"I just want to use his story as glory to God. That's all I want to do." - Hudson's Mom, Taylor
April 18th, 2018 has been marked on our calendars for a few weeks. In the early months of Taylor and Austin's second pregnancy, it was detected that their baby had developed a heart condition.
While modern day medicine and technology is incredible, doctors and nurses were still unsure of what exactly was going on. The ultrasounds and tests were clear in some areas and in others, they weren't 100%.
Austin and Taylor soon learned that baby number two was a BOY! Joining his older brother, Hayden, this baby was given the name Hudson. Unknowingly, Hudson derives from a Germanic word meaning 'heart, mind, spirit.' How fitting.
Taylor and I had been in communication since the discovery of Hudson's condition. Doctors explained that while they were not 100% of Hudson's complete diagnosis, they knew his little heart was going to need some help and fixing up. This was going to prevent Taylor from having an opportunity to have in-studio newborn pictures because the truth was, Hudson was going to be spending some time using the warrior spirit God created within him to fight for his life.
The day arrived and I was called at 2:30am. A sleepy Austin on the other end said it was time, I should head to the hospital as Taylor was nearing the time of delivery.
When I arrived, Taylor was her chatting self. With that typical pitocin teeth chatter, we spoke, we rested and we waited for her body and Hudson's to near the time we were all waiting for. Because doctors were still unsure of what exactly Hudson's condition would be when he took his first breath, or if he even would, the plan was to labor in a normal room and when it was time to push, we would head to an OR. The OR gave a greater area for teams of doctors to work and just in case of an emergency C-section, we were already there and in place.
Taylor was still laboring. 5cm at 3:30pm. 7cm at 5:30pm. The sun rose and lit up the room. Taylor was turned this way and that as Hudson's heart rate continued to 'decel' lower and lower during every contraction.
It was 7:45am and within seconds, nine nurses were in Taylor and Austin's room. Taylor was quickly dressed with an oxygen mask as she started looking around frantically. Nurses were using terms we couldn't understand, moving her around. Austin was watching from the back of the room, trying to stay out of the way and listen as we were determining what's next.
"Get dressed Austin. Let's go.' A white painter's suit, cap, mask and shoe covers were laid out by the nurse. Things were about to get intense and it was time to see exactly what baby Hudson had in store for us! Taylor was rolled to the OR. Positioned onto a daunting OR bed, Taylor stopped everyone.
"Can I pray with my husband? I need to pray before we do this."
The doctors and nurses stepped back. I watched as Austin prayed over his wife. She was vulnerable and nervous. Every staff member in the room bowed their heads, folded their hands and prayed. As long as I live, I will forever remember feeling God, my good, gracious and powerful God, enter that OR. So much peace and almost a determination flooded the room. It was like an attitude of 'time to get this done' filled in everyone. We wanted to allow Hudson to enter the world and allow God and the doctors to do the rest.
8:15am, Taylor pushed. 'Cleansing breath Taylor. Now PUSH!'. Again, Taylor and the entire room took a cleansing breath. Another push. This time, nurses surrounding the room stopped. All eyes on Taylor. Another push. 'Push girl! You got this.' and 'You're doing great, push!' came out of the mouths of the supportive women surrounding her. It was spiritual and beautiful as every heart in the room reached out to her.
8:29am. Hudson Lee entered this world. While we were on pins and needles waiting to hear a cry, he immediately cried out. Relief washed across Taylor's face as Austin looked over at me and his eyes teared up. (Don't let him deny it. It was wonderful!) we were astounded as Hudson's skin started to pink up, he continued to cry, his arms reaching up and out. All of this being a better reaction from Hudson than we expected.
Hudson was assessed and monitored. While staff calculated his apgar score, we waited to see exactly what was going on. 'Baby scored 9.9' GLORY BE TO GOD! Hudson was (worst case) expected to be born needing resuscitated, possibly not crying and needing lots of medical help. But he surprised us with this. A score of 9.9 out of 10. (Apgar score is a measure of the physical condition of a newborn infant)
I was absolutely astonished. Weeks before Hudson's birth, I told her I had a premonition that Hudson was going to come out a lot better than expected. The night before his birth, I had another premonition he would be born at 8:30am. I was a minute off! But Taylor reminded me of this and I was so happy to have a premonition that was positive for once!
As of 10:45pm tonight, specialists have assessed Hudson and have discovered his condition to be much better than expected.
As Taylor wanted, I dedicate these images and this post to our Lord and Savior. The creator of Hudson and all living things. The great teacher. The comforter. My redeemer. Glory be to you, God! Our father who gives so much grace and love, you've used Taylor as a testament of faith and Hudson as a reminder that God is greater than science, the creator of science. Hudson is living evidence that you are the great I am, the sole provider who provides and protects us. You are wonderful. You are love. You are everything and we are so thankful. Thank you God for Hudson. Thank you even more for bringing the Carpenters into my life. They are an absolute blessing and have grown my faith beyond what I thought was possible.
My soul, praise the Lord! Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with majesty and splendor. - Psalm 104:1
I want to thank you for reading this birth story. A special thanks first to Taylor and Austin for gifting me such a beautiful experience and allowing me into an intimate part of their lives. Special thanks for my husband, my mom and mother in law for holding down the fort while I was out all night documenting this family and then allowing me to come back home and sleep after almost 30 hours without sleep. This would not be possible without you guys! You've blessed this family as well by being there for me!
Lastly, I would like to thank Riverside Methodist Hospital for their care, professionalism, and kindness towards my friends and myself. I understand I am 'just some photographer' documenting some very unique, stressful, and serious situations. Thank you for allowing me in your work space as I was documenting God working through you. Each member of the staff is blessed beyond measure with so much talent and special gifts. It was a pleasure watching you bring Hudson into this world. <3