Joining a family during the most tenuous moments in their lives can sometimes be tricky. Birth is unpredictable. Exciting. Loaded with emotion. Some families naturally just roll with it. They bring bags of treats, play cards and knit patiently. They pace hallways and fake smiles to anyone that passes by, when in their hearts and heads, they're engulfed in worry. This is the story of waiting with the Wurn - Dykema family. (We'll get to their newest addition in a few.) I intentionally use the singular form of the word "family" since I've not been around two groups who've blended together so naturally, even in the midst of some moments of uncertainty.
Waiting was the name of the game. Soon-to-be parents, Emily and Kevin, were induced at 5am. By 2pm, I arrived since Em was at a 7 and progressing on pace. Every indication was that the baby was soon to enter the world. Little did we realize that after a slow build followed by nearly three hours of pushing, we'd be anxiously awaiting news of an open OR for an emergency c-section. It seemed that everyone in Grand Rapids was having a baby on Monday, May 16. (See future post for my other friend who was laboring just two doors away from Kev and Emily's room. It's indeed 7 degrees of separation when you walk into a major metro area maternity waiting room and you know both families sitting beside one another awaiting news of their loved ones).
The wait for the OR felt nearly as long as the news that the baby had arrived. OK, for Em, I imagine it felt a lot longer since she was the one experiencing full blown labor and being asked to not push. Though I can only tell you the story unfolding in the tiny waiting room with a 2 visitor limit that we were epicly breaking. Regardless, every family member's eyes were glued to the door, waiting for Kevin to announce the arrival and gender of their new baby. After many false alarms, he finally arrived shortly after 6:17pm with news of a son, Jude Michael.
So I'll recant my previous statement that waiting for news of the baby was the longest part. In actuality, waiting for the first looks at little Jude may have seemed longer once we were assured that momma and baby were doing well. By 9:30 we were allowed to get our first glimpse of the little guy...and Grandma was able to see for herself that HER baby girl was doing just fine.
I went into the day with a close relationship to the Dykema's. I fully anticipated their mix of restrained, quiet strength and exuberant emotion. Emily's twin sister, Hannah, knitted more amazing baby gear than I could have ordered on Etsy in the same time frame. Cool as a cucumber. Little sister Abby; let's just say her ear spent a lot of time glued to a certain delivery room door. Meanwhile, brother James kept all of us laughing and rolling our eyes with his mix of sarcasm and chiding. You can imagine what Grandma was like just by looking at these images....and all of this under the calm energy of newly minted Grandpa Dykema. So not only did I get to capture the first look of this wonderful family, I got to spend the entire build up with the Wurn family too! What a funny, sweet and welcoming group of people. 12 hours into delivery, we were happy for the company and energy they brought to the room as we waiting for Jude to arrive. If you have to weather the tides of uncertainty, I'd pick this tribe to travel with!
A special thank you to the Wurn - Dykema clans for allowing this outsider a special seat alongside you as you welcomed your newest member. It was a privilege to witness your first looks at your new love.