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Introducing Everly James Alsop

  • Her Birth Story

Just a month ago I was writing the scariest, most unexpected blog post of my life and today I’m sharing the happiest post of my life. My reality has shifted from an aggressive tumor in my hand to a 9lb 10 oz baby girl. Everly James Alsop entered the world 10 days ago, and we love her more than we could ever imagine. Ever since she was born I’ve been trying to figure out how to accurately describe what I have felt the last few days. It’s not enough to just say that our lives have changed forever, but I can’t really find words to explain what I’m feeling.

We had a rough three weeks leading up to her birth. We were told that scheduling a c-section was basically our only option. But we begged at each appointment to wait, because we really didn’t have a peace about an automatic c-section for so many reasons. Our weekly (and sometimes bi-weekly appointments) always ended in tears and fears…. but we prayed for wisdom and clarity, and God gave us the most beautiful opportunity for the kind of birth experience that we had hoped for.

As I was thinking about how to introduce her to the world, and how I just couldn’t seem to find words right now to explain what I’m feeling and what I experienced, my sweet friend Jill sent this to us. Queue the tears….. all of the tears. Michael and I talked about whether or not these images should just be shared with only family and close friends, because they are intimate and so special to us…. but this was our conclusion:

Never in our lives have we more clearly or more powerfully experienced the presence of God’s grace and blessing. For 8 years I have used this space and this platform, if you will, to share the good, the bad and the sometimes challenging parts of our life because like Ester Havens says …. “God uses stories to change other people’s stories.” We know this is personal, but it’s also powerful. There was a time when I didn’t think I would ever desire anything beyond running my business. There was another season when I thought I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant. There was another season where Michael and I needed to learn to be a better team and seek God’s vision for our marriage. There was a time when I was diagnosed with a tumor that could have been cancerous and had emergency surgery. There was a time when I didn’t know how to let go of control and trust the Lord. And then there was the weekend when all of those prayers and fears and worries and struggles culminated into the most beautiful experience of our lives. Words fall short, but these pictures perfectly describe our love for our sweet Evy and the story of how she entered the world.

I’ll share more of her birth story and how the midwives at Henrico Doctors Hospital are our heros further down. :) For now, we’d love to introduce you to our sweet Evy Alsop.

(Jilly, this slideshow is the greatest gift. I will be watching this over and over again as she grows up so I never forget how special that weekend was. We love you!)

Ps. If you’re the type that enjoys lengthy birth stories, keep on reading!!

Everly James Alsop from Jill Powers on Vimeo.

 


EVY’S BIRTH STORY

I used to see women share about their baby’s birth story and I would think “Really? How can everyone have such a different birth story? Don’t you just go into labor for a while and then they’re here?!”. Oh how I have learned my lesson. Evy’s birth story drama started to unfold three weeks before she was born. We had a really hard time the last three weeks of my pregnancy. I’m going to share what we experienced because when we were going through everything, we searched the internet for other stories of moms in my similar situation and it gave me such hope.

There were stories, of women who I will never know, that gave me the courage to be an advocate for the birth I wanted. So my hope is that Evy’s birth story and our experience will be empowering  and encouraging for any other new moms with gestational diabetes.

So when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, that was the same time that the tumor in my hand started growing aggressively. I failed the glucose test by only 4 points and yet that automatically put me in the “High Risk” category.  After we found out about the diabetes we took the nutrition class. We learned how to prick my finger & check my blood sugar 4x a day, charted my meals and levels, went to Perinatal appointments every week for 1.5 hours of ultrasounds and fetal monitoring, and we changed our diet. We adjusted to this new lifestyle right before we found out that I had an aggressive tumor and needed emergency surgery. After the tumor was removed, my blood sugar levels seemed to be completely normal. I could eat cereal again without adding any protein, and my numbers were great and in range! So was it my tumor that caused elevated blood sugar levels? We’ll never know. I only gained 28 pounds while I was pregnant, and Evy passed all of her tests with flying colors. Nothing about my pregnancy seemed high-risk, but when you live with that title hanging over your head for 3 months, it’s easy to think that you’re abnormal and that something is bound to go wrong.

The reason this is all a part of her birth story is because at her 38 week appointment, she measured 9lbs on an ultrasound, and my OB declared that I would be having a c-section. I was shocked. I sat in her office with Michael beside me trying to hold back the tears. When I asked why, she said it was because of her size and because I was a diabetic… she also said that my pelvis couldn’t handle a big baby. When I pushed back and asked about being given a chance to deliver naturally, she told me that I would have to be ok with putting my baby at risk for shoulder dystcotia which could result in a broken collar bone, potential nerve damage or worse, brain damage. Yea. By the time we got to the parking garage, I was sobbing.

*** Let me just say… we are NOT against C-sections… my sister just had the most amazing C-section and healed 10x faster than me and was out to dinner just days after coming home from the hospital. Her birth story isn’t any less significant than mine. It was beautiful and amazing. This is just our story and our experience. Everyone is different and that’s ok! :) ***

Michael and I took Bradley Classes and we wanted a low-intervention birth. However, we were also very aware that we shouldn’t get our hearts set on any specific birth plan because really, anything could happen. We learned about how to labor naturally, how to deal with pain, and how Michael could coach me through the entire delivery process. We didn’t do the whole doula thing, but we did love our Bradley instructor, Kristine, who did private classes for us since my surgery and moving made the 12 week class impossible.

So, my goal was a natural labor. I wanted to wait and go into labor on my own, because I knew that that was my best shot at a vaginal delivery. So now that you know that, you can understand why scheduling a c-section was a shock. Because of what we had learned through our Bradley classes, we really didn’t think that there was enough reason to just schedule a c-section. So we fought for what we had a peace about. I wasn’t against a c-section if that was truly what needed to happen, but I was against never getting a chance to go into labor and see how things progressed.

