Sharing a birth can be a bit personal, but we are personal with every single one of our couples. We don’t really hold anything back, so this blog entry won’t hold back much either.
Remy Lyn Holt was born on Sunday, March 20th, 2016, at 8:26pm. We knew, but we really didn’t know, how our whole lives would shift and change at that moment. It was the moment that we went from being a couple to being a family, from being lovers to being providers. We made this, this beautiful thing. This beautiful little ball of potential and hopes and dreams and love.
Judy started the whole ordeal on Saturday, when the contractions started to get real in the early day. We counted the intervals (you need to be in the hospital at 5-1-1, or 5 mins between contractions for one minute each over the span of one hour). We planned on being near the hospital at 10-1-1 to be safe, since we live 1/2 hour away from it. So at 9pm on Saturday, we were eating out at Slaters 50/50, which in hindsight was an awesome and filling last meal for Judy (she was not allowed to eat solid food until Monday morning). The hilarious thing is that the servers were freaking out a little bit when Judy would have contractions (and half the cousins at the table would video record it in horror and then while laughing). We were at 15-20 minutes at the start, but bumped up to 10-12 minutes by the end of the meal.
We checked into the hospital at 2am. You can see some of the candids moments here:
So Judy got an epidural around 7am. It was pretty painful at that point for her, so the contrast in stress and tension was huge from before and after. We then had the long wait of seeing how dilated and effaced she would be over the coming hours. It came slowly, until our OB/GYN came and visited for his nightly rounds. He examined Judy and immediately said, “Uh oh, that’s not good.” He measured her at 6cm, even though the nurse incorrectly diagnosed her at 9cm and already had her starting to push. On top of that, little unborn Remy was sunny-side up (posterior position), or basically her head was pointing forward instead of backwards. That’s bad for a natural birth, since it’s harder to get through. Also, she was big baby, making it more of an issue.
So off we went for the emergency c-section after about 24 hours of labor at this point. Judy went into surgery at 8:13pm.
They let me in to the surgery with my big, professional camera (5D mk3 with a 24-70mm). I had actually done portraits of our doctors whole office as a gift, so he had been behind my lens before. As he stood there with both of his hands inside of my wife’s belly, he turned to me and asked, “So do you have your camera ready?” I shockingly nodded yes and this happened right after:
Through the whole ordeal, I had held up pretty well. When I first heard Remy cry out, tears starting pouring out of my eyes. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. Now, it’s more like an alarm clock 🙂 but that’s just parenthood.
They immediately checked her vitals. Her head was super sloped due to sitting in Judy’s pelvis in the wrong position, but that changed over the next few days. But man, that is a full head of super thick 3/4 Asian hair.
Remy clocked in at a healthy 8lb 3oz. That’s the only thing I’ve ever cared about during the whole pregnancy is for us to have a healthy baby.
Then they swaddled her for the first time and she looked like a little burrito, or should I say a moo shu burrito.
And I was able to get the first moment that Judy set eyes on Remy as they brought Remy back to her mother.
Our first family photo!!
While they stitched Judy back up, I went into recovery with Remy. The silence in the room was like leaving a concert and stepping outside. It was just me me and her, father and daughter. The nurse did her thing, but was quiet and quick and off to the side most of the time.
And this is when shit got real for me. Remy grabbed my finger. That’s when she went from a baby to MY baby. I knew then that I’d be there to care for and protect her, that this was my little life in my hands.
We spent the next four days in the hospital. That room became this place of bonding and care. It was great for teaching us how to care for this new life, while also bringing us together in the bonds of family. We got little sleep, but that was okay. The food was meh, but that was okay. My bed was made for someone half my weight, but that was okay. It was an amazing period of our lives that we look fondly on. I don’t think we could ever relive that again. It was once in our lifetimes and we will cherish that. Luckily we have some photos to help relive that experience.
After we got home, we called upon our dear friends and bad-ass baby photographers Steve Hoffmann and his wife Chin-lu, who are the amazing team behind Chinnylulu Designs. The photos they produced are OUTSTANDING, especially considering that Remy was a bit fussy that day. Make sure that you book them in advance too, since the portraits need to be done in the first two weeks after birth.
So that’s the story of our first baby, our darling little girl, our family taking it’s first step. When we shorten Judy + Gavin, we often just say Gudy for short. Now with Remy, we might say Grudy instead. Or maybe not.