Our Emmarie Mae Faith.
The sweet little fairy ninja baby that snuck into our lives and launched us into a new season of growth.
Here is her story so far:
First things first, for those who weren’t aware, Jesus laughed at our plans of waiting a few years after Logan to have our next little one.
And by laugh, I mean knee slapping, tears rolling down His cheeks kind of hysteria.
When I held those two positive pregnancy tests in my hands while trembling in shock and panic, Logan Girl was just barely seven months old.
SEVEN MONTHS OLD.
All sex ed joking aside, this little soul was obviously meant to exist, regardless of our feeble attempts to control our procreating.
And with tears in my eyes and two positive pregnancy tests in my hand, I almost audibly heard Jesus say, “Babe, I need this heart to be part of this world.”
Nine months later, she didn’t tip toe into the world so quietly as she seemed to do in September.
No, our sweet, mellow lady kept me in labor for almost 2 weeks straight.
Very real contractions almost daily.
It was exhausting both mentally and physically.
I heard that the third baby is, for whatever reason, a bit of a wildcard… but this was not what I had expected.
There have been many things that Emmarie has taught us already, but the main theme is this: Jesus does not follow your expectations.
He cares about them, sure.
But He cares about what’s BEST for you more than making sure you get what you’re expecting.
I expected this girl to come early. Statistically, based on how quickly I got pregnant after having Lo, and my track record with the other two, it was expected that she would be here a week or two ahead of “schedule”.
With a week of contractions under my belt, I walked into my doctor appointment at 38 weeks believing with certainty that I would be on the verge of labor.
I left in a huff of frustration as I was told I wasn’t even close. Barely dilated. Barely effaced. And warned that medical induction was on the table at 41 weeks (HELL NO. Been there. Done that. Done more research on that. Absolutely not no thank you go away. Bye Felicia.)
This was not what I was expecting.
My water broke with my other two.
With Memphis, my labor didn’t start until 14 hours later (so fun…just literally sitting there being a broken water bottle of a person).
With Logan, labor started almost immediately.
And with Emmarie? No water breaking until a half an hour before we met her
So here I was, having on-again-off-again show stopping contractions, and I was slightly convinced that my body didn’t know how to labor without my water breaking.
And I think I was partially right. Partially.
Another week of intensifying contractions and the looming possibility of being medically induced, I did everything in my power to shift things.
But the reality is, if your body isn’t ready, nothing short of a c-section will get that baby out.
Tuesday morning, June 11th, I woke up early in the morning in pain.
The good kind.
The kind you want when you’re wanting a baby to remove themselves from your belly.
I walked a mile to prove it was real… and the contractions stayed patterned.
By the afternoon, Brady and I got our bags packed, kissed our kiddos and headed down to Murrieta to be close to the hospital.
But, yet again, for the fifth or sixth time in two weeks, everything halted.
A few hours later, we walked back into our own home. I crawled into bed furious, frustrated and confused. At this point, I had tried it all to keep labor moving… castor oil, fresh basil, 4-5 glasses of raspberry leaf tea a day, getting frisky, bouncing on a birthing ball like I was in a jolly jump for the first time, and walking miles in a day. It didn’t make sense and it felt hopeless, and I officially threw up my hands in defeat.
She’ll come when she comes. And I fell asleep.
3:35am, June 12th.
I tossed and turned, trying to stay relaxed through them, but generally assuming they would stop.
4:15. Annoyed, I got up, sighed and headed to the bathroom.
If they’re real, relaxing in a bath won’t slow them down…but they would stop, surely.
Though, things were different that morning.
Not the feel of the contractions or even my attitude, but a new sign of labor that meant it was closer than before.
And I cried.
Out of exhaustion and total joy. It would be soon.
5:30. We jumped into the car and headed to the hospital. Contractions every 2-3 minutes apart, 90 seconds each, and BRUTAL.
Surely this was it. Surely we’d be holding our baby girl shortly.
We pulled into the hospital parking lot, and they slowed to a stop. Again.