I was so stressed the last three weeks of my pregnancy. I left every OB appointment in tears and torn between doing what the doctor said and doing what I had a peace about. Michael and I prayed for clarity and wisdom. I would cry before bed every night because trying to make myself go into labor was exhausting. I ate the pineapple, I took the primrose oil, I walked for miles, I did everything except drink Castor oil, and I was so tired of feeling like every day that I didn’t naturally go into labor was one day closer to a c-section. By the time my due date came, I was a mess. For two weeks I had felt like something was wrong with me. My doctor told me that if I was going to be able to deliver this baby then my body would have shown signs of progression and I was only 1cm and 50% effaced for two weeks. I felt like I was being too stubborn and naive to think that I deserved a shot at a natural delivery. But then when I thought about the reality of my situation and the need for a c-section, it didn’t add up.

Was the baby showing signs of distress? Nope. Her heart rate and fluid level was always perfect!
Am I showing signs of distress? Nope. My blood pressure was fine and I didn’t have swelling or any signs of pre-eclampsia.

So we prayed and I cried, and then we prayed some more. I felt so bad for Michael because every night before we went to sleep he would grab my hand and ask “How ya doing?” and I would lose it. It was the most horrible mental game I have ever had to play. So Sunday morning, on the 12th of February, we decided to go to the hospital tour that we had signed up for. We took the tour and this is when everything changed. I found out that Henrico Doctors Hospital has a Midwife partnership program that allows patients who want low intervention births to work with midwives right in the normal labor and delivery area of the main hospital. Michael and I just happened to have a chance to be introduced to one of the sweetest midwifes at the end of the tour and I tearfully told her my story. I was two days from my due date and my OB was convinced that a c-section was my only option. So she felt my stomach, asked me my height and shoe size, and then boldly told me that I could definitely deliver my baby. Once again, we left and I was in tears before we got onto the interstate. But these were different tears…. these were tears of hope. For the first time, someone believed in me and viewed birth the way that we did.

OB’s are trained to be able to save the day in any situation. They are surgeons who can save baby’s lives if they are in danger. It was once explained to me that OB’s view birth as inherently dangerous unless proven otherwise, and they operate and make decisions based on risks. Midwives believe labor is inherently natural and that complications will tell us otherwise.

So after some intense discussions with my OB, and a few cervical changes that happened after my due date, my doctor reluctantly signed off on me being induced on Friday the 17th! This was an answered prayer in so many ways. She wasn’t working on the weekend and so we got our wish and we went into labor and delivery as midwifery patients. I didn’t want to be induced, but they were planning to re-measure Evy the following Monday and if she was over the 4500 gram limit, a C-section was imminent. So we opted to be induced, and we called our families and best friends. I took a shower and packed my bag and cried. I was so emotional because I was so scared and my whole world was about to change. We had our best friends meet us at our house and we left with them to go eat one last dinner together before it was baby time. As we left the driveway of our house I looked at Michael and said “Oh my gosh… next time we come home we’re going to have a baby”…. queue the tears once again.

So I started the induction process with a bulb, then low levels of pitocin and I got to 5cm. But it wasn’t until they broke my water that things got real! YIKES. We had the most amazing midwives. We started with Amber who is patient and so reassuring and kind. Then Rhonda came in at 8am and I knew that she was going to be the one delivering my baby. We loved her. When she talked to me she would sit on the end of the bed and place her hand on my leg. She loves the Lord and she believed with every ounce of her that I could do this.

After breaking my water, I experienced contractions that can only be explained as nearly intolerable and excruciating. I cried and hung on to Michael’s neck and squeezed his hand every time one would start. I knew that contractions without an epidural would be hard…. but contractions at a pitocin level of 20 were unbearable. My contractions were 3 minutes apart but after three hours of this pain, we found out that I wasn’t any further dilated, and I have never felt the wind get knocked out of my sails more than in that moment. I was in so much pain that I was giving up. At 8cm we decided to get an epidural and I had about an hour of not being in excruciating pain… then I got sick twice and I started feeling pain despite the epidural. My legs were shaking and I felt so weak. Michael sat beside me and in tears, I told him that if Rhonda came to check me and I wasn’t 10cm, I was ready for a c-section. The thought of potentially pushing labor to the max, and then not having the strength to push out this big baby was terrifying. I would never forgive myself if Evy got stuck and she suffered because of my decision to push. Michael and I prayed together and Rhonda came in and told me that before I made a big decision like that, we needed to see if anything had changed.

She checked me and Evy was almost +3 station and I was 10cm and fully effaced. Basically, Evy was as close to being born as she could possible be without me pushing. Michael and I had prayed for clarity and we got it. Rhonda told me it was time to push and in a split second my mind had to change gears. I had already convinced myself that I couldn’t do it, and Rhonda held my face and told me to forget what I had heard the last 2 weeks and just focus on what was happening…. I was about to meet my baby.

The nurses prepped the room and pushing began. I remember being in pain in my ribs for some reason with every contraction and I also remember Michael being really excited. He was so excited to meet his little girl and I don’t blame him. We have been through so much in this season and this final hurdle seemed like redemption was just on the other side. I pushed for 30 minutes and all I remember was our nurse Sarah telling me that I was killing it and that I was hours ahead of where I needed to be. Then I remember Michael telling Jill to stand behind the curtain to wait until it was time to take pictures of her being born and Rhonda said “Oh, I think she needs to come in now, we’re close”. Then I remember Rhonda saying that the next push will be the one that led to meeting our baby and if that doesn’t give you the courage to push as hard as I possibly could, I don’t know what else will. I remember being so hopeful and so terrified at the same time. I never screamed but I do remember praying “Dear Jesus help me” because I knew my own strength was gone a long time ago. I remember pushing and praying, and then I heard “Her head is out annnnd her shoulders are out…. Michael, grab your daughter”….. and I lost it.

