Josh. Cali. McKallister. Oakland. Quincy. Camden. Murphy.


Josh and I only tried for 9 months to get pregnant with Oakland. Which seemed like an eternity then coming off the loss of Mac and wanting a baby so bad! Everyone knew we had been trying so monthly we were asked if that test read positive yet. I will never forget when I was able to say YES!

My pregnancy with Oakland was hard, but only in the sense of how scared and anxious I was. I cherished every moment I had with her, every ultra-sound and movement. We got a heartbeat machine that I used daily to ensure she was still healthy. I was averagely sick during the first trimester with her so ate ice chips like it was my job to keep the nausea at bay. But I am very grateful for the outlook I had during my pregnancy with her because I did not take one moment for granted. I remember so vividly every kick and the hard times were easier because of how excited I was to get to hold my baby girl.

I had a few additional ultrasounds, mostly because my Dr. rocked and knew that I would need the stability and his assurance more than normal. Josh came with me to every single appointment, by force as well as by choice...I never wanted to hear good or bad news alone again. Before we found out her gender, I had the most mixed emotions. I wanted a boy, but kind of just because I wanted Mac and we were prepared for a boy. But I wanted a girl so that she didn't replace Mac. I knew that they were separate individuals and they would always hold different places in my heart but I wanted others to see them as the two kids that I had.

Emotional wouldn't describe the 9 months of pregnancy. I cried- a lot. I missed Mac and was nervous for Oakland's delivery. The last time I was in the hospital was after I had Mac. After the nurse came and took his little body away. The last memories I have after having him, was going home empty handed. And I knew I wouldn't be able to handle that again. My heart literally could not take it without shattering.

Because of my anxiety, my Dr. offered to induce me at 38 weeks and I had non-stress tests twice a week for the last 3. I would normally schedule a Dr. appointment and then follow it up with the non-stress test since we were already in the area. On the day before they were planning to induce me, Dr. Ollerton wanted to strip my membranes because I was showing zero signs of labor. We walked from his office to the hospital for the non-stress test and to get instructions on when they wanted us to come in the next morning. We planned to finish up there around 6 that night, go to Olive Garden to eat dinner, to bed early and then anxiously await the hospital.

My body had other plans! I had started contractions, which I couldn't even feel, but were detected on the monitors. They watched me for about 2 hours but the contractions weren't slowing so they decided rather than risk it and send me home, they would just admit me then and there! As soon as they moved me to my delivery room though, the contractions were almost nonexistent. Josh decided to run home and grab our stuff (and make a stop at the Olive Garden!!!!) and shortly after he returned, they started me on Pitocin to continue labor.

Contractions, dilation, and effacement continued through the night. Around 9 am, they let me know to call anyone that I wanted in the room but because of hospital regulation at the time it could only be 2 additional people. My Mom was expecting to come in the morning anyways and arrived at the perfect time. And we decided to call Josh's sister, Rachel, to take pictures for us.

Oakland's labor was 100% different than Mac's. My body felt different. The room had different emotions. Our phones were going off for different reasons. My Mom was updating the family with positive texts. And Josh looked happy. My epidural was perfect. I could still feel my limbs and pushes but not the pain associated with it. As soon as I felt the need to push, the Dr. came in to check on me. I wasn't sure that was what I was feeling so hadn't said anything but sure enough, he said, "It's time!". Pushing for 20 minutes seemed unnoticeable compared to the 4 hours I had accepted as my fate after having Mac.

This girl was born at 8 pounds and 19 inches long and it was the most tender moments I have ever experienced. I have never felt such happiness and hope for the future as I did then. I could not control myself as I heard her little cry, the tears came. Like, uncontrollable, hysterical, sobbing. She was crying, she was breathing, she was HERE!!! I remember looking at Josh and seeing the fondest look to ever cross his face. I loved him, I loved her, I loved Mac and I loved what all three of them taught me about love.


I especially loved my Heavenly Father. He knew what I needed more than I did. I felt a spirit that was undeniable. It is true that without feeling pain, you can not understand the happiness. Without knowing what I was missing, I would never have felt this quality of contentment.

Something I missed the most about Mac, something I would never have with him, was him holding my finger or open his eyes at me. That was one of the first things Oakland did for me. She opened her eyes and looked right in to mine and then reached up and took hold of my finger. It was a reassurance that she wasn't going anywhere. And I adored her.



Her birth and pregnancy was the closest thing to normal I will ever get to experience. And I am grateful for every. single. last minute of it.


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