered or expected, and I had no idea how much it affected, from a medical standpoint. My doctor briefly discussed some options if he stayed in that position, and none of them sounded especially appealing to me. A couple of them even scared me, if I’m being honest.


With this news, I began to pray that he would turn, along with some of our friends and family. A coworker even said a prayer with me right in the middle of the hospital cafe one day. I also went to see a chiropractor who specializes in Webster’s technique – a way to open up the mom’s pelvis hopefully enough for the baby to switch positions.

After all of that, I knew I needed to accept the fact that if this baby stayed breech, there was a reason for it. A plan. A purpose. And I would just have to get over my personal preferences and fears.


Again, surrender.


I would like to tell you that I had complete trust and zero anxiety about the outcome from that point forward. But that would be a total lie.

As my next OB appointment crept closer, I started to notice my stress level rising. Questions swirled in my head, fear of the unknown settled in my heart, and lots of opinions began flying my way. I was feeling for his head all throughout the day, and I had been researching natural ways to help the baby turn. Did you know there are entire websites devoted to “flipping techniques”? It was all becoming too much.

I reminded myself that I had a healthy baby inside of me – something so many long for – and however he needed to be brought earthside would be just fine.

My prayer changed from please, Lord, let this baby turn, to me asking Him for a surrendered spirit again.


When I signed in at the doctor’s office for my 36 week check-up, I was still convinced he was breech (although I purposely hadn’t felt of him to confirm that), and I was becoming resolved to the fact that he would likely stay that way. 

I came prepared with a list of questions for my OB regarding external cephalic versions, c-sections, risks and statistics – except these questions weren’t coming from a place of fear so much as they were to help me mentally prepare. I was ready to start firing them off when my doctor basically told me to hold my horses and let her check his position first. 

Oh, right. That is actually a brilliant idea.

I laid back on the table and she began to feel around my belly. First up high, she said slowly, “I think that’s a butt…..,” and then feeling down lower in my pelvis, “….and pretty sure that’s a head.” My mouth dropped open.

What? Had he really turned?

I was positive he was still breech. So sure.

But no, an ultrasound confirmed that I was so wrong, and I’ve probably never been happier to be wrong.

I did a happy dance with my doctor, tucked away my list of questions I’d prepared, and as I stepped onto that creaky old elevator down to the parking lot, I felt lighter. I just kept thanking the Lord for this sweet change, this sweet unexpected answer to prayer.

My Father didn’t have to do that. But he did. (And let me just say, even if he hadn’t, he would still be good and faithful.)

Of course, this doesn’t guarantee anything. This baby could shock us all by turning back around, or my labor could still end in a c-section due to a variety of reasons. But we have a shot at a natural delivery, and that was my hope all along.

So, surrender. Here we are again, old friend.


I think it’s important that you know this surrender I’m talking about wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t quick or painless, and it wasn’t seamless. Much like motherhood, I do not have this completely figured out. (Um, not even close.) It’s a process. Even as I write this, I’m 38 weeks pregnant and I’m having to surrender my ideal timeline, because quite honestly, I want this baby out. Like, yesterday. I’m slowly and hesitantly handing over my questions, worries, anxiety, and stress to the Lord – one piece at a time. And many times, out of fear or habit or who knows what else, I still find myself reaching back for a piece I had already given over. (Feeling very grateful for a patient Father). The decision to surrender is just the first step in a long walk of following through and letting go. And then letting go again. And again. 

I’ve seen such clear evidence that the Lord is using this to draw me in closer to Him, however small it might actually be in the grand scheme of things. Because, no doubt, there are much bigger things happening in other people’s worlds than upside-down babies or pregnancy timelines. But I’m appreciative that the Lord is faithful to use what’s relevant to us – right now – to bring us close, test us, and teach us.


Maybe your “right now” is something completely different. Maybe it seems too big and scary or too small and insignificant to submit to Him. But I promise, He can use it. And you know what?  You can surrender scared. In fact, that’s kind of the point. It gives our trust room to grow and mature. 

