After Levi was born, I was able to get his birth story typed and posted within 4 weeks of him being born. Let’s just say things are a little busier now! Not only do I have 2 kids to manage, but I haven’t been able to take a true maternity leave with her like I did with him. Since we found out about her at 19 weeks, I already had a number of weddings scheduled that I would have turned down had I actually been pregnant. Anyways, all that to be said, I have been a little busy and haven’t had a chance to sit down and type this post.
In preparing for her birth, I knew it would be a completely different experience than I had with Levi. 1) being that I wasn’t physically having a baby this time and 2) that (hopefully) she wouldn’t end up in the NICU like her brother did with meconium aspiration. I knew what to expect when it came to the delivery of a child, but being on the other end of it this time, I had no idea what to expect, how things would go at the hospital, the emotions I would feel, etc.
Abigail’s due date was November 1 and her birth mom’s doctor set up an induction date of November 2. The convenient part of all of that is that we were able to take Levi to his grandparents and not have to call last minute for someone to cover him for us. I did cry when I dropped him off for the last time as an only child. It was a crazy moment thinking it was the last time that I would see him as my only child. I had wanted another baby for so long and of course we couldn’t wait to meet Abigail, but there was some emotion in saying goodbye and knowing he wasn’t going to be my baby anymore. If you’ve had a second child, you probably know what I’m talking about.
We woke up early on the 2nd excited and nervous for what the day would hold. We got to the hospital at 6am and met Ben (my second shooter) there. He is still working for me, but is also branching out to do his own photography now. He is so talented in lifestyle and story telling photography. He blessed us with an amazing gift of being there to capture the day for us. Originally I had planned on having him in the waiting area and only with us to capture pictures, but Abigail’s birth mom was incredible and told us that she would love to have him there to capture Abigail’s birthday. We even sent her some of the pictures afterwards with her in them so that she could keep them as memories for herself.
We met with her in her room for a while and then headed out into the waiting room. I came in and out over the next few hours. There were some times when the hospital was talking with her and I couldn’t be in there. I had a lot of emotions during that time. Lots of anxiety in waiting and wondering how much longer until she was going to be here. I wasn’t expecting to feel so anxious or sick to my stomach. I texted my sister (who adopted her son 3 years ago) and asked her if I was feeling some of the things she did at the time and she told me it was all emotions she felt as well.
And then Abigail’s birth mom called me at 11am and said her water broke and for me to come back. Josh and Ben stayed in the waiting area. I gave him a quick hug and we got in a quick prayer together before I headed back.
Things progressed very quickly after that. Once I got into the room, she began to feel pressure like it was time to push. They checked her and she was 10cm and ready to have our baby! They called the midwife and prepped the room for delivery. God gave me another sweet answer to prayer that I didn’t even pray that day in the fact that a good family friend was the head nurse at the hospital that day and happened to be in the room to help with the delivery that day. Y’all, odds are almost impossible that this happened with as many delivery rooms and babies that were being born that day. God orchestrated it and planned it for me to have someone I knew to be there. Her presence alone brought me comfort, especially since Josh wasn’t in the room with me.
I texted Josh at 11:14 and said that she was about to push. Y’all, I cannot tell you how amazing it was to help coach and encourage Abigail’s birth mom and watch my daughter be born. She was amazing. Three pushes in less than 2 minutes and Abigail was born. I still remember watching her head come out. It was incredible to get to see my daughter be born. Words cannot even describe the emotions I felt in that moment. I texted Josh at 11:24 that she was here! Born at 11:24am weighing 7lb 3oz and 19 1/4 inches long.
They cleaned her up quickly and within about 15 minutes, Josh and Ben were able to come in. I was so emotional with lots of happy and even sad tears. Happy that our daughter was here, but sad as well in the events of the day and what it meant for Abigail’s birth mom. Adoption is a beautiful thing with lots of happy and sad emotions as you can probably imagine.
