It was 3:15am on Monday, June 26th when Lindsey and Mike called me on their way to the hospital. Lindsey, very sweetly and very politely said, "I'm so sorry for waking you up but I'm in labor and we are headed to the hospital. We are three weeks early so you don't have to come if you don't want to." I couldn't help but laugh when she said that I didn't have to come because, of course, I was going to be there. Could you imagine if I had just rolled over and gone back to sleep?! Instead, I jumped out of bed, brushed my teeth, grabbed my gear, and sprinted out the door.
I had only met Lindsey and Mike over the phone at this point as she was working in Kansas City when they first reached out to me. It was Monday, and she had just moved to Wilmington the Wednesday prior. We were supposed to meet in person later that week but our introductions took place during one of Lindsey's contractions as I walked into the hospital room. This first image you see is the first image of the night/morning just after the "pleased to meet you's".
And then there were drugs. Everyone has their own opinion but I say do what's best for you. Lindsey, like all laboring mothers, was a bad ass during her contractions. And then once the drugs hit she was all smiles, as you can see, even when it came time to push! Seriously guys, these two were making jokes, smiling, and laughing through it all. I cannot say I would be doing the same.
Speaking of laughs, you will get a kick out of this: Lindsey had not told any of her extended family that they were even expecting. So I was very fortunate to have been there when she made her calls to the grandparents, aunts, and uncles to let them know that they were having a baby. Today. It was sweet and absolutely hysterical and, at first, they didn't believe them. While I will always remember her feisty grandmother saying, "that's bullshit," it was her grandfather's slow and gentle realization of what was happening that I found to be the absolute sweetest. Be sure to watch the video at the end for that. It's just too much!
When the nurse came in and said that Lindsey was ready to push, the enormity of what was about to happen hit them. They were going to be parents. They were going to meet this tiny stranger that they had been talking about for months. They were about to become a family of three. I stood across the room, crying myself, as I watched and listened to them affirming each other in what was about to happen, in their roles as mother and father, and in their love for one another. (Pass the Kleenex please!)
Do you remember when I said that they were all smiles and jokes during the entirety of the labor and delivery process? These two images are proof! They would smile and laugh with one another in between contractions and as Lindsey felt the pressure build she would grab hold and push with everything she had. She was laser focused on pushing. If that day comes for me I will be channeling my inner-Lindsey...I hope!
And then they were a family of three. Their daughter, Maeve, came into the world three weeks early on a beautiful, sunny Monday morning. She was born healthy, a little small since she was early, but healthy. This eager little one swallowed a bit of fluid on the way out that made it difficult for her to breathe. It was a terrifying few minutes, but everyone was continually reassured that this babe was going to be just fine. For precautionary reasons, she was taken to the neonatal unit downstairs where she was given the highest quality care. Seriously guys, the doctors and nurses down there are AMAZING. AMAZING.
She was a healthy newborn but because of her teeny tiny size and the fluid she had swallowed, Maeve was kept in the neonatal unit for the two days they were in the hospital. This, however, did not keep the smiles and laughs from this family. They found joy in the early arrival of their daughter, in the family that surrounded them, and in the intense love they immediately had for this little one. All new parents would agree with the playful shirts they wore the next day were but their smiles show you that the struggle is worth it.