Our family pastor at church often says it like this in prayer, “Lord, we agree with you for the plans you have.” And I think that’s really what it comes down to: acknowledging that His plans are greater and that we want to be part of the story, not in opposition to it.

So, my answer is yes, Lord. I agree with you for the plans you have  – for me, this baby, and our story. 


Tell me: what are you being called to surrender to right now? Or what is your word/theme for 2017?





I was in the shower when my phone rang. I yelled for Aven to bring it to me because I had a feeling it was my OB office calling.

Sure enough, they had the results of my blood work back. This particular genetic testing would also include the sex of the baby. 

The nurse explained that all of the genetic testing came back normal and fine, and would I like to know what we were having?

“Ummm, YES!” (Who says no to this question? Crazy people, that’s who.)
(Only kidding if you are one of those “find out at delivery kind of people”. Well, kind of kidding. Partly kidding and partly serious.)

She responded with, “it’s aaaaaaaa………….BOY!”

I honestly couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  “A boy??” I had to say it out loud to help it sink in. (This is even after seeing convincing evidence on an ultrasound…something about the conclusiveness of blood work just sealed it for me).

I didn’t even realize how much I was expecting to hear “it’s a girl” until the exact opposite was said.


It’s not that I wanted another girl, or didn’t want a boy. Not at all. I just assumed it would be another girl. I think it’s a natural response to being completely submerged in my current role of raising a daughter. So, at two and a half years into this parenting gig, I have fully embraced the title of #girlmom and make zero apologies for it. I use the pink bow emoji far more frequently than I would have imagined. We do girly things together like shop and plan outfits (we even match sometimes…I know..) and basically it’s full on Girl World around here.


And something about living with all things pink (no, really, ALL THINGS PINK, despite my efforts to steer away from that), baby dolls, requests to share my makeup, and “princess” dresses had convinced my mind that Girl World would be our permanent place of residence. And I was okay with that. It’s comfortable, it’s familiar…and it would be really nice to reuse all of Aven’s old clothes. (Ya know, just saying.)  

But to have the opportunity to venture into Boy World and take on a completely new adventure? We couldn’t feel more excited or blessed. As I finished getting ready that morning after the call from the doctor’s office, I could not stop smiling. Even through my surprise there was so much joy bubbling up, and it just keeps rising. 

And with this news, I immediately felt more connected to this babe inside of me. It’s like the reality of a new baby can finally take root when I’m able to picture life with him here: what name he’ll answer to, what his nursery will look like, and what kind of toys we will be strewn all over our house. I’m pretty pumped to be a #boymom.


Sweet Baby Boy, we are thrilled. Thrilled to imagine life with you, thrilled to meet you one day soon, thrilled for the impending adventure of navigating Boy World. Prepare yourself: you have a very excited daddy who wants a fishing buddy, and an eager big sister waiting for you. She always thanks Jesus for you when she prays, and asks me constantly if she can be my helper when you get here. We all love you already.







Writing has had to take a bit of a backseat lately, for various reasons, but today it feels so good to get my hands on this keyboard of mine because I have something sweet and special to share.


I cannot believe I get to do this again.



Carry a baby. Assist in another miracle. And become a mama all over again. 


It feels too special. Too heavy and light all at the same time. Too full and too happy and too much. 

Entering motherhood two and a half years ago thrust me into the wildest adventure of my life. It also plunged me into conversations, experiences, relationships, and issues I never even knew existed before. My eyes have been opened to so much, and among that, especially a greater understanding and gratitude surrounding this space of bringing babies into the world. I know it doesn’t always come easy, or when or how we hope it will. Have I mentioned how thankful I am? 

I notice I’m worrying less this go-around, and praying more. Praying over absolutely everything – mostly my heart, my attitude, my spirit…but also things like who will be clocked in at the hospital when it’s delivery time. 

