Amelia Frances Carel joined our family today, January 15, 2010 at 12:48 p.m. She weighs 8 pounds 6 ounces and is 20 1/2 inches long.
Formed nine months ago as two cells meet, then perfectly knit together in the womb, the miracle of birth is an awesome display of God’s majestic splendor. Today I met my daughter for the very first time and although I have experienced the joy of being a new father three times before, the awe and wonderment of it all overwhelms me.
We chose this time to have our birth at our home under the amazing care and supervision of our midwife, Rene’e. It was such a privilege to share this miracle of new life with such a wonderful and godly woman. She and her assistant Rose Marie prayed and cared for Gretchen as she labored and then delivered. They graciously served us and made this experience a joy.
Mark and Jody Robinson drove from Illinois to be here for the birth. Jody has been at each of our children's births and it was such a privilege to have her with us again. She chased kids when necessary, helped prepare food, set up, cleaned up, took video, took pictures (amazing pictures of Amelia's first moments of life), encouraged and comforted us both. We did not see much of Mark as he had kid duty. What a gift to have them with us.
Gretchen and I were able to share a last minute date night last night and enjoyed a dinner and some time together “hanging out.” The birth was amazing. Her water broke at 3:00 a.m. about two hours after we went to bed. She progressed through the night and morning until about 11ish when labor truly began. We filled the tub (plastic kiddy pool) and prepared for the water birth. Gretchen was strong and I was very proud of her, after only about five strong contractions in the water, Amelia decided it was time to meet her expectant family. Gretchen caught Amelia and pulled her up and to her chest....amazing. We covered her and held her while Jake cut the cord. Each of the kids got to see, touch and kiss her before knowing whether they had a brother or sister.
The whole process was surreal. I look forward to the joy that this new life will bring to our family.