When Grey was 8 days old

I can’t believe that Grey turned 8 weeks old this week and I have still been sitting on these picture from when he was just 8 days old! I hadn’t realized how much he had grown since our first week at home together until I looked back on these photos. Everyone told us how fast time will go and how quickly he would grow. They weren’t kidding. I decided to  blog these photos now to show a glimpse into our first week at home with Grey, and to just simply journal this memory of him being so little.

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Grey’s Birth Story

It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since Grey became a part of our lives. We have been so busy taking care of him and our client work that it’s been hard to find the time to write the birth story and collage his newborn photos together. Steve and I wanted to document such a special day in our lives so we can remember the story of how he entered the world…

With my due date being Christmas Day, I had hoped the baby would stay put for a few extra days so our child wouldn’t share their birthday with a major holiday. Thankfully Christmas came and went, and Steve and I enjoyed what we called our “bonus days” as a couple before the baby came into the world and made us a family.

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On December 29th, Steve and I went to my week 41 doctor appointment and were told the baby was not coming anytime soon. My doctor said we would likely need to talk about an induction the following week based on the lack of progress my body was making. It was discouraging to hear, but I chose to hold off on scheduling the induction, with the hope that spontaneous labor may still happen. My general birth plan was to deliver the baby as naturally and unmedicated as possible and let my body do what God designed it to do.

The next day, on December 30th, I woke up feeling sick to my stomach, had a headache and was very tired. I had consistent cramping all day long, and five minutes after lying down to go to sleep that night, the baby kicked in a big way that felt different than anything I had felt before. I heard and felt an audible popping sensation, and all of a sudden my water broke in a huge gush. The rest of the scene was just like a movie. We rushed to pull last minute things together, called the hospital, I edited and printed my final birth plan and at midnight, we made our way to the hospital.

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During the pregnancy, Steve and I decided to hire a doula to help coach the labor, as I really wanted to do it naturally. (This was one of our best decisions, she was amazing!) We called Rita, our doula, on our way to the hospital and she met us in triage. When we were moved into our private room, it was such a crazy thought to think we would be meeting our baby and becoming a family in that very room.

I felt unsure about what I wanted to do during the labor, since this was a new experience for me. It felt odd to have so much attention and focus all on me. Lying down on the hospital bed felt very uncomfortable, so the nurse brought in a yoga ball, and I spent several hours rocking back and forth on the ball, then moved to the tub.

Because my water had broken, the doctors didn’t want to do any checking at the risk of infection, so I started having doubts that I was making any progress. I remember talking to Steve while I was in the tub sharing my fears that I wasn’t having “real” contractions and that I’d only be somewhere around 2cm dilated. The contraction pain didn’t feel unbearable to me, so I figured this must not really be the real thing.

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Around 6:00am, the doctor came to do a cervical check and I was 7cm dilated. It was such a confidence booster to hear that high of a number and it gave me a burst of energy knowing we were getting closer to meeting our baby.

I spent the next few hours squatting and doing lunges in the hopes of moving the baby down. Steve and Rita were working so hard with me, coaching, encouraging, providing counter-pressure to my back, getting barf bags for me, and giving me sips of water and chapstick. (Something I didn’t remember learning in birth class was vomiting during labor. I vomited after almost every contraction from the beginning of labor all the way through the very end of pushing.)

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The next time I was checked I was told that I had progressed to 8.5cm. I continued to squat and do lunges for the next couple of hours. The nurse at the time asked if I was an athlete, but I think I was just so determined to do whatever it took to get the baby to come out, and if hours of squats worked, then I was going to do it. Squatting and exercising actually felt more comfortable to me than lying down on the bed.

I started having a very strong urge to push around 9:00am and asked to be checked again. It was like my body had to push and I couldn’t control it. The doctor came back in to check me and said I was at 8cm, and hadn’t progressed any further. This was so upsetting to me and at this point I lost my focus, started to cry, and was feeling defeated and very tired. The option the doctor gave me was an epidural to take away the urge to push as she said it was too early to be pushing. This was not what I wanted, but I was seriously considering the epidural just so I could have a bit of relief.