Michael laid our first baby on my chest and I held her and wept. It was over…. she was here and she was beautiful & healthy. I delivered a 9lb 10oz baby girl without any issues. I cried and held on to Michael with one hand and held our sweet Evy with the other. It seemed like a dream. The main thing I remember was the RELIEF that I felt. In a matter of minutes, all of my worry and fear and stress was over. Jill recorded audio of Everly entering the world and all you hear are my sobs, Jill’s sobs and Michael crying and laughing at the same time…. and then you hear the sweetest little cry. It was the greatest moment of my life. We loved our wedding day, but nothing will compare to meeting our baby girl. Rhonda hugged me and held my face and told me how proud she was of me, and I couldn’t even find words to appropriately thank her for believing in me when it seemed like no one else did.

Our birth story for sweet Everly didn’t go exactly as we had planned, but I can honestly say that we don’t care, now that she is here. It was beautiful and exactly how it was supposed to be. We are so thankful that we were advocates for the birth that we wanted and that we stood up for what we had a peace about. We are thankful for the midwives and that Henrico Doctors Hospital gave us the chance to have the birth we wanted. Rhonda was the greatest gift to us. She loves the Lord, she has delivered over 2,000 babies and she was so clearly made for her career. I love meeting people who are doing what they were designed to do and their passion overflows through the way that they serve. I could do a whole blog post about how it’s the LITTLE things that make such a MASSIVE impact when it comes to medical care, but I’ll leave that for another day. For now, I’m just going to thank Rhonda for sitting on the end of the bed and holding my leg when she talked to me, for never using language that was hard to understand and for always telling me that I was strong and capable.

After months of medical worries, a surgery, gestational diabetes and being scared into thinking I couldn’t deliver my baby, she’s finally here. We are so thankful. Michael and I love being parents to this precious little girl and even though we’re a little sleep deprived, we know that this stage doesn’t last forever, and we’re cherishing these first few weeks. God is so good.

xoxo, Katelyn
108 Comments Personal
  1. Carla Lehman reply

    Congratulations on the safe arrival of your precious baby girl! Parenthood is the greatest blessing and the most rewarding experience you will ever have. God bless your little family!
    xoxo

  2. Jessica Ranae Photography reply

    Oh my goodness! That video is beautiful!! Congrats Katelyn! She is perfect <3

  3. Megan Kelsey Photography reply

    Okay, cried the entire way through but actually LOST it at the end when you, Jill, and Emy all had your little ones in your arms!!!!! Jesus is so good and what a glimpse of the joy and community to come in his kingdom. Michael and Katelyn and Everly, you three are so loved and have so many beautiful moments to look forward to! This is just the beginning!!!!

  4. Rebekah reply

    I am bawling. I’m so happy for you. I had midwives for my pregnancy & delivery & they were so fantastic. I recommend them to everyone. Like you said, they really listen to you & believe in you, instead of just scaring you with risks. I am so, so happy you got to avoid a C section. I had to be induced due to preeclampsia so I experienced the glory of Pitocin contractions too. I got to 7 cm & begged for an epidural. And I mean screaming & crying begged! But when they checked me again I was fully dilated & ready to push, & with a whole lot of encouragement from my midwife, doula, & husband I pushed my baby girl into the world. Like you said it was the best feeling ever when I saw her & held her for the first time. I’m so happy for you & Michael to be experiencing this wonderful season of life. The first 6 weeks or so were really hard for me but it has gotten easier with time & even the hardest moments are so worth it. Thank you for sharing your story. :)

  5. Sherry Donnelly reply

    Thank you! My “babies” are 22 and 20 now…your generous share brought me right back to the moment they each entered the world and the powerful love and awe we experienced. My tears flowed freely as I watched your slide show with the gratitude for the blessing of motherhood. That love for your child will never wane XO

  6. Erika Mills reply

    I really should not have one my makeup before reading this post!!! The image of your momms snuggling Evy and of Michael in tears, so incredible!! I am so happy you got the birth you wanted, your prayers were answered clearly and most of all that gorgeous baby girl is here and healthy!!! <3 <3

  7. Amy Sullins reply

    Sweet Katelyn! Tears upon tears! It’s amazing to watch God’s perfect story unfold. What an amazing testimony you have and sweet Evy has. I’ve prayed for you during this time and I’m so thankful to see how God blessed in all of these moments.
    Much love to you!
    Amy

  8. Jessica Haley reply

    Oh my gosh I loved reading this Katelyn and so glad you didn’t end up with a c-section – I’ve had 2 and the first one was so terrifying and horrible to recover from – you’re going to be in so much better shape even with a big baby – she is precious!! And don’t worry… the sleep deprivation will end soon :) Congratulations!!! She is precious :)

  9. Rachel reply

    Such a beautiful beautiful story!!! Thank you for sharing!! God is good!!

  10. Stephanie Messick reply

    Oh, Katelyn and Michael!!! Everly is God’s beautiful gift! I’m SO happy for you all! This is beautiful. <3 XOXO!!!

