Mother and Father

G&C

We always said when we decided we were ready to start a family, we would never lose sight of the importance of nurturing our marriage and friendship.  That no matter how much energy we poured into our children that we would always come first.  I believe that in order to be good parents that we need to be the strong foundation.  The reality of new parenthood and our current life circumstance is that it’s hard to make our relationship a priority.  We’re tired, we get few hours alone together, his work is demanding, baby is demanding and there is no such thing as a day off.  But we continue to stay committed to that vision, even if it's a little difficult right now. 

 

We were fortunate that our labor and delivery experience was technically a good one, maybe you could even say it was successful, but it was not without plenty of worrisome moments.  Everything you read says to be prepared for marathon laboring; make sure you bring something to read, have plenty of snacks on hand for the husband, etc. But I labored so quickly that if we hadn’t gone to the hospital when we did, I may not have made it there in time.  Leading up to the birth, both my doctor and our doula Doris Ann believed that I would likely labor quickly, but there was really no way to anticipate just how fast it would all go or how dramatic it would ultimately be.  We arrived thinking we still had plenty of time, but that was not the case for me; ultimately laboring at home for 4 hours with a total of 5 in the end.  (Glen made an honest attempt at eating breakfast and drinking his coffee...a funny story for another time.)  Further adding to the drama, Kaia was positioned face up, there was no time for meds, and the threat of needing a c section if we couldn't make the natural birth happen... safe to say the delivery room situation was extremely chaotic and overwhelming.  It was intense and scary, the most traumatic experience we've shared to date.  Our emotional strength being tested along with my physical.  Glen and I leaned heavily on each other and had Doris Ann to help us through it.  Thankfully we pulled off a natural birth with no complications.  Such a relief and blessing.  It was life changing, to say the least.

 

Glen often says our childbirth experience made the risk of my mortality a reality to him.  That might sound strange, all our lives are precious and fragile.  But in his line of work, it’s usually his life at risk and between the two of us he can usually count on me to be the one who is “safe”.  This was the first time in all our years together where he felt intense fear for my life.  Watching me in pain, completely powerless and relying on prayer.  They say you fall in love with each other all over again through the birth of your first child.  This photo is that very experience between us captured by our doula shortly after Kaia was born, our emotions frozen in time.  We were both in a state of shock, trying to absorb it all.  We spoke few words, just locked eyes and embraced.  In this moment, we saw each other as mother and father for the very first time.  Kaia completes us, and is the beginning of our new adventure as parents, but it will always start with the two of us.

I Waited My Whole Life For you

may1

There really is no way to fully prepare for everything that comes with pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood.  You can read books, you can drive yourself crazy asking Dr. Google for the answers to the endless questions you will inevitably have (guilty), you can listen to all the scary, gory stories your friends and family will have about their own experiences… the wealth of information available is pretty amazing but ultimately the experience is completely your own.  Unique to you, your body and your baby.  Tell that to a hormonal pregnant chick who just. wants. answers. and needs. to. plan.

 

I was not into taking risks with my pregnancy, I wanted to take all precautions and bordered on OCD.  But when it came to planning the delivery room situation, I was relaxed and unconcerned.  I was a walking contradiction, worried about so many other things throughout the pregnancy yet I felt no fear when anticipating the birth itself.  I felt strangely at peace with the idea that my mind and body would be able to handle what was to come.  I decided I wanted to attempt to go without any medications, I liked the idea that my body be in it's natural state (plus, learning about the process of inserting the epidural needle made me more squeamish).  An unmedicated birth is not for the faint of heart and I ultimately just wanted what was safest for me and the baby, whatever that may end up being.  Living far from family support, we thought it be best to hire a doula and Doris Ann McMurray came highly recommended.  Years of experience and a fierce commitment to her work and her faith, I had complete confidence and trust in her ability to help me achieve my goal and be the extra layer of comfort both Glen and I would need in the delivery room.  With her assistance, I was able to determine my level of commitment to going unmedicated and I began to mentally and emotionally prepare though reading and meditation.  I wanted to accept things as they came and find peace in whatever may occur.  I felt ready.  As we neared the 9 month marker my doctor was convinced that I was the abnormal and rare first time mom that would likely give birth before the due date.  And so, with all the preparation and planning in place, we all waited anxiously for that day…

 

In the early morning hours of May 1st, 2016 at exactly 39 weeks, our baby decided she was ready to rush into the world.  Only minutes after arriving at the hospital it was clear things were moving quickly and there was no time for any medication… my wish granted in the most dramatic way.  It was time.  I was scared but for the sake of our baby's well being I needed to find a way to channel my fear and find peace and focus.  With Glen and our doula by my side holding my hands, I closed my eyes, promised myself everything would be okay and in the midst of chaos I managed to find my center.  A few minutes later at 8:26am, 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital and a total of 5 hours of labor, our little Kaia Naomi was born.  I will never forget the way my heart swelled the moment I touched her for the first time.  9 months of dreaming of her, praying for her, she was finally in my arms.  A moment I waited my whole life for.  Our little miracle.  There aren’t enough words to describe all the feelings.  A day imprinted in my heart forever.

 

**We will forever be grateful for our incredible doula Doris Ann.  She was our source of knowledge and support when we needed it and my “mama” while mine couldn’t be close.  Her ability to move me through the pain is an experience I hope to never forget should I be in the same situation again.  We were in a state of shock in the delivery room and she was our comfort, reassurance and brains.  Truly, she was an angel.