I find myself craving less control, more surrender. And what I really want is for that essence to diffuse beyond these next six or seven months, beyond the day this baby enters the world, and settle deep into my everyday life as I walk through motherhood. Another prayer to add to the list. 

So here I sit, smiling from the inside out, gratefully surrendered to whatever He has in store. Thank you, thank you, Lord.  




diy: mommy-to-be basket

If you have read anything I’ve written or know me at all, you know that I am passionate about encouraging moms. I honestly wish I could send each of you a personal hand-written note every day that simply says “Hey Mom! You can do this. You are capable. You aren’t alone. Now go be awesome.” Well, you know who else needs an occasional pep talk? Expecting mamas. (Pregnant or adopting. Because no matter how it happens, becoming a mom can be a little rough along the way.)

If she’s pregnant, she feels giant. Has sudden onset narcolepsy. Is plagued with swelling. Has terrible memory loss, gas, and heartburn. She is just TIRED. And rightfully so because making a human is no joke. 

If she’s adopting, she spends all her time and energy paper chasing, fund-raising, check-writing, and emotional roller-coaster riding. She is just TIRED. And rightfully so. Adopting a human is no joke.

One of my best friends since childhood is expecting her first baby girl in June (!) and I wanted to put together a small basket of love for her. My one rule was that I couldn’t include any baby items. I mostly focused on pampering type items and snacks. This one is all about the mom because it will ALL be about the baby soon enough. Can I get a witness. 

Here’s what I included in her basket:

1. A magazine
This particular girlfriend of mine just built and moved into a new house, so I grabbed an HGTV magazine for her. Mindless reading – check. Not baby related – check. 

2. Trail Mix
This trail mix from Target is called A Handful of Everything, and that definitely sums it up! This is my go-to snack and would be great for any expecting mom to have on hand for those sudden hunger pangs that usually occur at inconvenient times. 

3. BarkThins

Okay, these say “snacking chocolate” right on the front of the bag, so you’d be hard pressed to find a pregnant chick (or anyone for that matter) who wouldn’t love them. Not to mention the sweet + salty combo should satisfy most cravings.
4. Prenatal massage gift certificate (not pictured)
My splurge for the basket but 1000000% worth it. I had a few prenatal massages during my pregnancy and they were all HEAVENLY. If nothing else, you get to lay comfortably for an hour and nap thanks to their special pillows and cushions.
5. A comfy robe 
Not only is a good robe a necessity for the hospital, but I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say I lived in mine for the first two months postpartum. Extra points for the silky soft material and cute pattern.

6. A delicious-smelling candle 
Couldn’t resist this yummy-smelling candle at Target, and the canister is sweet and summery. (Scent: Juicy Gossip)

7. Peppermint Foot Rub
This Peppermint Foot Rub from Moon Valley Organics has the best scent – it’s light and refreshing and just makes you feel better! It has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, making it the perfect fix for a pregnant mama’s feet.

8. Pink (Coral) Nail Polish
because, hello, it’s a girl!

9. Eos Lip Balm

Who doesn’t love this lip balm? My favorite thing is that I can always find it in my purse because of it’s unique shape. 
10. Hello toothpaste
This expecting mama friend of mine is a Dental Hygienist so I knew she would appreciate these toothpastes from Hello Products (they leave out things like preservatives and dyes.) Plus – yummy flavors to hopefully counteract that heightened gag reflex that comes with pregnancy.

11. Decaf Drink & Mug

I stuffed some decaf tea bags and flavored water packets into a mug I made. I wrote Psalm 46:5 -encouragement in a cup. (I followed these directions to make it.)

Is there someone you can do this for? 

The basket can be modified for a repeat mom, an adoptive mom, a mother through gestational surrogate, or just a girlfriend who needs a pick-me-up. Going to visit a new mom in the hospital? Throw together a basket for her to take with you. You could also do this for a Mother’s Day gift. Friend doesn’t live close? Mail it. (I did something similar for another friend who was adopting last year. Just filled up a box with all her favorites and popped in the mail to her). The goal is simple: that they feel loved and special and hopefully a little surprised! It really is the thought that counts. 

