‘Her grip on the bed rails quickly moved over to him. Her nails sliced through his shirt, like butter. They were in this fight not just to win, but to grow together.’

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“I cannot begin to tell you what a life-changing day my boring ol’ Tuesday turned out to be.

At 1:15 the call came. The call that made my stomach turn in the most wonderful way that only excitement, coupled with a healthy dose of fear, can.

‘HEYYYY!,’ she answered her phone enthusiastically, all the while sitting at 7 cm dilated.

Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Photo

As I rushed to the hospital, I wondered how this whole thing would shake down. Having never shot a birth (nor witnessed one in real life), I was walking into a situation with little to no knowledge or experience. Nerve-wracking would be an understatement.

After being greeted by upbeat music, laughter, and Jasmine’s million-dollar smile, the nerves shattered into a million little pieces. Jasmine, her boyfriend PJ, and Goldie (the coolest Grandma ever) had already filled the room with love and warmth. It was clear, they had a plan to welcome Ivy Rose into this world in a burst of celebration.

Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Photo

In the thick of the agony Jasmine was experiencing, following a natural birth-plan with no epidural, the love and support held even stronger. Everyone, even their wonderful nurse Lacey, offered encouragement as loud as a cheer and as soft as a whisper. Moans of pain slowly swelled to cries of agony that sent a primal chill down my spine. As a woman, this was the epitome of a fight or flight situation, except flight wasn’t an option.

Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Photo

‘I told PJ I would like to make it without an epidural,’ Jasmine explained. ‘I needed him to encourage that decision, even if the doctors and nurses were encouraging otherwise.’ PJ stood tall in their agreed-upon plan when agony overtook Jasmine’s body, and it was almost unbearable for him to watch.

Rosemary Photo

Her weight balanced on an exercise ball. It was clear Jasmine’s pain was getting intense. Her grip on the bed rails quickly moved over to PJ while she was literally clinging to anything she could hold. The moment was so intense Jasmine’s nails sliced right through his shirt, like butter. The greatest part was, he never stopped watching her face, checking for signs from her. After the storm had passed, he looked over to me, smiled and laughed! In the middle of it all, he knew where his priorities were.

Without budging, he took it all in stride. The scratches, the teeth marks on his shoulder, the new hole in a comfortable old shirt all became war paint and battle scars. PJ and Jasmine were in this fight, not just to win, but to grow together.

Rosemary Photo

‘I had to trust he was there to help me through the labor and delivery, but he showed me I could do that by making himself COMPLETELY available to me,’ Jasmine said. ‘He wasn’t off in a corner, he had fun when he saw me having fun, and stood firm for me when he saw I was radiating pain and doubt. He trusted me. He was who I needed through this time.’

Without speaking, PJ knew where Jasmine needed his hands for support. He knew when she needed a sweet encouragement coupled with a gentle touch, and when she needed to be reminded of the strength she holds.

Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Photo

Jasmine’s mind, body and spirit were being tested, but God’s spirit was in the room, guiding her heart to ‘breathe for Ivy,’ as Goldie repeated.

‘O come to the altar, The Father’s arms are open wide, Forgiveness was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ…’ sang through a speaker playing Jasmine’s hand-picked birthing playlist. A mix of hip-hop, classic rock, top 40 hits, and most notably, worship music. She had selected songs that brought her closer to God so that He may be closer to their hearts.

In what felt like a blink, Ivy Rose made her appearance. Immediately, she stared alertly at her new world, breathed in the scent of the incredible woman that will raise her into an incredible woman, and wrapped dear Dad around her perfect tiny finger.

Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Photo

‘We were both very excited to meet our baby girl,’ said Jasmine. ‘We wanted to make sure we did what worked not only for us to get through the delivery successfully, but to bring her in safely, as peacefully as possible of course, and pray that she was healthy!’

Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Photo

Jasmine and PJ welcomed me into a moment of their lives I will never forget. It was the kind of moment that makes you sit silently afterwards, trying to process it all and commit it to the place where you hold your dearest memories. The kind of moment that brings you closer to God, that makes you feel closer in love and understanding human emotion. A moment that makes you feel so small in the grand scheme of things, that humbles you. Forever.”

Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Photo
Rosemary Photo

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Rae Emary-McFee of Rosemary Photo, and proud new parents Jasmine and PJ. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

Read another beautiful story of a couple’s incredible support through labor:

‘We were a team. I looked to my husband with tears streaming down my face apologizing for being a failure. He lifted my chin, and told me he was proud of me.’

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