To be honest, it’s impossible to fully comprehend the miracle I witnessed last week. I mean, you know “how” birth works; you know what is supposed to happen: love >>> pregnant mom >>> grow grow grow >>> contractions >>> pain for days >>> waaaay too much stretching >>> head >>> shoulders >>> tiny little body >>> an entire separate being. And yet… it is so much more than that. So much more. I’m so grateful I was able to witness it.
I got the text at 6 a.m. in Missoula. Labor had officially begun. Thank the Lord this was a day I already planned to wake up early. Insert three hour drive to Bozeman in the snow, literally praying most of the way. After I safely arrived in Taylor & Dan’s hospital room ready to photograph, we settled into an easy, slow groove of contraction > click > rest > reposition > click > contraction > rest. Eventually Taylor’s breathing got even more anxious as her mind and body were preparing to deliver this new life. The sweetest nurse kept returning to rub her back and legs as she endured the worst of the contractions. “It will all be over soon. You will meet your baby boy so soon. Breathe. ”
When everyone concluded it was time to push, it was like someone put the battery back into the clock and time was moving again — faster than ever, all of us keenly aware of Taylor’s pain and trying to get that baby out as soon as possible. I don’t know for sure, but thankfully I think it was only about half an hour of intense pushing before the baby’s head was fully exposed and his little fist pushed its way out of Taylor’s body, ready to start living on his own.
The hour that followed was a complete whirlwind. Taylor’s natural birth was catching up to her and while the baby was out, she had been torn, wrung, purged, and cut in the process. Her body was in shock, shaking, shivering, bleeding, and finally letting her feel the pain of the past 12 hours. After this misery was hastily attended to, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. She did it. And she did it with immense grace, empathy, and power.
Finally, after all of that is over — baby softly positioned on Mom’s chest, breastfed on the first try, held by Dad for the first time — it is so evident to me how much God’s hand was in this entire process. All of our prayers were answered. All of it came together perfectly. Taylor and Baby are healthy. Dan was the best support through the entire process. I made the snowy drive with no complications. And there is a new human in the world with joyful eyes and thick little shoulders, ready to discover the bestowed glory of what it means to be alive.
I’m so honored that I was able to help Dan & Taylor cement these memories of one of the most important days of their lives. May they always remember the awe of this day. I know I will.
Welcome, baby Grayson.