There are ONE MILLION things you could include in a Mommy-to-be Basket. Just personalize it for whoever you plan to give it to. 

Here are a few extra ideas: comfy slippers or socks, her favorite pens, a movie, a new phone case, a book by her favorite author, gift card to her favorite store, a body pillow (think outside the basket! these are essential during pregnancy!), a packet of hair ties, a cute journal (you can write some encouraging notes, funny pregnancy tidbits, or uplifting quotes/scripture in random places throughout the journal for her to find.)

I received some of these products for review as part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts program. All opinions are my own. 

Aven Harper {a birth story}

I loved reading birth stories when I was pregnant. Something about hearing so many different scenarios helped calm some of my fears, not to mention I just love a good story. I knew I would want to write Aven’s down so I would always remember all the details that become blurry with time, but the birthing experience is a lot to process! So I’ve been working on this one for a while and I finally feel like I’m ready to share it.

{Also…it’s kind of long. That’s what 30 hours of labor will get you.}

{January 28, 2014}

It was my due date. I left an uneventful OB appointment and was greeted by little snow flurries on the way home. We knew to expect some snow, but “nothing ever sticks around here.”  (LIES).  Brandon got stuck in terrible traffic on the way home from work, and we soon learned this same scenario was playing out all over the state. Due to unprepped roads and gridlock traffic, eventually people were forced to either abandon their cars and walk home, or spend the night in their vehicles. What. A. Nightmare. We just prayed that our girl would stay put until the weather passed. Brandon did not want to deliver his daughter himself and I knew I was gonna need that epidural. AMEN.


Well she must be a good listener, because stay put she did. 


The days slowly ticked by. With each one, the number of “is she here yet?” texts seemed to increase, as well as our medical bills thanks to an OB appointment every couple of days to check on the baby and my progress. Each doctor visit was the same – very minimal progress. Clearly, she was quite content in there. I guess I’m glad at least one of us was comfortable at this point.

I remember actually laughing when this calendar alert popped up on my phone. It was both terrifying and reassuring to be reminded that she couldn’t stay there forever. 

{February 5, 2014}

I was 41 weeks and 1 day pregnant.
I had a non-stress test and an ultrasound, which measured our girl at almost 8 lbs. Being a Sonographer myself, I’m well aware that late-term ultrasounds are not especially accurate when predicting weight so I rounded up, figuring she would be about 8 1/2 pounds. Yikes.

But judging by this belly……sounded about right.

At this appointment, my usually laid-back and funny doctor took on a more serious tone and discussed an induction with me. My doctors had been patient with me, knowing I wanted to give my baby as much of a chance as possible to come on her own, but it was time to move things along. Part of me felt relieved that this waiting and discomfort I was feeling was almost over, and the other part felt defeated that my body wasn’t cooperating. We agreed to start the Cervadil that night to prep my cervix and the Pitocin to start contractions the following morning. 

Before leaving my appointment, my doctor was able to strip my membranes, even though I was only dilated one measly centimeter, in hopes of jump-starting my labor. One last ditch effort to force this baby out. (Ps. No one warned me that this was super painful. So hey, head’s up….it’s painful.) 

At home, I piled up on the couch with my puppies for one more snuggle session while I ate lunch and ran over my perpetual to-do list in my head. I noticed that I kept feeling “crampy” but by the time you’re 8 days overdue, you aren’t really sure what’s normal anymore. I was trying to finish little things around the house and get my bags together (nesting is real, y’all) but those annoying cramps were interrupting my progress. Then it got to the point where I needed to sit down during them.

At some point, it finally dawned on me. 
These were contractions. 
And they were real.
 There was no flashing neon sign shouting “YOU’RE IN LABOR!” and I’m not sure why I expected to see one.

We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 5pm, so off we went.

