We’d been texting since the Thursday before because she knew she was close to going into labor, she just didn’t know when it would actually happen. We were praying it would happen on Friday so that I could hopefully get down to Columbia and back before needing to leave for a wedding on Saturday morning. But, as always, God has much different plans and they are far better and more wonderful than we could think or imagine!
Last Tuesday morning, June 14, my phone rang at 3:56am and when I saw Karen’s name, I don’t think I even said hi… I just asked, “Is it time?!?” And it was! She had been woken up a few hours before with contractions and they were steadily getting longer and closer together so she called me as they were on their way to the hospital. So I got up, brushed my teeth, got dressed and grabbed my already packed camera bag and headed out the door for Columbia at 4:30am. The good news was that there was zero traffic that time of the morning! And the better news is that I found an open McDonald’s at 5:30am so that I could get a frappé with coffee in it so that I could have some caffeine!
When I walked into their room in the Maternal Assessment Ward, Brad’s mom and step-dad were there along with Brad and Karen’s son. Thankfully it was a large room so all of us fit easily. But it wasn’t long before they moved her to labor and delivery. And Superwoman Karen said she would be ok walking over there (me? I would be the wimp that wanted a wheelchair for any kind of movement!). But what she discovered was that standing during contractions was actually easier than sitting or laying down. So she was thankful to have figured that out at least!
I’ll share more as you scroll through the photos, but I just want to say again how amazing it is to be in a delivery room to capture the birth of a new baby. To know that God created women’s bodies to grow new life and deliver them is so incredible that it still makes me cry. Every.Single.Time. And sometimes, I sob. Like I did when sweet Lucas was born. But I guess that’s what happens when you’ve known the woman delivering the baby since she was 10 and have walked through a few seasons of life with her.
Karen and Brad… thank you for asking me to capture Lucas’s birth. I loved every moment of being there and I hope you treasure these photos until you’re too old to see them clearly anymore :-) Much love to your precious family of 4!!
I didn’t realize how strange it would be to photograph in a different hospital!
But it was fun learning my way around and how different hospitals do things. One thing didn’t change though… the nurses and doctors were all so amazing and welcoming to me! I always try and stay out of their way and to help as much as I can but when they are kind in return, it makes my job even easier and more fun :-)
It was so early, but no one was bothered by it because we were all too excited!
Brad was by Karen’t side for EVERY single contraction.
Karen’s mom drove up from Atlanta and made it there around 7am, but I know she didn’t want to miss a thing either!
Her dad wasn’t able to come up until later, but he was on the phone with Karen and her mom staying up to date as much as he could be.
We were about to move to her new room when a contraction hit :-)
And then another one came halfway down the hall.
Even before her epidural, Karen was laughing and smiling and making the most of her pain because she was so excited to meet her baby boy!
This picture of Karen breathing through a contraction is so beautiful to me. Not to mention how you can’t even tell she’s pregnant ;-)
Her family and Brad’s family were hanging out in the waiting room and making the most of being together and the extra time they had.
Brad’s sister and nieces were watching Zootopia!
I know it has something to do with iron, but crushed/Zaxby’s/Sonic-type ice is SO delicious when you’re pregnant!
This book… “On the Night You Were Born”.
I still can’t read it to Catherine without crying. But I love how Karen and Brad brought it to the hospital for the doctors and nurses to sign for Lucas. They also had his footprints put into the inside cover! How sweet is that??
Big brother Jimmy came in every so often to check on his mom and baby brother. Seriously one of the sweetest things in the world.
Denise was giving Karen one last hug and kiss before pushing began.
They had just celebrated their 1st anniversary the day before, so I’d say this was a pretty incredible anniversary present!
I love this photo because so many things are happening at once! Karen is holding her hand over her mouth to stifle her laughter while the nurse is telling her to stop laughing because each time she does, the baby would come out a little more! And I’m pretty sure Brad had no idea how to help or what to do, but he was ready for whatever was going to happen! But I’m really not kidding… Karen almost laughed this baby into the world!
All the heart eyes…
I think the doctor was shocked because Karen pushed maybe twice and the baby was here!
All the smiles, kisses and tears (and quiet sobs from me!)!
Karen’s first words about her new son were about how cute he was!
Lucas Bradley was 6lbs 6oz and 19.75in. long. And full of all kinds of cuteness!
Watching Karen watch Brad become a father was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen.
Love at first sight. For all three of them.
Happy early Father’s Day, Brad!
And before long, it was time for Jimmy to meet his little brother!
And I’m getting choked up all over again posting these!
And this one is almost as good as the first! Jimmy couldn’t contain his excitement over his new brother!
Nor could anyone else that had been waiting to meet him!
The grandmothers :-)
His footprints went onto his birth certificate and then into his book!