A father's birth story
Not every birth goes according to plan.
Not every birth is the same.
I believe it's a metaphor for children in general: no two are the same.
Rachel Pearson would be an expert on this subject. She and her husband, Seth, have four gorgeous children, each with their own unique birth story and personality.
The Pearsons thought they were done having kids, but after Seth had a dream so vivid and real about one more baby, they took it as a sign. They needed one more child to complete their family. Shortly after that dream, they were expecting their fifth baby.
This time, Rachel's birth plan was simple: Pray for a healthy baby and one last chance at a natural delivery.
So often you hear the debate about whether cesarean sections are considered "giving birth." The most recent social media drama has been a text conversation between a birth photographer and soon-to-be mom about her C-section not being a real birth. Personally, that's all a bunch of hogwash.
Rachel can attest to that. She's delivered both naturally and by cesarean - twice each.
For this birth, Rachel went straight to her most trusted birth advisors to help her achieve her goals, the Right Hand Doulas.
When labor began, Rachel's doula Tonya called me. "Expect the call about dinner time." Rachel labored throughout the day at home, fully expecting to see her sweet baby that day.
And then it stopped.
A week went by with no word of heading to the hospital. Rachel labored off and on that week, but each time, the contractions stopped.
Finally, the evening of Sunday, January 22nd, Rachel was in active labor and headed to the hospital.
"Come now. Hurry," read Tonya's text. It was immediately followed by another: "Take your time."
Remember how I said not every birth goes according to plan?
Well, they don't.
Rachel needed an emergency C-section and was rushed back to the operating room as soon as she arrived at the hospital.
Seth was left to wait for both his wife and new baby in Rachel's delivery room. None of us were allowed into the operating room. Thankfully, a nurse in the OR was one of Rachel's good friends from high school. As soon as their baby was safe and delivered, Seth's phone started chirping. The nurse had sent photos she took with her phone so Seth could see his brand new baby boy. We quietly celebrated while we waited for both the baby and Rachel to be brought back to the room.
And then Samual arrived! And this birth photographer began to tell a different birth story! The story of the love between a father and son. Just the two of them.
Immediately Seth's face lit up as he held his new baby for the first time. As they waited for Rachel to be brought back to the room, Seth and Samuel bonded. Seth rocked him back and forth, singing to him, and saying his name so softly over and over. Samuel. Samuel.
For this child, we have prayed. Samuel 1:27
Few fathers get the opportunity to immediately bond with their new babies like Seth did. It was one of the most precious moments I have ever captured.
Seth spent the next hour just staring at his beautiful baby boy. After a bit, Rachel was brought back to the room. As she woke up from the anesthesia, Seth held Samuel up so she could see.
She held up her fingers - one, the two and two - 1/22. Samuels birthdate. Then she pointed to her wrist. Seth told her 10:55 p.m. Rachel smiled. Her new baby had arrived, safe and healthy. Just as God had planned.
At the end of the day, how your sweet newborn baby arrives doesn't matter. The only thing that defines birth is the love and excitement of a newborn addition and the wonderful blessing to you and your family. No matter which way your precious baby was born, it will always be the greatest love story of your life.
Welcome to the world, Samuel Wayne. You are loved.
Want to see more of Samuel's Birth Story? Check out the full slideshow.