Bags and nerves packed.
This would be our last drive as a twosome. The next time we climbed back in this white Chevy, we would have our mini buckled snugly in the backseat. If that’s not an overwhelming thought, I don’t know what is.

We were excited. Anxious. Ready. (As ready as you can be). 

blurry photo, but this was the last smile for a whiiiile.

After having the Cervadil placed (also pretty darn uncomfortable, by the way), my pain really kicked up. They went ahead and gave me IV medications to give me some relief. It made a huge difference and I was able to sleep. Around midnight my nurse checked me and I was 90% effaced, but still only about 2-3 cm dilated. My body was so tense and I was shaking uncontrollably, I think from the medication. My body could not relax, which was interfering with me progressing.

{February 6, 2014}

My sweet nurse was a great patient advocate and support to me. It was maybe 2:00 am, and the Anesthesiologist was already called in to L&D for another patient. So with my nurse’s urging to go ahead and get the epidural placed even though it was a touch early, I agreed. I was terrified that it would wear off before my labor was over, but I trusted her advice.
Bless her, because it made all the difference in the world. I didn’t feel anything when they were placing the epidural. Brandon was able to stay with me and try to hold me still because I was shaking so badly. It took effect pretty quickly and my body instantly relaxed. I was even able to sleep some more to recharge my batteries, which was a huge blessing for what ended up being a long labor.

My doctor checked on me around lunchtime (I was about 6-7 cm dilated) and broke my water to help me continue progressing.

{Sidenote:} Induction, stripping my membranes, and now breaking my water – all things I thought I didn’t want done, as I was hoping for no intervention except for an epidural. Just goes to show how not in control you are and when the time comes you will do whatever it takes to get your baby out swiftly and safely. I learned quickly not to be too married to an idea of how things will or should go. When things don’t go as planned (as if we can “plan” how this all will go down – laughable) you will be disappointed and frustrated and there is no room for that in the delivery room. There is enough emotion, uncertainty, and potential for anxiety without adding in unrealistic expectations. We have to keep an open mind for this birthing business because, really, we’re just along for the ride. Once we submit to that and trust God to take care of everything, it will be far less stressful. What matters is that the baby arrives in a way that’s as safe as possible for mom and baby. That’s all that matters.}
Okay. Moving on.


At one point in the afternoon, I was sleeping on my side and suddenly woke up to a hot, searing pain in back and right hip that escalated FAST. We soon figured out that my epidural had drained completely to my left side. Who knew this was even possible? It caught me off guard and there was no slow acclimation to the pain to help me prepare. Let’s just say it solidified my everlasting love for an epidural and heightened my already intense respect for those who brave this without one. You are superheroes. But that is not a badge this girl has ever aspired to. I didn’t want to suffer if I didn’t have to, and I wanted to reserve some energy for pushing later. That was the worst moment of my entire labor and I just pray-cried my way through it until the Anesthesiologist (a.k.a. angel in scrubs) came and re-administered some of my medicine.
It was now late afternoon. We were over 24 hours into my labor when my wonderful day shift nurse got pulled to the postpartum floor and a younger, snottier nurse took her place, seemingly annoyed to have an extra patient to deal with. She distractedly explained what it would be like when I’m ready to push and then she was gone. 
Once she left the room, it wasn’t long before I really started to feel like I could push. So, following her instructions, I paged for her.
She didn’t come.
Several more pages… 
No nurse.
Once she finally made her way into my room, she scolded me for paging her every time I felt the need to push. I was spent, and being reprimanded was more than I could take and the tears began to fall. When she finally listened and agreed to check me, I was 9, almost 10, cm dilated – close enough to get ready to push! I was so happy about this news I didn’t even feel the need to say I told you so.

In just moments the entire delivery room transformed. The ceiling above my bed opened up and a gigantic, intimidating light came down.  A surgical table and lots of sharp objects appeared….I didn’t look too closely at those….ignorance is 100% bliss in this case. The portable baby bassinet was prepped and ready for our baby. Those words, our baby, finally felt real in that momentMore nurses came filing in. Someone kept bumping up the thermostat – I was literally ROASTING and asking for a cold washcloth every two minutes but everyone else was freezing. The end of the bed was dropped down and the leg supports came up. It was time. 
Holy crap, it was time.

