Gender Reveal Ideas
So you want to know what it's like living the military lifestyle? Here is just a glimpse of it. The ever-so-dreaded deployments.
I'm Sydnie, owner of Sydnie Decou Photography. My husband is currently serving in the U.S. Army. His first duty station moved us to what they call "The Great Place" Fort Hood, Texas. The minute we moved here, I began my work to build my clientele up again from scratch, specifically birth story clients. Eventually, I met this beautiful soul, Mercedes.
I was so excited to receive a message from her responding to my model call. She gave me a little back story on how this birth was going to go. To sum it up for you:
She's planning an all natural birth with midwives, at the hospital 5 minutes from my house. She is very far along so it is a little last minute. She's expecting a little girl, and she wants her son to cut the cord because her husband is deployed. That's right, he will be attending the birth of his first daughter via FaceTime. I was more than moved to say the least. I was also more than ready to capture this birth story since it has been a few months since I have documented one. We met on a Monday at a Starbucks. We chatted, got to know each other, talked about her first birth experience and what she is planning for this next one. We signed the contracts, and immediately I was on call! Then, TWO DAYS after we met, she was in labor.
I got there around 1:00 in the afternoon. She had been contracting all morning, but you would have no idea with how positive and calm she was. Her dad was there, typing away on his computer while watching his grandson play in the room. Her mom arrived around 3 pm, she was her rock throughout the entire process from then. We began walking the halls together. Up and down and up and down the same 3 hallways. I was enjoying getting some walking in myself because I have been a couch potato since we have been here! Her and her mom INSISTED on feeding me, they would not take no for an answer. I have NEVER eaten at a birth before, usually mom can't eat during labor so out of respect no one else eats, at least in front of her. They ordered me pizza, and we continued our walking.
See?! SO HAPPY AND CALM! And let me tell you, Mercedes could not get over how excited she was that she got to wear that blue dress. She was so giddy over this little detail. You'd be surprised at all of the little things moms appreciate when they have control over their labor and delivery experience. But back to the story;
After a couple hours of walking and timing contractions, Mercedes requested to be checked for progress. Between 6-7 cm. After discussing it with the midwife and nurse, they went ahead and broke her waters. Dad was watching on FaceTime. He reminded her how strong she was, admired her beauty, and told her how much he loved her while they chatted.
Contractions were intensifying at this point, but man was she so incredible during the waves. She would be talking, contractions would begin, she would breathe through them, then once they were done she'd pick back up on her sentence like nothing happened. Its amazing what women can do.
Things were really picking up. Dad had to leave FaceTime for a moment to report to work, but he promised he would be back shortly. Mercedes told him to hurry up, she knew things were picking up, she could just feel it.
She mentioned earlier how it sucked she has to do this alone and she just wished her husband could be there. My heart broke for her. I wanted to tell her she wasn't alone, she had me there, her parents there, her son there, but I didn't know what she was feeling, I have never been through her situation. So I kept quiet and kept shooting. This gave me even more insight about what this lifestyle was truly like. This brought even more appreciation for our military and their families. Honestly, Mercedes taught me so much this day that'll stick with me and she has no idea
But she kept focus, and continued doing what she had to do.
I remember her asking the nurse if she was going to be able to tell when it was time to push, the nurse said to her, "I'm waiting for you to make a particular noise, most moms make a very deep grunting moan and that's when we can tell it's almost time."
Moments later, the noise came that the nurse described earlier. She was transitioning, and FAST. Then she felt tons of pressure. She wanted to back out, she wanted some drugs, but her mom reminded her that this is what she wanted and this meant she was about to meet her little girl. She had to push, her body was telling her to push and she listened. The nurse called the midwife and she came in and checked. Baby was coming.
Mercedes' mom went to get big brother because he wanted to watch and cut the cord. He was excited to meet his baby sister, but when he saw mom moaning and in pain, he became worried and wanted to go back in the waiting room with grandpaw. He was scared for his momma, but even during the worst of the contractions she found a second to breathe and reassure her little guy that mommy was okay and this is how he came into the world too. It was so incredible to see her worried about her first baby during the time her second baby was about to make an appearance. But big brother decided to leave at the very last minute. Dad still hasn't called back on FaceTime yet.
Gripping onto the bed with all her strength, Mercedes let out a soft scream, grunt, moan, (I'm not sure what to call the noise, it was so quiet but so powerful and fierce at the same time) and baby girl was here.
I mean instantly, Mercedes let out a sigh of relief and was smiling ear to ear once they placed baby on her chest. She ROCKED that labor and delivery. She cut the cord herself after some delayed cord clamping time. Then, dad called back on FaceTime. His first sentence when he came back to baby being here was "Oh my God are you kidding me?! I was gone for 10 minutes!" He was shocked to say the least, but this is part of what you sign up for when you make the brave decision to serve our country.
Baby girl was named Gerri Beth, after her incredible grandma (Nonni) who helped mom every step of the way. She well deserved that honor. That was a whole story time, you can read on my Facebook page
( www.facebook.com/sydniesartistry/posts/755254874919683 )
So this is a smidge of what military life is like. Many women have to deliver their children without their partner physically by their sides. If you are one of these women who are about to go through childbirth without your partner there, I just want you to know, YOU CAN DO THIS! You are SO much stronger than you think. Having a strong support system is a MUST when you are living this lifestyle. Deployments are long and hard, but these husbands and wives are some of the strongest humans you will ever meet and they make it through. Military life has its downs, but those downs are met with so many ups. The closeness of this community is something you won't experience anywhere else. I was more than honored to have met such a kind, beautiful, loving family. They treated me like I was apart of the family as well and I couldn't have asked for a better first birth story in my new place I call home. Enjoy the rest of the photos from this beautiful birth story.