A Beautiful Beginning: Luca Alexander’s Birth Story

Nearly three years ago, in the middle of the night, Taryn delivered a chunky baby girl. After she sat on her chest for only a few minutes, she handed her over to her true mom, Elizabeth. It was a delivery I’ll talk about for the rest of my career. Time passed and the families remained close, so naturally the casual conversations of a sibling began. Just like road to Aria, it was full of heartache and loss but alas, Luca “bringer of light” was meant to be. Thankful for an induction because of SO many ducks to get in a row, Luca casually made his entrance mid afternoon. The butter ball weighed in at 9.9lbs, 20″ with 3 perfect dimples and a double chin. Another job perfectly well done by Taryn, I mean, could she set the bar any higher as a surrogate? NOPE. As Elizabeth said, if Taryn’s not going straight to heaven, nobody is.

After awhile, we melted from the hospital window as Aria, quite literally, pulled her sitter by the arm sprinting through the snow towards the hospital doors to meet baby brother. Aria, well really everyone in the room, was overcome with joy as the siblings snuggled up in Mom’s arms, just as God had planned. It was a story written in Taryn’s, Elizabeth’s and Dave’s tapestry long before they met. I’m so thankful to have the privilege of documenting their story twice over. Just as I asked after the first birth, mom wrote some words below to share with all the readers who can’t seem to pick their jaws up off the floor. Amiright?

From Elizabeth: Nine years ago started a chapter in our lives that I was not really sure how it would end. Our world was completely shattered with cancer when I was 27. I was faced with surgeries and chemo, not to mention loosing my hair- all things I never would have imagined facing in my 20’s. I won the battle, accepting the way it would forever change the way I felt, leaving the scars left on my body, but it took something from me I thought I could never recover from. Cancer took my fertility…my hope for starting our family. I knew in my heart I was meant to be a mommy, that ache was never going to go away.

The road to bring us to this point was not an easy one… we have faced loss and deep heartache along the way… but it has brought us the most incredible baby girl and boy and for that I’m forever grateful. We truly believe they were meant to be ours. We are so thankful that Taryn came into our lives- she brought us hope and she loved and cared for our babies like they were her own. She has the biggest heart and is the strongest, most brave person I’ve ever met! We are so happy that Aria and Luca get to know Taryn and her amazing family. They will grow up knowing their story- I think it’s a pretty special one. Aria and Luca are our miracle babies and our happy ending! Now a new chapter begins ❤️.

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A world of congratulations to y’all! Love, Melanie.

A Beautiful Beginning: Bridget Katherine’s Birth Story

This sweet little baby girl arrived between the holidays instead of after, like she was supposed to! Starting with a morning water break and a day full induction with little progress, we thought for sure she’d wait until morning to be born. I had only been home from the last birth a few hours and juuuust climbed in bed after Elizabeth said she was still 3cm. We knew the baby was in a poor position and they worked on rotating her all day and just as she heard it was bedtime, she turned Anterior! I closed my eyes and ::CHIME!!:: “We are 8cm!!” I laughed and said to my husband, “welp, cya later then!” as I put my clothes back on. HAHA. All went well and Bridget was born smoothly into Elizabeth’s arms! 6.11lbs with tons of light hair that stuck straight off her forehead! Elizabeth was so tired after a long day she was using all the remaining energy to hold her eyes open as we talked to her. Welcome to motherhood, amiright? Congrats you guys! She’s perfect!

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love, Melanie

A Beautiful Beginning: Connor Knox’s Birth Story.

Life is funny in that you just never really know what’s coming next. Like, surprise! A you’re pregnant! A boy to be exact! Ellory’s labor was slow in the beginning then quick. Laurel rushed into the world, greeting us in the middle of the night. But this boy, he wanted his own dramatic story. Carolynn had an induction set for Friday morning but Thursday afternoon she started regular contractions. We thought for sure he’d come before the 5a induction, but sure enough she was still pregnant in the morning. As hours passed, I decided since I already had my kids with a sitter, I would just head out to Bethesda North since her previous two births she went from 3-10cm in less than an hour. I ate my lunch in the parking lot and casually headed in with her only being 4cm. Magically, as I was walking into her room, the nurse was checking her saying, she’s 7cm but the cervix is melting away. “Awesome!” I ran to the bathroom and when I came back, under 2min later, there were about 12 staff rushing around. UmWHATNAH? I was pushed out of the way and told to STEP BACK AND STOP NOW! I’ve been in lots of very serious scenarios and never had this happen, so clearly something intense was unfolding. Through the crowd, I could see Carolynn with oxygen on and staff discussing the decelerations not rising after contractions. Basically they established that she went complete so fast, the baby dropped with his hand to face, trapping the umbilical cord with him in the canal. So with a compressed cord, his body wasn’t receiving the blood and his heart rate was in the 60-80s and not rising back to 140. The resident Dr was able to get his hand up there to scare away Connor’s hand and after 10min of intense crazy and almost a sprint to the OR, all was fine again. HA!! WHAT THE?! We were all left standing around Carolynn like, uhhhhh, so that just happened! Then like no big deal, after a few pushes, Connor came out like, “Heyoooo! You thought the girls were crazy, Imma add so much more wild to your life!” Incredibly thankful it was remedied quickly and his sweet face is here and 7.4# of perfect! He has so much more worry planned for you, just you wait. 🤣🤣 Congrats, Brian and Carolynn!!

Love, Melanie