Today I experienced one of the most beautiful things anyone can ever experience in a lifetime – I watched a baby be brought into the world. It was very long and very tiring, but it was worth it to see the smiles on both of the parents’ faces at the end of it all. Maddie and Ben did a great job getting through the 17 hours that it took to welcome their baby girl into the world today! They got to the hospital last night, April 22nd, at 730, and Ashton Lane took her first breath of air at 12:30 pm on April 23rd, 2018. Here is a little moment that I captured that is one of my favorites.
At the beginning everything was great. All 3 of us were super pumped, and super excited about what was about to happen. After a few hours, Maddie started to get really uncomfortable and started contracting really bad. They put this balloon thing into her cervix to help dilate her faster (sorry for my lack of medical terms, I am no doctor). Well apparently this balloon made her contractions extremely painful.
After she got through 2 hours of that balloon thing and it came out, she was good to go! Her entire demeanor changed and she rocked the labor like the boss that she is! You all have no idea how proud I am of this little woman for handling her labor the way she did. Not once did she yell or scream. There were a few tears, but of course, that is to be expected. I was waiting for some fuck you’s and some shut the hell up’s, but none of these words were even mumbled. Maddie got Pitocin at 9:30 pm to start her contractions, and did not get the epidural until around 7 this morning. She dealt with the gradually increasing pain of the contractions like a champ.
Not only did Maddie rock this labor, but Ben was a great partner. He held his wife’s hand, and kissed her forehead, and told her how great she was doing the entire time. It made me so happy to see them communicating, and helping each other through one of the most incredible moments of their lives. They started a family together today, and I could not be more proud of them.
Yes, most of this post is going to be pictures, because words truly do not do the past almost two days any justice. The one thing I really wanted to do for this couple is to be there to reassure them that everything would be alright while taking pictures that they could share with their families and look back on for the rest of their lives. I feel like I did an alright job with that considering I had to fight through a nurse who just had to get her elbow in almost every single shot (yes, I know she was just doing her job).
When the baby finally made her entrance and the other nurse put her on Maddie’s chest I literally had to fight to get around Nurse #1 to get good pictures of their first look at Ashton.
Hey lady! Outta my way! I have a damn camera and I need to document this moment for these two!
Also, I will let you all know that when Maddie started pushing, I turned into a mushy pile of shit, and cried my eyeballs out. I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was the fact that I am so invested in Maddie as a friend, or that I have watched her little bump grow over the past 6-7 months. I have no idea what it was, but the emotions hit me like a MAC truck and I lost it there watching her and her husband share such a life-changing moment. I am so appreciative to these two for coming into my life, even though sometimes I just want to smack Ben (let’s face it, men are annoying sometimes), and allowing me to be a part of a moment so special to them.
To Maddie: I honestly find it hard to express in words how much I have grown to care about you over the past few months. I have become this overprotective, insane, over-bearing friend that sometimes says too much. I was so proud of you today for tackling this life challenge head-on, and making it look like a piece of fucking cake. You are my hero girl! You are going to be a great mom, and I know Ashton will see the same thing that I see when she gets older. I love you like the little sister I never had (and yes, you also get on my fucking nerves as well sometimes!), but I really cannot wait to see you raise this child, and rock the mom life while Ben goes on his deployments. I know you will be afraid at first, just like you were when the doctor said it is time to push, but you will get through it just as gracefully as you did the labor today. Always remember, after I leave, I will always just be a snap chat, facebook messenger, facetime, or phone call away!
I am just going to add that Maddie had a complication after giving birth, and internally I was freaking the fuck out, but on the outside, I was calm, cool, and collected for both Ben and Maddie. I just kept telling them whenever they made eye contact, it’s ok guys! Everything is going to be fine! I’m not sure if this made them feel any better about what was going on, but it definitely made me feel a bit better. I was so afraid that it was going to make a turn for the worst, and I just could not even deal with thinking that. I was just so worried about her!
To end this on a good note, my favorite thing about this whole labor ordeal was feeding Maddie ice chips post labor like a baby bird. We were cracking up.
Needless to say, it has been a crazy past two days, and I am just so happy to have been a part of it!
I will add more pictures now, because I can’t get over how cute this little family is!
Everyone, meet Ashton Lane Marshall!!