Hello Sweet Cheer: Through Photos and Jesus, I Found Healing

8.20.2016

Through Photos and Jesus, I Found Healing

     I had no plans to write this post! I have another one drafted that I planned to have go up next but today things changed. When I had Titus two months ago, my dear friend Elise was there to photograph the entire thing. Today she wrote a post about it on HER blog and now I feel completely ready to express what has been so difficult for me following Titus' eventful arrival.

     I cannot say enough wonderful, incredible, positive things about Elise Hurst and her passion for Birth Photography. You can read my perspective of Titus' birth HERE and her post about it HERE.

But I need to rewind just a bit to fully explain.

 I met Elise as a freshman at Texas Tech in 2010. I can't believe it's been SIX years! 

     Elise and I connected on so many levels and she ended up mentoring me over the next year and a half or so. I got to participate in her wedding festivities when she married Josh, who was also a huge influence on me, we were in a women's bible study together, had the privilege of going on two Haiti mission trips, and truly became such good friends throughout our time at Tech. She continued to be a solid friend in my life even after they moved to Kentucky and had their two boys. I loved observing their family from afar and hearing all about her two natural births! She is a strong, passionate, loving, kind, driven, determined mama! I look up to her in so many ways.

     Fast forward to 2016, I'm pregnant with my first babe and Elise is building up her birth photography business! She posted that she would be taking clients in Lubbock and Midland starting late May/early June and I was ecstatic! I was due June 7th and knew I wanted Elise to be there if possible. She called me a few weeks before my due date, talked through my expectations of her, helped me think through a few things and made me feel comfortable and confident leading up to having Titus.








     Once again if you missed his birth story you can check out the links at the top of this post, but to summarize, she was a huge part of encouraging me through my labor and delivery. I am so thankful for her. The single best thing about what she does is the fact that I now have a photo story of the entire process of having my child. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with how everything went and fully heal emotionally from the expectations I had that weren't met. 

I expected a birth center birth. I ended up transferring to the hospital.

expected a vaginal delivery. I ended up having a c-section.

I expected to have my husband, mom, mother-in-law, Elise, best friend and midwife present for the birth. I had a team of doctors, my husband and Elise present for the birth.

I expected to have my baby placed on my chest immediately after taking his first breath. I had him on my chest after the cord was cut, he was cleaned, weighed, diapered and wrapped up in a blanket.

I expected to feed my baby and have skin-to-skin with him for the first hour after delivery. I had skin-to-skin for about ten minutes (which I am incredibly thankful for) before the medicine made me too loopy to hold him any longer and they took him to the nursery for blood draws and an exam.

I expected to have a serene, natural, painful, beautiful birth experience. I ended up having a stressful, scary, medicated, surgical birth experience.

     The first time I saw the photos I watched them as a slideshow with my favorite worship song playing in the background. I cried as they rolled through remembering that day. I was elated to finally meet my son after such a long five days of laboring, but after getting home with him I started to feel the disappointment in myself that I wasn't able achieve a vaginal delivery. As I processed everything and played all the decisions back in my head, I started to question a lot. I questioned our decision to use a midwife instead of an OB. I questioned my motivation for desiring a natural birth. I questioned my body's ability to birth my child. I questioned my own endurance and strength. I began to work through what became a somewhat traumatic experience, while also being the second greatest day of my life in meeting my son. 

     As time passed I began to see that the Lord had a specific plan for Titus' birth. He showed His sovereignty over me and that His plan was sufficient. He taught me the importance of surrendering to   Him when I think I have it all figured out. The photos Elise took helped me move from a state of shock and disappointment to a state of thankfulness and acceptance of the birth the Lord had planned for Titus. Now I can look at them with joy and remember all that was positive about that day!











     Here is the moral of this long winded story: My birth experience was nothing I thought it would be. The Lord used it to teach me much, and I can't wait to share with Titus one day how his birth taught this self reliant mama to rely more fully on the God of the universe! The Lord also used Elise and her work to bring me to that point. Hire her! She is professional, compassionate, respectful, helpful and so knowledgable. I love her dearly as my friend and as my photographer. I will most definitely have her at my next child's birth (if possible) and I highly recommend her.

I love Elise. I love my son. And I have grown to love the story of his birth.

xoxo || meredith

p.s. the Lord also used THIS sweet article to draw me to Himself through the healing process!

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