  11. Brittany Serowski reply

    Congratulations Katelyn & Michael! She sure is a doll! Your story was so touching to read and I’m so glad you shared it with us! I had my little one just 5 months ago and I know exactly how you felt when they tell you how you just need one more push to meet that sweet baby! I’ve never wanted something so much right then in my life! Enjoy these newborn snuggles, they grow too fast! Welcome to parenthood!! :)

  12. Leah reply

    Oh Katelyn!!
    This post has me all teary…. what a beautiful perfect baby, and what a wonderful story!!
    I’m so thankful the Lord heard your prayers and brought those sweet midwives your way. My first 2 babies were born in hospital, and the last two born at home under the care of my amazing midwife and now friend. There is nothing like the sweet tenderness of a midwife in one of our most vulnerable seasons… they are a gift. (You could totally rock a home birth if you have more kids, btw! )

    I hope someday our paths get to cross… not just because I think you’re a great photographer, but because I think you’re a great testimony of how our Lord sustains. Much love to you 2 and sweet little Everly!

  13. Ashley Ziegler reply

    oh yay!! so excited that she’s here!! I’m glad that everything went well and that God gave you the strength you needed! welcome sweet everly!

  14. Bethanne reply

    Tears, Katelyn! What a beautiful story, and I love that you guys were able to find someone who believed in you and your amazing body! So, SO happy for you three! She is so beautiful; you and Michael are going to be amazing parents and Evy is incredibly lucky.

  15. Beth reply

    Katelyn (and Michael!) – I’m so happy for Evy’s safe and healthy arrival! I cried my way through the whole slideshow. After meeting you for only a short time (I’m Emily Thomas’s Mom), I just know that you and Michael will love and parent Evy so well. Congratulations and best wishes for wonderful years ahead!!
    Beth Ayer

  16. Melissa Arlena reply

    All the happy tears for you guys!!!! Jill the photos are amazing and the music is perfect. I’ll think of you guys and Evy whenever we sing that song at church now!! Congrats!!!

  17. Tori reply

    This is so special. I bawled watching the slideshow. Life is such a miracle. We had our daughter January 12th and the memories are irreplaceable. God is so good! So happy for you all.

  18. Bobbye reply

    Gosh I bawled, my story was very similar and like you I’m always a warrior for vaginal birth. Now you will never have to wonder “what if”. I love her name it’s beautiful. Congratulations!

  19. Loren reply

    I’m sure like everyone else reading this, I was in tears. Such a beautiful story of strength, determination, and trust when you felt like breaking. You’re one strong momma, Katelyn!! ❤

  20. Carla reply

    I cries a little reading this blog post. After five babies I can say each time is a true miracle. Every new child marks before and after in your life.

  21. Carissa reply

    Oh Katelyn!! This story is beautiful!! This is such an amazing testimony of allowing God to lead the way! Lots of tears over here in Canada!!! Can’t wait to meet your little angel!!

  22. Amanda reply

    Well, this made me cry! Congratulations!

  23. Britne reply

    I just sobbed through that whole slide show. What a beautiful story and an even more gorgeous baby! ❤️❤️❤️

  24. Maison reply

    This is so beautiful, Katelyn. I am an emotional wreck! Thank you for always setting such a beautiful, humble, and honest example of using our platforms for Christ. I have never once doubted why He has you where He does. Your obedience is breathtaking and His Glory SHINES through you. Love you, Alsops!

  25. Allison Jeffers reply

    Katelyn I am SO proud of you! Your story has inspired me (and brought me to a sobbing mess), and I am so glad Evy is HERE! I can’t wait to meet her!

  26. Jesi Peterson reply

    Congratulations!! You are both going to be great parents!!

  27. Casi reply

    Cue All The Happy Tears!!!! Congratulations on the birth of your little girl! Everly is absolutely beautiful! I had to read the birth story first before watching Jill’s video because, c’mon, happy tears overflow.

    Enjoy your time with Evy in this moment as you are because you will never have this precious time ever again! Love and hugs to you both!

  28. Erin Schrad reply

    Thank you for sharing this! And the slideshow was amazing, Jill! I am all teary over here… because I’m so incredibly happy for you and Michael, but I’m also reflecting on the birth of my cousin’s baby 5 months ago that I was present for and able to photograph and then I’m also thinking ahead to the birth of my first niece in May! I cannot wait to meet her and watch my brother become a father. I’m already seeing changes in him that are so touching… I just know he’s going to be a mess when his daughter finally arrives!

  29. Kristen reply

    Amazing. Thanks for sharing your experience, that sweet video and the photos. May God continue to bless your family. Enjoy every moment and season with sweet Everly.

  30. Dana reply

    Incredible story. I am so happy for you guys that God has blessed you with this unspeakable gift. With two kids of my own, they are completely the loves of my life, aside from my husband. And God. We will be praying for you guys for a continuous bus Journey! I am so happy for you both!

  31. Laura Matthews reply

    Oh goodness, Katelyn & Michael, welcome to parenthood! Your story brought me to tears and I am so glad you advocated for the kind of birth YOU wanted. Evy is so beautiful! Children are such a gift from God. I promise parenthood will bring you so much joy (and heartache at times) and be the greatest journey of your lives! Congratulations!

  32. Elizabeth reply

    Oh wow, those slideshow pictures are so powerful. And the song is just perfect. Many blessings to your fam. <3 And, man, I love her name!!

  33. Jill reply

    Katelyn, I am absolutely WRECKED (in the best sort of way!) after that video and reading your birth story. I am just so proud of you and excited for you all- and as AMAZING as it is right now, it just gets better and better! So much love to you all!

  34. Tina reply

    God bless you and your beautiful family!! That slideshow brought tears to my eyes – watching you give birth to your baby girl and the reactions of your families in the waiting room!! Oh maaan!!! That did me in!! So so happy for you guys!!!

  35. Lynn reply

    Michael and Katelyn, Congratulations on beautiful Everly!! It took me awhile to compose myself after viewing your video… I am thrilled that you were able to have the birthing experience you wanted. Much love and happiness to all of you!

  36. Sara Touchet reply

    These are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story! Welcome to the world Everly!

