03.23.2012 | evening
Nithya starts feeling contractions, so we know it would happen very soon. Call the doctor and they said to try to sleep through the night…if it gets too be too much to come right in. As she’s not able to sleep well, we make our way to the hospital just to be safe.

03.24.2012 | ~ 4:05am
We get settled into our room, and now its just a waiting game. Well, for me. Nithya is trying to get some sleep, but its not too easy when dealing with labor pains.

03.24.2012 | ~7:00am
Dr. McCool (yes, that’s his real name), happily enters our room, excited for another day of delivering babies. Runs a few checks, and gives us the heads up that Nithya is progressing well, and she’ll probably go into labor later that afternoon. We call family to let them know there is no rush in heading to the hospital, and we’ll let them know when we’re closer to the actual delivery.

03.24.2012 | ~8:45am
Nurse comes in to check vitals and see how everyone is doing. Nithya is trying to get a few moments of rest between contractions as the nurse is checking BP and heart rate. We notice the heart beat sound is not as strong as we’ve been hearing, but the nurse isn’t seeming to freaked out, just continues checking. She then reaches up and hits the ‘nurse assist’ button on the wall…

03.24.2012 | ~8:50am
An unknown doctor and a handful of nurses come rushing into the room. Everyone is talking to each other so Nithya and myself are left to figure things out ourselves. Doctor checks Nithya again, tells a nurse to page Dr. McCool, and then says we need to rush Nithya to the operating room…the baby needs to come out now. Amidst the rush, I tell Nithya everything is going to be OK and they wheel her away.
A nurse tosses me some scrubs and tells me to put them on and then she’ll take me to the OR.

03.24.2012 | ~9:10am
I’m dressed in scrubs, waiting outside the doors, looking for a nurse to bring me to the OR. The only thing I can really do is pray…I pray that God keeps Nithya and the baby safe, but ultimately that His will is done and He receives ultimate glory during this time. It’s a tough prayer.
From Nithya’s perspective, there’s a panic of nurses and doctors all around her calling out directions to each other as she’s wheeled into the OR and getting prepped. Dr. McCool enters into the room and she asks him to take care of her baby. Dr. McCool looks directly at her and tells her not to worry, everything is under control, and the baby is going to be OK. The anesthesia kicks in immediately, and she’s out like a light.

03.24.2012 | 9:13am
The doors of the OR pop open and I hear the cry of a baby girl, and a nurse walks out telling me that my daughter (and wife) are alive and well.

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Though we don’t really know the cause, somehow Eden dropped very quickly and got tangled in her umbilical cord, so they needed to do an emergency c-section. It was such an emergency, there wasn’t enough time for me to get to the OR to be there for the birth. But the great doctors and nurses at NCH did everything they could and all that was necessary to make sure Eden Elizabeth was delivered safely into this world.

It’s crazy to think of how crazy those 12 hours were for us. The final few moments seemed like an eternity and a flash at the same time. When nothing goes the way you plan, when you start to lose all the control that you thought you had over things, that was the moment when you get grounded back to your foundation. That is when you get refocused on what is of utmost importance, and who is in total control.

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———

This past weekend, we celebrated Eden’s first birthday. As much as it was a celebration of Eden completing her first year in this world and entering into a new one, it was also a time to rejoice that her parents kept her alive and healthy with minimal bumps, bruises, and scrapes during that time. ;)

We held a surprise “pink party” for her at Arlington Lakes Golf Club with a few of her (read: her parents) close friends and family. She was a rockstar that day, much to our delight. Early in her life, she had a bit of stranger distaste. It’s slightly different than stranger anxiety. Some kids have a fear of strangers and large groups and start to cry and cling to their parents. Our daughter, on the other hand, gives people nasty looks when they try to smile at her. It’s caused for some awkward moments in checkout lines at stores and such. But on this day, she was all smiles and couldn’t be happier.

Decor was put together by her mom and dad, food by Portillo’s, Smash Cake and Cupcakes by Mariano’s, and special thanks to friends for making cake pops as well as her birthday banner. It was quite possibly the warmest day Chicago has seen in 2013, too, which made it all the more better.

(We also had a “Who Does Eden Look Like?” game. According to the guests, just over 62% of the respondents said Nithya…I demand a recount.)

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I decided it would be fun to set up a “photo booth” for her party as well. Seeing as I was part of the celebration, it wasn’t something I could man. But I set it all up, had a sign with a box of props, and handed a remote to a couple kids under the age of 10 and asked them to make sure everyone got a chance. The good thing was that the kids had a blast and definitely took turns, and nobody broke my gear. But next time I think I’ll be a bit clearer on my instructions, in that the adults should also get a turn too! ;) Here are a handful of images from Eden’s birthday photobooth!

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Thanks again to everyone who came out, and everyone who has followed along in Eden’s first year of life here, on social media, and in person. While she probably has no clue who 95% of you are, it means a lot to myself and Nithya that you guys are very invested in our lives. We ask that you continue to pray for our family and Eden, that she continues to grow and mature into the the woman of God that she was created to be. And as long as she allows it, I will continue to document her life for all of you to enjoy!


Eden’s First Birthday

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