oh, how He loves us.

my phone chimed its annoying tinker bell text messaging alert chime at 2:40 am.

tim: nicole is 9cm dialated.
me: on my way.

that was the beginning of one of the most amazing experiences of my life. i had been waiting for that text for over a week. i secretly hoped that i would share a birthday [june 28] with the lil man. but he decided his own date in july would do. i drove down the abandoned manteca streets to doctor’s hospital. drove into the one-way exit road and parked next to the entrance. ran over to the sliding glass doors only to be rejected by its locked panels. like a mad woman, i ran around the hospital to the emergency room. let’s be real here, i had no idea that when you say you are 9cm that can actually mean that you potentially have hours to go. hence why i thought it was necessary to run around like crazy.

[un]friendly nurse: visiting hours are 8am-8pm.
me: i am here to photograph the birth. i wouldnt visit at 3am. [yes, i was a lil rude back, i admit]

she lets me pass through. i briskly walk down to l&d to discover that it was a desert town. silence everywhere. i approach room number 4 and slowly walk-in. that moment was surreal. my dear friend whom i had talked to 12 hours previously was in the midst of it. the pain that you read about in genesis 3:16 at work right before my eyes. her husband, tim, softly and lovingly trying to serve his wife with back massages and words of encouragement. the nurse entered and confirmed that she was 10cm and ready to push. from here, the next two hours seemed [for a third party] like ten minutes. this is when the majority of my photos took place. nicole, tired and yet optimistic, was smiling and even joking in between pushes. tim constantly reaffirming that her work was paying off. eventually, the doctor arrived. oh, side-note, she looked exactly like kris jenner. i would put money on it that they were separated at birth. ah the irony behind that.

its incredible how she changed the mood of the room. her presence confirmed that we would indeed be seeing the baby. and so it began. when nicole first asked me to photograph the birth, i was ecstatic but also a lil worried that i would pass out. i blame my false assumptions on the movies. it does not happen as fast as you think it does. and it is not disgusting at all. it is by far one of the most amazing, glorious and unique experiences i have ever had. and i wasn’t even the one in labor.

about five minutes before he was born, i stood back [wasn’t allowed to photograph this part] and prayed for his life. that God would draw the baby to Himself. that his life would be Glorifying to God. i got choked up while i prayed. and in a flash, he was born.

God is so incredible. His creation of a woman’s body and a baby’s life blows me away. i remember the day that God began to “knit together” the baby in Nicole’s womb. the moment she pic text messaged me the confirmation that she was indeed pregnant. seeing him kick her belly. and now seeing him arrive into the world. i could only leave the hospital in Awe of our Heavenly Father.

Declan Wayne Wheeler was born on July 6, 2012 @ 5:38 p.m.

Declan is loved by so many here on earth – his parents, grandparents, aunts [me!], uncles [tim!], and cousins. But the amazing thing is that none of us could ever match His Heavenly Father’s love for him. Unwavering Love. Oh how He loves us so.