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My nurse suggested that I revisit the bathtub, so I went in the tub again. This tub was tiny by the way. As a 5’11” pregnant woman, this tub was not very comfortable for me and I couldn’t really move much during my contractions. I was also very upset about my progression, and was feeling so lost and emotionally drained.

The next part of the labor was a pivotal moment, and Steve was my hero. He was not too happy with what the doctor had told us (his protective husband claws came out), so decided to ask for a second opinion about how far I was dilated. Because my urge to push was so strong and taking over, Steve asked that the attending doctor take a look at my progress to see if I could be cleared for pushing as my body was already telling me to. (I think his exact words to the resident were “can we have a ‘real’ doctor’s opinion?”) I was happy to get out of the tiny tub and get checked again, and sure enough the new doctor said I was at 10cm and to do what my body was telling me to do. This was such good news!

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I started pushing around 11am, and I remember looking at the clock and thinking to myself that I wanted the baby out by noon. The whole pushing part is a blur to me. At one point the baby’s heart rate had dropped, so they wanted me to wear oxygen and flip over and push on all fours. I did whatever they told me to do, but thankfully when the attending doctor came in, she had me flip back around. All I really remember were the bright lights on me, smiling and encouraging faces all around the foot of the bed, and then my OB/GYN came in when it was time to deliver the baby. She was not the on-call doctor that day for deliveries, and came up from her office dressed in her scrubs just for me. It was such an amazing moment to see her. It was a huge rush of relief to have someone familiar enter the room. It honestly felt like a celebrity had walked in and I was in awe that she would take the time and choose to be there with us.

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The pushing is so hard for me to describe. I think my eyes were closed most of the time, but whenever I opened them, there were smiles all around me and so much encouragement to continue pushing on each contraction. Steve was up by my face constantly telling me I was strong and I could do this. I’ve never felt so strong and powerful than I did during that hour. Just before noon, the baby was crowning and Steve and I got to touch the baby’s head. On a big contraction, the baby came out all in one strong push.

Because we didn’t know our baby’s gender before the birth, I reached down and took a look and shouted, “It’s a boy!!” It was 12:05pm on New Year’s Eve that Greyson Clarke Moore was born, and he made his entrance with very loud, but sweet cries. I couldn’t believe I was hearing my very own baby, and meeting this little life who had been inside of me for almost 41 weeks. There were so many emotions to feel, fingers and toes to count, and thoughts to process, but I mostly felt an intense amount of love for Steve. He had been such a strong but sensitive labor coach and supportive partner to me, and to be given the gift of a beautiful baby made my heart so full. Our lives were forever changed in those moments. We became a family.

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photography: Matthew Land Studios


It’s Christmas Eve… which also means it is the eve of Jamie’s due date. Christmas hasn’t felt as magical this year as it has in the past. Instead of shopping for gifts, we have shopped for baby clothes, diapers, a stroller and a crib. Although we minimally decorated our house for the holidays, we mostly focused our efforts towards preparing our home and decorating the nursery. The anticipation that typically precedes Christmas has been replaced with the excitement of waiting for our little one to decide they are ready to join the world.

So now we have made it to Christmas Eve, the eve of our official due date. It is finally here. And like a child waiting to open gifts and discover all that will unfold, we too wait with anticipation.

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In just a few short days, our lives are going to change forever. The weight of that truth causes a rush of feelings and emotions to fall over me. In my attempt to truly savor and remember our life before we have our child, I thought I would write out a few of them.

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Ready The diapers are stocked. The family of stuffed animals is waiting. I even have a daddy diaper bag. I ‘m ready to get this show on the road. Ready to meet our baby. Ready to face this learning curve and the challenges of being a parent as we experience what life with a newborn is going to be like. I’m just ready to start this next season of life.

Curious We don’t even know if we are having a boy or a girl! I’m so curious if we’ll have a son or a daughter. What will their personality be like? Who will he or she look like? What will their hair texture be? Blue, green or brown eyes? I’m so curious it’s killing me to have to wait!

