It is with my greatest pleasure to share with you the birth of our daughter, Abigail Mae; born on November 2, 2017 at 11:34am; weighing 7lb 3oz; measuring 19 1/4 inches. We are over the moon in love with this baby. No words can describe the love and gratefulness we feel to our birth mom. She is braver than I could ever describe. I can never thank her enough for this amazing gift she has given us in our daughter.
Abigail means “a father’s joy” and we found this name to be so fitting for our journey of infertility to get here and what God had in store for us the whole time. She has brought us so much joy since the moment we knew she would be ours and even more since she has been here. Mae comes from me, sort of. My nickname in middle and high school was Mandimae, and often my friends shortened it to Mae. I have always loved this name, loved it when my friends called me it, and thought it would be so cute for a daughter of mine one day; but I always thought I would be an all boy mom, so I never thought I would have the chance to use it! Levi’s middle name is Josiah, which is a derivative of Joshua, so in a kind-of-sort-of way, both of our kids middle names come from us.
A lot of people asked me if the 10 days have been hard; and I said before, during, and now that I could not bring her home and worry. I could not bring her home and not fully commit my heart to this precious baby and not see her as mine. The second she was born (I was there), I knew she was meant to be with us. Our birth mom gave us the greatest gift in allowing up the privilege to raise this sweet baby.
For a photographer who is constantly on social media, the last 12 days have been so hard for me not sharing that she’s here or any of her pictures! But here she is! I’ll share another post her birth story and the amazing day, but for now, I just want to share some pictures of her from the last week, including a few from her birthday thanks to my amazing second shooter, Ben. He started his own business this year, Ben Lipford Photography, focusing on lifestyle sessions that capture people in the moment living their lives. He is hoping to get more into adoption and birth stories, so I was so excited about the chance for him to come to the hospital. I am so grateful for him being there. He graciously sent me a few preview pictures to share today. I cannot wait to see more!
Thank you all for walking this journey with us. God is good and wonderful and had a perfect plan even in the midst of our sorrow and waiting. I am so thankful to see how it has all played out and in awe of His perfect plan that He designed from the beginning. I said this before and I’ll say it again, this child of ours is not a backup plan or plan B. She is why He told us not to adopt originally and why He told us no to fertility interventions. He was waiting for her to be ready to join our family. He knew. And for that, I am so grateful.
Levi’s first time meeting Abigail was at home when she was 3 days old. Because of the logistics at the hospital, he wasn’t allowed to meet her until we got home. I had a hard time with that. Emotionally, I felt like I was being robbed of something that most families get to experience with older siblings. All I wanted was for him to get to meet her. It wasn’t until two days later that we told him via Facetime that she was actually here. He was so thrilled to have baby sister finally home! He has jumped into the brother roll amazingly. He LOVES helping out with his baby sister. He wakes up in the morning and first thing he asks for is her. I even told him that he was going to get to sleep over with his cousin this weekend and he said he didn’t want to because he didn’t want to leave baby sister!
A few days later, Levi got to hold her. When we got home from the hospital of course he was sick with a croupy cold. We waited until he was better to be able to finally hold her. He was so excited to get to hold her and kiss on her. My heart could not have felt more joy in that moment watching my two children together. He loves his sister so fiercely already that I know they will have an amazing bond.
Levi has seriously been a big help. He has taken to being a big brother like he was born to do it. He is patient when I have to take care of her. He wants to help out in any way he can from picking out her diaper (he loves the Cookie Monster on her Pampers Swaddlers) to pushing her stroller to helping me burp her to fetching clothes or burp clothes. He helped me feed her yesterday for the first time and it was so wonderful seeing how much joy he had in getting to do that. I mean, just look at his smile on his face! You would think that it was Christmas morning with how happy he is. Oh my heart. I love it so much!
I’ll be back in the next week or so to share her birth story and more pictures from her day. God is good. We are so blessed.