  37. Jill Powers reply

    Aaaaaand I’m crying AGAIN!!! What a sweet sweet time!!! Love you guys!!! :)

  38. Kim Bauer reply

    Beautiful, amazing and such a blessing from the Lord! Congratulations on a beautiful baby girl!

  39. Abby Cook reply

    Tears are streaming down my face as I read this post and watch the beautiful video of Evy’s birth! Thank you guys for sharing! So proud of you, Katelyn! And yay for midwives!!!! :) So so happy you’re all doing well! Love you both and little Evy too!!! xo

  40. jessica reply

    I am so glad you shared your story for other moms! You are exactly right about OB’s- they are so knowledgeable and important, but they have a very different mindset that often sets us up for failure. I’m so proud of you! You’re going to help so many moms!

  41. Amanda Deibel reply

    What an incredible gift that Jill captured these beautiful moments for you. Congratulations on your adorable little one, we’re so happy for you guys!!

  42. Joni reply

    Whoa. tears… so many tears! Congrats! You are so strong!!

  43. Liliya reply

    And the flood gates opened up and I cried! The song and the video are so perfect. You shared your fears and your thoughts and this spoke volumes to me. I am not pregnant, but I’ve been there. I’ve had similar worries and fears. This blog however spoke to me differently. You post and that video opened my eyes and gave me that peace that I have been looking for, for so many years. My husband and I, due to various reason have agreed that we need to sell our house and relocate. Where, when, and how have always been our questions…mostly HOW? We prayed, and tried to be patient and to look for God to give us an answer. After all, He was the one who stirred our hearts for this. As the time went on and as the closer we got to the time that we felt we need to make the move, we had no clear answer. Through various interesting events that happened the past two weeks, we started getting some answers. I’ve applied to a job and they asked for an interview. We’ve prayed all weekend about this. Here is where your blog post came in….The job I applied for is in a different state, its a labor/delivery nurse position. I left labor/delivery last year due to a long commute, however, I miss it so much. As I watched the video, and read your birthing story, I cried…because I finally got that peace that this is where the Lord wants me to be…next to mama’s like you, to be there with them, to coach them, to comfort them, to encourage them. 8 years ago, I was finishing up nursing school, 35 weeks pregnant with my second child, I ended up in the hospital on complete bed rest. I thought everything that could go wrong with my pregnancy, did go wrong. Then, the night of my induction, my nurse who was assigned me was mean, heartless and extremely rude. I remember telling my husband…if I ever finish school, I will never be like that nurse and I heard God’s calling to become a labor/delivery nurse then. It took some time, but I made it there. Now, with all the changes going on in our life, I started self doubting if I am cut out for such a position. After I finished reading your blog, I opened up the email that’s been sitting in my inbox from Thursday and set up an interview for the labor/delivery position. Yes, its scary. There are still so many unknown answers and so many “what if” scenarios. However, I finally have the clear answer with the peace in my heart that this is where the Lord is leading my family. So even though I am not pregnant and I am not facing the fears of an emergency c-section your blog inspired me, encouraged me, and spoke to me. Thank you!

  44. Mandi Mitchell reply

    I’m SO incredibly proud of you Katelyn! You are amazing and God is already using your birth story for the His glory. Levi was a big baby as well at 9lb 4oz and I too wanted a natural delivery. I had the support of my doctor, but I had a long and difficult labor with him b/c he was so big and the doctor I had during my labor (not my OB) wasn’t supportive at all of my decision to go natural. She wanted pitocin to speed up the process. I told her no. It’s so hard when you have a desire the Lord has given you and you feel it’s the right one and then have medical professionals try and convince you otherwise. I am so excited for you and Michael. I know you will be amazing parents. Much love to the two of you!

  45. Melissa Durham reply

    Katelyn…oh my gosh…between the incredibly moving photos and your story of strength and perseverance, I’m in tears! So much beauty in one post!!! Congratulations to you and Michael and your entire family. Evy is beautiful, and motherhood just makes you glow!! <3

  46. Shelley reply

    I am in total tears right now reading and watching your birth story. I must admit I wish I had a birth story like this as our twins were delivered emergency c-section. Being able to do what you did is such an amazing gift that God gave us as women! I am so glad that you were able to experience the birth you and Michael hoped for….to be able to have your baby placed on your chest must be the most wonderful feeling ever. I didn’t get to experience that as our twins were rushed to the NICU, yet I have heard it is the most precious feeling ever!! Thank you for sharing Everly’s birth story…her story is already lighting the world with the love and joy of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus!!! Lord bless you as you cherish this special season! My biggest regret in raising our kids were not embracing each season, even the difficult ones such as sleepless nights, crying babies and many diaper changes/blowouts. Now our twins are almost 17…just like that. It went by so much faster that I could have ever thought and wish I could do it all over again! So hold on and cherish every moment you can!!!
    CONGRATULATIONS KATELYN & MICHAEL

  47. Carolyn reply

    Katelyn, you are amazing! I’m so happy for you and hearing such a personal and vulnerable story is so moving…I am so inspired by the way you trusted in God through it all! <3

  48. Sarah reply

    As a doula in training, it’s women like you that remind me why I want to coach people through birth! Good for you for taking Bradley classes, for knowing that the doctors had no reason to make you get a c-section, and for trusting your gut. That’s awesome! One of my goals is to make sure women are educated about the birth process and even though there is a time and place for a c-section, to know the options before jumping into that choice. Thanks for sharing your story!

  49. Brooke reply

    Holy smokes I had tears reading that beautiful story and I am so happy for you both! Thee truly is nothing better than hearing that sweet newborn cry. It makes all the sacrifice worth it!