Internally, I frikin lost my mind. Mentally throwing tables and screaming like a toddler.
Brady and I walked around a park right up the street from the hospital, in hopes of jumpstarting things again, but to no avail.
It was almost 8am. And I looked at my patient husband through angry tears and said, “Let’s go home. This is ridiculous and so stupid. I’m done.”
But he, being smarter than my exhausted and furious pregnant self, suggested we go into the hospital and have them at least make sure the baby and I were okay.
I married a man who trusts his gut, praise Jesus.
We waltzed into the hospital… joking and laughing with each other as we waited to be escorted into the labor and delivery ward.
No contractions. No evidence of labor. Nothing but my huge belly.
Our triage nurse was fabulous… funny, energetic, Canadian, respectful of our birthing plans, and very excited about the Stanley cup being on later that evening.
She ran a few tests, and then checked to see how dilated I was.
I thought certainly I was still at 2-3cm because I wasn’t in constant labor. Because as everyone knows, you’re typically in active labor at 4cm or more… BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT IS NORMAL. #science
Her eyes widened and she said, “You’re really not in pain right now?”
Brady and I shot each other a glance and I answered with a puzzled “No…?”
She laughed and said, “Well girlfriend, you’re almost 7cm dilated.”
Of course I was… because my body obviously doesn’t do things normally.
And because their monitors showed that I was not having a single contraction, we left to go get brunch.
It took all afternoon and nap to finally get my body going again. At 5:30ish, Brady sped our Altima back to the hospital, with me obviously heading into transition (sobbing through each contraction and him coaching me all the way).
They got us into a room quickly, and checked to see how much I progressed. I was at 9cm. Almost there, and so ready to be done.
Expecting to be done quickly.
But instead, I sat in transition at 9cm until about 9pm, when my water finally broke.
4 hours in transition.
For those of you who don’t know… transition is, in my opinion, the hardest stage of labor. It’s intense. It’s excruciating. And its usually the point in labor when the laborer says, “I can’t do this anymore. It’s too much.”
It’s the stage of labor that I had been dreading the most for the last nine months… and again, Jesus laughed at me (much more gently and sympathetically this time)… and I got to sit in the space I was afraid of the most…
For 4 hours.
NOT what I was expecting.
But 38 minutes after my water broke, she was in my arms.
Pink and perfect.
Labor is hard.
It is brutal and excruciating.
But I had an amazing support system with this one…. One that I wasn’t expecting.
I always tell Brady that there is no way I could go through the birthing process without him.
He is my coach in every sense. He is my rock. He is my encourager. He is my voice of reason when my mind begins to turn against the process. And again, he grounded me and loved me so well in all of the labor stages with Emmarie… even though I was a crab for a solid week.
We have an amazing friend who serves as a doula. She came alongside me during the last few days of my labor to help move things along… her advice and her care were what helped to shift my frustration into peace in the last few hours, and her presence in the delivery room helped steady me even more. She was a gift, and I’m so thankful that she stepped in when she did.
Even though we didn’t plan it this way, almost my whole girl tribe was there cheering me on, and helping to turn off unnecessary and incessant monitor beeping (be friends with a nursing student, kids).
And lastly, after months of being on purpose about praying for a nurse who would be a perfect fit for us, we were blessed with the Canadian triage nurse, who then made sure that we were given to someone who fit our natural vibes. And she rocked. This awesome young woman had worked as a nurse in a birthing center up until recently. Even more of a sweet touch, she ended up knowing Brady from a family connection years ago. Small world.
This wasn’t the story I was expecting, but it ended up being so much more than I could have hoped for.
And isn’t that just the way that it goes?
What has lived up to my expectation is this: Emmarie Mae is so loved by so many already.
She is vital to our family, and has brought out the best in all of us.
Emmarie means brave and strong, Mae means pearl or treasure, and Faith means complete trust in the Lord.
If that doesn’t define our interaction with her so far, I’m at a loss.
She is perfectly placed. Perfectly timed. Perfectly perfect.