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Awe With every kick to Jamie’s belly and every visible roll, I am in awe of the creation growing within her body. That is a little human actually inside of her. My mind can’t grasp this surreal truth. I am also in awe of the strength and grace with which my wife has carried our child.

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Scared I’m kind of scared. Scared of the unknown. Scared to see the pain my wife will inevitably feel. Scared to journey into fatherhood. What if our baby doesn’t like me? What if I’m not a good dad? What if something happens to our child? If I let it, my mind can run wild with scenarios that induce fear. I hear this is normal?

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Intimidation I can picture going to the hospital… seeing our baby for the first time… introducing our new love to our family… texting photos to our close friends… leaving the hospital and driving home for the first time…. But then what? Do we walk into our house and just put the baby in the crib? I’m kind of intimidated. Birth class didn’t really prepare me for life after the birth. I swaddled a doll and put a diaper on a stuffed animal. I’m kind of intimidated about taking care of a newborn. Clipping little fingernails?  What if I cut off the tip of the finger by mistake? This little life is going to be looking to us for everything… completely dependent. I once had to get a license to serve food at a restaurant. Shouldn’t they require a license for parenting? Should they really let us leave the hospital with a baby?  I feel intimidated.

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Sadness Is it ok to be this honest? I feel a bit of sadness knowing that everything is about to change, and nothing will ever be the same again. I have loved this season of our marriage and that it has just been Jamie and me. I love just getting in the car and going somewhere whenever we feel like it. I love not having a schedule. I love always being together. There are things about this season I am going to miss… simple things like going to the gym together and giving a little wave and smile across the room. I know we will still have date nights, vacations and other moments without our kids, but I also know life will never be the same and I’m sad to say goodbye to this very special season of life I have thoroughly loved. I am clinging to and cherishing these last few special days of ‘just us’.  Please don’t read this as I’m sad to have a baby, because that is not the case.

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Happiness Ok, so maybe this makes me have a split personality, but I simultaneously feel happiness. It is an indescribably kind of joy and I couldn’t be happier to become a dad. I feel happiness at the thought of welcoming this new season of life.  I feel happiness every time I get to hear that strong heart beat. I feel happiness when I see all the stuffed animals in the crib just waiting to meet their new friend. I feel happiness picturing neighborhood walks with the stroller, making new parent friends and just the thought of watching our baby develop a personality.

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Thankful I’m thankful that Jamie is my wife and mother of my child. I’m thankful she has had such a healthy pregnancy. This growing belly hasn’t slowed her down at all! Just this morning she was on the elliptical machine for forty five minutes. I’m thankful for her incredible energy.  I’m thankful for our amazing doctor who puts us at ease and finding a fantastic doula we feel so comfortable with. I’m thankful for all of the love our baby has already been shown and the generosity of our families, friends and clients who have shared in our excitement. I’m thankful that our business has not suffered, and our year is filled with amazing clients who didn’t let our pregnancy and growing family stop them from hiring us to create an incredible event for them. Most of all I’m just thankful for the blessing of this new little life and the all responsibilities that will accompany it.

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Peace My heart is full of peace. There is no perfect time to start a family. We could have waited until we had grown our business further, saved more money, had a bigger house or… you name it. The list would have kept growing though, and I could have easily always thought of why the timing was not right. We decided this time last year that this is what we both wanted. Life isn’t perfect. We still have dreams that have yet to come to fruition. I wish our savings account was bigger. I wish we had moved to a quieter street. None of this matters though. I have complete and utter peace that this was the moment God intended for us to become parents. We were created for such a time as this.  My heart feels the deep sense of peace that surpasses all understanding, and all is well with my soul.

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Love  My heart is full with an immense amount of love. Love for my wife who carries our child within her. Love for our unborn child, whom I can’t wait to hold in my arms. Love for our God, who has created all of the above. My cup runs over.

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I hope that wherever you find yourself this holiday season, that you too have something to be excited about… something joyful to anticipate… something to hope for. From our growing family to yours, we wish you the merriest of Christmases, and a happy New Year.

photography: Matthew Land Studios