Announcing the Arrival of …

Wanted to pop in and share some of the details of our little man’s birth! This is just the first peek – there were so many exciting twists and turns and I’m still amazed that we’ve been snuggling for over 36 hours! At this point with Jemma’s labor/birth she had only been born for an hour! That’s right … 40 hour first labor to a 4 hour second labor!
On to Max’s story … I stayed up late sewing Wednesday night, crawled into bed around 12:30 am early on Thursday and started feeling a little crampy. I planned to drift off to sleep and wake up in the morning, but by 1 am I was definitely having consistent birth waves. My water broke at 2:20 am and I nudged Dominic with the news. He responded with, “That’s exciting” and rolled back over, he was fast asleep … hahaha! After a visit to the bathroom I had another big gush. Things were definitely happening so I sent texts to our birth team and woke up Dominic for real. I still planned to try and rest/relax for the remainder of the night as I assumed I had quite a few hours ahead of me.
A little side note about birth location … Throughout my pregnancy we had plans to birth at a birth center, but then considered renting a fancy hotel room or timeshare. This would allow us more of the freedoms of a homebirth. An actual homebirth wasn’t an option since our birth team was located about 1.5 hours north which put us out of their homebirth range.
Contractions picked up big time and by 3:30 am our doula and birth photographer arrived. Our midwife team was en route as well. I was nearing transition at this point and Dominic, our doula, and midwife were making a fresh plan. There was no traveling in my future! Dominic was to unpack the car and set up at home. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Brother would be arriving at home – whether or not the midwives could make it in time!
Around 4:30 am, I pushed out baby’s head while I was leaning over the bathroom counter. Contractions continued, but our little man was a bit stuck. Our amazing doula was relayed instructions by Dominic who was on the phone with our midwife. The instructions were to have me move onto my back and have Dominic pull my knees to my ears so the doula could reach inside me and under baby’s armpits. Eek! She was super calm the whole time and we are extraordinarily blessed to have had her with us!
At 4:41 am on August 9th our sweet baby was in my arms! Happy, healthy, and excited to nurse :) Our midwife and her two assistants arrived shortly after, assessed everyone as healthy and we snuggled into bed after a few stitches.
Later in the day we landed on the name Max Valentine for our 10 pound, 4 ounce, 20.5 inch long boy. Max was my great-grandma’s brother’s name and Valentine has been in our family as a middle name for generations. Max Valentine means “great strength” which matches perfectly with the Bible verse we chose for him … 
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
-Isaiah 40:31
I’ll definitely be posting more pictures and fun stories of my two littles amidst all the great guest posts I have lined up. Ah … I can hardly believe I have two sweethearts now! I’ll be posting lots on Facebook too – which links to my Twitter – so be sure to like me there for up-to-date info!
P.S. Our photographer left for a four day vacation a few hours after Max’s birth – talk about perfect timing! So, when she gets back I’ll have fabulous birth photos and more details to share!
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  1. says

    whoa! max is a big (beautiful!) boy! so glad your labor was so much shorter this time around. i couldn't get over how much more quickly things went with owsley than they did with gage.i hope you and your family are all doing well, and that big sister adjusts to the new addition smoothly!congratulations!!

  2. says

    Amazing! Congratulations, he is super cute.

  3. says

    Congratulations!!! What an amazing story! And such a gorgeous baby! I'm so happy for you guys! :)

  4. SadieDear says

    Whoo hoo, welcome Max! I love love love the name and the Scripture you chose for him. And his birth story made me whoop out loud… I love it! Your little boy was in a serious hurry… I'm telling you. He's gonna stay in a hurry for the rest of his life if he's anything like my baby boy. You're going to love it!

  5. Briana says

    He is beautiful! Congrats!

  6. says

    LOVE it! Great story, beautiful little man and perfect verse!

  7. Laurentummel says

    Congrats, I love his name and the scripture! It sounds like you got the birth you envisioned, I'm so happy for you!!

  8. says

    Congratulations! Love his name, and what a big healthy boy! Sounds like it was quite the experience, can't wait to see the pictures :)

  9. says

    yay!! so thrilled for you and can't believe it happened so fast!!

  10. Chrissy xxx says

    Congratulations!! He is precious!!

  11. says

    What a handsome little man. Your birth story sounds so thrilling. And so quick! So pleased to meet little max.

  12. Waldenmommy/Laura says

    Yay, so happy for you! I love his name and the verse you chose for him- it is also my fave verse!

  13. says

    Congratulations! What an amazing story, and how lucky for him to be born quickly! (This gives me hope for our second). Welcome, Max!

  14. Rebekah says

    Congratulations Gretchen! He is precious! Your story is wonderful and I'm so glad you were able to share this soon after his birth. His name is so strong and unique. Best wishes and hopes for a quick and easy recovery!

  15. says

    Congrats Gretchen! He is such a beautiful sweet boy, he looks so pleased and comfortable to be out in the world. 10+lbs in 4 hrs, at home, amazing story!! 've been following yout blog, and the end of your pregnancy, on NPN and have been really engaged by your writing and gorgeous pictures. I have 2 of my own kids, an older girl and little brother (9 months), and it's quite a (lovely) adventure. Enjoy!

  16. Momma Jorje says

    So exciting! I'm always so envious of home births. It sounds like everything was pretty perfect. I LOVE the name!!

  17. says

    Oh my goodness this is so encouraging! yay! I'm so, SO excited for you guys!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing Max's story!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 Kael's labor was 43 hours and I've been so nervous and another long haul…. i hope my experience is similar to yours!

  18. says

    Yay! love your story! So glad that it was so quick and easy this time around. Max is so precious and perfect. Sending lots of hugs to you and your new little man! Bring him down here for a visit soon!! xoxoxo

  19. Nessa Bixler says

    So very happy for you!! What an amazing birth story. Fantastic job mama!

  20. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I'll be praying #2 goes swiftly for you as well. I totally understand those pre-labor nerves! It's hard to imagine something different when the only frame of reference is your first experience. You can do it! Can't wait to hear your birth story in a few weeks :)


  1. […] Flashback —> 40 weeks with Jemma and 40 weeks with Max […]