The Birth Story of Elliana Grace | Louisville Newborn and Birth Photographer

Sorrow and celebration can coexist authentically. And giving ourselves permission to have both is incredibly freeing. -Lysa TerKeurst

As I walked the halls of labor and delivery I noticed the sign on the door.

The drop of water on a leaf. The sign that just beyond that door a family was saying goodbye when they should have been saying hello. 

I passed that door time after time after time trying to hasten my own labor. And each time I prayed for them. 

And for us. 

And then an imperfectly timed contraction caused me to stop right by that same door and when I caught my breath 

it opened 

and even though Chris tried to shield me

I still saw the perfect baby 

swaddled in pink 

laying in a bassinet 

probably heading for the morgue.  

And in that moment I wished the world would stop spinning so I could get off. 

For once I needed time to actually stand still. 

In that moment I came face to face with every trigger... every memory... every heartbreak... every fear from the past two and a half years all over again. 

I fell apart standing outside the very same room that I said goodbye to my own firstborn daughter in. 

In the middle of my labor my heart broke for what should have been for that family. 

What should have been for us. 

All of the unknown, hard, unanswered questions. 

As much as I wanted it to

time didn't stop...

And I made my way back to my room

with the pieces of my broken heart

 And I wept as I listened to the sound of my own daughter’s heartbeat. 

And I praised God through my confusion and the chaos and the world shattering within me all over again.

Sorrow and celebration.  

"There is good news...even in the same breath as the bad news.

In the hospital waiting room, in the silence that follows the gut-wrenching phone call, when your faith is bleeding out- there is still good news."

Out of 40 hours of labor those moments stand out to me the most. 

Those are the moments I dug down deep and clung to the foundations of my faith. 

He is the God that can do anything but fail. Even when I felt failed.

He is the promise keeper. 

Even when it seems broken promises broke me. He doesn’t abide by my timeline.

He is the author and the finisher.

"But resurrection is not just consolation – it is restoration. We get it all back – the love, the loved ones, the goods, the beauties of this life – but in new, unimaginable degrees of glory and joy and strength."

– Tim Keller

I sit here, exactly one month from Resurrection Sunday. 

Holding Elliana... who's name literally means answered prayer. 

And I weep for what is and what is not. 

I think about the family who said goodbye the same weekend I said hello.

And give myself permission to experience the throes of sorrow and celebration.

In this video you see a beautiful baby girl being born and welcomed into her family.

I see a woman being reborn into a faith that surrenders to the complexity and chaos of not having the answers but clinging to the One who does.

The One who will make all things new.

And wipe away every tear.

One day.