The Birth Story of Annie Mae Lovan | Southern Indiana Birth and Newborn Photographer
Hi, friends! I've been a little silent lately since I've been smack dab in the middle of motherhood/newborn bliss (and chaos). Our sweet Annie Mae was born on May 18th and has since brought so much more joy and light into our lives. But whew, it's been an adjustment! I knew making the transition from one to two would be interesting, and while it's been wonderful and full of happiness, it has also been a huge learning curve filled with ups and downs and tears and laughter. I think it goes without saying, I've had very little time to myself to do much of anything, let alone sit down and think back on our sweet Annie's birth story. (I've actually been working on this over the last month, slowly but surely!)
If you know me, you know birth stories are something I'm very passionate about. There's nothing quite like witnessing new life, and the fact that I get to document that for others and help them relive one of the greatest days of their lives is so special and something I'll never take for granted. So, I thought since I am so passionate about doing this for others, I owe it to myself and our sweet girl to do the same for ourselves. After all, her birth story was quite interesting and definitely an experience I'll never forget!
Our son, Blaine, was born two weeks past his due date, so I just assumed that this pregnancy would be the same. So when I woke up five days before my due date feeling a bit different I was full of emotions, but mostly excitement! My husband was off that day, so I took a long walk around the neighborhood by myself. Since I was planning on having another natural birth, I wanted to go ahead and get things moving along so it would be over with as soon as possible (ha!). The day went along pretty uneventfully. My contractions were very sporadic throughout the day and never got consistent or predictable. I went to bed that night after having all of our bags packed and a middle-of-the-night plan ready, in case we needed it. All through the night my contractions were 10-15 minutes apart, but were never unbearable. I was still waiting for them to get closer together and more intense, which never happened. The next morning I suggested my husband stay home from work, mainly because I didn't want to have to take care of a toddler that day! I still assumed it would be awhile before our baby was ready to make her debut. My contractions were still very inconsistent, but every time I got up to move around they would get closer together and more intense. Silly me, I would lay back down to get some rest and wait for things to become more consistent, but it still wasn't happening. I got up to brush my teeth, and within those few minutes I had several contractions that were very strong and intense. I called for my husband and told him it was probably time for his dad to come and get Blaine. Thank goodness he was only a couple of minutes away, because by the time my husband walked back in the door I knew it was time to go to the hospital. I walked straight out of the house and to the car, but of course had a major contraction in our front yard first (I'm sure our neighbors were entertained!) and by the time my poor husband walked out the door I was yelling at him to hurry up and wondering what the f*** was taking him so long?! (which is comical now)...
Luckily, the hospital was less than ten minutes away because by that point I was certain I would end up having the baby in the car. With each contraction I could only pray that we would make it to the hospital. Thank goodness, we did. The poor lady at the ER desk had to have been taken by complete surprise. It seemed like it took minutes for her to find a wheelchair (which I'm sure it was only about 30 seconds) but the last thing I wanted was to have a baby in the lobby of the ER. I kept walking towards the elevator to head up to labor and delivery, and when my husband and the nurse finally caught up to me they forced me to sit down. I don't think any of the labor and delivery nurses needed more than a second to realize I'd be having the baby soon, so they wheeled me right into a room and asked me to lay down. After getting checked, the nurse informed me "oh, there's your baby!" and instructed me to NOT push. They told me the doctor would be there in five minutes, so while the nurses rushed around, trying to ask me questions and give me an IV, I frantically tried to focus on something other than the urge to push.. I asked my husband to tell me a story about our son, and he proceeded to tell me that Blaine pooped in the bathtub that morning.. Haha, what a boy! To my relief, Dr. Wright walked through the door in record time. I pushed for over two hours with my son, so I wasn't expecting to have the baby so soon, but Dr Wright told me to give one good push, and that's all it took! Our sweet baby was born, just ten minutes after we got to the hospital. I pulled her onto my chest, held her up and got to announce that our baby is a GIRL! I cried and cried, full of relief and exhaustion and joy and gratitude. As quickly as everyone stormed in the room, they were just as quickly gone. My husband and I looked at each other and at our little girl on my chest and started laughing in disbelief. What just happened?! I joked throughout my pregnancy that I would be more than happy to labor at home as long as I could and walk in and have our baby in the hospital lobby.. Anything but go through another long labor like with my son. Little did I know, that would almost be our reality. So learn from my mistake and be careful what you wish for! In the end, all that mattered was that we had a healthy baby girl that has completed our family in the most perfect way. Her big brother adores her, her daddy is wrapped around her finger and I just know she will be my forever best friend. God is so good.
I always tell my birth clients that every mother's birth story is different and unique and usually never goes as you planned. No matter how it plays out, though, the experience belongs to you and your child alone. It is the first challenge and triumph you go through with your child and one of the first times you realize how amazingly strong and capable you are as a mother. No-one can ever take that away from you, and you will carry those moments with you your entire lifetime.
Motherhood is and always will be a learning process with days of being pushed to your limits, questioning, worrying and praying that you're getting it right. But we know, from the very beginning, that the love and bond we share with our child will always be enough to get us through. When we look back, we see that it's the daily joys and struggles that shape us more and more into the mother and woman God created us to be. As we nurture and raise our children, we grow together and look back and see what an incredible gift it all has been. And when we think back on when it all began, we can pull out these old photographs and be reminded of how the story began. The story of you and your child, of love and gratitude. It's a story that deserves to be documented, remembered and told for years and years. It's truly special and not only will you cherish it forever, but so will your child. And THAT is why I'm so passionate about capturing and preserving these moments, both for myself and my clients. You can't place a price tag on your family's most special memories.
I thank God everyday for choosing me to be my sweet Annie girl's momma. I'm blessed to have two precious gifts from God, and I'll spend my entire life loving them well and working to be my best self for them. I know I won't always get it right. I will fail over and over. But with God's grace and the love in my heart, I know I'll have all I need to do the job given to me.
Thank you for spending time with me as I think back on this sweet day! Wherever you are in your motherhood journey, I pray you realize that you, too, have everything you need in order to be the best momma to your children. Trust me, I know most days it doesn't seem like we do, but God has provided us with the love and tools we need to be all our babies need. We're all in this together, so let's love and support one another along the way. <3
*These photos are a variation of iPhone and dslr camera photos, taken by my husband and a sweet nurse at Clark Memorial Hospital. It goes to show, you don't need a professional photographer to capture the most important moments of your life. Whatever type of camera you have, I urge you to take it out and use it! You'll never regret it. :)