A Courageous Rainbow Baby Birth in St Augustine, Florida by Lisa Olschewske
There is so much to love about this story and these images. It's hard to understand why certain families are dealt such heartbreaking blows, but it's so incredibly powerful to see the day when joy finally comes. Lisa captured all the emotion and power of this story with her vivid color images. I felt myself tearing up as I looked through them...imagining the many emotions this family was processing as they welcomed their sweet baby into the world. Thank you for sharing with us Lisa - we are better because of it!
Photographer: Lisa Olschewske
Facebook: lisa olschewske photography
I am so beyond happy to be sharing this very special birth story with you. I am so blessed and honored to have been alongside them. On Friday, July 1st at 10:27pm Bryson Kenneth was born very quickly after giving his momma several days of off and on surges. He came on his time. Welcome earth side beautiful boy, you have been longed for!
This incredible couple's backstory is almost unheard of. They suffered the unimaginable losses of both miscarriages and still births before this miraculous rainbow baby birth. Read Kelly's words about her birth experience below.
"Friday was quite the whirlwind. After seeing the midwife at 9 and finding out I was dilated 5 cms, we thought for sure things would start and Bryson would arrive. Having had contractions on Friday and Wednesday with no baby to show was frustrating. I did my best to stay busy and not get discouraged when it seemed like labor was not on the horizon. Some inconsistent and painless contractions came and went throughout the day. We stayed in Jacksonville at my moms until Mike was off and we could make sure I wasn't in labor. At dinner, I was having some mild contractions every 6 mins. We decided to stick around for a bit to see if they intensified before heading home. My dear friend and doula, Lisa, suggested I go for a walk to see what they did. I left my parent's house for a quick walk to the end of the street around 8:00.
Within 10 mins, I was telling Lisa that she must hate me. She has so much love for our family so this is far from the truth. All I knew was that she encouraged my current painful surges because she knew what I needed to get my body into active labor. They went from pesky to intense and 2-3 mins apart. I kept reminding myself of Lisa's truths spoken to me in preparation for this time, it's pain with a purpose that ultimately has a beautiful end result! I extended my walk to take me around the block while she remained on the phone with me, helping me breathe through each surge.
When I got back inside, I figured we would see if they calmed or if it was really time. Lisa already knew it was time but I was in denial. They didn't taper in intensity or space out. It was go time! By this time, they were 1 1/2 mins apart and getting stronger. At 9:00, I called the midwife to let her know we were heading into the hospital. The surges had become very intense so the car ride and walk to L&D were no easy feat. I'm pretty sure the valet attendant and security check in were concerned about me and ready to get me to labor and delivery ASAP. After many stops for contractions along the walk, we made it to L&D admitting at 9:45. Thankfully, my midwife arrived and had already done pre-admission preparation which made the process smoother. We got into the room and I changed my clothes. The other midwife arrived and so did my mom and doula. She checked me and told me I could push whenever I felt ready.
I leaned over my birth ball and made it through a few more contractions when my water broke. I knew I needed to push with the next contraction but I didn't think I had the strength to do so. The next contraction came and within 3 pushes, he was here. So thankful he came out crying as it's a sound I longed to hear from Paisley and Brody. My initial thoughts were, that hurt and I'm glad it's over. Then it hit me, he's here and he's alive. We are bringing a baby home from the hospital! Still seems like such a dream. He was born at 10:27 pm and weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and was 19 in long. This was my first unmedicated birth and I am so thankful to have had the support of my amazing husband and doula during the process. Uncharted territory is always scary but they gave me the confidence to keep going even when things seemed impossible.
Yesterday afternoon, I had my tubal ligation done. As "easy" as this pregnancy was physically, it was an emotional roller coaster that we aren't equipped to face again. Our hearts are full! Mike has struggled more than me with the permanency of closing the door on our childbearing years. I reminded him that it's only closing the door on traditional childbearing. For now, we are blessed to be a family of 6 with 6 angels watching over us.
As for his name, both his first and middle hold a special place in my heart. When I was in nursing school, I did a rotation in pediatrics. While working the floor, I met a teenage boy named Bryson. He had a disease that altered his immune system and he developed a rare infection. I didn't spend much time with him or even know much about him. He was one of the first patients I encountered that didn't make it out of the hospital alive. Over 15 years later and I still think about him so we felt the name was special enough for our son. His middle name comes from my dad's side of the family. Every year, we spend the first weekend of April at family reunion. Every year, we look forward to seeing Uncle Kenneth, my great uncle. He knows how to light up a room and has one of the kindest hearts I've ever known. Uncle Kenneth has a special touch when it comes to kids. It doesn't matter how shy or hesitant a kid might be with strangers, he always wins their hearts in the end. So thankful for the impact of those we honor with our son's name."