  50. Sarah Hill reply

    Im so happy for you all!! THAT slide show! Jeez. . .I made my 5-yr old go get me a tissue cause I couldn’t see from the tears but I couldn’t leave my computer to stop watching for 1 second! Thank you for sharing your story! It’s such an amazing experience and Im so happy that it turned out perfect! Welcome to parenthood Katelyn & Michael!!

  51. Trina reply

    My heart is full. Your post brought back all the tender feelings of the births of my two sweet little girls! What a precious time. Oh I am SO happy for you!! Enjoy all the little moments!

  52. Molly Stillman reply

    this is so beautiful, Katelyn!!! God is so good and you and Michael are already amazing parents!

  53. Tiffany Heidenthal reply

    I love your story. It made me so emotional! Our birth stories have a lot in common. I also was just walking around in a state of terror until I found my midwife who told me “you are young and healthy and you are designed to do this!” It is amazing how one person’s confidence can lift you up when you are so overwhelmed! Everly is gorgeous and I’m glad you ultimately got the birth you wanted!

  54. Brenda James reply

    My sweet KK, I love you so much ❤ and I am so proud of you for following your heart, always trusting the Lord (even when it’s incredibly hard, and there are lots of tears), and for sharing your story so that others can be blessed! I love watching you and Michael as you shower sweet Evy with so much love. ❤ And it is special that you, Emy, and I now share a “motherhood” bond. I am one extremely blessed momma.

  55. Lauren reply

    I should be using my own baby’s nap time to edit but I read this with tears in my eyes. What a beautiful story and birth of your sweet girl! Nothing prepares you for that moment when you meet your baby, it is so raw and so beautiful. I also feel the same way about my delivery nurse, with me for 3 days and I’d give her a kidney if she ever needed it. God bless your sweet little family!

  56. Kayla Magness reply

    So many tears! Katelyn this was so beautifully written. This story is such amazing proof of God’s love and faithfulness! So thankful sweet Evy is here. She is BEAUTIFUL! Congrats, you two! :)

  57. Lynn reply

    Oh My Gosh! I haven’t cried like that in some time. What a beautiful miracle. I am so happy for your precious family. God Bless.

  58. Lida reply

    So so beautiful! Congrats Katelyn! She’s perfect! Indeed- Great is our God! ❤❤❤

  59. Macy reply

    What an incredible story!! So happy for your little family of three. Everly and I share a birthday :)

  60. Nicole Salter reply

    I’m not a cried but I just sobbed. That slideshow is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Your faith in Him is beyond inspiring and I can’t even imagine everything you went through. Congratulations to you and your whole families. I can only pray that when met time comes, I have HALF the hope, strength and faith that you had throughout this whole process. Can’t wait to meet this beautiful little girl one day.

  61. Marla Phillips reply

    Hi Katelyn!

    Thank you so much for sharing your baby’s beautiful story! It’s such an encouragement to my heart! We are with the midwives at henrico and have met Rhonda and felt the same – she is so caring!

    We also have to be induced because of a growth restriction and high risk pregnancy – but praise the Lord! We have made it to full term and will be induced at 39 weeks (unless of course we go into spontaneous labor before).

    I balled my eyes out watching your film and reading your post and I know will ball my eyes out when we finally get to meet our sweet girl.

    All the blessings to you and your sweet family! God is so good and so trustworthy.
    -Marla

  62. Emily reply

    Katelyn,
    I cried watching your video! I’m so so glad you stuck with your heart and were able to go without a C-section! There is no greater blessing than having a baby. God bless you and your sweet little family and thank you for sharing your birth story!
    ~Emily O’Connell

  63. Roxanne reply

    Such a beautiful and touching birth story! I know what it will truly help and motivate other Moms that may experience a similar situation. What a strong Mama you’ve been already… Evybis so blessed to have both you and Michael! Congratulations to you all on your beautiful family!!

  64. Jennifer reply

    I don’t personally know you guys, but reading her birth story and watching that video made me cry! It’s amazing to see God’s work in your lives! Thank you for being an encouragement :)

  65. Rebekah Hoyt reply

    I am so emotional reading your story and watching your video. God’s hand is ALL over your story and I am so amazed and encouraged in how He provided in seemingly impossible odds. I am so thrilled for you and Michael and how profoundly you were able to experience (and therefore proclaim and glorify!) God’s presence and goodness in your lives. What a GIFT! Thank you for letting us into this space and this story – God is being honored through your testimony more and more every step of your journey. ❤

  66. Susan Krohn reply

    Our best wishes and blessings are sent with love and joy. Welcome to your beautiful baby girl. Your story was amazing, terrifying and inspirational. Your photos of Kathleen and Joe Mazzitti’s wedding are deeply cherished and we welcome you to the joys and adventures of parenthood. Kathleen was also a very big baby- 11lbs. 3 oz. ! (I was also thought to have gestational diabetes but it turned out not to be).
    Congratulations to the three of you. Enjoy every moment, nap when you can and bless your lives every day.

  67. Brooke reply

    BEAUTIFUL!!!!! You guys are great parents!!! It’s so special to have this blog post and photos I have 4 kids and sometimes when times are hard and it’s easy to forgot the blessings God gives you I look back on images and memories like these and all the love and adoration comes welling back!!!

  68. Shannon Zupke reply

    Katelyn and Michael! Congratulations! And thank you for sharing this with all of us. Evy is so perfect and so is your birth story! Labor and delivery is something I cherish so much from my own babies and reading others makes my mommy heart so happy! What an amazing story! You are strong. Brave. Beautiful! Enjoy every minute of it!!! It goes way too fast, as I am sure you have heard hundreds of times already!