The next moments are ones that make me tear up every time I see them. If you tear up at stuff like this, get some tissues, because these pictures really need no commentary as you can see all of the emotions I felt at that time.
We spent the next hours having her weighed and cleaned. We got to feed her and snuggle with her while we waited to be sent up to the nursery area. We didn’t get a room for ourselves and Abigail and that was a little hard on me emotionally knowing we wouldn’t get a private space for us and that we would have to leave her that night at the hospital; but the Lord in His gracious provision set me up emotionally 4 years ago to be okay with it in the fact that we had to leave Levi at the hospital and never had him in our room either due to his NICU stay. In fact, the next day, she was in the NICU for a short time to be monitored. I truly believe the Lord had prepared my heart for all of it with our journey with Levi. I even ran into one of our favorite NICU nurses from Levi’s stay when I was up there with Abigail!
Our next couple of days were spent in the hospital holding on and snuggling with our sweet baby. I loved the bonding time we had with her and the family and friends that were able to come and visit her. We left the hospital on Sunday and got to have Levi meet her for the first time. I’ll be honest, that was a hard part of the hospital stay in that Levi wasn’t seen as a sibling and wasn’t allowed to visit her at the hospital. I felt robbed of the moment that so many of my friends get in bringing their older child to meet their new sibling. But the Lord settled my heart and we got a sweet moment when we got home on Sunday despite the fact that Levi had a cold and couldn’t hold her until a few days later!
One last part of the story, and this part is really cool. If you know me personally or have followed my story for any period of time, you know that my best friend was pregnant at the same time as Abigail’s birth mom. In fact, their due dates were one day apart; Abigail due on the 1st and Amy on the 2nd. Amy had an induction date set for herself on the 3rd. Well funny story… Amy calls me the evening of the 1st to tell me she was in labor. I just laughed out loud because based on her labor patterns at the time I knew that meant that our kids would be sharing birthdays. And sure enough, her son was born at 7am, just a few hours before Abigail! Let’s just say, though, that this isn’t just a funny part of the story. It is such a God part of the story. Amy’s 4 year old son and Levi are 2 months apart in age and best of friends. We both thought it would be awesome to be able to do round 2 together, but our infertility kind of screwed that up. But when we found out the due dates were so close together, we were so thrilled to know we would get to have our second babies grow up together as well! Well, the fact that these two babies ended up having the same birthday was God showing me how much He truly cares about the desires of our hearts. I have shared on the blog before, but this desire for our second children to grow up together was such a desire of my heart and the fact that the Lord knew that desire and answered in such a specific and amazing way only reaffirmed to me that Abigail was meant to be ours the whole time. Josh got to hang out with Amy’s husband, Jonathan, for a while in the waiting room after his son was born.
This week, the Lord has really revealed to me some truths about our waiting. During this time, I have said He had us wait in this season because SHE was the one He had planned for our family the whole time. Had we stepped in and done something in our timing, we would not have her and have this incredible story to share. We would not be blessed with this amazing opportunity to share our story and hers. But this week, through our Bible study of Romans, we have been talking about suffering and it being used for good. I’ve realized that He had us wait not only for her; but in my suffering and pain, He wanted to use me to bring Him glory. He used me during this time of hurt and sorrow to share my heart and be an encouragement to others. I became a vessel to be used to help others with second infertility and even primary infertility. I am so thankful that the Lord saw fit to ask me to walk this journey to be able to share our story to others.
Our adoption finalization is next week, so keep us in your prayers as we anticipate this exciting day for our family. Abigail has been a Mitchell in our hearts since the day she was born, but next week, we get to make it official! Our story isn’t over here. We don’t know what the Lord has in store for us for the future and potential future children, but we are still dealing with infertility and I still have to have my endometriosis surgery. I will continue posting my “Patiently Waiting” posts even though we are done waiting for now since a lot of the story is unfinished. Thank you to all who have loved, supported, prayed for us during this time. We felt the prayers and love and support. I hope and pray that my story has been one of encouragement to those waiting.