Today, my Mae is 2 years old. I can’t believe it. It hurts my hearts and thrills my soul. She’s wild, but soft. She’s tiny, but fierce. She burst into our world in a hurry, and brought endless adventure with her. I thought I’d share her birth story straight from my journal two years ago. Stick with it until the end, when I wrote something so crazy. A dream. A vision. A calling that Mae brought me when she came into the world. Here goes...
From my journal on 5/6/16:
Beautiful Mae Lanier Tippett has arrived! I want to write and reflect on her amazing birth story. Last Saturday, April 30th, 2016, we woke up to a beautiful day on the island. Raines slept in a little, so when she woke up we decided to go to The Market for breakfast. I told Jordan I wanted to walk (about a mile each way). He wanted to drive in case I went in to labor, but I wanted to walk to try and get labor started! We had an awesome walk and breakfast. Raines was in a great mood and Jordan and I talked about our dreams and visions for the future. We rested in the afternoon and cleaned the house. I was feeling a little uncomfortable from being so active, so I started thinking that just maybe our baby girl was on the way. I showered and then suggested Jordan shower. He said he might mow the grass, but I asked him to go ahead and shower. Around 2pm we were feeling a little stir crazy so we decided to go get Moo Cow ice cream. Raines fell asleep on the way, so Jordan just got our ice cream and we ate it in the car on the way back home. I really wasn’t feeling well when we got back, so I laid down on the couch while Jordan played with Raines. Around 3pm I started having contractions! They started fairly mild but got closer together pretty quickly. At 4pm I told Jordan that I was contracting, but I wasn’t ready to go to the hospital yet. I wanted to go lie down and see if the contractions kept up at a regular pace. Well, after about 10 minutes in bed, I got up and told Jordan I wanted to go to the hospital to get checked.
We called my parents so they could get things in order to be on their way, just in case this was it. Then I called Aunt Tracy to come and keep Raines. We scrambled around to get bags finalized, Raines fed and changed, and the car loaded for the hospital. We stood by the door to leave and I scooped Raines up for one last big hug and kiss as my only baby. It’s like she knew something big was happening. She hugged me as if to say, “We got this, Mama. It will be hard, but I love you and we will be fine.” I cried a little in the car for Raines losing her place as our one and only love, but I know baby sister will be a blessing to her long after Jordan and I are gone.
As we drove to the hospital I had 3 contractions, getting stronger each time. We arrived at the hospital at 6pm and I was 4cm dilated and contracting regularly. They had me walk for 30 minutes to see if I could move things along a little before admitting me. After the walk I was still 4cm, but contractions were stronger. They admitted me around 8pm. At 8:30, I had an epidural and was checked again. I was 6cm. Things moved very fast from there. My epidural did not work on my right side, so that was excellent. At 9pm my water broke and I was 8cm. Baby was coming fast!
At 9:30pm I was 9cm and throwing up. By 9:45, I was 10cm and ready to push. 9:55 the baby nurses came in and I started pushing. I pushed through three contractions and at 10:02pm our precious baby girl entered our world. I could see her tiny feet and legs as the doctor suctioned her and clamped the cord. Jordan cut the cord, and the nurse put our beautiful girl in my arms for the first time. Jordan was my hero through everything. Supporting me. Encouraging me. Loving me. We are so blessed to have one another.
Now we needed to name her. We studied her while I held her and quickly decided her first name: Mae. Classic but different. Sweet but spunky. She was definitely Mae. We narrowed her middle name to either Louise or Lanier. We liked how Louise sounded, but also liked Lanier. We loved the idea of naming her for the poet who wrote Marshes of Glynn (Sidney Lanier). This area has inspired us to live life right now and to live with peace and contentment in Christ. Our lives are richer here, just like our baby girl has made our lives richer. That’s it:
Mae Lanier Tippett
April 30th, 2016; 10:02pm
7lbs, 8oz; 21in
Our hearts are full and we are blessed, truly.
Bringing two precious lives into this world has changed my heart forever. Experiencing God knit together and bring forth new life through me and Jordan is nothing shy of a miracle. Through my children I see the miracle and value and every life, including my own. I am as fearfully and wonderfully made as they are. I am made for a purpose to do good works for the Lord. My girls are my most important work. They are my purpose. My purpose is to mother them in a Godly way, to shower them with love and exemplify Christ’s love. I want them to feel not only the unconditional love I have for them, but also to see me and strive to emulate me as a confident, present, and content woman whose heart belongs to God.
I believe God has purposed me for motherhood. I am called to lead these two beautiful souls towards their own good works. Through my motherhood calling, though, I have found another: to help women and moms know their own value.
Y’all, I literally wrote that last line 2 years ago in my journal when I documented Mae’s birth. I am simply amazed at how God works. He gave me my beautiful Mae, and planted a seed in my heart. A new purpose. A new dream. One that makes me so vulnerable. I’m so private. And so awkward. A true introvert. And yet I can write. And so I am. I am writing to women. To you. Telling my secrets and struggles and successes. My dreams and fears. My mom wins and fails. I am laughing and crying and praying here. With you. Like I would with my best friend on my couch. It’s that real to me. This writing. You are that real. Whoever you are. We are in it together. As fearfully and wonderfully made as our beautiful babies.
So Happy Birthday, Mae Mae. I love you with all my heart and down to my toes and forever and ever. I love your sweetness and your stubbornness. Your deep brown eyes and your little fairy run. I love your laugh and your hugs. Your determination and your charm. You, sweet girl, are my courage. And Mae, I’m better because you are mine.