  69. Ashley Herrinton reply

    KK, I’m still so proud of you and Michael for your strength and perseverance despite all the odds. And your willingness to cling so closely to the Lord through all of it. Sharing in Evy’s sweet “birth” day will forever be one of our favorite memories with you guys!! <3

  70. Hannah reply

    Wow what a beautiful birth story! Thank you for sharing. It has been so neat to follow your journey to parenthood via your blog and instagram. I cried watched your video. The love you have for each other and your little girl is so evident as is the love your family has for each other! Congratulations!

  71. Jody Gray reply

    Tears…. lots of tears. :) So beautiful.
    Girl, that is so much pressure and stress. Whew!!! Way to stand your ground and get through all that! So proud of you. Loved what you said here “OB’s view birth as inherently dangerous unless proven otherwise, and they operate and make decisions based on risks. Midwives believe labor is inherently natural and that complications will tell us otherwise.” That is so true!! I’m so happy you were able to deliver vaginally and what a blessing those midwives were!!! Thank you for sharing your pics and story. Xoxo. We love you!!!

  72. Cassy reply

    The EXACT SAME thing happened to me with my first. My OB was worried I was going to have an eleven pounder, so she made me feel like my only option was a c-section. My baby girl ended up being 9 lbs 11 oz, so as happy as I was to finally have her, I was also so angry that I felt I had been lied to. I SO wish I had known then what I know now and had advocated for myself better. I’m so happy the Lord provided a way for you to have the vaginal birth you wanted. Enjoy those sweet newborn snuggles, they go WAY too fast!

  73. Brianna reply

    I have a very similar birth story with my son actually weighing the exact same as your daughter! I did end up having a lot of complications and ended up needing surgery after he was born but he’s now one years old and healthy and such a joy to us. He is a picture of God’s love for me.
    I loved reading your story and it brought tears to my eyes. Your daughter is beautiful.

  74. Sydni reply

    What an amazing story!! So glad you got to have the birth you wanted! Praise God!!

  75. Angenise Rawls reply

    Absolutely beautiful and inspiring! So love the song on your birth video!

  76. Amanda reply

    What a beautiful little girl you have! God is so good! We just went through our own journey having our little girl who was born 6 weeks early. I cried watching your slideshow and reading your story. Took me right back through our journey and all it’s up and downs. Celebrating your sweet Everly with you. Thank you for sharing!! ❤❤❤

  77. Kayla knies reply

    Simply incredible and definitely teared up multiple times! The hand of God is so evident in your lives and I know God still has so much more in store for you THREE! I love that you allow us to have such a part of inside your life. You’re not just an incredible photographer, but you remind us you’re a real person with a real normal life who just also loves Jesus with all her heart.

  78. Hannah Hicks reply

    This was the most beautiful blog post I’ve ever read!!! Jill did an amazing job with the photos and the video and I am just so happy for the two of you! She is beautiful! God IS so good!!! <3

  79. Sheryl Kirksey reply

    Oh my Michael and Katelyn,
    That was the most beautiful, emotional, intimate slideshow ever.. I do labor and delivery Photography and cry every time!!! This was so sweet .. You two will be great parents … I love the look on Grandmas face … Her andI have been waiting so long lol
    Congratulations to you both …and yes I read the whole story in between tears …
    love you guys and praying always

  80. Diane reply

    I love your birth story and welcome to the world sweet baby Everly!!!

    I had a similar story, 2 weeks past due and I tried the castle oil! Ha definitely doesn’t work so be glad you stayed away from it ;)

  81. Heather N. reply

    I was in tears hearing your story before I even watched the photos that Jill took. I am beyond happy for you, Michael, and your whole family! Enjoy this special time!!!

  82. Christy Tyler reply

    Absolutely perfect and beautiful in every way. I’m so happy for you guys. Life is going to look so different now in the best way possible. <3 Congrats. <3

  83. Julie Massie reply

    Oh my goodness girl. I’m reading this and weeping. Weeping. I had a very similar pregnancy experience in that we took Bradley classes, had a clearly thought out birth plan, thought we had chosen a great doctor, then my pregnancy got hard and unhealthy and my doctor started acting like my birth plan was going to cause either me or my baby to die. Bedrest and 3x per week appointments and ultrasounds for the last three months made me depressed and so very stressed. I ended up being induced (against my will) and suffered pitocin contractions for 36 hours before finally being forced into a cesarean. I struggled with feeling like my birth experience was something “done to me against my will” for a year or more after it happened. I am SO happy for you that you had that chance encounter with a midwife to let you know that you’re not crazy, your body IS able, and that led to a healthy birth of a healthy baby. I’m sure Michael is SO proud of his strong wife. And thankful that this whole experience has brought you two closer than ever and stronger in your faith. Congratulations and blessings to the three of you. <3

  84. Brittany Fennell reply

    Ohhh I sobbed reading and then watching the slide show. Labor and birth is such a wild, emotional, and unbelievable ride. So proud of you for praying on and fighting for what you wanted and knew was right for y’all. She’s absolutely beautiful! Enjoy every moment!

  85. Kim kool reply

    Wonderful story! The video was absolutely beautiful! I would have loved to have had a keepsake like that for our family births! Thanks for sharing.

  86. Amy Owen reply

    My daughters and I all watched the slideshow and I was a bit teary! What a beautiful testament to God’s goodness!

  87. Karen reply

    ” I knew that contractions without an epidural would be hard…. but contractions at a pitocin level of 20 were unbearable. ” <—– TRUTH SISTER!!!!!!!! Mamas of 9+ lb babies need a special medal or t-shirt! :)

  88. Elizabeth Ladean reply

    Soooo happy and soooo proud! You continue to be amazing, and now you have this beautiful baby girl! I’m so glad everything worked out how it did!!

