On the morning of July 21, 2016, Amanda told me that she felt like she may be having some mild contractions, but it was nothing major so she was going to work and would keep me posted. For some reason, I just had a feeling. I seem to have a lot of these "feelings" in my line of work and they are often pretty accurate. I don't remember the exact time, but I believe it was somewhere around 8pm that I sent Amanda a text to check in. The reply came in which she told me that they were heading to Pardee Hospital and that she had been having contractions all day, but now felt that it really was time to meet Payton! Amanda is a hairdresser and had worked all day long on her feet WHILE in labor, yet she didn't think it was "real" until she had gotten home.
I arrived to the hospital and walked in to a room of chattiness and laughter. Amanda's husband, Chris, stayed calm and supported his wife through contractions offering words of encouragement and compassion as well as a strong hand to hold. Though he didn't say a lot, you could see the glimmer of excitement in his eyes as he was about to meet his baby girl.
Amanda's mom, Julie, was also there for support, but she didn't keep her excitement contained quite as well! She was wearing a bright pink t-shirt that read "This girl is going to be a Grammy!" and it was the most adorable thing ever! And she chatted away about her excitement in meeting her first grandchild!
This family also had a ton of friends and family sitting out in the waiting room anxiously awaiting news. Shortly before Amanda was ready to start pushing, a couple of her very good friends came in to see her, to offer well-wishes, and to take a moment to say a prayer for a safe and healthy delivery and to thank God for this new baby. It was such a beautiful moment to watch, and I believe it has been the only time I've witnessed prayers being said during labor. It truly warmed my heart!
I cannot continue on with this story without telling you about how mind-blowing Amanda's labor was. I later found out that this woman has an unusually high tolerance for pain and she made that very apparent pretty quickly as she was actually laughing with the nurses, doctor, and family in between pushes. Who does that?! I almost forgot she was actually birthing a baby a couple of times!
Amanda had an amazing support team and they really didn't have to work too hard because about 45 minutes after I'd arrived (and probably only about an hour and a half after they'd arrived), Amanda's labor was over and Miss Payton Blair had joined her family!
Payton had her first exam and of course she was less than thrilled, but soon after, she was back on her mommy's chest and the new family took some time alone to bond.
After some family bonding time, everyone else took turns, a few at a time, coming in to meet Payton and talk about how fast this birth was! If there's one thing I can say for sure, Payton and her parents are soooo loved!
Amanda, Chris, and all of the family:
Thank you all so much for allowing me to witness all of your love on this most incredible day in your lives! Payton is one lucky girl!