In the dark of night, my phone chirped. It was 1:45 a.m.  “We’re ready for you to be here.”

It was time.

Kristen had been laboring off and on throughout the day. She had come up to Fort Worth from Killeen two weeks early to deliver her precious bundle at her parents home, surrounded by those she loved the most.  Her husband Chip remained behind until he got the call from Kristen to come up – the baby was coming.

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Tonya, her sister and doula, kept me posted throughout the day.  She knew this baby was coming that night.  “She’s 8cm” read her next text. Tonya met me at the door when I arrived and led me to where Kristen was to deliver.

As I walked into the house, it was dark and quiet.  Kristen’s family quietly waited in the kitchen; midwives, Tonya and Katie, busily bustled, preparing for the arrival of Baby Jovie; Wyatt, Kristen & Chip’s first born, lay soundly sleeping in a room across the house.  I picked up my camera and made my way into the dark room lit only by the soft glow of a Christmas tree.

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Kristen rocked back and forth, stretching and working through her contractions, her husband nearby for support.  “That skirt makes you look like one of those MMA girls,” he quietly joked.  Kristen cracked a half smile through a contraction.

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Kristen slipped carefully into the tub so meticulously set up and prepped by her doulas.  Watching her through the last moments of labor was inspiring.  Her only pain control being her faith and deep focused breathing, Kristen made natural delivery seem effortless.

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She was powerful, and her movements instinctive. With her doulas by her side and Chip waiting quietly at the ready, she pushed through her last contractions.

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At 3:10 a.m., beautiful baby Jovie Marie slipped through the water, her mother’s hands ready to catch her.  The doulas helped baby Jovie into her mother’s arms as she rested back against the side of the soft tub where Chip was waiting anxiously to comfort them.

At 7 pounds, 9 ounces, and 20.5 inches long, Jovie Marie was here.

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