It’s hard to believe that we are finally getting to write about our sweet boy’s birth story. The last couple of weeks of pregnancy felt like he was never going to come! I would wake up every morning wondering if today would be the day. Then night would come, and another new day, and we just kept waiting!
All through pregnancy I was so expectant as to what this birth would look like. Just like with our first son, I was planning for a completely natural delivery at Allen Birthing Center, and of course, hoping this birth would go more quickly than my first! I prayed and prayed over this delivery and ultimately knew each step was in the Lord’s hands.
Friday, April 19th (one day after my due date) was just the same. We started our day, as usual, got some breakfast, and enjoyed the afternoon outside playing with Hudson. Contractions were a normal everyday occurrence at this point. They never turned into anything though and would just come and go. So when I got a few that afternoon, I didn’t really think much of it.
As the evening went on, contractions got stronger, so we called our amazing doula, Stacy, to come over. Once she arrived and saw how I was doing, we decided it was time to head to the birth center!
When we got to the birth center and I got all checked out, we learned I was 6cm dilated. By this time it was about 11pm so I decided to go on a walk outside to help things progress along and keep my mind off the contractions. One of my most favorite things about choosing a birth center over a typical hospital is that you get to do what you want during labor! Eating, walking, laying down, showering, anything! Whatever you feel like you want to do and makes you feel comfortable is encouraged! No feeling like you’re stuck to a bed, all hooked up, for hours on end.
As the night went on and labor progressed I was so anxious to meet our sweet boy! I had the most amazing team and husband encouraging me through every step. I am the type of person to never really have consistent contractions. They would go from two minutes apart to seven minutes, back down to three minutes apart, all right in a row. This always made it hard for me to gauge where I was at in labor, but thankfully God made our bodies to do amazing things and I was progressing just as I should.
When I looked back on Hudson’s birth, I knew there were things I wanted to do different this time around. Of those things, was to truly rely on the Lord through each contraction, remembering that He would carry me through to the end. One of the many ways God spoke to me all through my labor was through the song “One More Step” by Melanie Tierce of People & Songs. This song was actually written with a different intent, but ever since I heard this song over a year ago, God has used it among many of my circumstances to encourage me through various seasons (so give it a listen!). I sang this song through multiple contractions, and remember tears rolling down my cheek as I felt the presence of the Lord there with me.
When the time finally came and Emerson was ready to make his arrival it was tough, but I was so ready to meet him! Delivering naturally takes an immense amount of mental capacity. I would almost say it is more of a mental battle than a physical one. However, it is in those moments that you see how mighty and powerful the Creator of the universe is. He is sustainer and giver of life! He is righteous and worthy of ALL praise and glory! Just look at what He has done for us! Nothing makes me see how in need of Him we are, than in those first few moments of seeing new life enter this world.
On Saturday, April 20, 2019, at 5:54AM, Emerson Riley was born, weighing exactly 8 pounds. He had a head full of hair, much lighter in color compared to his brother. The first few hours after his birth were just the sweetest together. Halton even surprised me with a birthstone necklace from Kendra Scott to represent Emerson, just as he did for Hudson, and they are my very favorite pieces of jewelry to wear! Another one of my favorite parts about choosing a birth center is that just a few hours after giving birth, and after baby gets all their checks and we have time to rest, we get to go home! To some people, it is the craziest thing, but just 5 hours after Emerson was born we were headed home! And I just love that part of the entire process because being able to recuperate at home is much more comfortable and relaxing.
A New Season:
It is so surreal to be entrusted with new life and an absolute joy to now have two amazing boys we get to raise. It’s an absolute blast being a boy mom! Hudson was completely enthralled when he got to meet his new baby brother. The joy in his face is something I will never forget (and don’t have to because of these amazing pictures!).
So as we are adjusting to life as a family 4, I can’t help but reflect on the faithfulness of God. His faithfulness to see us through a healthy pregnancy, His faithfulness to see me through a safe delivery, and the countless blessings He lavishes on us daily. Don’t get me wrong, we have had some really tough days. From Hudson figuring out life as not an only child anymore, to us relearning tricks with a newborn, we all have had our moments. But God has been gracious each step of the way!
A huge shoutout to my amazing husband Halton for all he has done over the last few weeks (and even months while I was pregnant). He was such a champion during my labor! From rubbing my back through every contraction to making me drink water, and giving me the sweetest encouragement for hours on end. He was by my side every step and those are moments I will cherish forever.
I am forever thankful for my amazing birth team at Allen Birthing Center. My midwife Lauren, nurse Debbie, and doula Stacy were all so patient and encouraging to me through the whole process. Having now had had two births at Allen Birthing Center, I am so thankful for the care and options they provide for moms and babies. Plus, a huge thank you to my sister-in-law Mackenna (who also helped us with our maternity photos) for coming along to Emerson’s birth and documenting moments I will be able to look back on forever. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the same could be said for bringing one into the world as well.