Sometimes the things you hear while behind the lens are as priceless as what you are trying to capture through the lens. This certainly rang true as I journeyed with the Chambers family through the incredible welcoming of their twins, Silas and Braylee.
First time moms these days are so much more informed than when I experienced bringing my bundles of joy into this world. New moms today have so many venues for gathering information and getting answers to all those questions that come along with child-birth. Recently however, I met the man in the blue scrubs who was sitting beside a soon to be first time mommy. His name across the front of his custom-made scrubs simply said, “Daddy.” I quickly learned this soon to be dad had done extensive “research” also. Let the fun begin 🙂
The journey starts around midnight as the soon to be parents arrive at the hospital and begin the check in and settling in process. I arrive at the hotel to hang out with the soon to be grand parents, great grand parents, and the most excited soon to be, Aunt Brooke. Having been friends with this family since our children were toddlers, I was so blessed and honored to be sharing in this once in a lifetime moment with them. The waiting game had begun. Waiting for a call, waiting for a text, just waiting waiting waiting.
The text arrives, “we’re in a room”, and suddenly the sleeping soon to be Grandpa we will call Poppa is on his feet and soon to be Grandma Gigi, is waiting at the door. I watch all the emotions as they begin to unfold. Excitement for the birth of their first grand-babies. Anxiousness to see their own child experience the pain of childbirth. Laughter from a few simple words I uttered almost under my breath,”so says the man in the blue scrubs.”
I had not met this soon to be daddy on many occasions so I was trying to be as “invisible” as possible and still capture the moments of this exciting new chapter of their lives. Gigi does her best to calm the nerves of her child. Soon to be mom is restless and trying very admirably to mask the fact she is experiencing pain. As her mom is trying to explain to her it is perfectly okay to say it hurts because as moms we know it does, the first “So Said” opportunity presents itself. The man in the blue scrubs explains to everyone the color coded monitor we are watching with heartbeats of baby A, baby B, and mommy, and also the machine measuring contraction intensity and frequency. As I’m capturing the time on the clock, the monitors, the equipment, the faces, that’s when it happens. “She is only dilated to a 3 so she’s not in a lot of pain right now. “We” won’t be in active labor until she is at a 6 so its’ going to be a while.” So said the man in the blue scrubs.
It’s 4 am and the watch party makes their way back to the hotel to see if there is any possibility that a few minutes of sleep might be an option. Minutes give way to hours and for a brief time all is quiet. Sitting in that recliner I tried to imagine the day I’d share in a joyous occasion like this with my own children. My heart smiled and I thanked God for giving me this sneak peek. Then I literally laughed out loud thinking about what was ahead for the man in the blue scrubs.
8:30 am finds us all back on the 5th floor getting settled in what will be our new living quarters for the day and the night. The halls are buzzing the news “there is someone here that will be delivering twins.” Soon to be grand parents and great grand parents meet other soon to be’s waiting on the arrival of their special bundle of joy. Nurses come and go checking monitors, adjusting meds, and most importantly making mom comfortable, oh…. and answering questions, lots and lots of questions from the man in the blue scrubs.
By noon the man in the blue scrubs has stopped calling me “Linda” and realized my name is Lisa. We’re making progress. So much progress that I step out from behind the lens to put on my “Mom” hat for a brief moment. I observe the man in the blue scrubs looking very tired and moving slowly. Not the same talkative, inquiring minds want to know person I met many hours before. He sits quietly watching his wife eating ice chips. I asked him when he had last eaten. The look on his face told me he wasn’t quite sure the answer. “I’m going to wait until she can eat. That wouldn’t be fair if I had something and she can only have ice chips.” So said the man in the blue scrubs. Instinctively my mom gears engaged. I took a moment to explain that he had to eat so he would be ready for what was to come. I assured him his wife was in great hands with her mom and sister by her side. This was enough to persuade him to step out for some lunch. Inside I once again chuckled at the man in the blue scrubs.
The clock ticks on and what was day soon becomes night. Late night has a very tired and hungry soon to be mom just wanting this process to all come to an end. Doctors visit and answer more questions from the man in the blue scrubs. Emotions are starting to reveal there has been little to no sleep for many faces around me. Soon to be mom has just one request. “Will someone PLEASE just make sure I have a snickers when they say I can eat again.” Just so happens I’ve already raided the vending machine and put her one in my bag. My wonderful husband made a Sonic run for the waiting watch party so we could get a boost of energy and fill up on some caffeine. The man in the blue scrubs ordered a diet coke for soon to be mom to enjoy with her snickers treat. After a few more hours of sitting and waiting the once refreshing drink became a watered down mixture that I was sure would need to be replaced. The attendants arrive to take soon to be mom and dad to the operating room. Hugs and kisses from waiting parents, grand-parents, and sister shower soon to be mom. Soon to be dad is getting in his new hospital issued blue scrubs and I tell him we’ll bring her snickers treat but her diet coke has gotten all watered down. “Perfect, that’s just the way she likes it” so said the man in the blue scrubs.
Capturing the watching, waiting and pacing of the soon to be grand parents, great grand parents, sister, and friends was something I knew I wanted to make part of this journey. Those moments of tension and tears as the minutes turned to 1 hour and then 2 were priceless to witness. Although captured in time as a frozen moment there is no way to convey the sound of those pacing shoes or the heavy sighs asking “how much longer could it possibly take? how long will they make her push before they do something?” then the big door with the “Restricted Area” sign on it opens and they see him and hear him. “Silas is here! Stay right there, now we’re just waiting for Braylee” so said the man in the blue scrubs.
One of the attending nurses finds me to let me know they are about to bring the babies out. I guess after spending so much time with them they knew exactly where I would need to be to capture the expressions on the face of the new daddy and Gigi as they introduced those two beautiful lives to everyone. It was such an amazing thing to see those tiny little bundles and watch the eyes of all the waiting family light up as they saw them for the first time. All those months of waiting and dreaming of what it was going to be like to have two babies born into the family had come to pass. Counting fingers and toes and countless words like, “oh they are just perfect,” “how beautiful,” “oh Silas we know your sister has been kicking your butt, we are so glad to see you.”
New mom arrives from the OR knowing she now has something in common with her mom- the name “Mommy.” It’s a beautiful moment. The nurses begin to filter everyone back to the waiting room so they can attend to mom and babies. My heart is so full of excitement for these new parents. There are no words to describe the joy of being part of the first moments of their lives.
As I handed the watered down diet coke to dad I hear a very tired voice say, “Lisa, I can choose who is allowed to stay here while they get the babies checked out and I’d like you to. My wife did an amazing job tonight and WOW!!! I’m a daddy” so said the man in the blue scrubs.