Birth stories, God's hand, & sweetest Simon.

My favorite thing to talk about during every newborn session is birth stories.

I love how when God writes our story, he never skims.

I think about my life, & how every birthday at 12 whatever, my mother would rehearse that now it was officially my birthday. In the morning, she’d tease, it just didn’t count because technically… I didn’t make my appearance until 12 whatever. 12 whatever, because even though I can’t remember beyond the little hand on the clock, my mother remembers it all perfectly down to the second. She knows my birth weight, my birth length, the month when they came to find I was blind in my left eye, the year I got my glasses for the first time. She remembers my big hair phase (this one is hard to forget), the year I tried to get away with wearing the shortest cheerleading skirt I could fit in, the way I ran into the screen door on vacation & drenched myself in a glass of milk with Oreos littering the floor around me.

My mom never forgets. She notices every moment, every phase, every feeling. She’s got that motherly discernment, always able to tell my good friends from my bad friends. She’s always been there. In my memories of big moments & small, most of them contain my mother, or at the very least, the knowledge of where she was when a big thing happened. Even in the silence, she was there, loving me through the quiet. Like the time she stood beside my hospital bed through the night while I lost my first little love. & the time when I came out of a hard relationship & was having a bad day & she got off work early & came to meet me because she just had a feeling.

I think of God writing our story & walking it out with us much in the same way. Weaving His hand of protection through every detail, covering us in His love through the grand moments & the silent ones all the same. Always there. Always holding us & taking it all in & remembering.

While wrapping Simon in the burnt orange swaddle, Nicole told me how sometimes what we think would be an act of God’s goodness & love over us isn’t what we think it is. Sometimes what we pray for & where God’s favor & protection rest are on two very different sides. & sometimes we simply can’t see it until we’re on the other side.

I remembered this mama’s high hopes for her sweet boy James’ delivery & how she had that mental list of things she wanted & things she didn’t during labor & most of all, I remember how nothing had seemed to go as planned for her, but I still remember that smile as she laid covered in blue sheets & held her healthy boy for a photo.

We had talked lightly about the hopes of a hospital session with Simon, praying that this birth story was a bit easier than James’, but when I didn't get a message while she was there about taking pictures, I didn’t think twice. Having had two little boys myself, I am no stranger to recovery rooms that come tied to all the feelings & lack of energy (& living in pajamas with no makeup & a messy bun) that all come along with the process. It wasn’t the first time a hospital session didn’t sound as flattering in the aftermath.

So when we sat on the floor of Simon’s nursery, & the part where her & Simon’s stories were intertwined started to unravel, I realized just how special the moment was sitting on the floor, with this precious friend & her breathing, unharmed miracle.

They told me I can’t have any more babies. I could feel those words in my chest, the stun that no mother wants to hear. To have the choice whether you would like to have all the babies- that is where we can say no, & where that no can feel okay & final & we can be content with it & breathe deep because we are the ones who feel complete & like the parties all here & we aren’t having an experience be thrown to a halt. To be told no more… that isn’t the same.

She continued, though, & she spoke of God’s protection over her & how it was so strong.

Because her sweet Simon, wrapped in the beautiful swaddle, was held in the hands of the Father. After the baby was out & the c-section was complete, Nicole’s doctor told her that Simon was being held in by a uterine wall that was so thin she couldn’t believe it hadn’t ruptured. One contraction, one push, whatever it would have been: she & Simon could’ve not made it.

You see, leading up his birth, Nicole & her sister had been praying & declaring that God was going to let her experience labor. With James’, she had a failed labor. So with this second little boy, she had wanted it & prayed for it & she had aligned it with God’s promises & all of His goodness.

& in turn, God did protect her & He delivered Simon in all of His goodness, protecting him from labor.

Isn’t it crazy how sometimes in our hearts we think everything would be good if this one thing happened, or if this one thing were different. & then there’s God, in every moment of our lives actively being good at being God, doing what He does best. Sometimes in the middle of it we can’t see what true favor looks like, because he isn’t a cookie cutter God. He doesn’t skim over the details, making all birth stories identical, making all of our experiences the same. He writes our story & continues to act out of His kindness, goodness, & grace, weaving His love notes through it all.

Simon is a miracle baby. Can you even imagine the plans He has for this little guy if His hand of protection was the very thing that held this child in safety?

Lastly, I’ll end by blowing up your screens with all the cuteness, & a sincere thank you for Nicole for giving me permission to share her story.

This is honestly one of those photos that is definitely imperfect but I ADORE it because Simon looks like the perfect burrito!

This is honestly one of those photos that is definitely imperfect but I ADORE it because Simon looks like the perfect burrito!