On the morning of February 11th 2019, our hearts grew a little bit bigger when our sweet boy decided to officially join our family. Ashton Clarence Pett was born at 11:01 AM, measuring 22 inches in length and weighing in at a whooping 9 lbs 6.8 oz of sweet chunky love. He's been with our family for just under three weeks now, and even though his original arrival was a bit of an early surprise, now that he's here I can't help but reflect and feel grateful for what originally seemed like hectic timing because of how much joy it's brought us since. 💙
To say that I didn't expect Ashton to arrive when he did would be a gross understatement. My OB had mentioned to me a few times that she didn't see me making it all the way to my estimated due date (February 20th) because of Ashton's size, but I hadn't had much progression in my weekly appointments and thought for sure that I'd make it to at least my 39/40 week milestone before meeting our baby boy. I'd had inconsistent contractions that had been growing stronger day by day, but I genuinely believed that I could mind-over-matter my baby into staying inside of me at least until the 16th when my parents would fly in so that I could have my dad to help watch Emery and my Mom to help Kyle & I through labor as my birth coach. February 10th started (and seemingly ended) as any other casual Sunday; Kyle, Em & I went out to brunch in the morning and relaxed through the afternoon, and come bedtime I followed my nightly routine of chamomile tea, reading, sleep aide, and pregnancy meditation, and was sound asleep by 10PM. Around 11:50PM I woke up with a gasp and a "Kyle I think my water broke" as the mess spread over our bed proving that my water definitely had broken, and I realized that some things in life you just can't control with sheer willpower, and instead have to respond to with a slightly modified "mind-over-matter" mindset to get through the experience ahead. Ashton was ready to join our family, and it was time for me to get on board.
Since my parents were still in Utah and I had no way to teleport them to Louisville, we instead called on my dear friend Megan a little after midnight to see if she could watch Emery for us while Kyle and I went to the hospital. I swear if there was ever such thing as a heaven-sent friend, Megan is that friend. She came over to our apartment without a moments hesitation, slept on our couch, and then proceeded to take care of not only Emery but also Kyle and I in every way possible until my parents made it out the few days later. Before Kyle and I left for the hospital, she reminded me that everything happens for a reason and that Ashton coming early was probably meant to be, and although I could feel the anxiety of going into a natural labor without my birth coach (aka my mom) creeping at the back of my mind, I took her words to heart and left for the hospital with Kyle nervously cracking jokes and working to find peace in the idea that our baby coming a week and a half early was exactly how it was always meant to be. After all was said and done, I feel even more grateful for Meg's sweet reminder and can genuinely say that I do believe that Ashton coming early was a blessing for our little family. During my labor with Em I depended mostly on my mom to get through the contractions, and as forever grateful I'll be to her for her help through that event, it was such a special experience to be able to go through labor with only Kyle by my side. I was in labor for about 11 hours from start to finish, and Kyle was my rock and solid support through it all. I had to get put on pitocin (again- apparently my body just doesn't love progressing on it's own), and through every single contraction Kyle was right beside me helping me to stay relaxed, and when I reached the roughest part of labor right before Ashton (very quickly) came out, Kyle was the one who helped keep me grounded and get me through it all. Having a new baby is always a special experience, and this time around I felt just so grateful to be able to share and go through that occasion with Kyle in a new way that brought us even closer together as a couple.
Kyle and I took the day of Ashton's birth to spend together with just the three of us, and the next night brought Emery to the hospital to meet her baby brother. Her giggling excitement over seeing him is something that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. Ashton was a little fussy when Kyle brought Emery into the room which I hadn't been anticipating (we'd tried to plan it so that he'd be asleep during the initial meeting part but once again life showed us that we can't control everything 😆) but instead of getting overwhelmed or annoyed by his cries Em patted his head while telling him over and over "oh it's ok!". We are still adjusting as Em learns to share our attention and time with her baby Ashton, but her love and obsession with him have stayed strong and have literally made all of my hopes and dreams for their relationship come true, and it has been the best thing watching her with him over these past few weeks as they continue to grow and get used to each other.
I remember when writing up Emery's birth story I had made a few main points that I wanted as personal takeaways from her labor & birth, and it's funny now going back and reading through those past notes to myself how many of them still rung true with my labor and birthing of Ashton. Contractions still hurt like hell (but were still managed decently well thanks to Kyle and a LOT of meditation/deep breathing), I still embarrassed myself during labor and had to choose to not care about it (Ashton came out so quickly that the on-call OB wasn't actually able to make it into the delivery room in time, and while the nurse was desperately trying to keep him from coming out I was 100% that crazy labored woman that you see in movies swearing and yelling for the doctor 😳), and more than anything was given the reminder that there are SO many things in having a baby that are completely out of my control, but that with a loving support team and keeping my main motivators and priorities at the front of my mind, that it would make all the difference and make for an "alls well that ends well" situation. I'm still so amazed at the body's ability to create, grow, and birth a perfect little baby, and feel so grateful for the timing of our sweet little babe because it has helped me to appreciate SO much more than I feel like I would have otherwise. I can't even put into words just how much love and appreciation I have for Kyle, my parents, Megan, and other girlfriends that have all come together in one form or another to help us welcome Ashton into the world. I don't know if I've ever fully believed that whole "it takes a village" saying until this boy decided to surprise us with his early arrival, and now I don't only understand it but also feel so much gratitude for the specific "village" that I've been blessed with. We're off to an amazing start to this lovely little adventure as an official family of four, and I can't wait to see how our story continues to unfold now that our sweet little Ashton Clarence has joined the party. This is my happy place. 💙
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.