I’d been eagerly anticipating the call to attend this birth. I woke up on Friday morning, and knowing I had a little drive for a personal errand an hour and half away, I had a gut feeling I should check with Chani before I left, just to be sure. She texted back that she was fine and the doctor anticipated inducing by her due date a week from Friday if she didn’t go into labor before. She seemed to think she was light years away from having this baby. So, I went on my errand and had a lovely Friday afternoon, but couldn’t shake the feeling that birth was imminent. My phone bleeped loudly at 4:38 am on Saturday morning. It was Eric. Chani had been laboring since 2:30 an they were going to head to the hospital. I LOVE the sound of an excited Dad making this call. It always make me smile.
I kept in touch with the all morning. She arrived to the hospital not too far along, as is typical for first time moms. Eric told me they had a bit and would wait to have me come. I checked in with him about every two hours. They walked and did what they could to get labor started. Eventually, the doctor decided to augment labor a bit to get things moving and broke Chani’s water. I knew I had a couple hours, but not nearly as long as they thought. I told Eric, “oh I’ve seen moms go from a 5-10 in 2 hours!” Thank goodness I left when I did at 2pm, because it took me a shocking two hours to drive to Plano from Keller because of wretched construction in Grapevine. I arrived at about 4pm. Eric tried to send me to the mall thinking they still had lots of time and Chani was going to rest. I told him, I wasn’t leaving the hospital, but I would go make myself scarce so she could nap. Right as I was walking out the nurse came to do a check, so I waited with Eric’s mom outside the door to see what the status was. Yep! She was a 9.5cm and it wouldn’t be long. So much for that nap!
Eric changed clothes into his “baby daddy” clothes and sprayed on a little cologne. He wanted to look handsome for his girls! Chani seemed to like the familiar scent of her husband. You could feel the excitement and nerves starting to build.
Then, the last bit of waiting. Chani sat there considering what she was about to do. Going through what all moms do with questions of “can I do this?” “Will I know how to do this?” “What will it feel like?” Meanwhile, Eric caught up on some hunting literature!
Chani and Eric’s family came in for the last well wishes and had some tender moments. Chani begged them not to make her cry.
Aunt Shawntel couldn’t make it into town for the birth, but was there on “Team Tylie” in spirit. The family said some quick prayers and I took the last photo of Eric and Chani as family of two. It was go time!
Sunglasses on the table were reminder that this was indeed an August baby!
Chani was for sure doing a “max workout” as Eric referred to it and was getting very hot. Eric instinctively grabbed a magazine to fan her.
Then, a nice cold rag. This not only cooled her down a bit, but had a bit of a calming effect. The questions were swirling in her head “is what I am doing working?” She went ahead and requested a mirror so she could see her progress.
This moment was the first that really made me cry. After getting the mirror, Chani commented “ooooh that isn’t so pretty…” to which Eric replied, “honey, you are pushing our baby out of there, it’s the MOST BEAUTIFUL thing I have EVER seen.” With the smile you see below on his face. She looked at him and just whispered, “I love you.”
This was it. The nurse thought she was only one push away and Chani finally saw how close she was and smiled. They called the Dr. and waited patiently for him to suit up and get this done.
Not much in this world beats the look on a mom’s face when she realizes she just did it. She brought her baby earthside.
Tylie Faith- 6lbs, 13 oz, 19 and 3/4 inches long, born at 6:36 pm
Sweet girl was having some trouble clearing the fluid in her lungs at first and it got a bit intense there for a few minutes. My heart just went to Chani especially because I know she must’ve felt so helpless. Those 4 feet between the baby’s bed and hers must have felt like miles.
They decided the baby would need to go to the nursery for more help. I went to get the grandmas so that when Eric attended the baby, Chani wouldn’t be alone. They handed her the baby and she began tearfully telling her daughter that things would be ok and to be strong.
Then… then the most amazing thing happened. The family prayed over sweet Tylie. They prayed with all the faith they had in the hearts. And then…. Tylie stopped her grunting. She began to instantly improve. The “goodbye” got longer as the nurses were suddenly not in any rush to take her.
Then, they told Chani, she could stay. They would monitor in her room instead. She would be able to do skin-to-skin and as breathing improved may even get to nurse. God heard their prayers. It was one of the most powerful things I’ve witnessed a family go through. I happily gave Chani and Eric the BIRTHday cake I brought and kissed them good bye.
If you’d like to see the images (plus a few more) in slideshow form, check it out here: http://vimeo.com/user20284377/tyliebirthstory
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