As I mentioned in my last post, my husband and I took a 13 week class last fall called “Financial Peace University” (it’s an amazing course and I would recommend it to everyone!) In that group there were 4 couples…by the end of the class, half of the group was pregnant! Chris and Angela announced their pregnancy not long after Ryan and Stephanie! I was thrilled at the thought that I might actually get to shoot these two births back to back! This was Angela’s 3rd pregnancy and with her first 2 boys she, had c-sections, so this time around Isla was scheduled to make her debut on Aug 8th, as it got closer to her scheduled delivery day the thought crossed all of our minds that this little girl wasn’t going to wait until then.. Angela was feeling a lot more activity than she ever had with her first 2 pregnancies, and it was beginning to look like there was no more room for Isla to grow! When I got the call from Angela at 7 am, 5 days before her scheduled c-section, our suspicions were confirmed.. she was indeed contracting regularly. Isla was on her way and no one was stopping her!
I was hopeful I was going to get to be in the operating room with Chris and Angela…up until then, I had been able to photograph my last 4 c-sections, but unfortunately, this time, it was a no go. I had never attended a c-section at this particular hospital before, so we were unsure of what was going to happen, we kept getting different answers. Chris tried so hard to get the staff to budge, but we had no luck, they were only going to allow one person in the room. I think we were all pretty bummed. Angela and I have been very good friends for nearly 5 years now, and I was more disappointed that as a friend, I could not be with her. Thankfully, everything happened very quickly…Isla was born at 9:44am and I got to start photographing her just about an hour later! She was well worth the wait in the lobby! I was so anxious to meet her, as were her 2 big brothers and grandparents!
Before I share my Q&A with Angela, I wanted to share with you, this beautiful and personal letter Chris wrote to his new daughter for this post…
(Writing is just one of Chris’ many talents, he is also an amazing Illustrator and Web Designer as well! He and his brother are the co-authors of several award-winning books for kids of all ages. Check out all of his work here!)
My Dearest Isla,
I’ve only known you for a month, but a moment would have been enough for you to steal my heart. There are pictures to prove this, snapshots that are meant to preserve our first moments together. In them, I am holding you out proudly for your brothers to see, but even in this happiest of moments you can tell…I long to protect you. Yes, it is clear to me now; you had me tied up from the start. Wrapped around your tiny finger (or so the saying goes).
How many times since then have I whispered, “I love you”, or made up a lullaby as you slept in my arms? How often have I stared into your wide-awake eyes pondering your deeper thoughts? You have probably heard me pronounce my love a thousand times by now. No doubt you will hear it countless times in years to come. It comes so naturally. I hope you never tire of hearing it, for I will never cease to say it. Always and forever, my love will be here.
You have changed so much in the time we have been together. You are smiling now when you dream, finding a new voice and even forming your opinions about your mother, your brothers and me. We’re a crazy bunch, I know. It can be intimidating at times. Just be who you were created to be, you don’t have to impress us – we’re all wild about you.
Still, there is something wonderfully magic about you and I. It is a bond of love, given from heaven, which is unlike any other I have ever known. When you are grown and have children of your own, you may know it in part, but you will never know the whole of it. It is the love of a father for his daughter – strong and soft, protective and tender. It is a sacred trust I will never betray. How do I protect you, and share you at the same time? How do I let you grow and hold you tight?
I know that girls need their daddies and I will do my best to be there every step of the way. I will guide you toward the right choices, but ultimately they will be yours to make. Just know that you never have to make them alone. I am here to help you. I will fight for you, and stand with you. I will be your biggest defender.
Finally, I pray that you will find your faith not in me, but in the one who has entrusted you to my care. He is a father who cares, who trusts, who waits, who serves, who makes great sacrifices and longs for your affection in return. Everything I hope to be. He will never leave you, and his love will guide you through the toughest of times.
By the grace of God, my love for you will lay the foundation you need to grow into the perfect woman for Him. A treasure to one day be shared with another man who is brave enough to earn your love. Someone who will protect you, keep you, and sacrifice for you as I will do. Until then, know that you are safe here in my arms, that your mommy and I pray for you every day, and that always and forever my love will be true.
…and now, Angela’s turn!
How did you tell your husband you were pregnant? I took a digital pregnancy test early one morning while he was still sleeping. I woke him up and showed him the test that read “Pregnant.”
What was the first thing you went out and bought for the baby? We didn’t buy anything until after we had our ultrasound. After the ultrasound we took our two boys (ages 6 &3) shopping to purchase something for their little sister. We purchased lots of pink that day! Everything from cute little dresses to blankets and dolls. I think the boys were enjoying it more than I was!
Did you have a nickname for your baby while you were pregnant? No nicknames, just baby.
Where did you deliver? Good Sam
Did you know sex of baby or did you wait to find out? I am far too impatient to wait until the birth to find out the gender. I splurged with this pregnancy and purchased one of those gender prediction tests to see if we could find out the gender earlier than the normal 20 weeks. If you are thinking about purchasing one, don’t waste your money! We couldn’t tell if it had turned orange or green. Really? Orange and Green don’t really look anything alike, but this test seemed to show as an orange/green combination. Just our luck! We were lucky enough to find out at our 20 week ultrasound that we were having a girl. I was in shock when the ultrasound tech told us. I admit it…after two boys I cried when I heard we were having a girl. I was still in shock. I went the rest of my pregnancy knowing we were expecting our little princess, but still couldn’t believe it. In fact, my first words, after her birth, were “It is a girl, right?”
Did you have any unusual cravings/aversions? Early on in my pregnancy all I wanted to eat was Mac n’ Cheese. As morning sickness hit the only thing I could keep down was iced tea, so I drank it the rest of my pregnancy.
What do you like best about being pregnant? Unfortunately, I am not one of those women that enjoys being pregnant. I am extremely sick when pregnant and require medications to function and try and keep some food down. Being that sick for your entire pregnancy makes it really hard to enjoy the pregnancy. I tried to stay focused on the positives though. I feel extremely blessed that God chose to entrust these beautiful children to us! What a blessing to have 3 great children!!
What do you like least about being pregnant? It’s gotta be the morning sickness…