I pushed for about an eternity forty minutes. I honestly couldn’t have told you if it was ten minutes or two hours. I was focused on the task at hand and time felt suspended; both fast-moving and slow-motion all at once. Soon my doctor arrived – totally calm, in control, and just her typical humorous self. (Without a doubt, God knew exactly the type of doctor I would need for this moment. This life-changing moment – and she was it. Yes, God cares about the little things.)

{P.S., this is especially amazing considering I found my OB by looking up several offices online and choosing the group of doctors who looked the most normal. True story.}

 I was still mostly numb from the epidural (thank you Jesus) but I could feel when a contraction came and went so we didn’t have to rely on the monitors much. I pushed hard and long during the contractions and rested in between. Once my doctor could see her head she said “this is not a small baby” and played with Aven’s hair, chatting like we were just meeting for coffee. Ya know, no big deal, just having a baby over here. Brandon and Ginna (who is my cousin and acted as my unofficial “labor coach”) were there right beside me, cheering me on and helping me  literally lift my head for each push. Both of them were so attentive and supportive during my labor, I doubt I could have done it without them. My mom was in the background snapping these pictures.

{February 6, 5:27pm}

My doctor asked me to give one more good push. 

That’s when my big baby finally escaped from her home of the last ten months, with one arm reaching out into the world, crying her little bird cry. Unbeknownst to me, with every push my doctor had been trying to free the umbilical cord that was wrapped around her neck. She kept trying to release it, but it wasn’t coming off. That’s when she asked me for the final push and she pulled her out. 

Safe and sound.

The first thing I felt was an overwhelming sense of relief.
Relief that it was over.
That she was okay. 
That I was okay.

My doctor held her up for a picture and then they laid her right on my chest. She was wet, trembling, and crying, and she pooped on me immediately – apparently that’s the thanks I get for bringing her into the world. Our doctor shoved the hemostats Brandon’s way and he cut the cord, something he wasn’t planning on doing since he’s pretty squeamish, but he went for it and I was so proud. Plus, it only seemed fair after everything I had just been through. 

It felt completely unreal that this little person who was only seconds before inside of me, was now where I could physically see her and touch her – something I had been so anxious to do. I couldn’t keep the tears in. They just flowed.

Meeting your child for the first time is nothing short of magical. I can’t think of any other way to describe it.


Since I was laying flat on my back, I couldn’t see all of her – just her head and face. But the comments about how big she was started immediately, and once they put her on the scale we had proof – she was big. 
9.4 lbs of baby had been inside of me. 
No one saw that coming. Including me, thankfully, or else maybe I would have rethought my feelings on an induction closer to my due date.

Birth is messy. It just is. And I’ve learned that everything that happened in that delivery room is just the first glimpse into what parenthood is really all about. It is messy. It is work. But it’s also breathtakingly beautiful.

They got her all cleaned up and handed her over to Brandon who was completely beaming, studying his daughter. Dark hair, smokey blue eyes. Swollen. I couldn’t get over how perfect she looked and I couldn’t take my eyes off her. There was a familiarity between us that made me feel like I had always been her mom and we had just been waiting 27 years to meet each other.

I will always feel overwhelmed at the thought of how miraculous this whole experience was. What a privilege to be the one chosen to facilitate her coming into the world. And as if that weren’t enough, I get to be her mama – every single day.

Welcome to the world, my sweet girl.

{ her name }

We wanted to wait to name her until we laid eyes on her. We finally settled on Aven Harper. (“Aven” is a type of mountain wildflower and also Irish for “fair radiance.” Harper was a name that we liked with all of our first name choices.)

It certainly seems to fit our beautiful, vibrant, spirited little girl. 
We are so honored to have been made parents because of her.