  89. Meghan RitcheyWilson-Wilson reply

    What a beautiful video!! Isn’t birth the most wonderfully terrifying thing ever?? It’s crazy how it is the scariest, but yet most exciting experience! My baby girl just turned a year old on January 30th :) soak up every single second because it really does just fly right by! I had my little lady at a birth center in Denver where I live and it was the most amazing experience ever! I LOVED everything about the center and the midwives. I too had some bumps in the road to my ideal birth plan, but in the end it did work out perfectly :) CONGRATS on your little one and the lack of sleep does get better :)

  90. Mariann Kovats reply

    Your story reminded me of my son’s birth. Very similar, not dilating, breaking the water, finally give into epidural because of exhaustion, but finally give a birth to a 9 lbs 6 oz boy. I am glad, you fought for natural delivery. Just 14 months before my son was born with natural labor, I had C-section with my twins, and the doctor didn’t see any problem just after 14 month later to let me deliver my son with vaginal birth.

    Congratulations! She is beautiful! I love her cheeks! The vide clip you shared is just precious! Thank you for sharing the clip and the story! I am looking forward seeing her growing! xoxo

  91. Sharon Stickel reply

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story, photos and video! God’s provisions certainly are amazing. Congratulations on your perfect baby girl! <3

  92. Sara reply

    I’m so glad all the hardship was worth it! I had a normal/easy pregnancy with no indications of issues until I was a week overdue. My OB said everything was fine and she didn’t believe the ultrasound measurements of 9lbs 12oz. I was scared of being induced as my body showed NO signs of labor at 41 weeks. That night I came home from tests and started prelabor. I was stuck laboring at home for 2 days with cramping non-stop. I labored at the hospital for 24 hours with pitocin too and baby never progressed down in station even though I was fully dilated. I ended up with a C-section and a 9lb 10oz baby!

  93. Christin reply

    God is so good. This has been such an encouragement and testimony to me. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  94. Gabrielle reply

    She is so beautiful Katelyn! I am so happy that you had the labor and delivery you had hoped and prayed for!! Congratulations!

  95. Rosanna reply

    Congrats on giving birth to your sweet daughter. Your story was pretty gripping just like reading a novel and not wanting to put it down. I could sense all your feelings for I too struggled with having to make a choice of having c-section due to fetal heart distress and I was overdue and I not even dilating with pitocin. I had to make the choice of having a c-section and of coarse shed tears of sadness yet had tears of joy when my first son came into this world in 2005. My lot has been c-sections since due to hospital policies unless I walked in fully dilated. May God give you wisdom as you grow as parents. Many ups as well as downs. Hang in there with all the emotions moments for it comes after having a baby. Soak in all the moments in being with your daughter for it goes by quick. Love you guys.

  96. Gyan reply

    I’m in tears. What a ride you’ve had and what a magical experience giving birth to Everly. Sending every bit of love and good wishes to your family ❤️️❤️️❤️️❤️️

  97. Tiffany reply

    Your story is absolutely beautiful. I teared up the whole way and it brought back memories of my own birth and the pain, stress, and relief. I’m so proud of you Katelyn for sticking with what you guys had peace about! Rhonda sounds amazing and I’m so so happy for you all!! Welcome little Everly! <3

  98. Aimee Fauerbach reply

    I loved reading this blog post & the slideshow was absolutely gorgeous. You had me in tears. Thank you for sharing!

  99. Niki reply

    Oh, my, stars. This made me cry. It also reminded me of the day my little girl was born. She is my oldest. She made me a mother. “We loved our wedding day, but nothing will compare to meeting our baby girl.” YES YES YES. So much congratulations to you both.

  100. Kim reply

    Such a sweet birth story. Good thing you listened to your intuition! I also had gestational diabetes along with horrible back pain my last two months of pregnancy with my 2nd. It was not fun shooting weddings during that time …. But it was all worth it for my little angel. Congrats.

  101. Kristina W. reply

    Awww crying over here. This is beautiful! I’m so glad it worked out and you had a safe delivery of Everly! She is precious!

  102. Natalie Kowalski reply

    Congrats! So glad that God continues to work in, and blesses, you two. Your little one is so precious!

  103. Abbey reply

    You are so so so lucky. I know it was probably scary thinking of having a c-section after hoping for a natural birth. I have a condition where my uterus is split in to two parts. Our doctors gave us a very slim chance to even conceive – and if we do, a 100% chance our child will be breach, very small and premature. I’m hoping we can have a baby at all- let alone a baby who is fully grown. I would be SO beyond grateful to have a c-section if it meant I could have a fully grown baby- or a baby at all. You are so beyond lucky and blessed to have had to face the above issues because it meant your baby was fully grown and healthy. I pray and pray and pray and pray that my husband and I may be so blessed <3

    • Jess reply

      This. I would give my right arm to have the type of problems Katelyn had.

    • Abbey reply

      Oh no I mean nothing but love and thankfulness for Katelyn’s situation!! I look up to her so much. “One person’s problem may be a blessing to another”, that’s all. Love you Katelyn!

  104. Lydia reply

    Beautiful, beautiful birth story! It reminded me so much of mine with our little guy. You’re so strong, and I’m so glad you shared this. It encouraged me to be proud of my birth story.

  105. Caiti reply

    Oh Katelyn! I have admired you for years – who you are as a person, as a daughter of God, as a wife, as a business owner, as a photographer…but you coming a mom…somehow it made you so much more relatable to me! Becoming a mother just changes you, it shakes you to your core. Your birth story is so beautiful, down to every little detail. That slideshow – goodness! Talk about crying my eyes out! Seeing your mama hug you those moments after you gave birth to your own baby girl was just powerful! I remember that same moment for me like it was yesterday! Congratulations Mama Bear!!

  106. Hiliary Stewart reply

    Tears! Tears! Tears! I should not have read this before I’m about to go photograph a birth. You are so strong!!!!

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