Let me preface...
Our sweet friends, Holly & Eric, were expecting. Expecting twins, to be exact. A little boy and a little girl. Graham & Evie Claire. How much more perfect could it get?
Holly's pregnancy had been a pretty smooth one. The babies were doing great and I don't think she could have asked for a much better "twin" pregnancy. Graham was being a bit stubborn and had decided to turn himself around backwards - feet first - so Holly's doctor (my doctor, too!) had scheduled a C-section on January 25th, just in case Graham decided not to flip back around.
Holly had asked me if I wanted to take photos during her birth and I happily accepted. Nothing was set in stone yet, but that was the "loose" plan, if you will. Now, we get to the 10th. I get a phone call around lunch time from Holly. She'd been to the doctor and the doctor had decided to take the babies THAT NIGHT due to Holly's high blood pressure. She was understandably unnerved and also did not know for sure if I would be able to take pictures or if she even wanted anyone in the room besides Eric. I just told her to let me know what she wanted me to do and I would be there.
Later in the afternoon, I get a text from Eric letting me know that I would be allowed to take pictures and I should get there about half an hour before the scheduled C-section at 6:00. He also told me that I could even come into the operating room and take photos during the birth. I was thrilled! I had never witnessed a birth. I mean, yes, I've had two kids, but giving birth and watching a birth are two totally different things. Could I even compare it to, say, being up to bat versus watching from the stands? Not really, but you get the idea.
5:30 could not come fast enough. I got to the hospital and all of Holly & Eric's family and friends were there waiting. I got into Holly's labor room and we all waited for the doctor - Dr. Collins - to arrive. Finally, Dr. Collins came in to let Holly know it was time to get the show on the road. I think Holly was relieved actually. She was very uncomfortable by this point, although I think she had been uncomfortable for the past six months, in all actuality. :)
Holly walked to the operating room and Eric and I "suited up" in our fashionable hospital garb - hair net, blue paper booties, H1N1 face mask and some type of beekeeper's outfit with a zipper up the front. We looked good! We stood in that hallway FOREVER. Waiting, waiting, waiting. We danced for all the family and friends in the waiting room when the doors would open. More waiting. We prayed together while we waited. It was a wonderful moment. Then, it was show time.
A nurse, or somebody else (I don't even remember if it was a man or woman at this point) brought us into the operating room. (I would shorten it to OR, but I don't want to sound like I stepped out of Grey's Anatomy.) There was Holly, with her lovely hair net on might I add, ready to bring her babies into the world. They sat Eric and me down on little stools next to Holly. I was bordering on the edge of the curtain, which hides all of the "goings on" and was trying to make sure I did not peek around it for fear of getting kicked out. It was very laid back in that room, which was not something I was used to. I had an emergency C-section with Alex and this was the total and complete opposite of that. I can say that, if there were elevator music playing in that room, it would have seemed appropriate.
Then, out came Evie Claire. And she was beautiful. And so little. And so perfect. One minute later, Graham came into the world. He was Holly's dad, Butch, made over. What a blessing to have that. Holly lost her dad to cancer almost four years ago and to have her son look so much like her dad...she couldn't have asked for a better gift from God.
The room came alive after that. Lots of babies crying and nurses shuffling and weighing and patting and checking and yelling out stats and laughing. There was lots and lots of joy in that room.
Eric and I just stood there. Amazed. His babies were in front of him now and what a miracle they were. He touched Evie Claire's little hand and she grabbed his finger. She was laid back and relaxed. So beautiful and pink. Lovely. I was taking pictures like a crazy person. Graham was crying and the nurses told Eric he was jealous because he hadn't paid him any attention yet. Eric moved over to Graham and he stopped crying and calmed down. More pictures.
The nurses laid the babies next to each other and I took pictures of them. Brother and sister. Minutes old.
Then it was time for Eric to hold both of them together - or so he was told by one of the nurses. We went back over to Holly's side and the nurse handed Eric his children. They were now a family of four. I took their first "family photo" and, oh, what a moment it was!
I held Graham while he put Evie Claire up to Holly's face so they could meet for the first time and feel each other's skin. Then I held Graham up to her for his introductions. There is something Heavenly about a mother meeting her children for the first time. How did I get so lucky to witness it?
Then, it was time to take the babies out to the nursery. That waiting room was probably about to combust at this point. I couldn't go into the nursery with Eric, so I was going to run out into the waiting room, beat Eric to the nursery, and yell to everyone that he was coming with the babies. My plan would have gone down flawlessly if whoever at the nurses' station that was supposed to be opening the automatic doors to enter into the waiting room was paying attention. I was running towards those open doors to go into that waiting room and they, ever so slowly, shut in my face while the family and friends are looking at me. Anyway...the doors FINALLY open and I run out in time to answer the question, "Where are they?!!" with, "They're coming!!" and pointing towards the nursery.
Everyone crowded around the nursery windows to see those babies and the tears flowed. And flowed. It was so beautiful. People hugging each other. Holding each others' hands. Lots of tears and lots of joy and laughter. I will never forget it.
Now, my story ends there. I know Holly & Eric will each have their own stories, if they want to share them. I just wanted to share mine for them, so they will know just how much I appreciated them allowing me to be there for the birth of Graham & Evie Claire. It was something that I will never, ever forget as long as I live. I love them and I was honored to take those pictures. I know they will always cherish them. The same way I will always cherish seeing both of those babies come into this world. What a blessing.
Thank you so much, Holly & Eric. I love you all.
|Holly, Evie Claire & I (Not pictured - Eric & Graham)|