Our Birth Story | Part One

Welcome back! It has been too long, friends- almost 8 months to be exact. It wasn’t my intention to be quiet for so long, but I’ve been soaking up motherhood and allowing myself much more grace when it comes to what I ‘should’ do vs. what I’m able to do.

It feels so good to be back though, writing, in my happy place. I’ve been wanting to put our birth story in writing for SO long, knowing the longer I wait, the more my memory might fail me. So today I carved out some time to get these long awaited thoughts out of my head and into writing- mostly for me, but also for Lowen, and a little bit for all of you: that read, supported, and encouraged us through our entire journey!

So many of you (so many!) have asked for a blog update. I realized a lot of my followers aren’t necessarily on Facebook or follow me there, and so you’ve been left in the dark for a long time! To be honest, we haven’t shared our birth story with many people at all, as everything after birth took precedence.

So, today is the day! But it’s not the only day…I’ll be splitting this up into three parts.

Today, I bring you Part One.

[Before I start, I want to preface these next few posts with this: the adoption triad is a sacred relationship. There are things we don’t share because we want Lowen to know them first. There are things we don’t share because we respect Mama A. But we DO share some things, because as the third part of the triad, our experiences matter too.

With that being said, this is OUR birth story, from OUR perspective. We don’t say that with disregard for Mama A or Lowen, but we say it with even higher respect for protecting their sides of their story and only sharing what we went through as the adoptive parents.]

Wednesday morning- March 10, 2021- we woke up with the biggest adventure of our life ahead of us. Our flight to Wichita, Kansas was scheduled to leave Grand Rapids at noon and we were excited to sleep in and have a slow morning before the excitement of the days ahead.

Little did we know what God had in store for us that day or in the days ahead. If we did, I don’t think I would’ve gotten out of bed that morning!

Our relaxing morning quickly turned to panic as our shower drain clogged and started leaking into the basement. My mom was going to pick us up in an hour to take us to the airport and we had a catastrophe on our hands that we had no idea how to address. Thoughts swirled through our head: Do we still go? Do we miss our flight? Who do we call? How much damage is there? What will THIS cost us!? Is our house ruined?! An already stressful situation was made more intense as the minutes crept closer to us needing to board a plane.

We frantically called our parents and they reassured us that we needed to GO and they would take care of everything. (God was already testing my Type A personality and reminding me that I needed to let go of MY plans!)

My mom picked us up and we left our house with water dripping in the basement and sewer backed up in our shower. We pulled out of the driveway and laughing I said, ‘Well- we got the bad stuff out of the way- the rest of our trip should be a breeze!’

We arrived at the airport, boarded the plane, had a layover in Atlanta, and arrived in Wichita around 5pm. Our flights went so smoothly and we both had a surprising amount of peace. There was nothing we could do about our house and we were hours away from meeting our son (his induction was planned for Friday morning)! The stress had quickly turned back to excitement.

Upon arriving, we got our rental car (which they upgraded to a mid-size SUV, another blessing in disguise!) and we headed to our Airbnb. It was the same one we stayed at when we visited in December so it felt good heading somewhere familiar. After we unpacked and settled in a little, we picked up Mama A and went out for dinner.

I about choked when Greg suggested Carrabba’s (thinking this would blow our ‘food’ budget for the trip in one night-again, laughable knowing what happens later…) but Carrabba’s is where we ended up and we had a wonderful time laughing and discussing plans for the days ahead.

After we dropped Mama A off, Greg and I went to get all our groceries for the next two weeks. Our plan was to stock up the Airbnb so when we brought baby ‘home’ we wouldn’t have to worry about getting out again. (God must’ve been laughing…)

We slept in Thursday morning (it was SO nice to have this day between arriving and birth to relax/prepare/get our bearings) and we picked up Mama A to bring her to her last appointment. She invited me to go in with her and I was able to hear Lowen’s heartbeat for the first time. I didn’t realize how breathtaking that would be. The last time I heard a baby’s heartbeat was with our first pregnancy before I miscarried. It was the most beautiful full circle moment and reminder of God’s faithfulness through this all.

The doctor assured us everything looked great and he expected us to have a baby by noon the next day!

We left the doctor and went to Walmart so Mama A could pick up some last minute things before heading to the hospital in the morning. We dropped her off around 4pm as we decided we all needed a night to relax and get to bed early before the big day tomorrow.

Greg and packed our hospital bag, had the pack-n-play set up, and made sure everything was ready for the morning. We went to bed on time but I barely slept. Between Greg’s snoring (I’m glad one of us got a good night’s sleep!) and the rotating excitement and anxiety, I slept maybe 4 hours.

Friday morning, March 12, our alarms went off at 5am. We were going to meet our son TODAY! We showered, packed up the car, and arrived at the hospital for our 6am check-in. It was cold and POURING rain.

We went to the labor and delivery floor and they got us all settled in a room. We were SO fortunate that they allowed both Greg and I to be with Mama A. They got her comfortable, started the induction, and her doctor was still expecting a baby by noon.

We spent the morning chatting, laughing, and keeping Mama A’s mind off contractions. It was such a calm, dreary morning and it felt like an ordinary day hanging out with Mama A- except we were sitting in a hospital hours away from meeting our son.

Things were progressing slowly. Noon came and went with no sign of baby anytime soon. He had his own agenda. We decided to quick go grab some lunch as we didn’t know when the next time we’d be able to eat would be. We ran to the car in the pouring rain and grabbed some Wendy’s from across the street. By the time we got back to the hospital room it looked like we had showered with our clothes on. We were DRIPPING wet!

The afternoon seemed to crawl by. Texts from our families: no baby yet?! They’d rotate Mama A from side to side hoping it would convince baby it was time to move. We’d go walk the halls when we got restless and refill Mama A’s ice cup. We’d watch the rain drops slowly drip down the window and merge with other rain drops creating a river down the glass.

Mama A kept teasing us that this was only the start of what would be a stubborn child. Little did we know!

By 5:30 pm we were beginning to wonder if we’d actually have a baby today. I decided to stretch my legs and go to the bathroom. I no sooner got to the bathroom and my phone rang. It was Mama A: “Get back here now!”

I never peed so fast in my life. 🙂

I rushed back to the room and the nurse told us she could see hair. It was GO TIME.

Greg stepped out into the hall and I assumed my position in the chair by the bassinet ready to receive baby for skin-to-skin. (As much as I wanted to cut the cord and see baby being born, I also wanted to be conscious for skin to skin. :))

I sat there with a million emotions coursing through my veins. My knuckles were turning white as I gripped the chair. There were doctors and nurses busily doing their unique jobs. I kept hearing, ‘Push! Push!’

After the third push, there was a cry.

“He’s here!” someone shouted.

Uncontrollable tears fell down my face.

Lowen Wesley Louis entered the world that dreary Friday evening at 5:39 p.m. and our lives were forever changed.